Do you need more money?

poorhandsWhat do you think the real issue with suggesting ‘You Need More Money’ is with religious people?

Is it with the word ‘money’, or ‘more’, or ‘you need’?

Here are a few questions for critics – those who oppose the notion of having enough finance to be able to meet the needs of our dependents, and help others with theirs.

Helping more by having more
You see, you may see this as sin, but we would like to have more money because we think we could help more people if we had more to give, and we do give what we can, but we seem to barely get by financially, being on a wage below the national average, and, despite being debt free, rarely having anything left over to be able to assist those who are doing it tough.

I actually include in my prayers that God will provide for my family, both financially and by meeting needs. I thank God that He has promised that He will take care of us and that we need not worry or be anxious about making ends meet. I trust and take Him at His word that He will provide seed to the sower, both bread to eat and seed to sow, into the kingdom and to those in lack, so that our abundance causes us to be more fruitful to the abounding of many.

We are content with where we are, and not complaining, even if we are sometimes abased, but would be glad to abound, and prefer the times when we are in abundance because it gives us the opportunity to sow more into our local church, which has a good missions giving perspective, and into other people’s lives, especially family with needs. Is it wrong to prefer abundance and overflow over poverty and lack?

Is it wrong to ask for more?
Is it a true statement, or is it mistaken to suggest that a person should actually admit to requiring financial assistance to get through life, to ask for more, to even require more? I’m thinking of the genuine poor here.

What did Jesus mean when he said we should ask and we would receive? Does that include our needs met through finances? I’m not talking about being super-rich, but sufficient in all things, and not a burden on anyone. When it is suggested that we meet the needs of the poor, do we give to those who ask for more, or those who do not?

When Oliver Twist, in the Dickens novel, asked for more food, was he wrong, or was he exposing the poverty of spirit of the system he found himself in which lacked generosity and left him still hungry when there was enough to satisfy his hunger and that of all the other children?

Should a person in actual poverty through no fault of their own, for instance, be considered normal for agreeing that they really do need more money, or are they wrong to want to get out of poverty?

Should we encourage them in this, and help find ways for them to be aspirational towards self-sufficiency through adequate work-for-money means, even to the extent of helping them find employment, or the relevant welfare agencies to assist them, or charity, or should we chastise them for daring to dream that they could at least aspire to being on or around the national average wage?

Should we criticise people for being uncertain about their future when they are on minimum award wages? I know cleaners, in fact I spoke to one yesterday, who are doing the job they do for very low wages because they at least want the dignity of working for what they get to feed and clothe and shelter their family, and yes, they would definitely say they need more money.

Is money more of a factor for us today than in Jesus’ time, when it would have been more common to barter and trade goods, livestock and crops, rather than use cash?

Credit rating
Are we still a cash driven society, or are we now a credit rating driven society?

Although I am debt free, and have a steady job, I was refused a credit card I needed, as a back-up for travel purposes on standby to book into hotels and the like, because I have a low credit rating with the banks here, not because I am a debtor, or do not pay bills, but because I am debt free! If you have no debt, apparently you have no credit! You can only have a credit rating if you have debt.

So those of you who are up to the hilt in credit debt to the banks and lending societies, and criticise people for thinking they need more money, what will you do if you lose the means to repay your existing debts? Say you are made redundant, or a sudden huge expense takes you by surprise, or an illness stops you from working, will you then admit that you need more money?

Would you be being dishonest if you were to say, as critics seem to imply, that you don’t need more money?

If that is the case, why does anyone show up at work on Monday morning? If you don’t need money, critic, how do you take care of your rent, mortgage, shelter, food, gas, electricity, clothing, taking care of children, spouse, extended family, travel, taxes, rates, etc.? Nothing much is free in this life. Don’t we all need more money?

What did Paul mean when he said that if a man didn’t work he shouldn’t eat, or that we should be gainfully employed to supply to the needs of our families? What happens when that man works? He is paid. What? Money. It is a token of his effort and employment. It in turn is paid to those who sell produce so he can serve his family and support them.

Paul himself said he would not receive offerings during a certain period in his ministry because he would earn his own keep and not be a burden. Did he need money? Of course he did or he would not have worked.

The Bible is not against money, or even abundance, but against greed, hoarding, selfishness and the love of riches which interferes with our worship of God and serving people with the gospel.

Welfare
Why do we need a welfare system which is much lauded and considered charitable which gives out money to those who have none if they, and therefore we, as a society, do not need more money? I thought the whole purpose of having a treasurer and treasury was to equitably distribute the various taxes people pay to sustain the growth and prosperity of their nation.

This tells us that the very system we depend on needs more money. Europe certainly has a lack of money because it is trillions of dollars in debt. As is the US. Mammon has the world in its grip and is telling the whole of civilisation ‘you need more money’ to pay off the creditors.

But how did the world get into this debt mess in the first place? We, like most people, were sucked into it for a while, and it took longer to get out of it than to get into it, just as it takes longer to shed weight if you are obese than it does to stack it on, and the pain of it is greater. It hurt to get debt free, but I’m glad we did.

How many of the critics of this book title have some kind of debt structure governing their lives? Are they paying off the principle or the interest? If they have one dollar of debt they need more money. They may not say it, or admit it, but they do. Jesus said to whom you owe anything you are a slave. How do you get out of this bondage to money-lenders if you do not need more money?

If the banks crash you all crash. If the financial institutions go down you all go with them. Unless you are debt free and not dependent on their cash, or their credit, or their system.

What is the secret of the critics’ survival?
Presumably, those who state that it is wrong to suggest that some people need more money have some other means of supporting themselves. How is it that, if they truly believe we do not need money, they do not share with the rest of us how they get by without it?

Why are they keeping this to themselves?

What is the secret of the critics’ wellbeing and sufficiency if they do not think the rest of us should have money, or, in some cases, more money, if you keep in mind the situation of those who do not consider they have enough to support themselves or their dependents?

And, if you already have enough, critics, why is it you do not need more money to help people who do not?

Not about get-rich-quick schemes
This isn’t about creating wealth for the greedy, or riches for the lazy, or promises of gain through giving, or religious appeals to holiness through success.

It is an assessment of the validity of the title of a book by Brian Houston, ‘You Need More Money’, which he took off the racks well over ten years ago because of the flack he received for the title, and yet is still being used as an example as if the book remains on the market, even being used on the TV program which recently savaged him and his church for basically being successful.

So the old adage, never judge a book by its title, has gone out the window with this one. People have converted the title of a book which is no longer on the shelves into their own imaginative preconceived ideas of what they would like it to say so that they can criticise their own interpretation of their own criticism of what he might have said had they been able to buy the book, which they can’t be cause it is no longer available, and hasn’t been for a decade or more.

Reverse idolatry for money
It is not money that is the root of all kinds of evil, but the love of money, and it is possible to have such a hang up about money that your idolatry for it shows even when you claim you do not need money, and criticise those who admit they do.

There are different ways of revealing a religious craving for financial recompense from those who do not have an issue with money, but simply use it well or invest well, or know how to be a distribution system for finances which helps others and brings equity into their lives through wise practices.

It’s not the love of money which propels them towards their liberality, but the love of people which causes them to be a positive filter system for a supply of their sufficiency to others, which then leads to personal increase and more to give. The Bible calls it the gift of liberality.

Honesty
This is a request for an honest appraisal of a book title which speaks earnestly of most people’s need of more finance for a more effective lifestyle, whose author is being criticised for telling the truth about a few words that go through most people’s minds, or a simple phrase which is uttered by the majority of us at some time in our lives.

Can you truthfully say that there have never been times when, for your own needs, or for the needs of people you have met or seen, you have not considered that more money in your hands would be a good thing?

Posted by Steve


118 thoughts on “Do you need more money?

  1. One of the most powerful, if not the most powerful lesson God taught me this century, and asked me to pass on, is that true prayer is the communication of God’s will – as in they will be done – and that by getting the prayer from God, we will ask what we will, because our will is HIS WILL and HIS WILL shall be done on, as in heaven so in earth.

    However, this kind of faith, the God kind fig tree shriveling Mark 11 faith (Have the faith of God!) does not COME OUT except by prayer (the communication of God’s will) and fasting (separation from the world, the flesh and the devil, and its ways and appetites).

    Where we of course must be careful is what we do with unrighteous Mammon! Jesus suggested we use it to make friends so that we would be welcomed in their eternal homes (inner man). Paul and others warned to beware of the love, or allure, or attraction OF money – its seduction.

    The issue really is all about equality – that there be an equitable distribution of wealth – which plainly is impossible under the current system whereby some see it as a God given right to plunder others, or they simply don’t give a toss as they are successful psychopaths – gods unto themselves.

    The mathematically exponential nature of debt and the “miracle” of compound interest means that the system will inevitably crash and we will have the worst depression of all time – some time soon. I would be working on developing faith for supply and provision miracles, and how to survive when the banking system goes belly up, as it will soon do, and as it is designed to do. The big clue is that the Fed charter runs out this year – 100yrs since its inception. As it was an occult invention it began with 1913 and will end 2013. Out of it will come a New International Monetary Regime, Order and Dominion – or NIMROD (yes, I made that name up, but it is so).

    Paul wrote that all we worry about is matters of provision – food, raiment and shelter – in essence all your concerns come down to simply no more than having cover, comfort and tucker (Aussie for food).

    He was not saying it was all we should worry about, but it is ALL THAT we worry about is about. Once you get it that God is your provider and he will meet all your need according to HIS riches in glory, not what you have laid up in heaven, but what he has already laid up for you, knowing before hand what you need (and you shall have the riches of heaven – faith, hope and love – peace, righteousness and joy) then you have the faith of God instead of “your faith”, which so often is actually manifest as a form of rebellion, praying (demanding) for YOUR will to be done instead of God’s will.

    6. “You, however, when you pray,
    Enter your home and shut your door,
    and pray to your Father unseen.
    And your Father who sees the unseen,
    will repay you openly.
    7. “And when you pray,
    do not chant like the pagans,
    For they expect through babbling (through much words),
    they will be heard.
    8. “Thus do not imitate them,
    for your Father knows what you need,
    Before you ask for it.
    9. “Therefore, this is how you shall pray:
    Our heavenly Father,
    hallowed is your name.
    10. “Your Kingdom is come.
    Your will is done,
    As in heaven so also on earth.
    11. “Give us the bread for our daily need.
    12. “And leave us serene,
    just as we also allowed others serenity.
    13. “And do not pass us through trial,
    except separate us from the evil one.
    For yours is the Kingdom,
    the Power and the Glory
    To the end of the universe,
    of all the universes.” Amen!
    14. “For if you forgive human beings their faults (foolishness),
    your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
    15. “But if you do not forgive human beings,
    your Father will not forgive your faults also.

    The caveat on the end is often forgotten…

  2. Brian Houston, the lead pastor of the Hillsong mega-church in Australia, published You Need More Money in 1999 through his own ministry, Brian Houston Ministries. First, I must ask: who names a ministry after himself? Really?

    Second question: why is this book not on his own website? [Update: he no longer endorses it, as this article shows.] I found it on Amazon by searching for “Hillsong” in my last note on Hillsong. Now that I’ve actually ordered this book, I have physical evidence in my hands of his teachings. Let the reader note that I bought this paperback used through Amazon for less than a dollar (before shipping).

    The purpose of this book is to re-frame your understanding of money. “One of the enemy’s greatest strategies is to stop God’s people desiring more money” (17). Brian says that if you tell yourself all you need is enough money to put food on the table, then you’re being selfish. You could try to gain money so you could put food on hundreds of tables. If you say you only need a car that gets you from A to B, then that’s selfish too; what if God wants you to go to C, D, E, and F, but you only have a car that gets you from A to B?

    Brian wants you to get comfortable with wealth. One exercise to help in doing this is to put on your best clothes and go to a nice restaurant to buy a cup of coffee. Just get comfortable with the thought of luxury. Though the book later develops the theme of how wealth can lead to making a real impact on the world (see below), this suggestion only breeds private comfort with having wealth and does not in any way connect to how one can use wealth for God’s purposes.

    The mindset Brian seeks to implant in the reader is one of grandiose ambition, in which by making more money one can impact hundreds of lives instead of a few. He stresses the necessity of money in a missionary’s line of work, and applauds a missionary couple who went to China, because they started a small business in Australia and made enough money to finance their mission work. (Behold, the harvest is plentiful, but the workers need to wait 20 years to fund themselves!)

    He tries to re-frame one’s understanding of money as that of a neutral tool that can be good or evil, depending on its use. While there is some truth to that, money is actually a power of this world and not of God. Not just does he frame it as a neutral and necessary tool, but sees it as God’s divine promise to us. Page 8 says it clearly:

    Money can accomplish tremendous things for the Kingdom of God. In order to do this, we have to become comfortable with wealth, and break the bondage, guilt and condemnation of impoverished thinking. Poverty is definitely not God’s will for His people. In fact, all His promises talk of blessing and prosperity.
    How is the reader to respond? This reader would respond with Matthew 24:3-14, or even the Discipleship Guide (Matthew 10). Following Jesus is not a way to worldly success; indeed, properly done, such discipleship may lead to a very uncomfortable death.

    Page 12 interprets 2 Cor 8:9 as saying that Jesus forsook his heavenly wealth and came to earth to be poor so that Christians may be rich, i.e. free of poverty. This is, without a doubt, another gospel. I cannot stomach this teaching.

    If I were to thoroughly explain every misuse of Scripture in this book, I would have to write a book of at least equal length. In short: Brian Houston, the lead pastor of Hillsong, is an excellent motivational speaker. His church offers extravagant tithes at Mammon’s altar, but what does a book like this do for the Kingdom? It fulfills Matthew 24:11.

    What should our reaction be to Hillsong? There’s no doubt that their songs, such as “Shout to the Lord” are popular. Ousting their low-on-theology, high-on-excitement pop songs is a rather difficult task; but what can we do to stop feeding this ravenous lion funding this ministry? A Christian cannot, in good conscience, support this ministry in any way, shape, or form.

    If you do not believe me that this guy is a con artist, you can currently buy a copy of the book on Amazon used for 52 cents (American) plus shipping. I am happy to discuss further if anyone wants details.

    http://divinemeditations.blogspot.com.au/2010/03/review-brian-houstons-you-need-more.html

  3. A review of You Need More Money. By Brian Houston.

    Brian Houston Ministries, 1999

    In this book the pastor of Hillsong Church in Sydney shares his concerns about money. He believes that Christians have a low view of money and wealth. He believes we should not only have a positive view of these things, but that we should enjoy them as well. As such his book offers an Australian spin on a unique American teaching that has developed over the past several decades known as the Prosperity Gospel.

    Pastor Houston is concerned that many Christians have a ‘poverty mentality’ which keeps them from enjoying all of God’s blessings. This may well be true for some: just as there are those who take pride in their great wealth, there are some believers who take pride in their poverty. But in materialistic, consumeristic Australia, I would guess that the real danger is not thinking negatively about money – it is thinking about it too much. That is, most Australian Christians, like most Australian pagans, are far too materialistic and money-hungry.

    According to You Need More Money, much of the problem of those Christians who are struggling financially comes from their negative thoughts about money. If they would only think and speak positively about wealth, much of the problem would disappear. Now there is some truth to the positive confession teaching. Even secular folks recognise that having a healthy positive attitude can be helpful. A person who keeps telling himself that he is lousy will probably act and feel lousy. But applying this to health and wealth becomes problematic when held up to Scripture. We have no record of Paul telling the poor saints of Jerusalem to just stop their negative thoughts about money. He does not chew them out for being outside of God’s perfect will for their lives. Instead, he takes up a collection for their needs. And when Jesus said “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matt. 26:38), we don’t hear a voice from heaven saying, “Come now my son, stop this negative confession and show more faith”.

    This book contends that Christians are not thinking biblically about money, and seeks to set the record straight. It starts out on the wrong foot however when the first scriptural proof-text given is Ecc. 10:19: “A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer for everything”. However, we must remember that the bulk of this book comes from the perspective of “under the sun”. That is, this book presents a view of life as seen from the unregenerate or the back-slidden. Therefore it is as dangerous to develop a prosperity gospel from this verse as it is to develop a theology of alcoholism (“wine makes life merry”).

    The author also appeals to Paul: “He wrote that ‘Contentment with godliness is great gain’, not poverty with godliness is great gain!” Yet that is exactly what Paul says in Phil. 4:11,12 (which is cited before this quote): Whether in need or plenty, Paul has learned to be content. That is the whole point of the New Testament. Our contentment is Christ, not our material and economic standing. Yet the prosperity gospel tells us to be discontent with certain economic levels (the low ones).

    The author also makes the point that God wants us rich so that we can further the work of the kingdom. Undoubtedly many Christian organisations and ministries can use more money. However, the problem may not always lie with finances. Indeed, as far as missions and the Lord’s work go, raising money is in one sense no problem. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Ps 50:10, eg). God can easily finance his work. What is much harder for God is bringing his people into conformity to himself. I believe the reason why many ministries and works of God suffer financially is because God is more interested in getting our attention than in what we can do for him. He can easily give us money – he cannot easily get us to bend the knee. Thus I believe he allows hard times to get our attention, and to make us see our dependence on him. Many of us, if we were to become instant millionaires, would be too tempted to ‘consume it in our lusts’ as James warns about (4:3), rather than invest it in the work of the kingdom.

    Moreover, what many ministries lack is not more funds but more Christ-like workers, more committed disciples, more unselfish labourers. The late Mother Teresa helped the outcasts and needy of the streets of Calcutta with love and attention, warmth and commitment, something money cannot buy. It wasn’t more money she needed for this ministry, but more self-sacrificing and caring workers. Indeed, once a British tourist remarked to her, “I wouldn’t do what you are doing for a million pounds”. Mother Teresa replied, “Neither would I”.

    One can also consider the contents of this book by the test of universality. If a principal is scriptural, it should be applicable in all cultures and all places. But how does this gospel go down in the third world? Imagine telling a starving believer in Haiti, an impoverished follower of Christ in Bangladesh, or a homeless Christian in Ethiopia that they are out of God’s will, and that if they had more faith and got rid of their negative thinking, they too could be wealthy like their American and Australian brothers. For the struggling believer who is seeking simply to stay alive, wondering where the next meal will come from, in need of shelter, running water and other basic necessities, such a gospel must sound like a sadistic taunt, or a cruel hoax. Faith in such quarters is not measured by how much you have, but by one’s allegiance to Christ in the face of such want.

    In fact, throughout church history we find that most of Christendom has been poor and needy, just as today the majority of believers around the world are far from wealthy. Yet according to the prosperity gospel, God wants us rich, and if we are not, we lack faith. Does that mean most Christians in the world today and most Christians throughout history have been lacking in faith? If so, then Jesus and the disciples too lacked faith, for they were not wealthy. Jesus had nowhere to lay his head (Matt. 8:20) and Paul said “To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless” (1 Cor. 4:11). Hardly “King’s kids” theology there. In fact, even in the Old Testament, we hear complaints about the wicked prospering while the godly go in want. Spirituality, in other words, is not measured by one’s material possessions. Often the people richest in the Kingdom of God are the poorest here on earth. As Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor” (Luke 6:20).

    http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/1999/11/28/a-review-of-you-need-more-money-by-brian-houston/

  4. (Irrelevant Benny Hinn comment removed. If you want to start a thread on this article go for it, but it is a distraction to the commentary on this thread and a long-winded one at that. Stick to the subject, Ed)

  5. The reason why the title is so distasteful to Christians is the obvious hedonistic and materialistic reasoning behind it.

    We live in a society where money is power, where money is a sign of success as well as the accumulation of things.

    Also the church is rampant with fraudulant behaviour and false teaching over money. Hillsong itself is neither transparent about its finances nor, as shown by the use of its indigenous grants which it used to promote itself, faithful stewards of God’s money.

    Is this an attitude reflected in the Gospels and the lives of the disciples and other Christians?

    Would Jesus say “You Need More Money”?

    Did Paul say to the poor Macedonians, “You need more money”?

    Actually I might write a book called “You Need More Sex”.

  6. Bones, if you persist on cut’n’pasting irrelevant articles such as the Benny Hinn trash I will cut’n’paste them out.

    If you are merely going to perpetuate an ugly argument with angry innuendo I will destroy them from the face of this thread.

    The Bill Muelenberg article is at least on thread, but wasn’t he the guy who attended a Benny Hinn crusade with a Courier journalist, whom he pushed in a wheelchair into the wheelchair section, the journalist pretending to be a paraplegic just to get close to Benny by claiming he was healed? When he was ushered on stage, Hinn waved his hand towards the journalist and he fell under the power, untouched by anyone, and did not get the chance to say anything to Benny, and later claimed he was pushed from behind by the ushers, even though he fell in their direction backwards! LOL!

    Muelenberg is a serial critic of the prosperity message and is often used by the media for his comments, as is Tanya Levine.

    Why don’t you just answer the question in the post. Do you need more money? Or are you living on thin air?

  7. Bones,
    The reason why the title is so distasteful to Christians is the obvious hedonistic and materialistic reasoning behind it.

    We live in a society where money is power, where money is a sign of success as well as the accumulation of things.

    You may live in that society, but I live in an area where poverty is very real and the cry that the people here need more money is far more vital.

    it may be distasteful to pompous well off Christians who liv in the leafy suburbs, but it is far from distasteful to those who are on minimum wages, or on job-seeker’s allowance in the north of London (£65 pw = $95, in London, where many jobs carry a London gearing to cover the expense of travel to work!), or living on the tips of Manila, the swamp ghettos of coastal Asia, or the shanty towns of Soweto.

    I think you are very much showing the class difference between middle Australians and the real poor, whom I hear on the buses and tubes every day decrying their lot and yearning for more so that they can make ends meet sometime in the not too distant future.

    Thee is nothing hedonistic poor materialistic about raising a person’s sights and assisting them to get into a work placement or job situation which will get them off the pitiful dole.

    You need more heart!

  8. Gee Steve, you might have to ask Brian why he doesn’t endorse his book anymore.

    I suppose he gave all that money away he made on a deceitful and errant publication, right?

    Brian doesn’t need to endorse his book.

    He’s got you here to endorse it and defend the Benny Hinns of the world.

  9. Bones,
    [defamatory, removed] lies about the bible to sell his book

    He took the book off the shelves ages ago. He’s not selling it at all.

    You should read the article again. It’s strictly not about the book, but the concept of the title, which is much decried by people like you whose main goal in life is put down ministries you don’t approve of regardless of their effectiveness.

    Are you able to understand the thrust of the post or are you more interested in having another go at Hillsong?

  10. “it may be distasteful to pompous well off Christians who liv in the leafy suburbs, but it is far from distasteful to those who are on minimum wages, or on job-seeker’s allowance in the north of London (£65 pw = $95, in London, where many jobs carry a London gearing to cover the expense of travel to work!), or living on the tips of Manila, the swamp ghettos of coastal Asia, or the shanty towns of Soweto.”

    Been there, done that.

    Yes, send Brian over there and get them to tithe 10% and they can buy a copy of his book “You Need More Money”.

    Then the poor will say I am rich.

  11. Bones,
    He’s got you here to endorse it and defend the Benny Hinns of the world.

    I am not endorsing the book. It isn’t on the shelves. I am pointing out the hypocrisy of clowns who attack the title having never read the book, who have never been through poverty or lack, and have never had to cry out for provision.

    I have never defended Benny Hinn. I don’t endorse his teaching or his methodology.

    I am defending this thread against your tendency to derailing it with irrelevant cut’n’paste wordiness.

    Been there, done that.

    Sounds as if you’ve left it behind to enjoy leafiness and comfort.

  12. You know Bones, you have these very tender buttons and they’re so easy to press. They react like crazy, reflexes on steroids, and the triggers are very simple. Words like Brian, Phil, C3, Hillsong, gay, Catholic, Mary.

    You’ve been programmed, or you’ve programmed yourself to automatically hit google and find something horrible, aggressive and non-edifying to break down any positive comments anyone might make about things you don;t like, or negative remarks about things you do like, such as Mary worship, Mediatrix or Easter, and away we go.

    I produced two very positive posts about Hillsong and you haven’t stopped being as negative and aggressive as you can about Brian, the Hillsong people, and even a book title which is out of print.

    Do you have anything edifying to say about anything?

  13. Do you even care if the poor people of this world ask how they can have more money? Do you have anything positive, helpful or wise to say to them?

  14. I just had this terrible thought, Bones, that you may not have actually read the post, but only the title. Oh, the irony of that!

    Tell me this is a wrong thought.

  15. “I am not endorsing the book. It isn’t on the shelves. I am pointing out the hypocrisy of clowns who attack the title having never read the book, who have never been through poverty or lack, and have never had to cry out for provision.”

    So you have to buy the book, and read it to know its crap. Thereby giving Brian more $$$$$$$$$$.

    The title and Brian’s preoccupation with $$$$$$$ tells me its crap. As do those who have bought it and read it.

    Many Christians were telling Brian that even in Hill$ong but Brian just fobbed them off as being jealou$. $o who’$ right now.

    I don’t need to step on a dog turd to know it stinks.

    P$ Watched Joyce Meyer dvd once.

    At the end she said she needs more money.

    Benny Hinn called.

    He says he needs more money.

    Brian texted as well.

    He needs more money.

    Read about Jesus.

    He didn’t need more money.

  16. Steve would you agree with the statement :

    ‘ One of the enemies greates tactics is to stop people desiring more money?’

  17. “Helping more by having more”

    Of course. An example is the Hillsong Emerge indigenous program.

    They received $1.8 million from the government to advertise their own activities including marketing, build staff offices and paying staff.

    From that they gave 6 Aborigines loans worth an average of $2856 each and no Aborigines gained self employment and administered $280 000 in loans.

    Just think of the good work they could do with $10 million.

    No wonder they need more money.

    http://www.rickross.com/reference/hillsong/hillsong1.html

  18. So, by Bones reckoning, wazza, I only have to read the title of your new blog and that is enough, and like him, consider i a crock of poo.

    Actually I love the satyr of it and think you are a good writer. I don’t agree with your analysis of my post of course, but the criticism is ell presented. You should consider a blog career.

    I actually do think that Christians have been made afraid of money because of the criticism of the prosperity teaching.

    I agree that any preaching on excess is wrong, and have commented on this many times on this blog. But the tendency is to preach that poverty is virtue, and taking vows and relying on other’s goodwill, such as Francis of Assisi’s, is preferable to hard work, investment and generosity with our own goods.

    It is clear from the post that I am not talking about entering into excessive greed or promoting riches over virtue, or wealth as a sign of holiness.

    I am saying that there are people who do need more money, and the criticism of the message of the gospel is more likely to keep them in poverty out of guilt than to promote the concept of being able to be lifted out of poverty, to help raise their communities awareness of its potential, and to bring about kingdom changes which will advance them out of destitution.

    In short, it brings more hope to people to tell them there is an answer, than to keep them down by saying God is not interested in helping them out of poverty.

  19. By the way, I welcome criticism of c3churchwatchwatch, unlike c3churchwatch which banned me after only a few comments, which were very restrained and non-personal. The point of c3churchwatch is to point out their aversion to dissent.

    I started the blog c3churchwatchwatch as a satirical response to their one-sided, defamatory and hyper-critical site, which is a blight on the blogosphere.

    I hope, if I ever get around to commenting on your new blog, you will allow a dissenting point of view to your own and not immediately feel threatened, like c3churchwatch, whenever someone says something contrary to their own view, or send in the bully boy Zorro to mash new comers’ comments.

    I notice you have Zorro the crusher of dissent already ensconced.

  20. Steve would you agree with the statement :

    ‘ One of the enemy’s greatest tactics is to stop God’s people desiring more money?’

  21. I basically agree with what Steve wrote on this. And for what it’s worth, I need more money. And I know really good decent missionaries who need more money.

    And yes Bones, I think some people need more sex.

    The fact is that there are lots of Christians who could be working harder, saving more, studying more, starting a business instead of working for a wage, and giving more.

    On the flipside there are people in Australia who are supposedly “poor” but they can afford cigarettes, booze and a big TV.

    There’s poor and then there’s poor.

  22. I’ve never read the the whole book, only chunks of it, when I’ve stayed with people who have a copy, Bones, because, to be frank, I wasn’t interested in buying it when it was available.

    However, I am not criticising it. I have expressed no opinion on the content.

    I am not criticising it based on the title, as you are, and as most critics are, which is part of the thrust of the post, and my criticism of people like you who think they can base their criticism on the title of a book.

    I have produced an alternative opinion of the content based on the title which is far more positive than yours, and you have come in guns blazing with indignation, and completely missed the point of what I am saying.

    Indeed wazza has fashioned an entire new blog out of this very exercise.

    So now we have a classic compromise, whereby you have formed an opinion on the book without reading it, based on a title, and I have formed an alternative opinion based on a limited reading of it, using the title, both of us weaving our opinion into a mere title.

    Wazza, too, if I’m not mistaken.

    Any other takers?

  23. Interesting. You can’t always judge a book by it’s title. Title’s are often to grab attention.

    Still, I could do with more money.

    btw, in case people don’t realize it, Brian never grew up rich. There are many pastors, missionaries kids who would have had much better lives if their parents had more money.

    I guess I’m just looking at this too simple/

  24. Steve would you agree with the statement :

    ‘ One of the enemy’s greatest tactics is to stop God’s people desiring more money?’

  25. (4th try). Steve would you agree with the statement :

    ‘ One of the enemy’s greatest tactics is to stop God’s people desiring more money?’

  26. I think it’s an overly generalised statement which requires qualification. Can you explain the context better for me?

    I could see an argument for it, and others against it.

    I think critics have talked people out of being financially and socially solvent and relative by presenting an alternative pro-poverty message, or by saying that any and all types of blessing or prosperity are scripturally wrong. They’ve talked Christians out of receiving sufficiency from God.

    That’s what I explained a few comments ago.

  27. Its from “You need more money”. I think it is a gross distortion. As the Love of Money is the root of all evil, then it surely follows that the enemies greatest tactic is to start people desiring more money.

    Note that I’m not saying there has never been a case where someone sinned by not desiring enough money – I’m just saying I’ve never witnessed it.

    Very few people have stopped desiring money, in my view. Many more have sinned by focussing and desiring money where it was not appropriate.

  28. “by presenting an alternative pro-poverty message”

    Yes I can see that being preached everywhere in the West. As usual you build up a strawman (in this case the poverty vows of monastries and monks – who else presents a pro-poverty message?) to tear down. Even the Communist Party in Britain has wound itself up and shown the white flag.

    Aside from monks and nuns can you give us some current western examples of this pro-poverty message and how it has stopped people being financially and socially solvent.

    The Catholics aren’t even saying that.

    Or are you talking about people who criticise the manipulation of church attendees by those who think they have to give to get financial blessing thereby making the critics pro-poverty?

    Or are you saying that those who criticise the lavish lifestyles of Joyce Meyer and Benny Hinn through exploitation of the gospel are in some way pro-poverty?

    Or are you saying that those who criticise teaching such as if you don’t tithe you are under a curse as being pro-poverty?

    You of course equate anti-prosperity doctrine with pro-poverty. (There is no such thing as prosperity gospel because it simply is not good news at all.)

    Two totally different issues.

  29. The Prosperity gospel is actually a pro-poverty message. Pro-sperity for us and pro-poverty for others (usually in the third world and hopefully Muslim).

    Prosperity without productivity (as in the stories of unexpected increase after tithing) is just a transfer of wealth from others to yourself.

  30. Of course Wazza.

    There’s only so much money around and it comes from people. So for me to prosper means someone has to lose.

    When we have an excess of cash like the government printing more money we have what we call inflation.

  31. Must For more money,

    4But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5“Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.b” 6He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

    7“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “[It was intended] that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

    { 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” }

    Is there enough jobs to go around?(surely it is easy to do the math)

    How many people in the world are considered POOR or LIVING IN POVERTY???(must be well above 90%)

    Is approximately 1 % percent of the entire worlds population RICH?

    Can everyone achieve TONY ROBINS status?

  32. “Can everyone achieve TONY ROBINS status?”

    Pastors believe you can.

    Look at TD Jakes, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Rick Warren.

    In fact if you can’t you’re not in God’s will.

  33. Bones,
    “by presenting an alternative pro-poverty message” [etc]

    Bones, as usual you create a strawman by selectively misquoting me by leaving out the qualifying part of an entire paragraph.

    What I actually said was:

    I think critics have talked people out of being financially and socially solvent and relative by presenting an alternative pro-poverty message, OR by saying that any and all types of blessing or prosperity are scripturally wrong. They’ve talked Christians out of receiving sufficiency from God.

    Like wazza’s comment above, critics make the erroneous assumption that all blessing and prosperity messages are geared towards wealth without labour, when it is plain as day that if a man won’t work he shouldn’t eat. I think I have mentioned this several times.

    I can’t see you anywhere preaching that a man could well become quite well off by being well training, consistent, working hard, investing well and being generous. Or that liberality is a Christian virtue which is accompanied by God’s grace, but requires investment, time and nurture of the talent given so that it multiplies through effort and good stewardship.

    Rather you suggest Francis of Assisi, who took poverty vows, as the prime example, but if every one of us followed his lifestyle who would plough the fields, sow the seed, grow the crops, reap the harvest, deliver it to the market, buy the wheat, mill it, prepare the meal, bake the bread and sell it to the good, hard working soul who pays his hard-earned cash and generously supports and feeds Francis’ travelling monks who do no physical labour at all?

    Wazza qualifies the statement from the book, which is quite ambiguous, in a negative way. I gave more than one alternative. I said it could be taken positively or negatively. But both Bones and wazza choose to ignore what I said.

    I asked wazza to further qualify the meaning of the phrase to give it context, but, because he doesn’t know the content of the book, he is forced to give his own interpretation.

    wazza,
    There’s only so much money around and it comes from people. So for me to prosper means someone has to lose.

    Well, as Eyes suggested, do the math. Only he goes down the same track as you and coms to the erroneous conclusion that there’s only so much to go around.

    Is this true? It could require another post, but the fact is that there is more than enough of everything in this earth for each person to be equitably catered for, materially, socially and physically.

    The problem is, and always has been sin. In the form of hoarding as the result of insecurity. Instead of releasing the harvests, nations keep them to themselves. Instead of sharing the seed they create a market out of it, even subsidising poor farming practices, and the seed is lost to the poor, because the money market is far more important to Mammon than feeding the people.

    Have you ever researched how much wheat is destroyed to keep the economies of nations afloat? God will judge nations for not feeding the poor when they had it in their power.

    Its the same with finance, jobs, and many other social deals.

    Can God change this? Just look at Egypt in the days before Israel left for the wilderness!

  34. This topic will just keep on going on forever. If you want to argue that people could be giving more to the poor, then you are obviously right. The Roman Catholic Church, the Anglicans, etc etc, could sell more property. Anyone been to the Vatican?

    But Wazza and Bones and the CEO’s of most charities I know could give more to the poor.

    Could most Australian women do without half their wardrobe, downgrade their cars, houses etc. Yes of course.

    But, are you all open to an audit of your finances and assets for a modern day Francis of Assisi to look at.

    Let’s also remember that he was single.

    I’m also not confident that many of the people arguing about rich vs poor know much about economics.

    For someone to prosper -someone has to lose? I don’t agree with that statement at all.

    Anyway, given all the slander and insults that go on here, maybe some of you should sell your computer, cancel your internet and give to the poor. Or use the time you spend here, searching for homeless and feeding them.

    As for Hillsong being a bad witness among Christians, maybe you could compare how many non-CHristians have become CHristians through that church vs others. It’s simply not true that non-Christians are so outraged with Hillsong that they refuse to go there.

  35. Bones,
    “Can everyone achieve TONY ROBINS status?”

    Pastors believe you can.

    Look at TD Jakes, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Rick Warren.

    In fact if you can’t you’re not in God’s will.

    That is a numbskull comment, on a par with one on another thread. Where are you trawling this flippant trash from, Bones?

    Where does anyone commenting here say anything about not being in God’s will if you do not prosper? No one does, and no one has. That is so preposterous that I think you are quoting from another blog somewhere on another planet.

    Rick Warren? He still drives his old car and lives in the same house he has lived in for years. He paid back his entire salary from before his book when viral and takes no salary form the church. Whether you like the book doctrinally or not, and I don’t, it doesn’t mention anything about prosperity to my knowledge, and is a fatalistic, Calvin-driven, reformed theology, surface level attempt at showing how to live a godly life, but it is popular, sold well, has a few merits for entry level folk, and he has, indeed, made money out of it, but given most of the money away, so you’re rule of thumb is ridiculous.

    Joyce Meyer is not a Pastor. T. D. Jakes is also a fatalist reformed preacher with a very powerful way of ministering, who hits the seam of gold occasionally, scripturally, but misses often, but I’ve never heard either of them say you’re not in God’s will if you don’t achieve Tony Robins status!

    Joel Osteen is a positive confession guy and also a fatalist – that is, he teaches that God might put something on you to teach you a lesson, which is more akin to sovereignty doctrine than prosperity teaching, but, again, at least he is doing what he can to lift people out of troubled times, and get them off their pity-party lounge suit into the real world of getting things done, albeit with very surface level Christianity.

    However I have not heard any of these say that you’re not in God’s will if you don’t have the same kind of lifestyle as Tony Robins!

    They are more likely to tell people they can get through the trials they’re going through if they’ll only believe God and take Hm at His word, and stop trusting in man’s ways, but start to have faith in God and give application to the truths in the Bible, which is completely the opposite to what you are saying.

    You are speaking through your…

    …artistic license again.

    So are you really saying people people aspire to being like Robins to be in God’s will? He’s a freak of nature, physically, dentally, socially and as an motivator/entertainer/communicator. There is only one Tony Robins, and that’s how it should be, and, I don’t follow him in any way, but, as far as I can make out, even he is saying you need to be yourself but operate at your capacity and have a positive outlook on life by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

    I saw Tony Robins on TED once, and they certainly reckon he has something to say, but whatever it was I half thought he was a good positive speaker, half pop-psychology mentor, but there is a very faint, accidental scriptural basis to his messages, although he is at least saying, ‘come on guys, we can do it’.

    What a nonsense idea you spread!

    I think when you get into a certain state of mind you say things you haven’t carefully thought through.

  36. For someone to prosper -someone has to lose? I don’t agree with that statement at all.

    . To believe that is a very simplistic view of what world economics is all about…there is not a limited amount of pie to go round…that is called zero sum economics and is only useful in balancing income/expense ledgers and of no use at all in delivering wisdom on wealth creation and sharing resources equitably.

    Steve is so right to talk about all the wheat dumped into the ocean…we have the wealth and the ability to not have a sinle poor person in the world…but it is not about wealth redistribution…if the Rockefeller family deceminated all their wealth tomorrow…they’d have it back again by the end of next year.

    Tony Robins is definitely a dental freak!!! I LOL’ed hard at that. I think the man has a definite message or anyone wanting to take control of their lives and live to theo best of their God given ability. I like him a lot. In fact I got his book Awaken the Giant Within for Christmas.

  37. Economics over poverty [from the ABC today]:

    Thousands of tonnes of peaches to rot on ground

    A near perfect growing season has produced a high quality crop of canning peaches in the Goulburn Valley this year.

    But sadly for growers the Australian dollar and cheaper imported products have forced the local cannery to cut its intake of fruit again.

    That means thousands of tonnes of peaches are likely to rot on the ground.

    Invergordon orchardist Doug Brown says it has been the growing season from heaven but he is now going through the hellish task of knocking 50 tonnes of perfectly good fruit off his trees.

    “I’ll run through with a tractor and mulch and break it all up and rot it back into the ground,” he said.

    “I can’t think of any market I can target, so the best thing I can do is get it off the tree for the tree’s sake.”

    It is a similar story at Peter Hall’s orchard at Mooroopna. He expects to have about 100 tonnes left over.

    “It’s very disappointing to see a crop that you have spent money on just go to waste,” he said.

    For several years now SPC Ardmona has been forced to cut the amount of fruit it takes from orchardists.

    “It’s a combination of a very high Australian dollar,” Mr Hall said.

    “I think our country has weak anti-dumping laws that aren’t policed that well and there’s been a rise in the amount of imported fruit that sits on the shelves.”

    The Shepparton cannery is certainly feeling the pinch.

    Last week its parent company announced a $146 million writedown in value of SPC Ardmona.

    Orchardists say politicians could help by showing more interest in Australia’s food processing industries.

    “They can support the industry just like they have manufacturing and the car industry and hopefully they will get the growers through the tougher times they are experiencing at the moment,” Mr Hall says.

    So the high dollar causes food producers to mulch their crop into the ground whilst people in poorer nations would give anything for those crops.

    And the cash conscious growers want to Government to subsidise their losses. Well who subsidises the losses of the hungry?

  38. wazza,
    For someone to prosper -someone has to lose?

    Let me help you with this, wazza, using God’s economics.

    Your assumption here must be that thee is only so much to go around, that is, what is out there is out there, and your premise must be in reference to money alone.

    But money is a neutral token of product supplied, beit foodstuffs, manufacturing, livestock etc..

    To give God’s economics, He gave us seedtime and harvest.

    This means we have seed left over from the last season, if we are smart, and we sow it towards the next season.

    Each seed, according to the Word and backed by nature, produces some 30 fold, some 60 fold and some 100 fold, that is for some grain crops, but most seed produces more for the next harvest than what is sown, provided the growing conditions are OK.

    So God’s economy is not based on a fixed supply moving from one person to another, but on the laws of sowing and increase – seedtime and harvest.

    So, in fact, for someone to prosper, someone has to sow!

  39. In spring, wazza, it will be lambing season in Australia. It would help you to go out to the country districts of whichever state you live in and watch God’s economics in action. It’s quite marvellous.

    And don’t forget the wool n the sheep’s back. At one time they said the economy of Australia was grown on the sheep’s back.

    And the vast areas of wheat and produce.

    And didn’t someone just locate 50 million barrels of oil under Coober Pedy? That’s not really a harvest as such, but it was there for a long time waiting to be located.

    Plenty to go around and more to come. God’s economics.

  40. [Stupid video of false economy preachers removed, along with a false claim steve has a connection to them]

    [I have dealt with this group countless times and rejected them. If you want to add to the discussion do so with some relevance and not with claims such as this.]

    Ed

  41. Steve – I am impressed by your grasp of God’s economics.

    By serving clients and rendering to Caesar I never seem to lack for want of work or money, however my own sons and grandsons have prophesied of a great straightening of circumstances to come which I too have been given to see.

    God’s economy is great – it is my benefactor too – but I sense it shall not always be this way that abundance comes with ease and we will be needing cruse of oil, peck of meal faith, and Gold in the fishes mouth faith,and loaves and fishes faith to feed multitudes.

    I know you guys think I am crazy, but I don’t much care – the proof of the pudding will be in the consumption thereof. God’s will be done and His will is LOVE! Amen? We can agree on that! Yes?

  42. Wonder what Brian’s motivation was for changing the words of the Bible

    1 Timothy 6:6-10
    New International Version (NIV)

    6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

    Brian – “this verse declares that a misguided love of money is a root for all, or every kind of evil” You Need More Money chapter 3

    So there must be a good love of money then?

  43. There is enough on this planet for everyone on it to have food, clothing, running water, toilets, and a roof over their heads.

    I’m all for people trying to eradicate poverty. But saying that some people prospering means others will have less isn’t right. The poor in Australia are better off than the poor in Australia 100 years ago.

    btw, speaking of Tony Robbins, he grew up poor and does a lot to help the poor too. Super prosperous people are often amazing with the charity work they do.

    Gates, Buffet etc.

  44. Steve, erronously quoting me :
    For someone to prosper -someone has to lose?

    I didnt say this. Go back and read what I did say.

  45. In spring, wazza, it will be lambing season in Australia. It would help you to go out to the country districts of whichever state you live in and watch God’s economics in action. It’s quite marvellous.

    You dont have to tell me about the birds and bees, I grew up on a farm and I have five kids. But now we are starting to stray into the area of expertise of another Houston and her treatise : “Kingdom Women love Sex”

  46. Yes, you’re correct, wazza, and I apologise for misquoting you. You said:
    Prosperity without productivity (as in the stories of unexpected increase after tithing) is just a transfer of wealth from others to yourself./i>

    To which Bones responded:
    There’s only so much money around and it comes from people. So for me to prosper means someone has to lose.

    And Eyes added:
    Is there enough jobs to go around?(surely it is easy to do the math)

    So it is Bones who needs to reconsider his comment and look at things in view of God’s economy. And maybe Eyes, although his statement is ambiguous enough to be understood either way.

  47. “I can’t see you anywhere preaching that a man could well become quite well off by being well training, consistent, working hard, investing well and being generous.”

    Yes that happens to non-believers as well.

    Nothing especially spritually gifted about that.

    Brian would argue that tithing gives you a supernatural blessing by itself.

    C3 even has a miracle offering where you can buy a miracle from God.

  48. But no wonder Bones was trying so desperately to change the subject! LOL!

    Birds and bees, Bones. Seedtime and harvest. Equity for all. God’s economics.

    If you sow you will, in due season, reap if you do not grow weary.

  49. So, Bones, it rains on the just and on the unjust. You think we don’t know that? God blesses the man who sows to a harvest.

    But there are many ways to sow to a harvest, including material and spiritual.

    I’m not pushing tithing by law here, but, out of interest, do you think, under the Old Covenant, God meant what He said to Israel in regard to the tithe in Malachi 3? Or was He lying?

  50. Oh goody Malachi. A lesson on pronouns and their referent.

    Chapter 1

    6 “A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.

    “It is you priests who show contempt for my name.

    “But you (priests) ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’

    7 “By offering defiled food on my altar.

    “But you (priests) ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’

    “By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. 8 When you (priests) offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you (priests) sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you (priests)? Would he accept you (priests)?” says the Lord Almighty.

    9 “Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you(priests)?”—says the Lord Almighty.

    10 “Oh, that one of you (priests) would shut the temple doors, so that you (priests) would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you (priests),” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands. 11 My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.

    12 “But you (priests) profane it by saying, ‘The Lord’s table is defiled,’ and, ‘Its food is contemptible.’ 13 And you (priests) say, ‘What a burden!’ and you (priests) sniff at it contemptuously,” says the Lord Almighty.

    “When you (priests) bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your (priests) hands?” says the Lord. 14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.

    Chapter 1 Malachi condemns the priests for defiling the altar and showing contempt to the Lord.

  51. You’re a tragedy in the making, Bones. Arguing with your own voices again.

    I wasn’t asking for a commentary on the whole of Malachi. I was asking for your opinion on whether God meant what he said to Israel in Malachi 3, or if He was lying.

    Please comment on the following in view of my question:

    Malachi 3
    6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
    7 Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the LORD of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’
    8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.
    9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.
    10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
    11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the LORD of hosts;
    12 “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the LORD of hosts.

    You made the claim that tithing didn’t bring supernatural blessing in itself, but God seems to be saying the opposite to Israel here in this account.

    I know that it is under the Mosaic system, but do you say that God meant what he was saying to Israel in this passage or was he lying?

  52. And He is talking to more than just the priests in this passage:

    You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.

  53. Malachi chapter 2

    2 “And now, you priests, this warning is for you. 2 If you (priests) do not listen, and if you (priests) do not resolve to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse on you (priests), and I will curse your (priest’s) blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you (priests) have not resolved to honor me.

    3 “Because of you (priests) I will rebuke your descendants[a]; I will smear on your (priest’s) faces the dung from your (priest’s) festival sacrifices, and you (priests) will be carried off with it. 4 And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with Levi may continue,” says the Lord Almighty. 5 “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.

    7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. 8 But you (priests) have turned from the way and by your (priest’s) teaching have caused many to stumble; you (priests) have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the Lord Almighty. 9 “So I have caused you (priests) to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you (priests) have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.”

    Breaking Covenant Through Divorce

    10 Do we (Judah) not all have one Father[b]? Did not one God create us? Why do we (Judah) profane the covenant of our ancestors by being unfaithful to one another?

    11 Judah has been unfaithful. A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves by marrying women who worship a foreign god. 12 As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the Lord remove him from the tents of Jacob[c]—even though he brings an offering to the Lord Almighty.

    13 Another thing you (priests) do: You (priests) flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You (priests) weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your (priest’s) offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your (priest’s) hands. 14 You (the priest) ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you (the priests) and the wife of your youth. You (the priest) have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

    15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.[d] So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.

    16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[e] says the Lord Almighty.

    So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.

    Breaking Covenant Through Injustice

    17 You (the priests) have wearied the Lord with your words.

    “How have we wearied him?” you (the priests) ask.

    By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

    Chapter 2 The priests dishonour the name of the Lord and He will curse them. They have turned from the way of the Lord and caused His people to stumble. The priests had married pagan wives (cf Nehemiah 13). God curses the priests even threatening to throw shit in their faces.

  54. Now I’m not even bothering to take any notice of what you’re saying, Bones, because you’re just a law unto yourself. you can’t answer a simply question.

    Let me answer it for you:

    “Yes, God did mean what He said to Israel in Malachi 3 when He told them they were cursed with a curse because they robbed Him, as a nation, of the tithes, but, if they would repent and bring the whole tithe into the treasury, He would restore the harvests by sending the rain and stopping the pests which ate the crops, and once again make then a great and prosperous nation, which means there is a spiritual connection between bringing he tithe and God’s blessing!”

  55. Malachi 3

    3 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

    2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.

    5 “So I will come to put you (the priests) on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.

    Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes

    6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you (the priests) have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.

    “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’

    8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you (the priests) rob me.

    “But you (the priests) ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’

    “In tithes and offerings. 9 You (the priests) are under a curse—your whole nation—because you (the priests) are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.

    Israel Speaks Arrogantly Against God

    13 “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord.

    “Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’

    14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”

    The Faithful Remnant

    16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.

    17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

    Chapter 3. God rebukes the priests (the descendants of Jacob) for robbing the tithe. The priests have robbed God of “tithes and offerings” from Nehemiah 13:4-11. The priests are cursed, not the people which is what Malachi has railed against throughout his book.

    Ministers who save the best for themselves and neglect the Lord.

    Far from being about ordinary people robbing God, Malachi curses ministers who steal from God, taking what is God’s for themselves.

    And with these verses I have heard people stand up and curse people for not giving to the Lord on the basis of Malachi’s curse

    His curse applies to the so-called man of God.

  56. So what you’re going to attempt here is to erroneously claim that it was the priests who were cursed with a curse and who robbed God.

    Waste of time because whether it is Israel as a nation, which verse eight [sons of Jacob, not Levi] and nine tells us is the case, or the priests of Israel, as you are claiming, the same principle holds, that if they repent and bing the tithe into the storehouse God will bless them with a blessing that they cannot contain, rebuke the devourer, send the harvest rains, and make them a nation envied by neighbouring nations.

    Hold on a minute! Are you saying the priests are a nation separate from Israel? Hmmm!

  57. Bones, you say:
    Chapter 3. God rebukes the priests (the descendants of Jacob) for robbing the tithe. The priests have robbed God of “tithes and offerings” from Nehemiah 13:4-11. The priests are cursed, not the people which is what Malachi has railed against throughout his book.

    The scripture says:
    You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.

    You have changed context and warped it into a travesty.

    The priests are the descendants of Levi.

    Israel is Jacob!

    Genesis 32:28
    And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

  58. Yes it’s interesting what happens when you study the Bible and not charlatans whipping up their own interprtations by cursing people with verses taken out of context.

    Malachi condemns the mega pastors like Houston who steal what is meant for the work of the Lord.

    How ironic!

  59. The reasons the priests were rebuked was because they failed, amongst other things, to remind the people to bring the tithe, but the priests never grew the crops, or reaped the harvests, did they Bones?

    Did they? How could they. They were not allowed to possess land!

    No! The tithe was brought to the Lord through the priests, who stood before the Lord on behalf of the nation, but the nation failed to bring the tithe, they robbed God, and the priests were complicit.

    So, Bones:

    I’m not pushing tithing by law here, but, out of interest, do you think, under the Old Covenant, God meant what He said to Israel in regard to the tithe in Malachi 3? Or was He lying?

  60. Man!

    Bones, you don’t read ANYTHING anyone else writes in response to you, do you?

    How could you?

    If you did you couldn’t write such stupid things as you just did!

    Your exegesis is so far off the wall it is orbiting the sun!

  61. Bones [and this is so laughable I can’t believe it]
    Malachi condemns the mega pastors like Houston who steal what is meant for the work of the Lord.

    So you apply all of Malachi to NT preachers, but you say Malachi 3:6-12 only applies to Israel!

    Unbelievable!

  62. “The reasons the priests were rebuked was because they failed, amongst other things, to remind the people to bring the tithe”

    That’s complete and utter nonsense.

    The priests’ tithe of the tithe (heave offering) was the one addressed by Malachi. The Tribe of Levi would receive as their just due ten per cent of all the agricultural produce of Israel (Num.18:21). But they, in turn, were to present ten per cent of their tithe to the actual priesthood, the Aaronic sub-clan of the tribe of Levi who outranked all other Levites and actually served at the altar (Num.18:25-32). It was the LEVITES (sons of Levi), not the other tribes of Israel, who were being rebuked by God for failure to bring their “tithe of the tithe” to the storehouse so that the officiating priests in the Temple could eat and be satisfied.

  63. I’m starting to get it, though.

    Bones doesn’t respond to any arguments given by other commenters, even if he is proven to be abjectly wrong and culpably in error, as demonstrated above.

    No! You see, Bones has an agenda.

    He has a doctrinal stance, and he wants to push it regardless of what anyone else says.

    He isn’t interested in what anyone else says. He just ploughs through with his spiteful attacks on pet aversions and totally ignores sound exegesis, commentary, discussion, or even when he is clearly refuted Biblically.

    It means nothing to him.

    He is the ultimate troll with a single-minded purpose of displaying his agnostic perspective using atheistic and antichristian sources.

  64. Bones, even if you were right about the tithe the priests failed to bring, which you are clearly not, the same principle holds that God called them cursed, but would bless them if they brought the tithe into the storehouse.

    That is the point! And you just agreed with it even though you attempted to say it was wrong. You demonstrated it with your own false exegesis.

    The same principle holds, which was the question asked in the first place.

    Was God telling the truth or lying when he told [the priests] they were cursed with a curse but would be blessed if they brought the tithe into the storehouse!

    You had another agenda altogether.

    You’re just a troll imported from gripesects who, like them, hates the church, pentecostals and pastors!

    Lance is too afraid to ever come here, so he sent you!

  65. “Unbelievable!”

    No doubt it is. I’m sure there are many saying this is unbelievable that God isn’t cursing every single person who isn’t tithing and instead is cursing those who fill themselves with the best.

    Also not all of Israel tithed. Those who earned their living through banking, midwifery, carpentry (Jesus), fishing (peter), miners, lumber workers, construction workers, soldiers, weavers, potters, manufacturers, merchants, government workers, and priests etc.,. In short, all who were not farmers were exempt., did not owe any tithes in ancient Israel, unless they raised crops or livestock on the side.

    Oh and

    The people did tithe.

    The priests kept the best for themselves.

    They robbed God.

  66. I understand Steve.

    You hate what the Bible says unless it fits into your myopic, cultic view.

    Malachi is a clear and unequivocal condemnation of those who abuse what is the Lord’s especially those who He has entrusted to look after and administer it.

    It’s so obvious.

    Those ministers who lord it on themselves rob God.

    And He will curse them.

  67. Unbelievable that you would troll people so wickedly and plant your agenda so firmly whilst others, in good faith, attempt to discuss issues with you.

    What I asked you had nothing to do with what you are saying.

    I asked you if God meant what he said when he told [ the nation of Israel] [the priests of Israel] they robbed him, they were cursed with a curse, but if they repented and brought all the tithes into the storehouse he would bless them with a blessing they could not contain, send the rains on heir harvests, remove pests and pestilence and make them a highly respected nation.

    Or if he was lying!

    Because you claimed there was no supernatural connection between the bringing of the tithe and God’s provision.

  68. “he would bless them with a blessing they could not contain, send the rains on heir harvests, remove pests and pestilence and make them a highly respected nation.”

    And none of that happened.

  69. Bones,
    Or He changed His mind.

    Except he prefaces the tithe passage with the truth that he is the Lord who changes not!

    No, that is the curse in action on Israel, who were removed from the land until 1948, that being after Christ who fulfilled the law and abolished it!

    So let’s see how you started your exegesis, Bones:

    You began with chapter 1 verse 6, and then into priests in verse 7, and missed verse one, which establishes the context:

    The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

    And unto verse two which establishes that Jacob is Israel!

    That would have helped!

    The priests are held up as culpable for the nation because their offerings were poorly presented or nonexistent, but the whole nation was referenced as cursed!

    Di you write this stuff, or lift it from Russell?

  70. Further, et’s examine the tithe passage in more detail to establish context:

    Malachi 3
    6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
    7 Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the LORD of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’
    8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.
    9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.
    10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
    11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the LORD of hosts;
    12 “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the LORD of hosts.

    God says:

    I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the LORD of hosts

    The priests had no ground for the devourer to destroy, nor vines to bear fruit in the field.

    It could only be addressing Israel as a nation.

  71. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.(Malachi 3:10)

    40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” (Luke 23)

    42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.f”

    43Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

  72. Dam, I’ve been drinking something I’m sure…Steve, I agree with you again. I’ve been reading that text as being to the priesthood, however what you point out makes it clear there is, at the very least, more to it than that. Could it be that the behaviour if the priesthood, the leaders, impacted on the national welfare of Israel?

  73. Thanks Greg, I appreciate your support. I’ve more for Bones and Russell Kelly, whose blinkered logic has failed to observe some very simple truths displayed right in front of them in the text.

    Bones,
    Also not all of Israel tithed. Those who earned their living through banking, midwifery, carpentry (Jesus), fishing (peter), miners, lumber workers, construction workers, soldiers, weavers, potters, manufacturers, merchants, government workers, and priests etc.,. In short, all who were not farmers were exempt., did not owe any tithes in ancient Israel, unless they raised crops or livestock on the side.

    So now who’s being myopic! See what you have done?

    You have separated Israel into trades and skills, being the devoted labour union member you are, and completely missed the fact that Israel wasn’t divided up into vocational units but into tribes overseen by patriarchal family leaders.

    A brief study of Israeli genealogy would tell you that. A basic understanding of the Old Testament, especially Genesis and the the rest of the Pentateuch would give you that information.

    They tithed as tribes, families and communities.

    That community ethic is still prevalent today in the kibbutz system, which is one of the factors which has helped fulfil God’s prophecies that the hillsides would once again be wooded with cedars, and the deserts would bloom.

    Kibbutz means ‘a gathering, a community’, and is a collective, a combination of socialism and zionism, yes, but it is an example for you of how Israel stuck together before and after they went into the various captivities and migrations before they were allowed to return to their homeland.

    But the old Israel too was a tribal collective of sorts. Moses was told by Jethro to divide them into clans to be overseen by elders.

    When God delivered Israel from the Egyptians he didn’t separate them by vocational skills, or employment, He told each and every family that they should purchase a lamb and slay it, daub the blood on the lintels and posts, and roast the lamb, eat it and be protected from the destroying angel who went over Egypt and destroyed the firstborn of all who were not covered by the blood.

    They left in tribes made up of clans and families. They grouped in the desert in order of tribes, the sons of Jacob [Israel], before the tabernacle of witness.

    The tribe given the task of receiving their tithes was Levi. They failed in their duty to ensure correct tithing procedures, but they were allowed to do so by the nation which failed to obey God. God held the priests accountable, but the nation as a whole were cursed and required to repent.

    Your pastor is accountable before God for you, but you are accountable for your own sin, not he.

  74. In short, blaming the priests for the sins of the people is a cop-out.

    The priests were culpable for their own shortcomings, but the people robbed God as much as they. They did not bring their tithes.

    If you read the Old Testament you will see that many times they forgot the Law of Moses altogether and had to be gathered together for a convocation at which the Law was rediscovered and read out to them once again so that order was restored, usually after a king decided that he would return to God and bring the nation with him.

    I think you need to gain a better grasp of the Bible before you go off half-cocked with Russell Kelly’s destabilising theories on tithing.

    He says quite a few accurate things, granted, but it has become such an obsession with him, now that he has a degree of recognition amongst certain segments of the ‘discernment’ collegiate, that he is looking for demons in the doorposts, and is wrongly interpreting scripture according to his own prejudice, a common trait of ‘discernment ministries’.

    Over eager to find the ogre, they overstep their mandate and enter into la-la-land.

    This is a prime example.

  75. The same thing happens in Australia, but because you’re a resort city dweller, you can’t see it.

    I was saved in a small country town in WA. There were 2,000 people in the community, which was made up of wheat and sheep farmers with vast landholdings.

    The entire community survived to service the farmers and their farms, including the mechanics, the electricians, the builders, the plumbers, the postmen, the store-owners, the nurses, the local ministers, the pub owners, the shearers, the tractor drivers, the grain store owners, etc..

    Without the farms the town was doomed. It had no other purpose.

    Everyone in the community knew what season it was, and knew where the farmers were at any given time in the season, and all knew what the weather conditions meant, and whether we would have a decent crop or not. We drove past the fields every day and saw the progress. The land was part fo us as much as the farmers themselves.

    If you separate the Israeli farmers from the rest of the community you are missing the rural identity completely.

    You and Russell have applied a very Western logic to a Jewish reality. You have interpreted scripture according to city dwellers thinking and missed the rural identification with the land for all members of the community.

    The opening of the heavens on the land at the appropriate time is a crucial to the plumber as it is to the farmer. The rewards equally shared out.

  76. “Could it be that the behaviour if the priesthood, the leaders, impacted on the national welfare of Israel?”

    BINGO!

    Such is the state of a theocracy. We see in Israel the whole nation punished because of the behaviour of its leaders and prophets. How much more disgusted must God be when the ministers pasture themselves on His sheep and fatten themselves with what belongs to Him leaving Him the leftovers.

    In Isa 56:9 the prophet calls upon the nations to punish Israel because of the evil of her leaders

    9 Come, all of you enemy nations! Come like wild animals.
    Come and destroy like animals in the forest.
    10 Israel’s prophets are blind.
    They don’t know the Lord.
    All of them are like watchdogs that can’t even bark.
    They just lie around and dream.
    They love to sleep.
    11 They are like dogs that love to eat.
    They never get enough.
    They are like shepherds who don’t have any understanding.
    All of them do as they please.
    They only look for what they can get for themselves.

    These leaders weren’t democratically elected, they were put there by God Himself allegedly (eg King Ahab). As a consequence of their sin the whole of Israel is punished, those who tithe and who don’t are punished. The behaviour of the priests was no different to the behaviour of the false prophets and idolatrous rulers who brought disaster to their people.

  77. “In short, blaming the priests for the sins of the people is a cop-out.

    The priests were culpable for their own shortcomings, but the people robbed God as much as they. They did not bring their tithes.”

    That’s rubbish. You are ignoring the whole anti-clerical context of Malachi to push a condemnation on those who don’t tithe.

    It’s clear from the Old Testament that God will punish all of Israel because of the behaviour of her leaders.

  78. “he would bless them with a blessing they could not contain, send the rains on heir harvests, remove pests and pestilence and make them a highly respected nation.”

    So what happened with this prophecy?

    Israel has never been a respected nation since the Babylonians carried them away.

    Did people not tithe after the return from Babylon?

    Nehemiah 13 makes it clear that the priest Eliashib used the storeroom for the Babylonians which was an evil act and ‘neglected the house of the Lord’. Nehemiah makes it clear that people did tithe:

    12 All Judah brought the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil into the storerooms.

    Yet were there supernatural blessings because of it? Hardly.

    There’s still pestilence and disease and its hardly a place of blessing. The Levitical priesthood and temple is no more.

    What because the people didn’t tithe?

    Or if they did tithe none of these things would have happened? Israel would never have gone into captivity and been made a vassal state of Assyria, Greece, Rome, Mecca.

    I call bullshit.

    btw Malachi at most was using exaggeration to make a point. That those who rob God (the priests and ministers) will bring judgement.

  79. “Because only the priests sins brought sin on the nation, the sins of the people were atoned for by the priests; therefore, it was not possible for the people not tithing to bring a curse on the whole nation. So, I say to you today where these self-appointed gospel peddlers claim the people were robbing God – its not the people but the Levites and the priests who were robbing God – read it for yourself.”

    http://411tithesofferings.411-cashflow.com/Malachi3Mis-Interpreted.html

  80. “They left in tribes made up of clans and families. They grouped in the desert in order of tribes, the sons of Jacob [Israel], before the tabernacle of witness.”

    Fair to say that by Malachi, Nehemiah and Ezra’s time Israel wasn’t a bunch of nomads surviving n the desert.

    As Jerusalem expanded and the population grew, more tradesmen were needed. Beyond the agrarian farm and herdsmen owners who were commanded to tithe, there were those of other trades within the city who were not. There were bakers, candle makers, carpenters, clothing makers, hired farm workers, hired herdsmen, hired household servants, jewelry craftsmen, mason, metal craftsmen, musicians, painters, perfume makers, physicians, sculptors, soldiers, tanners, teachers, and tent makers. None of these professions or occupations was included in any list of tithes or tithing because, again, the tithe came from the land of Canaan. These non-tithing sources provided much of the money for head taxes, temple taxes, tribute to foreign conquerors and, of course, free-will offerings. Even the poor were required to pay a temple tax but not tithe.

    wtf does the passover have to do with tithes?

  81. Apart from anything else, Bones, Russell’s exegesis is poor, and you have adopted it completely, and now you are defending his error rather than admitting he has got his interpretation of the passage seriously wrong.

    Rural Israel lasted well beyond the desert tribes. The tribes of Israel went on for generations. When they walked into the promised land they were commanded to harvest crops they did not sow and tithe from it. The whole community was called to tithe. Their association with the land was still in existence in Jesus’ time because he used rural life as illustrations for his sermons.

    What, are you saying they had mechanised harvesting only run by the farmers? The people reaped the harvest as a community. The widows were left the gleanings. Read Ruth. They all partook.

    Then they all tithed. The Levites were there for every Israeli, not just the farmers.

    Russell has attempted to detach the rural Jewish culture form the tithe because he has an agenda to destroy typical imagery of what the tithe stood fro, and to build his own name as the wrecker of the tithe principle even in the Old Testament.

    Ignorance gone to seed!

  82. Bones,
    Fair to say that by Malachi, Nehemiah and Ezra’s time Israel wasn’t a bunch of nomads surviving n the desert.

    So you think the nomadic tribes in the desert were producing wheat crops?

  83. I don’t know who you’re talking about. I’m sure you can find Russell Kelly somewhere and ask him out for a date. You seem to be infatuated with him.

  84. Did the early church tithe?

    No.

    It is not mentioned at all by early church fathers.

    No wonder they missed out on God’s blessings and were martyred.

    Oh and for several centuries there weren’t any Christian ‘storehouses’ for Christians to bring the tithe into.

    The early church correctly interpreted Malachi as all the major denominations do today. It has absolutely no bearing on a Christian whether they tithe or not. There is no Biblical principle to tithe to receive God’s blessing. (A blessing which didn’t come to Israel and was no doubt Malachi using emphasis and exaggeration to make a point)

    Once again prosperity spruikers are revealed as false prophets, cursing the poor and those who see through their charlatan ways.

    The Early Church and Tithing
    Some people wonder if the early Church Fathers taught tithing. The answer to this somewhat depends on what is meant by “the early Church.” [18]

    As far as the earliest early Church is concerned, neither the Apostles nor their disciples (the early Church Fathers) taught that tithing was a Christian obligation.

    Prior to tithing gradually becoming a mainstay in some corners of the early Church, “there was no support of the clergy by a systematic giving of a tithe.” [19] In time (several centuries after the Cross), “the tithe came to be regarded generally after the pattern in the Jewish synagogue.” [20] Up to this time, tithing was simply a suggestion that apparently generated more and more support as the power of bishops and presbyters grew.

    As the power and position of Church leaders grew to reflect Temple era priests and the provisions that supported them, the Church eventually prescribed a tithe that included “money, clothes, and all your possessions,” [21] something generally not taught today and which is conspicuously absent in contemporary practice. [22] Tithing in the early Church (ca. 4th Century) was supported by an appeal to passages like Matthew 10:10 that says “the worker is worth his keep” (cf. Luke 10:7), and First Corinthians 9:11 that says “If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?” Some early Church leaders, however, “(like Irenaeus and Epiphanus) showed the argument drawn from these texts was not valid. Rather, freedom in Christian giving was emphasized.” [23]

    By the 6th century, the practice of tithing had adopted numerous man-made regulations which included certain portions to be designated for priests and parishes. This practice reflects common notions that Old Testament tithing directives regarding priest and temple maintenance have counterparts to church leaders–usually pastors–and church buildings. This belief in parallelism is shared by many Christians, and even has the support of numerous Christian leaders today.

    – See more at: http://www.inplainsite.org/html/tithing.html#sthash.yjyUkzf6.dpuf

  85. I don’t think the conversation is about whether Christians should tithe, is it? Not according to the discussion I’ve been having.

    I think it’s pretty obvious that you morphed it in that direction because you couldn’t answer a simple question from a couple of days ago when you claimed there was no supernatural result to tithing, and I asked whether God was telling the truth in Malachi 3, or lying.

    Your response was to come up with some bad teaching from Russell, whom you’re mysteriously engaged to, about the priests being the baddies and not Israel, as if the priests were from some other nation or something.

    However, regardless of whether it was the priests or Israel being referred to in Malachi 3, the absolute fact is that God said they were cursed because they robbed him, but if they would bring all the tithes and offerings into the storehouse, he would bless them with a blessing they could not contain, rebuke the devourer, make hem a great nation amongst their neighbours, and they could even prove God, yes, test him out, if this was not true, which tells us that the tithe would have resulted in blessing for Israel.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Church, who are under grace and not under law.

    You just don’t have a clue how to follow a conversation.

  86. From Cultwatch (How appropriate)

    A STUDY OF

    ENFORCED GIVING AND

    TITHING

    WITHIN THE CHURCH

    A discussion paper on the subject of Christian giving.

    PREFACE

    This discussion paper was prepared in response to a request from Cultwatch who expressed concern at the fund-raising policies of some evangelical/ charismatic/ Pentecostal churches, in particular their questionable practices of enforced giving and compulsory tithing.

    4.4.4 THE MOST COMMONLY QUOTED PASSAGE OF MALACHI CHAPTER 3 VERSES 8-12

    The most commonly quoted passage on tithing in the OT is Malachi 3:8-12. Question: which one of the three tithes is referred to in verse 10? Those who advocate tithing on the basis of this verse rarely state which particular tithe is meant here. A parallel passage in Deuteronomy 26:12-15 confirms that Malachi refers to the “whole tithe” i.e. the third year tithe which was the only tithe wholly given away. The only tithe to reach “”my house” i.e. the temple in Jerusalem, was the tithe that the Levites took there. Nehemiah explains how this tithe got to the “storehouse” in Jerusalem (10:37-38). It was from this third year tithe that the Levites in turn gave a tithe to the temple priests (Numbers 18:26-28).

    The Hebrew word “‘outsar” (Strong’s # 214) translated “storehouse” (NIV) in Malachi 3:10 is the same word in Nehemiah 10:38. The “storehouse” refers to a kind of temple warehouse, described in Nehemiah 13:5, as a place for keeping tithed grain, frankincense, temple vessels, wine and oil. The tithe in question was probably the tithe payable by the Levites, not the tithes payable by the people. Malachi was not rebuking the common people (“And now this admonition is for you, O priests.” 2:1); he was rebuking the Levites.

    “One must be careful in applying these promises (3:10-12) to believers today. The Mosaic Covenant, with its promises of material blessings to Israel for her obedience, is no longer in force (Ephesians 2:14-15; Romans 10:4; Hebrews 8:13). However, the NT speaks about generosity and giving. While not requiring a tithe of believers today, the NT does speak of God’s blessing on those who give generously to the needs of the church and especially to those who labour in the Word (Acts 4:31-35; 2 Corinthians 9:6-12; Galatians 6:6; Philippians 4:14-19).” [9]

    The idea that one’s entire giving should be paid to the local church based on the identification of the local church with the “storehouse” (AV) of Malachi 3:10 i.e. the temple treasury, is very questionable and highly dangerous. The Christian life is not about rigid legalistic regulations insensitively imposed by a church leadership. That practice has resulted in the spiritual abuse and unfair manipulation of God’s people.

    The thrust of the book of Malachi may be summed up in verse 4 of chapter 4, “Remember the law of my servant Moses.” But Christians live under the grace of God provided in Jesus Christ and do not live under the Mosaic Law (Romans 6:14-15; 7:4, 6; 8:3; 10:4; Galatians 2:16; 3:23-25). If one chooses to place oneself under the works of the law, like tithing, one places oneself under a curse because we cannot keep the law of Moses (Galatians 3:10-14). Here is the dilemma: observe part of the law and you are obliged to keep all of the law; enforce part of the old covenant and you must enforce all of it (Galatians 5:3).

    Finally, some who argue for tithing say that it predates the Law, as in the case of Abram, yet they use a passage of scripture like Malachi chapter 3 that was appropriate under the law, to support their argument. This is another theological contradiction. In conclusion, the Malachi text should not be used to badger God’s people to give.

    http://www.cultwatch.com/tithing.html#444

  87. Bones, you even claimed that God had changed his mind, when the verse prefacing the tithing passage declares that He is Jehovah, Who changes not!

    You’re just all over the place lately. Why?

    Because you’re ar more agnostic than you can admit.

  88. Oh Gosh! Here we go. Bones is off on another tangent.

    I’m no even talking about whether the Church or Christians should tithe. I was entirely talking about the Old Testament, Malachi and Israel. That is all!

    Can anyone reading this witness what Bones is doing?

    I’m outa here!

    I’m not wasting my time on people who can’t even follow a conversation.

  89. “I asked whether God was telling the truth in Malachi 3, or lying.”

    You tell me.

    I’ve given my answer.

    Malachi was using exaggeration and emphasis to make a point or he or God lied or changed their minds.

    Israel did tithe.

    No blessing came upon her.

    Far from it.

    I included the other articles because they show how the early church interpreted Malachi.

    In fact not even when tithing was practised in the early church centuries after Christ they never used Malachi to condemn the people of God.

  90. “I’m outa here!”

    Bye.

    Your key verse used to condemn your brothers and sisters is smashed and laid open for all to see.

    You can still repent of course.

  91. “Because you’re ar more agnostic than you can admit.”

    Most of Christianity is on my side.

    The Benny Hinn’s, Creflo Dollars, Joyce Meyers, TD Jakes, Phil Pringle’s and Brian Houston’s are on yours.

  92. and I asked whether God was telling the truth in Malachi 3, or lying.

    Must have been…because where is the promised blessing?

  93. He is Jehovah, Who changes not!

    Well, in which case we’d all better get back to Jerusalem for Passover huh? Changes not? Rubbish….God changes all the time.

    He changed his mind about lots of things

  94. And so it goes

    “This especially applies in the world of tithing. Tithing in one sense is not actually giving. The tithe belongs to God, not to us. Malachi the prophet says that when we keep the tithe we are actually “robbing God”.” – Phil Pringle, Faith, 2001, pg 155.

    “When we withhold the tithe we bring upon ourselves a curse.” – Phil Pringle, Faith, 2001, pg 156.

    So Christians don’t live under grace at all.

  95. Here’s what i am gunna do, i’m gunna get 10% of me money, stick it on an alter and burn it, rather than give it to houy or pring.
    But i won’t because that is against the law.

    The “tithing” groupies issue seems like a very similar problem that paul was having with the circumsision group.

    Animal sacrifice to atone for sin is finished. And wasn’t the temple (storehouse) destroyed in 70AD?

    So now we see how preachers have redefined the meanings of certain words, probably to suit there own budget.

  96. So now we see how preachers have redefined the meanings of certain words, probably to suit there own budget.

    bingo!

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