Tithing is another name of religious usury

At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites, who have no allotment or inheritance of their own, and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand (Deuteronomy 14: 28-29)

In the society, we need authority to organize our life, whether it is in religious, political or commercial sphere. However, most of the times, these leaders manage large group of people from various backgrounds and whom they hardly know and hence it will be expected that as the times pass by, these leaders will be self-oriented and imposing unreasonable demands on their followers.

I have criticized usury in my previous post as I think it is a type of robbery and that is also the reason why I put my money in Islamic bank which generates no interest. Usury necessitates endless economic growth as money supply need to continue expanding for paying debt and it is destructive to environment.

However, tithing is another type of extortion which is even more wicked than usury. Although usury is evil, at least the people who did it are plainly non-religious bankers. However, this extortion is done by quoting holy book of God, the same book who prohibited usury (Leviticus 25: 35-37; Deuteronomy 23: 19), advocating generous giving without expecting return (Luke 6: 35a) and congregation are told that not tithing is a sin!

Until now, I have seen a lot of my friends and professed Christians never examine what have been taught to them critically, whether in their church, university or media, using their own common sense and conscience. Understandably, checking everything what you think is true required boldness to overcome fear of social persecution and convenience. Not many people are willing to do that.

But assuming that these church leaders are right and tithing need to be given (from our gross income before social security, taxes, allowance to parents, etc). Here, I will disclose to you the typical income and expenses for ordinary expatriate like me:

Income:                                     = S$3,500

Social security: 20% * 3,500 = S$ 700
Food expenses                         = S$ 400
Phone + internet                     = S$    70
Electricity                                 = S$ 100
Transport                                 = S$ 100
Personal hygiene                     = S$   50
Parent allowance
(My dad, mom, step-mom)   = S$1000
Rent                                           = S$  600
Income tax                               = S$     20
Miscellaneous                          = S$     50
Tithe                                         = S$   350
Church offering                       = S$      40
Total expenditure                  = S$3,480

So, apparently, I left with only around S$20 permonth which is almost nothing.

Tell me pastor, are you saying I need not to have any cash because tithing???? Do you think that I have no need for emergency fund in case of unemployment or if I am sick???  

And do not talk about promotion. Are you my boss, pastor? Do you know that in my company, there is only two managerial layer, the manager and owner and 3 employees? Do you think I will ever be promoted? And do not even talk about need to find the new job, unless you are willing to find the job for me.

So, you see, it is easy for religious elites to talk about important of ‘generousity’ and ‘sacrifice’ when most of them live in luxurious apartment which pay no rent and no obligation to care for 3 parents like me. It is also easy to preach about tithe when you are mid-level managers, gold-collar workers, or business owners who earn more that S$6000 per month.

So, pastor, are you saying that Bangladeshi Christian construction worker who have a wife and a child earning S$2,000 permonth should also do gross tithing????

Right now, it is obvious that this doctrine is scam perpetuated by religious elites as easy way to pay for their luxurious lifestyle. Oh, do not talk about multi-million building project and one-time evangelism to obscure place for couple of days as if it is more effective than befriending and evangelising your neighbors.

However, in case that people are so brain-dead and do not think that this is a scam, let’s take a look at Scriptures. Usually, the favorite verse for these religious leaders is Malachi 3: 9-10. They will not usually dare to say, however, that the material promise accompanying this verse will also be true (Malachi 3: 11-12).

And the ultimate weapon against these religious elites is the verse in the beginning of this post (Deuteronomy 14: 28-29). For interpretation of any scriptural verse should not contradict another verse. Firstly, it is stated that:

– The priesthood should not own any allotment or inheritance (how many pastors do this? Instead, I see many of them have their own house, car, stocks, etc)
– Every three years, all tithes should be released to feed the aliens, fatherless and widows

Since these religious leaders advocate tithing which is Old Testament based, why don’t they also spend all tithes every three years? And why on earth the church is charity organization when it has to impose religious tax like this to their followers?

Because of the thought of not giving tithing is sin and nobody want to sin against God, the church will surely have a lot of money. Was not our Lord himself tell the rich man to sell all his possessions and give it to the poor (and not to the church)?

This is another reason to be critical to elites since most of them have no clue on the struggle of working class

About edwinlt

I am currently Indonesian expatriate working in Singapore. I am currently working as security researcher in National University of Singapore. I write this blog to share to readers about my life principle on various aspects, like religion, politics, business, relationship, and technology. I am interested in alternative worldviews because I found that many things taught to us by establishments are not true and harmful. My dream is to become self-sufficient in food and energy. Hopefully, someday I can have my own fruit garden and my own power plant and able to sell my electricity to power company. I hope readers enjoy my blog.
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4 Responses to Tithing is another name of religious usury

  1. expatriate says:

    If it’s a scam, then how to pay the church rent and expenses? Actually if you don’t have enough money, don’t need give a lot of tithe, or reduce your expenses. You also can directly give money to widows, fatherless, and Levites as what Deuteronomy 14: 29 said. But now there is no more Levite.

    • edwin2026 says:

      If it’s a scam, then how to pay the church rent and expenses?

      Probably the question to you then: How did other religious places (temple, mosque, etc) manage to survive without having this doctrine? Don’t get me wrong. I knew that pastor and elders need to be fed like other human beings – That’s why I gave church offering every week. However, I am talking about compulsory giving of 10% of your gross income like many pastors preach today and they said failing to do so (regardless of our financial condition) is the sin against God.

      Don’t you see something seriously wrong here? Do you think that tithes is necessary to cover basic expense? No! They use the tithe to build mega churches with the pastors are able to buy many properties, investing in stock market, and sending their children to Ivy League university! And do not think I made up all these things, I have attended 3 evangelical churches (1 in Indonesia, 2 in Singapore) and those cases are taken from my own experience! If becoming God’s pastor has so much material blessing beyond most of middle class can dream of, then where’s the sacrifice? Did our Lord joking when He said ‘sell all your possessions and give all to the poor’ and then ‘follow Me’ (Luke 12: 33)? Why did no evangelical pastor follow this teaching literally, if they are insisting that tithing is to be followed literally? Instead, most of them are OK to have both God and Mammon at the same time.

  2. Jay says:

    Interesting view but you missed out something called ‘faith’.

    How would you know pastors in your church are ‘elites’? Because of the cars they are driving? I think we got to understand the job scope of pastors as well, they do so much more than just preaching in church every Sunday. They are literally on standby 24/7, waiting for calls in the middle of the night, in case someone in the church needs help, or someone has passed on. In a way, they need the cars. They need to be mobile to reach the masses. I’m not going to justify why they have cars and houses, put CPF together with HDB, you should be able to get the answers to your houses.

    I also know of people who are earning as much as you are, supporting a family of 6, yet being able to tithe faithfully, without having to worry about their finances. It’s about your faith. If you are worried about ’emergency’, maybe it’s time to review what ‘faith’ is.

    I earn S$2500, I tithe 15%, have a family of 3, pay for all my utilities and child’s needs, give my parents money, and still managed to save $100 per month. My mortgage is paid for by my CPF. Is $100 a lot, not really, but I’m happy, and I don’t have to worry. Maybe you don’t have CPF, but you don’t have a kid to care for either. The leftover is dependent how we spend, not how much we have in the beginning.

    At the end of the day, whether to tithe or not to tithe is entirely up to you. It’s between you and God. Your pastors can only remind you of the teachings from the Bible, maybe they have been wrong to judge you. But remember never to judge them, leave the jugdement to Jesus.

    Give joyfully, the Lord sees, if you really feel you can’t tithe, tell Him personally. Remember, it’s between you and God, not the pastors.

    • edwin2026 says:

      Hi Jay,

      I respect your opinion but my view will still the same. Firstly, please do not tell me to go to other places you need private transport. The quality of public transport here is beyond dream for 90% of world population. Do not also tell me that being able to change apartment continuously to eventually buy the one in Sentosa (like Kong Hee) or able to fund the largest church in South East Asia (like my former church) is still cannot be classified as elite.

      I do not think I am unreasonable to expect some saving in the case of emergency. Just consider that you put more faith to your church whereas I put more faith on my saving. As for the leftover is dependent on how I spend, could you tell me in which way do you think I am wasteful by seeing my monthly budget? Definitely, if I would like to squeeze further I can save around S$100 more permonth. But if I need to squeeze until that far then what for you study and earn your degree?

      Do you know the reason why many family here able to do that (supporting family of 6)? Because both of parents work outside and they have underpaid maid from outside Singapore! I am not like Singaporean and I expect my wife to devote entirely to manage household (at least for the first 12 years) and children. I do not want to hire really underpaid maid whose salary below S$500 permonth. They cannot even save! If I want to pay them humanely then I will want to pay them at least S$1000 permonth. Additionally, unlike local, outsiders have to pay montly rent of S$500-S$600 and housing rent is not payable by CPF. So, Jay, tell me, if you need to pay additional S$600 permonth, then could you still pay the bill for your family?

      Don’t you think I am giving 3 of my parents are the same as considered as giving to the Lord? Why do you somehow think that giving to the Lord can only mean giving to the church? if the church is really representative of the Lord, then why do evangelical churches almost never do charity? You should know that in the parable of sheeps and goats, the Lord condemned people to hell because of lack of charity. And do not say that church cannot survive without tithe. If the temple/mosque can survive without tithe, then why can’t church?

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