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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Bishop Eddie Long and TBN TV Family Should be Fully Investigated for Sex Crimes

Bishop Eddie Long and TBN TV Family Should be Fully Investigated for Sex Crimes


http://www.yesumulungi.com/index.php/commentaries/434-bishop-eddie-long-and-tbn-tv-family-should-be-fully-investigated-for-sex-crimes.html

Kato Mivule | September 28, 2010

This past week saw the news headlines flooded with the Bishop Eddie Long scandal and the civil law suits against him concerning sexual coercion of subordinates, mainly young boys in their late teenage years. It is alleged that the Atlanta based prosperity preacher and pastor took a number of young men oversees, gave them expensive gifts, groomed them in a church youth program, and later engaged in coerced sex acts with them.

According to CNN, Bishop Eddie Long took to the pulpit this past Sunday and did not categorically deny the allegations but preached a fiery sermon vowing to fight the charges against him, comparing his situation with the David and Goliath story in the bible. Interestingly Bishop Eddie Long stated twice that he is not a perfect man but would fight the charges against him. Was this to prepare the Church for more serious revelations and allegations to come or were part of the allegations true?

We can all speculate and it is important to note that these are still allegations and Bishop Eddie Long deserves all justice and benefit of a doubt. What Bishop Eddie Long needs to do is step down and allow a full investigations into these serious criminal allegations instead of putting up a show of fiery manipulative Sunday sermons.

Interesting is that these allegations are not new in the Evangelical circles, Ted Haggard, another mega church Pastor in Colorado was accused of sexual relations with a male prostitute, leading him to resign and of recent he started another Church. Before that we had male sex accusations against TBN TV founder Paul Crouch, who ended up settling the case outside court. The Catholic Church has been dealing with priests accused of molesting hundreds of young boys in both the USA and Europe, paying million of dollars in settlement fees and some priests serving jail time.

In Uganda, Pastor Robert Kayanja was accused of the same, molesting and coercing young teen boys into sexual relations. Robert Kayanja, fought the allegations by using the State agencies to avoid being dragged to court, giving donations to Uganda's Police (which was seen as a bribe and corruption) and the police in turn arresting his alleged victims. In Uganda, unlike the USA, the victims of sexual abuse did not see their day in court but were arrested and some thrown in jail, some have not been heard of. Pastor Robert Kayanja could easily get away with such allegations simply because Uganda is more like a Banana Republic when it comes to justice.

To make matters worse, many Pastors in Uganda who took up the cause of fighting for the victims of sexual abuse were sidetracked into fighting against homosexuality and pushing for the death penalty against gays in Uganda. As such Pastor Robert Kayanja got off the hook as attention was turned away from him and to the anti-homosexual bill.

Even then some folks in the gay community were hoodwinked into thinking that Pastor Kayanja was being attacked because he was gay as could be seen on almost all Ugandan Gay Blogs. Yet the victims, the young boys, who were sexually molested never got their day in court, never received justice and their voice was muted.

As a matter of fact, Bishop Eddie Long's scandal has all the hallmarks of Pastor Robert Kayanja's sex allegations. In both cases, the young boys were lured with gifts and promises for trips abroad, taken to hotels, given sleeping pills and then molested sexually.

As I was watching CNN, listening to the Bishop Eddie Long sex scandal, I thought to myself, this sounds just like the Pastor Robert Kayanja sex allegations in Uganda. It was like I was hearing the same story again. While the Catholic Church has had to endure investigations by law enforcement, the Evangelical Church seems to be escaping unscratched, especially in nations like Uganda, were corruption is order of business.

Yet even with the Bishop Eddie Long case, it is just a civil law suit and no criminal investigations launched. This is a set back, especially to law abiding Evangelicals. This means that many crimes of child molestation by preachers and pastors go unreported and not fully investigated.

Therefore Pastors like Bishop Eddie Long, TBN TV Family, and even internationally traveling preachers like Robert Kayanja from Africa should be fully investigated by law enforcement and this is not only for the victims but also for the good of the Pastors involved perhaps to clear their names.

It is interesting that Ted Haggard, Paul Crouch, Robert Kayanja, and Bishop Eddie Long are all or were part of the TBN TV Family and what links them is sex scandals involving other males, mainly young teen boys. It would not surprise to hear another TBN TV superstar caught in the same scandal.

If Law enforcement in the US and Europe can investigate the Catholic Priests who sexually molested young boys thirty years ago, they can surely investigate preachers in the Evangelical circles who pretend to be preachers of the gospel but are liars, and wolves waiting for young boys who they can entice so as to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What we might have is men who pretend to be preachers and are not accountable to anyone but as it is turning out, are simply criminals waiting for their next sexual prey and using the Church as a cover for their activities. We might have an international gang of sexual predators using Evangelical Christianity as cover. The Law enforcement and Investigative journalists should fully investigate.

Bishop Long's 'anointed' path to power at New Birth

Bishop Long's 'anointed' path to power at New Birth

http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/09/28/long.new.birth/index.html?hpt=C1

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) -- Jonathan Walton was walking through Bishop Eddie Long's church one day when he saw something that disturbed him.

He stared at a 30-foot banner draped behind the pulpit of New Birth Missionary Baptist. Church. It displayed a profile of a grinning Long with the caption: "What is God up to?"

"Everywhere you went in that church, his name and face was there," says Walton, an assistant professor of religion at Harvard Divinity School in Massachusetts. "His image has replaced the cross."

Long's image is now under assault. Four young men have filed civil lawsuits accusing him of abusing his spiritual authority to coerce them into sexual relationships, allegations he has denied in a statement issued by his attorney.

While most people focus on the men's allegations, few have paid attention to how Long acquired and maintains his authority at New Birth, which has an estimated 25,000 members.

Long and New Birth are virtually synonymous.

The 57-year-old pastor has built a devoted following at his church in Lithonia, Georgia, by preaching the prosperity gospel, making savvy business decisions and through public displays of generosity.

But Long has also talked about ridding his congregation of its deacon board during his early years, and by consistently telling his congregation that he speaks for God.

Long's controversial megachurch 'mentor'

Long's leadership style at New Birth follows a similar pattern at many megachurches (congregations of 2,000 and above). Pastors can acquire so much unchecked power that members are afraid to challenge them, says Scott Thumma, co-author of "Beyond Megachurch Myths: What We Can Learn from America's Largest Churches."

If members of such a megachurch dare to bring any accusations against a minister, they are often greeted with hostility by the congregation, says Thumma, a religion professor at the Hartford Institute for Religion Research in Connecticut.

"If somebody comes and brings an accusation against the pastor, people ask, 'Who are we going to trust? The person I don't know or the person I've been giving 10 percent of my income to for the last eight years?' "

Thumma wrote his dissertation on an Atlanta megachurch near New Birth that collapsed after its pastor was caught in a sex scandal that involved his brother's wife and many other women. That pastor, Earl Paulk, was a "quasi-mentor" to Long, Thumma says. They appeared in public together.

Read more stories about faith on CNN'S Belief Blog

Sarah Posner, author of "God's Profits: Faith, Fraud and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters," says Long considered Paulk his "spiritual father."

Thumma says the problems at Paulk's church festered for years because Paulk convinced his congregation that questioning him would be seen as an act of rebellion.

Paulk's church, Chapel Hill Harvester Church, once had at least 15,000 members who worshipped in a soaring cathedral. The church was forced to sell the cathedral after its pastor's scandal became public. Paulk died in 2009.

"That church was a sick place and even I didn't know it until after two years of studying it," Thumma says.

'He is finished'

Some church scholars wonder if New Birth will suffer the same fate.

On Sunday, New Birth appeared to throw its support behind Long.

New Birth members leapt to their feet to cheer Long as he vowed to fight the allegations. Long took to the stage with his wife, Vanessa, and compared himself to David fighting Goliath.

"I've got five rocks, and I haven't thrown one yet," Long said.

Long during his church appearance did not address the specific allegations contained in the four lawsuits filed against him.

Long, in a statement read on a syndicated radio show Thursday, denied the allegations."Let me be clear: The charges against me and New Birth are false," the statement said. "I have devoted my life to helping others and these false allegations hurt me deeply, but my faith is strong and the truth will emerge."

Shayne Lee, a sociology professor at Tulane University in Louisiana, says Long had to unequivocally deny the allegations from the pulpit to maintain New Birth's support.

"His ministry is over," says Lee, author of "Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace," which looks at the appeal of celebrity preachers. Lee has written extensively about how big business has shaped megachurch pastors.

"What I saw was more lamb than lion," Lee says. "I didn't see the truculent, masculine preacher. There should have been some pent up sense of outrage."

Long's demise will take place over time, but it is inevitable, Lee says.

Read details about the suits

"I have seen many pastors survive scandals where it was a woman," he says. "But it's unprecedented for a leading black evangelical of his reputation to survive the taint of same-sex charges."

How Long took charge at New Birth

Long's ascension at New Birth didn't seem likely at first.

When he started as a pastor, he was so nervous before preaching that he often threw up. He started with 300 members.

When Long arrived at New Birth, he had to consult with a deacon and trustee board. Long wrote in his book, "Taking Over," that New Birth's deacon board was "gripping the purse strings" of the church, and "telling the man of God when to jump and how high."

After the church grew, Long told the congregation that he received a revelation from God that New Birth's governing structure was "ungodly," he recounted in "Taking Over."

Long said the board relinquished its authority over him with his congregation's approval.

"That was the day I became pastor," Long wrote in "Taking Over." "Up until that time, I was the hired preacher."

As time went on, Long also embraced a more charismatic approach to ministry (charismatics encourage Christians to develop "gifts of the Holy Spirit," such as speaking in tongues).

The minister's job wasn't just to preach, Long once said in a profile in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"A pastor is called to minister to God," he said. "Then God ministers back to him the word, and he comes before the people to tell them what God said."

It is not unusual for pastors to portray themselves as vessels of God's revelations. Long also, in time, became something else to some of his parishioners: "God's anointed," says Lee, the Tulane University professor.

When outsiders would question Long's leadership, New Birth members would often cite Psalms 105, verse 15: "Touch not my anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm.''

Lee says some charismatic leaders invoke Psalms 105 to discourage criticism.

"It's a great scripture to try to keep people from questioning their leader and keep them in line," Lee says. "But there's another scripture in Matthew 7: 'By their fruits ye shall know them.' ''

Walton, the Harvard professor who saw the giant banner of Long behind the pulpit, says Long's stature at New Birth as God's anointed inspires fierce devotion.

"People come to believe that to turn on him is to not be committed to God," Walton says.

Walton asks Long: Did you or didn't you?

Marketing a megachurch

There are business reasons, though, for some megachurch pastors to consolidate authority in a church, says Thumma, the megachurch scholar.

"It's much easier to market a personality than it is to market a church," says Thumma.

Many megachurches are financially dependent on the appeal of a solitary pastor, Thumma says. The pastor's sermons, television broadcasts, books and tapes -- all bring in the crowds.

As the pastor grows in popularity, though, he loses accountability, Thumma says. He or she becomes a celebrity.

"What ends up happening is the authority structure goes from having a church with a board of elders who consult and fight over power with the senior pastors to one where the pastor has selected people on the board who are more or less yes people," Thumma says.

Retaining the loyalty of a congregation, though, is another challenge for a megachurch pastor like Long, says the Rev. Gerald Durley, senior pastor of Providence Missionary Church in Atlanta.

He says Long can retain New Birth's support if he appears transparent before his congregation in the days ahead.

"What people want to see is a certain sense of humility, a certain 'I'm back under the will of God and he has appointed me to lead if you trust me.' At that point, he can pick and go on and do what God has called him to do."

But if Long doesn't seem sincere, he will suffer, Durley says.

"If he's perceived as manipulative," Durley says, "he's finished."

Saturday, 25 September 2010

STILL IN THE SDA CULT! THE SABBATH & SUNDAY: COMMON MISUNDERSTANDINGS

DO NOT FORGET TO READ: SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS EXPOSED







MUST READ FOR ALL ADVENTISTS:ELLEN WHITE EXPOSED







THE SABBATH & SUNDAY



http://www.exadventist.com/Home/Sabbath/SabbathSunday/tabid/516/Default.aspx 




by Pastor J. Mark Martin



WHEN THE COUNSEL OF ACTS 15 CONVENED to determine what Gentile Christians must observe, SABBATH KEEPING IS CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT. Peter exhorts the leadership of the Church not to place the Gentiles under the Law:

Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are." Acts 15:10-11.

The final judgment of the Jerusalem Council contains no reference to Sabbath keeping. Circumcision was discussed and deemed unnecessary (vss. 5-6; 19-20). If Sabbath keeping were to be an essential part of the New Covenant relationship with God it would have been mentioned in the discussion because it would have been an unfamiliar practice to the Gentiles. Sabbath keeping was not even discussed because it is not a requirement for New Covenant believers:



"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials; that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell." (Acts 15:28-29).

NOTICE that the Holy Spirit told them NOT to lay upon the Gentiles any greater burden than THOSE ESSENTIALS. OBVIOUSLY THE HOLY SPIRIT DID NOT THINK SABBATH KEEPING WAS AN ESSENTIAL THING ANYMORE!

The 7 post-resurrection appearances of Christ show that Jesus purposefully chose the first day of the week to meet with His disciples to encourage and exhort them. The evidence shows that five of these appearances occurred on a Sunday, the first day of the week. We do not have a record of what the actual day on which the other appearances (John 21 and Acts 1:6-10) occurred to His disciples. What we can say with accuracy is this, after Jesus' resurrection whenever He met with His disciples and the day is identified, it is NOT the Sabbath, it is the first day of the week!
1). To Mary, On the morning of the resurrection - Matthew 28:8-10; Mark 16:9; John 20:11-18

2). To two disciples going to Emmaus - Luke 24:13-33; Mark 16:12-13

3). To Simon (Peter) - Luke 24:31-35.

4). To the eleven disciples on the evening of Resurrection Sunday - Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:36-44; John 20:19-23
5). To the Eleven disciples "Eight days later" - John 20:26-29

Pentecost happened on the first day of the week! The Church was born on the first day of the week! That doesn't make Sunday the Sabbath, it just tells you that after the resurrection of Jesus, the Sabbath is not emphasized.

When a day is mentioned in connection with the appearances of the risen Lord Jesus, it is always the first day of the week. Look at the extremely important events that occurred in the life of the first followers of Christ on the first day of the week.

1). Jesus startled them by appearing to them on the first day (John 20:19).

2). Jesus received worship from Thomas (John 20:27-28).

3). Sunday evening Jesus took bread and blessed it and broke it and gave it to His disciples evidently like He had in instituting the communion meal (Luke 22:19) and their "eyes were opened and they recognized Him" (Luke 24:31).

4). Sunday evening Jesus blessed His disciples twice saying "Peace be with you" (John 20:20; 26).

5). That same Sunday evening Jesus "...breathed on them and said, 'receive the Holy Spirit'" John 20:22.

6). On Sunday evening Jesus gave His disciples the ecclesiastical authority to proclaim forgiveness to those who believe in Him through the Gospel (John 20:23).

NOTE: Why did the Disciples meet on Sunday?

1). Because it now carried a special symbolic/anti-typical significance for them

2). Even if it didn't and was by chance, --Jesus still chose to reveal Himself to them only on Sunday, when we know what day it is. That must also hold some kind of Divine significance.

3). Jesus could have chosen to meet with His disciple on the Sabbath. This would have clearly set a New Covenant precedent. He did not chose to do this. The Sabbath was the sign of a fulfilled covenant (see Exodus 31:17 & Hebrews 8:13).

THE NINE "MORAL" COMMANDS OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS ARE REITERATED in the New Testament:

1). To worship the Lord God only (1st commandment): no less than 50 times
2). Idolatry (2nd commandment): condemned 12 times
3). Profanity (3rd commandment): condemned 4 times
4). Honoring parents (5th commandment) is taught 6 times
5). Murder (6th commandment) condemned 6 times
6). Adultery (7th commandment) condemned 12 times
7). Theft (8th commandment) condemned 4 times
8). False Witness (9th commandment) condemned 4 times
9). Covetousness (10th commandment) condemned 9 times
* see references here *

Why is it that the duty to keep the Seventh day as Sabbath is not mentioned ONCE in the New Testament?

WHEN THE NEW TESTAMENT LISTS SINS, SABBATH BREAKING IS CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT:

In Mark 7:21-22 13 sins are listed. Jesus did not mention breaking the Sabbath.
In Romans 1:29-32 20 sins are listed and not one of them is Sabbath breaking.
In Galatians 5:19-21 a list of 15 sins are given,
In 2 Timothy 3:1-4 there's a list of 18 sins, but not once is Sabbath breaking mentioned!

WHY IS IT THAT NOWHERE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IS IT TAUGHT THAT THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT MUST BE OBSERVED?

-Why is it that nowhere in the New Testament is failure to keep the Sabbath day condemned as sin?

-Why is the fourth commandment itself not repeated even ONCE in the New Testament?

-If the Sabbath keeping is so important for a disciple of Christ, why was it not mentioned in His sermon on the Mount or in ANY of His teachings?

-Why didn't Jesus command Sabbath keeping?

-Why didn't any of the Apostles command Sabbath keeping?

-Why didn't the Jerusalem counsel command Sabbath keeping or condemn Sabbath breaking? (Acts 15)

Some answer that the Jews already knew about the Sabbath so it was taken for granted that they would continue to keep it, but then why were the other nine commandments reiterated? Would they not be taken for granted as well? It would also seem that with so many Gentiles coming into the Church, that if keeping the Sabbath was so important there would be instruction in the New Testament Epistles somewhere concerning it. There are instructions for them concerning morality, ethics, worship, Church order and family lifestyle. Why would something as important as Sabbath keeping be ignored? Circumcision, which predates the Law and the Sabbath commandment was an issue in the New Testament Church and is addressed repeatedly in the New Testament Epistles and by the Jerusalem Counsel.

Sabbath keepers argue that it is the example of Jesus that gives us the reason for keeping the Sabbath. "He kept the Sabbath, so I must keep the Sabbath. Jesus is my example," they say. Well this kind of reasoning is flawed because it only chooses Jesus' Sabbath keeping and rejects the rest of His Jewish lifestyle. Jesus also kept Kosher laws. He kept the Passover, Sukkot, Hanukkah, and worshipped in the temple. Are we to follow everything He did?

Galatians 4:4-5 says that Jesus lived under the Law to redeem us from the Law.

"But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons." (NIV)

JESUS WAS ALSO ACCUSED OF SABBATH BREAKING. Why, if He wanted to be our "example" in Sabbath keeping didn't He make it clear that He was not breaking the Sabbath? Instead He clearly admits to it. He also admits that His disciples were breaking the Sabbath and He defends them. Read Matthew 12:1- 14 carefully. Jesus is clearly saying that His disciples are like the priests who may work in the temple every Sabbath and be innocent of breaking the Sabbath. When Jesus says that He is "Lord of the Sabbath" He is declaring that He is above the Sabbath. He may do what He wishes on the Sabbath and therefore His disciples may do whatever they wish as well.

Apparently Jesus did break the Sabbath: "Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, "This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath."..." John 9:15. If Jesus did not want us to understand that He was breaking the Sabbath why did He not speak against these accusations. It's because Jesus had the right and the authority to break the Sabbath because He is Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath does not bind Him. Think about this, if it does not bind Him, are we not "in Christ"? Why would it be any more binding upon us. (Again Read Matthew 12:1-14 carefully).

One of the issues that needs to be honestly faced is the fact that Jesus never commanded anyone to keep the Sabbath and none of His apostles ever commanded anyone to keep it either. Not once in the New Testament are we told to keep the Sabbath. Those commands to the Church are conspicuously absent from the teachings of the New Testament.

EVERY MENTION OF THE SABBATH IN THE BOOK OF ACTS without a single exception is in connection with Jewish worship on that day and not Christian celebration. Paul's evangelistic strategy was to go to the Jews first in a community and share the Gospel with them. Sabbath is the day when he knew he would find the most Jews gathering for worship. He knew he would have his best opportunity of sharing the good news of the Messiah to the Jews on Sabbath. It was not because he was meeting with a group of believing Christians. He was meeting with non-Christian Jews.

IS THE TEN COMMANDMENT LAW ETERNAL?

No, the Law is not eternal. Galatians 3:19 gives the purpose of the Law. It says: "What, then, was the purpose of he law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come."

The law was given 430 years after Abraham. "What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise." Galatians 3:17-18.

The Law had a definite beginning time (430 years after Abraham) and a definite ending time, --When the promised Seed (Christ, vs. 16) came.

Other Scriptures such as Romans 5:12-14 indicate that there can be sin in the world, even BEFORE the Law was given. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned -- for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam's offense, who is a type of Him who was to come."

CREATION & THE SABBATH: The Scriptures are very clear that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment was not given before Moses:

The Ten Commandments was not made with the fathers. Deuteronomy 5:2-3 says

"The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today."

Nehemiah 9:13-14 says: "You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good. You made known to them your holy sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses." (NIV).

WAS THE SABBATH GIVEN FOR ALL MANKIND TO KEEP PERPETUALLY?

No, - Though Genesis 2:1-3 says that after the Lord had ended all His work He rested on the seventh day and blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, there is not a word about it being given to Adam and Eve as a commandment. You don't hear another word about the Sabbath in the entire book of Genesis. All fifty chapters are silent about the Sabbath.

You do not hear that the righteous Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob kept the Sabbath. There is a conspicuous silence for 2,500 years after the Fall of man. It is not until after the redemption of God's people Israel out of Egypt when they are safely on the other side of the Red Sea that you read in the Book of Exodus that the Sabbath is mentioned again. (Exodus 16:22-30). Abraham was given commandments and ordinances, but the Sabbath is never mentioned as one of them.

Then the Sabbath is given to Israel and Israel alone. The Sabbath is a covenant sign between God and the nation of Israel. "And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 'Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death. So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he ceased from labor, and was refreshed." Exodus 31:12-17

Notice that the reason why the Lord links the Sabbath to creation is that He is identifying Himself to Israel as the true and living Creator God. He is separate and apart from all of the other gods of Egypt and of the Gentile world. "Keep the Sabbath, worship Me, for I AM the true, living Creator of the Universe."

Notice also that this Sabbath "SIGN" (Exodus 31:13) is between God and "the sons of Israel" (Exodus 12:15,17) and not for all of mankind.

Nehemiah 9:13-14 indicates that the Sabbath was not given to be kept by anyone until it was given to Israel in the wilderness. "You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good. You made known to them your holy sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses." (NIV).

DOESN'T THE BIBLE SAY THAT THE SABBATH WAS MADE FOR MAN?

"And He was saying to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." Mark 2:27. Sabbatarians often use this verse to say that the Sabbath was made for all mankind, but the text doesn't say that. It doesn't say, "The Sabbath was made for "mankind", it says, "the Sabbath was made for man". When the Scripture is meant to be inclusive of all mankind it is clear. See Matthew 28:19; John 3:16; Acts 2:17; I Timothy 2:4; Titus 2:11. These verses clearly indicate that when God offers something to all mankind He clearly offers it to all.

The Sabbath was not offered to all the nations. It was given only to the nation of Israel. Look at Deuteronomy 5:1-15 which gives the commandments to Israel. It is clearly stated that God did not give the Sabbath or other commandments to the fathers before (see verses 2-3).

One writer has brought up the point that this text shows that the Sabbath was not a part of the "moral" Law to be kept by all mankind from the beginning, for it had to be made. It was made in Exodus 16-20. Notice also that this text does not say it was made for man from the "beginning," as was marriage (cf Matthew 19:4ff). WHICH OTHER OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS HAD TO BE MADE? --NOT ONE! (Gerald N. Wright, Sabbatarian Concordance & Commentary, Star Bible & Tract Corp., 1977, pp. 78-79).

Wright commenting on this passage says: "The other nine [commandments] were (and are) inherently right from the beginning, reflecting God's righteous nature and being naturally a part of man's moral character, who was made in the image of God (cf Romans 2:14). Which command other than the sabbath is lower than man--subject to being set aside under certain circumstances? When, or under what circumstances, can man lawfully commit adultery? Obviously, never! Man's life is not above God's holy and moral laws. Yet even a sheep's life is more important than rigid enforcement of the sabbath (Matthew 12:10-12)!

NO "BURGER KING" SABBATHS - You can't "Have It Your Way" with the Sabbath. God specifies how it was to be kept.

-It was to be kept from sunset to sunset (Lev. 23:32)
-No burden was to be carried (Jer. 17:21)
-No fire kindled (Ex. 35:3)
-No Cooking done (Ex. 16:23)
-The penalty for doing any of these things during the Sabbath was DEATH (Numbers 15).

NO "INSPIRED" WRITER MAKES ANY DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE "MORAL" LAW & THE "CEREMONIAL" LAWS.

"(2) The Sabbath in its nature, is itself a ceremonial law: the moral law is all law which appeals to the conscience, and needs no written revelation; but as to which day to observe, or whether to observe any day at all, conscience is silent. If we are to distinguish between the moral and the ceremonial law, on the ground that one is passed, and the other still in force, then--as the Sabbath is purely ceremonial law--it is passed. But the most important point still remains. (3) I, as a Christian, obey all law that is moral in the Decalogue, not because it is in the Law, but because it is in the Gospel. Worship of God only is enjoined fifty times in the New Testament; idolatry is forbidden twelve times; profanity four times; honor of father and mother is commanded six times; adultery is forbidden twelve; theft six; false witness four; and covetousness, nine times. "The Ten Commandments," as Luther says, "do not apply to us Gentiles and Christians, but only to the Jews." So the Sabbath--except in a single passage where, classing it with the entire law, he declares it has been totally abolished. So the early Church held."

--D. M. Panton, cited in Heresies Exposed, Compiled by Irvine, pp. 164-165.

SOME SABBATARIANS CLAIM THAT THE SABBATH IS THE SEAL OF GOD

The Seal of God is NOT the Sabbath! The Bible tells us clearly that the Seal of God is the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer the moment he is saved.

Ephesians 1:13 says, "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory."

Ephesians 4:30 warns, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 states "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge."

IS A SABBATH KEEPING CHURCH THE "REMNANT" OR COMMANDMENT KEEPING CHURCH THAT IS SPOKEN OF IN REVELATION 12:17?

Rev. 12:17 says, "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus."

In the New Covenant, what are the "Commandments" of God? Does this mean Ten Commandments? NO! The Greek word used for the Ten Commandments is "NOMOS". That word is not used here. The word used here is "ENTELE" and means "teachings".

John clarifies this and actually tells us what the "commandments" are that we are to keep:

I John 5:1-3 says, "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome."

These verses are often used to teach people that they must keep the Ten Commandments, especially the Sabbath. However, the Apostle John defines the "commandments" for us. In the prior chapter he defines them explicitly. "Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in is sight. And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him..."
I John 3:21-24a.

THE ASSERTION BY SABBATARIANS THAT AT THE COUNCIL OF LAODICEA THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH changed the Sabbath from the Seventh day to the First day is not true. The Sabbath was not changed at that Council.

What did take place at that Council was an anti-semetic move to make it illegal for a Christian to worship on Saturday. But one needs to note that there were thousands of Christians already worshiping on Sunday, the first day of the week. Many in the early Church worshipped on Sunday:

"Anti-Judaism played its part in second-century Christian polemic against Jewish Sabbath observance, but it does not follow that it motivated the introduction of Christian Sunday worship. For we have already argued that Sunday worship dates back to the first century, while few second-century writers compare and contrast the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Sunday. Derogatory discussions of the Jewish Sabbath do not usually refer to the Christian Sunday. If Sunday were a recent substitute for the Jewish Sabbath, we should expect far more discussion of the superiority of Sunday to the Sabbath." R. J. Bauckham, From Sabbath to Lord's Day, p. 271, edited by D.A. Carson.

EVIDENCE THAT THE EARLY CHURCH WORSHIPPED ON SUNDAY FROM THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS

THE EPISTLE OF BARNABAS about A.D. 100 - "Wherefore, also we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead."

THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS - A.D. 107 - "Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable. For if we still live according to the Jewish Law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace....If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord's Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and By His death."

THE WRITINGS OF JUSTIN MARTYR: A.D. 145-150 - "And on the day called Sunday all who live in cities or in the country gather together in one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read....But Sunday is the day on which we all hold a common assembly, because it is the first day of the week on which God...made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead."

APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS: Church life in the 2nd Century: - "On the day of the resurrection of the Lord--that is, the Lord's Day--assemble yourself together without fail, giving thanks to God and praising Him for those mercies God has bestowed upon you through Christ."

IRENAEUS: A.D. 155-202 - "The Mystery of the Lord's Resurrection may not be celebrated on any other day than the Lord's Day, and on this alone should we observe the breaking off of the Paschal Feast."

WHO CHANGED THE SABBATH FROM SATURDAY TO SUNDAY? WAS IT THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH?

"Often the question is asked, "Isn't it paying homage to the Roman Catholic church to worship on Sunday because didn't Constantine change the day of worship?"

It is claimed that Constantine's edict of March 7, 321 changed the day. Constantine's edict reads:

"On the venerable Day of The Sun [venerablili dei Solis] let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits Codex Justinianus, book 3, title 12,3, trans. in Schaff, History of the Christian Church 5th ed. (New York: Charles Scribner, 1902), vol. 3, p. 380, note 1.

PLINY'S LETTER, AD 107

Pliny was governor of Bithynia, in Asia Minor, from AD 106-108. He wrote in AD 107 to Trajan, the emperor, concerning the Christians. This is what he said:

They were wont to meet together, on a stated day before it was light, and sing among themselves alternately a hymn to Christ as God....When these things were performed, it was their custom to separate and then to come together again to a meal which they ate in common without any disorder."

We know the day the early church broke bread on was Sunday. "Upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread" Acts 20:7.

IN AD 120 THE EPISTLE OF BARNABAS says in chapter 2:

"Incense is a vain abomination unto me, and your new moons and Sabbaths I cannot endure. He has, therefore, abolished these things.

When he speaks of the first day of the week, Barnabas says: "Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day, also, on which Jesusrose again from the dead" Chapter 25.

JUSTIN MARTYR (140 AD)

Justin's 'Apology' was written at Rome about the year 140, only 44 years after the apostle John received the vision of The Revelation at Patmos.

The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge says this about Justin's works:

"In these works Justin professes to present the system of doctrine held by all Christians and seeks to be orthodox on all points. The only difference he knows of as existing between Christians concerned the millennium. Thus Justin is an incontrovertible witness for the unity of the faith in the Church of his day, and the fact that the Gentile type of Christianity prevailed." Quoted by Canright in The Compete Testimony of the Early Fathers, Fleming H. Revell, 1916, pp. 24-25.

NOTE: At this early date, AD 140, the only major difference among Christians was concerning the millennium. At that time they had no disagreement in keeping Sunday, and as you will see, Justin says that was the day on which all Christians worshipped.

In chapter 67 of his first Apology, entitled, "Weekly Worship of the Christians,"writing to the pagan emperor, Justin states:

"...we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought...But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought the change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead."The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, pp. 185-186 (emphasis added).

DIONYSIUS, BISHOP OF CORINTH IN GREECE, (AD 170)

Dionysius was Bishop of Corinth, the Church which Paul raised up and to which he gave the command about Sunday collections, in I Corinthians 16:1-2. He says:

"We passed this holy Lord's Day, in which we read your letter, from the constant reading of which we shall be able to draw admonition." Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Bk. 4, Chapt. 23 (emphasis added).

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA, in Egypt, (AD 194)

Clement, writing around AD 194 says:

"He, in fulfillment of the precept, keeps the Lord's day when he abandons an evil disposition, and assumes that of the Gnostic, glorifying the Lord's resurrection in himself" Book 7, Chapter 12 (emphasis added).

IGNATIUS, the third bishop of Antioch, who died in AD 108, wrote:

"If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord's Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him... Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner, and rejoice in days of idleness; for "he that does not work, let him not eat."...let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days [of the week]" "Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians," The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, pp. 62-63 (emphasis added).

TERTULLIAN of Africa, wrote around AD 200:

In his Apology, Chapter 16, Tertullian says:

"We solemnize the day after Saturday in contradistinction to those who call this day their Sabbath, and devote it to ease and eating, deviating from the old Jewish customs, which they are now very ignorant of."

"Others, with greater regard to good manners, it must be confessed, suppose that the sun is the god of the Christian, because it is a well- known fact that we pray towards the east, or because we make Sunday a day of festivity" The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3, p. 123 (emphasis added).

NOTE: The early church explained why they prayed toward the east. It was because, "as the lightning which lighteneth from the east and is seen even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of man be:" that by this we might know and understand that He will appear from the east suddenly" Ancient Syriac Documents, The Ante- Nicene Fathers, vol. 8, p. 668.



DO WE EVEN KNOW THE REAL SABBATH?

In 1582 Gregory XIII found a miscalculation in the calendar and decreed to drop October 5-14 and to drop 3 leap years in every century. In England 11 days (September 3-13) were dropped in 1752, in addition to other changes. (See Heresies Exposed, p. 167).

NEW LIGHT ON CEREMONIAL SABBATHS AND COLOSSIANS 2:16

An unbiased reading of Colossians 2:16 will show that this is talking about not just "ceremonial Sabbaths." The words "ton sabbaton" or "sabbath days"; are the same words translated "Sabbath day" in Exodus 20:8 in the Septuagint (the Jewish translation of the Old Testament into Greek).

Look at Paul's reasoning, "Let no one judge you regarding a,

• festival - yearly Sabbaths,
• a new moon - monthly Sabbaths,
• or a Sabbath day - weekly Sabbaths (or if you wish Sabbath days)"
• CHRIST, he goes on to say is the "Substance", these things were shadows.

When this passage is compared with Galatians 4:9 an obvious connection in Paul's teaching is revealed:

"But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years."

Verse 10 flatly states, "you observe...",

• days (weekly Sabbaths, corresponding to "Sabbath days in Col. 2)
• months (new moons, corresponding to "a new moon" in Col. 2)
• seasons (the 7 feasts, corresponding to "festivals" in Col. 2)
• and years (the sabbatical year and the 50th year of Jubilee)

Obviously Paul is clearing speaking about the observances of all Jewish holy day, including the Sabbath.

SABBATARIANS have long challenged, "Find one verse in the Bible that shows the day of worship has been changed from Sabbath to Sunday."

Well, that statement is part of building a straw man. It is not the issue. The New Testament makes that a moot point because it says it doesn't matter what day you worship on.

Romans 14:5
"One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind."

Galatians 4:9-11 "But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain."

Colossians 2:16-17 "Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day--things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ."



SABBATARIANS ASK FOR ONE TEXT IN THE BIBLE THAT COMMANDS SUNDAY WORSHIP, HERE IT IS:

LEVITICUS 23:5-11 - Look at verse 11: "'And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.'" The day after the Sabbath is Sunday.

Read on specifically looking at Leviticus 23:15 - "'You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the DAY AFTER THE SEVENTH SABBATH; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord.'" This is the Feast of Pentecost. It was one of the compulsory feasts of Israel.

Note on the day of Pentecost, a Sunday God's people were commanded to worship. God says, "On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations." Leviticus 23:21.

If you think this is only applying to "ceremonial" days, Leviticus 23 starts out talking about the weekly Sabbath (see Lev. 23:1-4). It is called an appointed time and a holy convocation, along with all the other feast days of Israel. No distinction is made by God between these holy days and the weekly Sabbath. He includes them as being equally holy. This would mean that under the Old Covenant the First Fruits Sunday and the Pentecost Sunday were as holy and sanctified as Saturday.

If you think this only applies to Israel, that's our point. The Ten Commandment Covenant, --the Old Covenant was made with Israel, and NOT with the Gentiles.

Look at Exodus 31:13, 16 and 17: "But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you....So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever;..."

References for the 9 "moral" commandments reiterated in the New Testament:

1st - Worship God -
(53 times) Matthew 2:2; 2:8; 2:11; 4:9; 4:10; 14:33; 15:9; 28:9; 28:17, Mark 7:7, Luke 4:7; 4:8; 24:52, John 4:20,21,22(x2),23,24(x2); 9:38; 12:20, Acts 7:43; 8:27; 16:14; 17:23(x2); 18:7; 18:13; 19:27; 24:11, Romans 1:25; 12:1, 1 Corinthians 14:25, Philippians 3:3, Colossians 2:18, Hebrews 1:6; 9:1; 9:6; 10:2; 11:21, Revelation 4:10; 5:14; 7:11; 9:20; 11:1; 11:16; 14:7; 15:4; 19:4; 19:10; 22:8; 22:9

2nd - No Idolatry -

(20 times) Acts 15:20,29, Romans 1:25, 1 Corinthians 6:9; Chapter 8; 10:7,14; 12:2, 2 Corinthians 6:16, 1 Thessalonians 1:9, Galatians 5:20, Ephesians 5:5, Colossians 3:5, 1 Peter 4:3, 1 John 5:21, Revelation 2:14, 20; 9:20; 21:8; 22:15

3rd - No Profanity -

(4 times) Matthew 12:36, Ephesians 5:4, Romans 2:24, Revelation 16:9

5th - Honor Parents -

(6 times) Matthew 15:5, Matthew 19:19, Mark 7:10; 10:19, Luke 18:20, Ephesians 6:2

6th - Murder -

(7 times) Matthew 5:21; 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 1:29; 13:9, James 2:11

7th - Adultery -

(12 times) Matthew 5:27,28,32; 19:9,18, Mark 10:11,19, Luke 16:18; 18:20, Romans 13:9, James 2:11, 2 Peter 2:14

8th - Stealing -

(6 times) Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 2:21; 13:9, Ephesians 4:28

9th - Lying -

(4 times) Matthew 15:9; 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20

10th - Don't Covet -

(9 times) Mark 7:22, Luke 12:15, Romans 1:29; 7:7; 13:9, Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5, Hebrews 13:5, 2 Peter 2:14

Unless otherwise indicated,
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R),
Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968,
1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977.
Used by permission.

© Copyright 1999, all rights reserved
Grace Upon Grace
12612 N. Black Canyon Hwy.
Phoenix, AZ 85029



THOUGHTS ABOUT THE SABBATH


http://www.lorendavis.com/news_articles_morallaw.html

a. The Sabbath is A DAY OF REST.
b. The Sabbath was not dictated as a day of mass worship.
c. Jesus was raised the first day of the week. That is the main reason that most Christians worship on Sunday.

*Romans 14:5-6 "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. LET EVERY MAN BE PERSUADED IN HIS OWN MIND. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the

*Galatians 4:9-11 "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage. Ye OBSERVE DAYS, AND MONTHS, AND TIMES, AND YEARS. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you your labour in vain."

THE SABBATARIANS WERE JESUS' BIGGEST ENEMIES

*Luke 14:1-6 "And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, IS IT LAWFUL TO HEAL ON THE SABBATH DAY? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him again to these things."

THE SABBATARIANS ARE THE NEW PHARISEES


*John 9:16 "Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because HE KEEPETH NOT THE SABBATH DAY. Others said he was a sinner."

THE PHARISEES MAIN CONCERN WAS KEEPING THE SABBATH. Today, this is the main issue of the SABBATARIANS.

*Mark 3:2 "And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him."
*John 5:18 "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."
Most sabbatarians have little concern about any issue but keeping the Sabbath. That is their main issue.

KEEPING THE SABBATH WAS QUALIFIED


Certain of the commandments like the Sabbath were qualified. Jesus said "that if a man has an ass that falls in the ditch on the Sabbath, the law even makes allowance for him to get it out." Luke 14:5

The Bible is specific about the particular commandments that are qualified.

JESUS' TEACHINGS REGARDING THE SABBATH

*Luke 6:5 "And he said unto them, That the SON OF MAN IS LORD ALSO OF THE SABBATH."
*Mark 2:27 Jesus said to those who accused him of working by healing on the Sabbath, "The Sabbath was MADE FOR MAN, and NOT MAN for the Sabbath.

Is Tithing Biblical?

Is Tithing Biblical?

http://www.truthguard.com/Articles/is-tithing-biblical-a22.html

Is tithing Biblical? Sure, if you happen to be a non-Christian Jew who is still erroneously living under Old Testament law**. But tithing is not Biblical for Christians.

As shocking as this may sound, tithing is a literal fraud (mostly unintentional) that has been perpetrated for many years upon most of Christianity in general. Christians have been literally robbed by people that are so deceived in this area that they think it is God’s will and mandate for them to do so. Very few modern tithe teachers realize that they have no rights whatsoever to exact a tithe from Christians. And very few are open to a warning on the subject. Many have become so entangled in “needing” this money, among other things, to pay massive building debts (debts they had no Biblical right to incur in the first place).

Tithing is strictly for the non-Christian Jew and many Jewish scholars will gladly tell you this. Jewish people who have become Christians (Judeo Christians or Messianic Jews) are actually free from the tithe and from all Old Testament ceremonial law although some of them may not realize this. While the moral law and much of the civil law remains (such as in ethical standards), Christians are not under the ceremonial law of the Old Testament. According to Galatians 3, those who try and keep any part of the ceremonial law must keep the whole law. It is a vain and futile thing to attempt.

In brief, tithing is never once taught in the New Testament, which is the blueprint for the Church and for Christian living. Some argue that Jesus upheld tithing in the New Testament. But what they fail to recognize is when Jesus told various men in the New Testament that they should not neglect the tithe is because those men were Jews, not Christians and Jesus had not yet died and rose from the dead redeeming us in general from ceremonial Jewish law.

Malachi 3:8-12 is widely used as a hammer by church authoritarians who are determined to fund their grand ambitions, but these Old Testament verses were written specifically to Israel not to Christians.

8"Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' In (tithes and offerings. 9"You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! 10"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test 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 a blessing until it overflows. 11"Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes," says the LORD of hosts. 12"All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land," says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:8-12 NASB

There are very few Christens who are unfamiliar with the ungodly misapplied pounding of the above verses into their heads. Many unbelievers are also quite familiar with these verses from Malachi as well, often more familiar than any other verses in the Bible. That should tell you something! The tithing error is big business. This is what funds lunatic false teachers in the pulpit. We as Christians are commanded to not give under compulsion but rather as cheerful givers. But here’s the thing:

It is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to keep the Bible’s command to not give under compulsion while believing that we owe a compulsory tax of 10% of our income to some charlatan to spend any way that he wants.

Tithing is a system of policed and enforced “giving”, which is not voluntary giving at all but an involuntarily taxation. This is not remotely close to cheerful givers commanded to not give “under compulsion” as the Bible clearly teaches in 2Cor 9:7.
“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2Cor 9:7 NASB

But how can one do as he has purposed in his own heart if he or she is at the same time forced to tithe? Well, some tithing advocates who pound Malachi 3 claim that the voluntary aspect of 2Cor9:7 pertains only to additional offerings or choosing where to tithe. But if the “where” was optional, then why does Malachi 3 set the storehouse as the exact “where” or place where the tithe must be given? The where is not optional. The problem is Malachi 3 does not apply in any way to Christians but rather only to Israel. Many of these tithe teachers mix Old and New Testament Scriptures together in a random haphazard way in order to try and get the Bible to say whatever they want it to say. This erroneous approach to Bible interpretation is often quite evident in many of their other teachings as well.

Briefly, you should NOT tithe. But, this is one of the hardest false teachings and false “church” habits to break. The reason is because we have been so utterly pounded with endless fear tactics and other mental gymnastics in order to keep us tithing. We think we’ll lose our job or our car will break down or some other fear based lunacy that these guys teach. It’s all unbiblical nonsense. Who is the direct beneficiary of the tithe teaching? You guessed it. The tithe teacher!

A few quick bullet points (but there is much more to be said on this subject):
•Tithes were never collected in cash (livestock and crops only).
•Tithes were collected only by Levitical priests.
•A Levitical priest must be Jewish.
•A Levitical priest must own no personal property. (Have you seen any pastors lately who own no personal property?)
•There are presently no more of these priests in existence today so we know we have lots of counterfeit Levitical priests running around.
•Tithes were often mandated by God for other uses such as giving to the poor. Tithes were sometimes to be used for the personal needs of the person who tithed. (When have you ever seen a pastor give the tithe back to the giver?)

The same men who teach the tithe gladly eat pork (which is OK for any Christian to do). But anyone who keeps any Old Testament ceremonial law (such as tithing) must keep all the Old Testament ceremonial laws (including the law that states that eating pork is forbidden). We also do not see these tithe teachers slaughtering bulls and goats as sacrifices to God (not that any Christian should). The point is, these men pick and choose to pull forward from the Old Testament law whatever they want and they have chosen to keep the tithe and throw out what is inconvenient (such as the prohibition on owning personal property, the prohibition on eating pork, animal sacrifices, etc.) in a nutshell whatever they don’t like and whatever does not suit them.

This is only a brief introduction to the tithing error. Again, much more could be said on this subject.

Paul Howey

**Tithing is only "biblical" per se for an unbelieving Jew strictly from the perspective of and within their religion and theology of Judaism. The Old Covenant with its laws, ordinances and observances has passed away and is no longer is in force for anyone. Jewish people are not actually under the Old Covenant and of course they too need Christ in order to be saved. A Jewish person is not even Abraham's descendant without faith in Christ: Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham...And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise. Gal 3: 7, 29

Friday, 24 September 2010

Arrogant Ted Haggard defends Eddie Long; Deflects questions about his hypocritical scandals

FIRST READ: Ted Haggard And Evangelical Hypocrisy


http://www.yesumulungi.com/index.php/apostasy-watch/111-Ted%20Haggard%20And%20Evangelical%20Hypocrisy.html


Paul Crouch and Sodomy Allegations???


http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/septemberweb-only/9-13-11.0.html

Uganda’s Evangelicals Shaken By Pedophilia and Sodomy


http://www.yesumulungi.com/index.php/apostasy-watch/239-ugandas-evangelicals-shaken-by-pedophilia-and-sodomy.html


PASTOR ROBERT KAYANJA THE TBN SUPERBOY IN HOMOSEXUAL ALLEGATIONS ?????


http://www.yesumulungi.com/index.php/apostasy-watch/340-lies-sex-and-hypocrisy-in-ugandas-evangelical-churches.html


Arrogant Ted Haggard defends Eddie Long; Deflects questions about his hypocritical scandals


http://www.metroweekly.com/news/last_word/2010/09/arrogant-ted-haggard-defends-e.html

'Those who independently chose to call me on the carpet were not helpful. It was those who loved me, helped me, comforted me -- and this type of broad-based, generalized analysis of people outside of your group, is not what's helpful to him or to the process.... This is America, you can't use your religion to tyrannize others.''

The infamous Ted Haggard responding, in an annoyed and very dismissive way, to openly gay Pastor Troy Sanders who is pointing out the alleged failure of Bishop Eddie Long to act in a truthful manner.

Both Haggard and Long have been leaders of "megachurches" and both have preached against homosexuality and gay relationships. Haggard "fell from grace" when a gay male prostitute exposed Haggard's visits for both illegal drugs and sex.

Anderson Cooper, the host of the news show asked Haggard if he felt like a hypocrite for his anti-gay preaching, to which Haggard responded with his typical avoidant nonsense about preachers being responsible for teaching the bible. Haggard has appeared on numerous talk shows (including The Oprah Winfrey show), with his preacher wife, to claim that he has been cured of his unspecified temptations and that he is not gay. (CNN via YouTube)

Bishop Eddie Long | Ted Haggard says he can empathize


http://www.ajc.com/news/bishop-eddie-long-ted-619565.html

By Larry Hartstein

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ted Haggard, who lost his megachurch after admitting to a relationship with a male prostitute, told TV's Inside Edition that he can empathize with what Bishop Eddie Long is going through.

"I think he's heartbroken, I think he's confused," Haggard said on the program Wednesday. "I'll tell you how I felt. I felt like I'd ruined my life."

Haggard's wife, Gayle, who stood by her husband during the scandal that forced his 2006 resignation, added that Long "has been a great man. ... He has done wonderful things. I hope they hold onto that knowledge as they try to understand what these allegations are about, if they are indeed true."

A male church volunteer last year also reported having a sexual relationship with Haggard.

Haggard confessed to "sexual immorality" involving the prostitute, and admitted an "inappropriate relationship" with the volunteer, who was 22 when it began.
This year, Haggard started a new church in Colorado Springs, Colo.

A Long spokesman has adamantly denied the allegations swirling around the pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, which has over 25,000 members. Three young men filed lawsuits this week alleging Long used his pastoral influence to coerce them into sexual relationships.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Ted Haggard: 'I Over-Repented' For My Meth-Gay Prostitute 'Crisis'


http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/07/ted_haggard_i_over-repented_for_my_meth-gay_prosti.php

Jillian Rayfield | July 26, 2010, 9:47AM


Rev. Ted Haggard has been leading his own new church for the past few months, and in a Wall Street Journal profile says he thinks he "over-repented" for an affair with a male prostitute, which he refers to as "my crisis." He also insists he's not gay -- and that his affair was just a massage gone wrong.

The profile describes Haggard's new backyard barn church, which features bags of cement and a pulpit made of buckets.

Haggard, who announced his new St. James Church in June, told the Journal: "Tiger Woods needs to golf. Michael Vick needs to be playing football. Ted Haggard needs to be leading a church."

Haggard was founder and leader of the powerful evangelical New Life Church, before he was forced to resign in 2006 after he admitted to buying meth from a male prostitute, with whom he also had an affair.

As recently as November 2008, Haggard's former friends in the New Life church expressed skepticism regarding Haggard's ability to lead, releasing a statement saying that "we cannot endorse his return to vocational ministry."
From the Journal:

Mr. Haggard said that is ridiculous. He portrays his encounter with the prostitute as a massage that went awry and said he doesn't have same-sex attractions. He dismisses as a "witch hunt" the findings of his former church that he engaged in a pattern of misconduct, including sordid talk and inappropriate relationships. (He said his only fault was cracking a few crude jokes.) But his assurances have raised some eyebrows.

Haggard now says his scandal is helping him reach out to people: "It's amazing. People tell me everything. That never happened when we were respectable."
"I cuss now," he also boasts.

Sounds like another Robert Kayanja Saga!!!Men allege sexual coercion by prominent Atlanta pastor, Bishop Ed Long

FIRST READ: Ted Haggard And Evangelical Hypocrisy

http://www.yesumulungi.com/index.php/apostasy-watch/111-Ted%20Haggard%20And%20Evangelical%20Hypocrisy.html

Paul Crouch and Sodomy Allegations???

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/septemberweb-only/9-13-11.0.html


Uganda’s Evangelicals Shaken By Pedophilia and Sodomy


http://www.yesumulungi.com/index.php/apostasy-watch/239-ugandas-evangelicals-shaken-by-pedophilia-and-sodomy.html


PASTOR ROBERT KAYANJA THE TBN SUPERBOY IN HOMOSEXUAL ALLEGATIONS ?????

http://www.yesumulungi.com/index.php/apostasy-watch/340-lies-sex-and-hypocrisy-in-ugandas-evangelical-churches.html


Men allege sexual coercion by prominent Atlanta pastor, Bishop Ed Long


http://articles.cnn.com/2010-09-21/justice/georgia.pastor.abuse_1_pastor-sexual-relationship-suit?_s=PM:CRIME

(CNN) -- Two Georgia men have filed a lawsuit claiming that prominent Atlanta, Georgia, pastor Eddie Long coerced them into sex.

The suits, filed Tuesday in DeKalb County, Georgia, allege that Long used his position as a spiritual authority and bishop to coerce young male members and employees of his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church into sex.

"Defendant Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as Bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship," the suits allege.

Long is considered one of the nation's top black preachers. His church has more 25,000 members, according to the suit, and was the site of Coretta Scott King's 2006 funeral, attended by then-President George W. Bush and three previous presidents. King was the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The pastor took one plaintiff, Anthony Flagg, 21, on overnight trips to a half-dozen American cities in recent years, Flagg's suit alleges.

"Long shared a bedroom and engaged in intimate sexual contact with plaintiff Flagg including kissing, massaging, masturbating of plaintiff Flagg by defendant Long and oral sexual contact," the suit says.

Long took the other plaintiff, Maurice Murray Robinson, 20, to Auckland, New Zealand, in October 2008 for his 18th birthday and engaged in oral sex with him, Robinson's suit alleges.

"Following the New Zealand Trip, Defendant Long regularly engaged in sexual touching, and other sexual acts with Plaintiff Robinson," Robinson's suit alleges.

Long spokesman Art Franklin said Tuesday that "we categorically deny the allegations."

"It is very unfortunate that someone has taken this course of action," he said. "Our law firm will be able to respond once attorneys have had an opportunity to review the lawsuit."

Long frequently denounces homosexual behavior. A 2007 article in the Southern Poverty Law Center's magazine called him "one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement."

"Everybody knows that a bishop or church pastor ... cannot have any sort of sexual relations or sexual relationship with one of your parishioners," the lawyer, B.J. Bernstein, said at a news conference Tuesday evening. "And even worse to have it with two young men who trusted him and got to know him at a very young age."

Bernstein said she has alerted federal authorities about the allegations.

In June, Robinson was arrested and charged with burglary in connection with a break-in to Long's office. An iPhone, iPad and other items -- more than $1,300 worth -- were taken from the office, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

On Tuesday, Bernstein said the theft was Robinson's attempt to retaliate against the pastor. She said that once Robinson began telling others about his experience with Long, "he realized he wasn't the only one."

"It made [Robinson] angry," she said.

Both plaintiffs said the pastor, his church and church employees gave them cash and lavish gifts that ranged from cars to college tuition.

The suits also said that Long framed the sexual relationships as religious in nature.

The suits allege that Long chose the plaintiffs to be his "Spiritual Sons," a program that allegedly includes other young men from the church.

Flagg moved into a home owned by another New Birth pastor when he was a high school junior, according to the suit, where Long would sometimes share a bed with him. Flagg was eventually put on the church's payroll, his suit alleges, with Long personally delivering his checks.

Flagg's suit says that Long presided over a spiritual "covenant" ceremony between the two of them.

"It was essentially a marriage ceremony, with candles, exchange of jewelry, and biblical quotes," Bernstein said Tuesday. "The bishop [told] him I will always have your back and you will always have mine."

Robinson's suit alleges that "Defendant Long would use Holy Scripture to discuss and justify the intimate relationship between himself and Plaintiff Robinson."

The suits are seeking unspecified amounts of punitive damages from Long on various counts, ranging from negligence to breach of fiduciary duty.

Atlanta Megachurch Pastor Accused of Sexual Coercion


http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/09/22/atlanta-megachurch-pastor-accused-of-sexual-coersion/

Madison Gray

It's a megachurch bombshell scandal reminiscent of the one that brought down Colorado evangelist Ted Haggard.

The much-celebrated preacher, Bishop Eddie Long, leader of the 25,000 member New Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta, has found himself caught up in accusations that he coerced two young men into sexual relations on two different occasions when they were 17 and 18 years old.

A spokesperson for Long said the two men, who are now 20 and 21, were trying to "shakedown" Long and had "some serious credibility issues."

The suit, filed in DeKalb County Court, says alleges that Long engaged in "intimate sexual contact" with the first plaintiff during trips they took together, and had oral sex with a second plaintiff on a trip to New Zealand.

Craig Gillen, Long's attorney told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the pastor "categorically denies" the accusations. "We find it unfortunate that these two young men would take this course of action," adding the Long had not been served with copies of the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs say Long lavished gifts ranging from access to celebrities to college tuition in an effort to win their allegiance. Their lawyer, B.J. Bernstein said that although the alleged affairs started past the legal age of consent, which is 16 in Georgia, Long abused his influence with them.

"Defendant Long has utilized his spiritual authority to coerce certain young male members ... into engaging in sexual acts and relationships for his own personal sexual gratification," according to the lawsuits.

Late Wednesday, a new lawsuit was filed on behalf of a third male plaintiff, alleging the same coercion by Long and also names his youth organization Longfellows Youth Academy Inc., according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Ironically, like Haggard, Long had a lengthy record of blasting homosexuality before the allegations came up. The Southern Poverty Law Center in particular criticized him for his anti-gay rhetoric and actions: "Long is one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement," a 2007 article on the organization's website reads.


Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/09/22/atlanta-megachurch-pastor-accused-of-sexual-coersion/#ixzz10U2XNBaZ


Atlanta pastor says he will answer allegations Sunday



http://edition.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/09/23/georgia.pastor.allegations/index.html?hpt=T2

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- In a statement read on a syndicated radio show Thursday, Atlanta-based megachurch pastor Eddie Long denied he had coerced young male church members into sex, as alleged in three lawsuits filed against him.

"I have been through storms and my faith has always sustained me," Long, pastor of the 25,000-member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church said in the statement, read by attorney Craig Gillen on the "Tom Joyner Morning Show." "I am anxious to respond directly to these false allegations, and I will do so. However, my lawyers counseled patience at this time."

"Let me be clear: The charges against me and New Birth are false," the statement said. "I have devoted my life to helping others and these false allegations hurt me deeply, but my faith is strong and the truth will emerge."

Long asked for patience "as we continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges" and requested prayers for himself, his family and the church. He said he will respond to his congregation from the pulpit on Sunday.
Later Thursday, Long posted a message on Twitter reading, "Thanks for all your prayers and support! Love you all."

"These false allegations are an attack on Bishop Long personally," Gillen said. "They are an attack on New Birth, the entire church and all of its 25,000 good people who attend that church, and it's an attack on the mentoring program that has helped thousands of young men. It is deeply, deeply unfortunate that these allegations have been made. They will be met."

Gillen was interviewed by Roland Martin, a syndicated columnist and CNN political analyst, during Martin's segment on the Joyner show. Gillen said he is to blame for Long's failure to appear on the radio show as scheduled. Asked about a Thursday press conference that was also canceled, Gillen said he thought the matter was a misunderstanding, as he had never committed to a press conference.

•"That's my call," he told Martin regarding the interview and press conferences being canceled. "In assessing the situation, no lawyer likes to have his client in a situation where ... charges are made and the lawyer doesn't have control."
Attorney B.J. Bernstein, who represents the three men named in the lawsuits, said Long sent two photos of himself wearing tight shirts to a fourth man not named in the litigation. She said it was an example of inappropriate conduct.
Gillen defended the photos during an interview with an Atlanta radio station Thursday.

"The photos don't corroborate these charges," Gillen said on V-103's "Frank and Wanda Morning Show." "[Long] is a health advocate, he's a weight-lifter. He's a fellow who's gonna go to work and he's gonna have on a muscle shirt. And you know he may show up in church in a muscle shirt. There's nothing really in those photographs that seems to me corroborative of these allegations."

Long's supporters stressed he has been a mentor and guiding force for young men.
A YouTube video shot at New Birth shows Long talking with a man who gives a testimonial about turning away from a life of crime. The unidentified man points to Long and said he "has always been my dad when I didn't have a dad."
Long spokesman Art Franklin said the video shows the kind of spiritual impact Long has had on young men.

The third lawsuit joined two that were filed on Tuesday, all of them in DeKalb County, Georgia. It was brought on behalf of Jamal Parris, now 23, who like the others was a teenager when he joined Long's church.

The suit, which claims Long encouraged Parris to call him "Daddy," also names the church and Long's LongFellows Youth Academy as defendants.
The new lawsuit gives intimate details about Parris and his alleged relationship with Long.

Parris joined New Birth in 2001, when he was 14. Long counseled Parris when the latter talked about his strained relationship with his father and got him a job as a summer camp counselor at the church, the suit states.

The suit claims Long engaged in sexual acts with Parris. The young man eventually became a church employee and served as personal assistant to Long and traveled with him, the suit says. The pastor continued to engage in sexual activity with Parris and gave him money, trips and gifts, the suit says.

It says Parris left the church in late 2009, "disillusioned, confused and angry about his relationship with Defendant Long." The bishop manipulated and deceived Parris into thinking that the acts were a "healthy component of his spiritual life," the suit states.

The allegations are similar to those contained in the Tuesday suits, filed on behalf of Anthony Flagg, now 21, and Maurice Murray Robinson, now 20. All three contend the LongFellows Youth Academy and New Birth knew or should have known of Long's behavior and that they failed to warn the young men. The lawsuits describe LongFellows as an offshoot of New Birth.

Bernstein has alleged Long had a pattern of using his position as a spiritual authority and bishop to coerce young male members and employees of the church into sex. CNN was the first to report on the lawsuits.

But "this church and this bishop have been devoted to giving to the community and giving back to young men," Gillen said Thursday.

Long is considered one of the nation's top African-American preachers. His church was the site of Coretta Scott King's 2006 funeral, attended by then-President George W. Bush and three former presidents. King was the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The three men claim Long took them on overnight trips to various locations within the United States and beyond, sharing a room and engaging in sexual contact with them, including massaging, masturbation and oral sex.

Bernstein, who represents Parris, Flagg and Robinson, said Wednesday that the youths' accounts are "really strong."

She said she has worked with sexual abuse victims and finds the two believable because of "the emotion. The intensity. The very strong description of what sexual acts occurred. ... This is not just someone giving a vague thing, 'Oh, yeah, one time he did this,' or a couple of times."

Gillen noted that Robinson was charged in connection with a June burglary of Long's office, and said he is attempting to get tapes that have been turned over to the district attorney's office.

Bernstein said Wednesday that about $100,000 worth of items were taken, including black diamonds. She said the theft stemmed from Robinson's anger at Long and was an attempt to retaliate against him.

Asked the motive for the suits, Gillen said, "Let me put it this way. What is the motive of someone putting a ski mask over their face and breaking into your office to steal things? Money."

He said the suits, "without a single piece of corroborating evidence, (have) ignited a firestorm against this good man."

Long spokesman Franklin told CNN Wednesday the church employs many young people, and numerous people travel with Long. Gillen said the young men are taken on such trips to expose them to cultures and diversity they might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience.

Asked how she can prove that sexual contact took place, Bernstein said Wednesday, "I am ready to put them under oath. Bishop Long can spend money on the best attorneys in this world, and they can question those young men, and then I'll get to question the bishop, and then we'll really see what's going on."

Long frequently denounces homosexual behavior. A 2007 article in the Southern Poverty Law Center's magazine called him "one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement."

The suits allege that Long chose the plaintiffs to be his "Spiritual Sons," a program that allegedly includes other young men from the church.
"Spiritual Sons are taken on public and private jets to U.S. and international destinations, housed in luxury hotels and given access to numerous celebrities including entertainment stars and politicians," the suit alleges.

Flagg's suit says that Long presided over a spiritual "covenant" ceremony between the two of them. Bernstein described it as "essentially a marriage ceremony, with candles, exchange of jewelry and biblical quotes."

The lawsuits are seeking unspecified amounts of punitive damages from Long on various counts, ranging from negligence to breach of fiduciary duty.
CNN's John Murgatroyd and Ed Lavandera contributed to this report.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Ugandan Christians Leaving The Organized Church

The Church in the wilderness - Sunday Vision


http://www.sundayvision.co.ug/detail.php?mainNewsCategoryId=7&newsCategoryId=525&newsId=732411

MANY Christians are wondering away from the church services to fellowship in small groups or even staying home to worship God. Moses Mulondo finds out why.

IN the past, it was very rare to see church services happening outside the traditional churches. With many church services turning into purely religious, commercial and centred on human customs rather than the gospel, many Christians who yearn for an intimacy with God have found themselves moving out of these church buildings into the wilderness, home fellowships, street fellowships and marketplace fellowships.

As the church leaders have degenerated into the conduct of the Pharisees and teachers of the law, whom Jesus blamed for teaching what they don’t practiSe, many Christians have opted out of the church buildings to seek for God’s presence in these smaller fellowships.

This has led to two major emerging churches; the marketplace (workplace) and the church in the wilderness, which comprises those who have home fellowships or confine themselves in their houses and read the Bible on their own while praying to seek the face of God.

Many of these people no longer go to church since these fellowships are able to meet all their spiritual needs. It should be remembered that all the revival movements like the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements were started by such small groups of people who moved out of the traditional churches to undertake spiritual experiments that would cause reformations.

Whether you are talking about the great East African Revival, the American Pentecostal Movement or the Charismatic Renewal Movement, the pioneers broke the walls of the usual ways of doing things in their traditional churches and came up with better avenues of seeking the supernatural permeation within their spiritual lives.

All the great prophets, whether in the Old or New Testament, emerged from the wilderness after being separated from the then temple worship systems. They faced a lot of resistance from the priests of those days, who had been entrenched in the old-worship systems. That is the same way all great contemporary revivalists emerged.

Another group of Pentecostal Christians, who are dissatisfied with what is going on in churches, meets in Wandegeya for fellowship on weekends not only to discuss the various ways through which the Pentecostal church has gone astray, but also to nourish each other spiritually by sharing the truth about salvation through the scriptures.

Eldest in the group is Edward Kimbowa, 44, who lives in Mubende, but comes to Kampala to share the truth he has discovered with many other Christians who no longer go to the churches.

Common among their arguments is that like the Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican churches, the Pentecostal church has equally become a religious church where people do certain routine religious acts.
The group looks at such acts as man made ways of doing things, which church leaders are emphasising other than emphasising the intimacy between man and God.

The group leader, Kimbowa, believes the Church is currently experiencing a radical transition from systems and practices of the past to the full release of the kingdom of God among men.

They believe the Church will experience changes until we go back to the first Christian church of the apostles, where believers met in their homes and shared the word of God while living as one family.

“Jesus did not come to start churches in the perspective of buildings because the concept of temples in form of buildings stopped in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, we became the temples of God. I am the Church. Even when we fellowship three people in a home, which is also a church and the kingdom of God will be established in that kind of set up,” argues Evangelist Robert Arubaku.

Arubaku, a Pentecostal Christian, who rarely goes to the church, spends much of his time reading the Bible and praying in his home in Makindye. On weekends, he gets in touch with people of like minds, who call themselves the remnants to share the revelations and insights in the word of God.

“I don’t waste my precious time going to services in church because of their conservative customs and prosperity gospels which appeal to the flesh other than the spirit. I yearn for a life-giving word of God. I yearn for an intimate union with God, which I can rarely get in our backslidden churches,” Arubaku explains. There are thousands of Christians like Arubaku.

This calls for wisdom from church leaders to initiate reforms that would accommodate such Christians.
“I don’t think anyone can come out and dispute the authenticity of the Church in the wilderness or the home-based church. Even the first church of Jesus’ disciples started in a certain home in the upper room.

To further confirm this concerning the first Christian church, in Acts 2:46-47, the Bible says: “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people and the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”

Even Jesus Christ’s message had many new revelations and because of that the Pharisees chased him out of the temple.

He always held spiritual meetings in public places just as John the Baptist had done at River Jordan after several years of seeking the face of God in the wilderness. Paul, the greatest of all Apostles, was removed from the church system the disciples of Jesus had established and taken to a lonely place which was another kind of wilderness to receive a direct message from the Lord.

That is why Paul proudly said in Galatians 1:11-17 that “I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ…

But when God, who set apart from birth and called me by his grace was pleased to reveal his son in me so that I might preach him among the gentiles, I did not consult any man, neither did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.”

Published on: Saturday, 18th September, 2010

A REFUTATION OF APOSTLE EDWARD SSEWANYANA‘S TITHING HERESY

FIRST READ: UGANDAN CHRISTIANS REJECT THE TITHE DOCTRINE


http://watchmanafrica.blogspot.com/2010/08/ugandan-christians-reject-tithe.html


Of late Ugandan Christians have come up openly to challenge the tithing heresy in newspapers. Prosperity pastors are now trying to defend the heresy because they know that their prosperity ‘ponzi’ scheme is about to collapse like a sac of rotten potatoes. In the 22-September-2010 edition of the observer news papers, one APOSTLE EDWARD SSEWANYANA ridiculously defended the tithing heresy. His defense echoes knowledge of striptures instead of scriptures. He makes his first ‘arguments’ as follows:

I fully believe that Christians are not justified by the Law of Moses and should not lean on it for salvation. However, tithing as a principle was practised even before Moses received the commandments or Laws on Mount Sinai. Abraham was the first example of a tither. Hebrews 7:6 mentions that Melchisedec, the priest of the Most High God, “received tithes of Abraham.” Though only one incident of Melchisedec receiving tithes from Abraham is mentioned (Gen14:20), we cannot rule out that Abraham gave tithes on other occasions also. Jacob made a lifelong commitment to tithe when he told God that, “of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee” Genesis 28:22. Abraham and Jacob lived approximately 400 years before Moses the lawgiver was born. They lived under a dispensation of grace and their tithing lifestyle cannot be ignored on the pretext that they were under the law since there was no law at that time.


His arguments fail to take cognizant of the fact that the tithing of Abraham and Jacob is different from the tithing of Christians today. To begin with, Abraham tithed on war loot. He tithed 10 percent of this war loot and retained nothing. He never tithed money. Secondly Jacob’s tithing was conditional, he said he would only tithe on condition that God blesses him. Today, pastors tell the flock that tithing is compulsory and if you do not tithe, you receive curses. This is a serious disconnect.

APOSTLE EDWARD SSEWANYANA continues to error in reasoning and biblical exegesis by ‘arguing’ as follows:

The New Testament describes Abraham as, “the father of us all” (Romans 4:16), showing us that as born again Christians, we have to emulate our father in the faith by tithing like he did. One of the benefits that Abraham received from his lifestyle of tithing was financial prosperity since the Bible clearly points out that, “Abram’s was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold” (Genesis 13:2). Abram or Abraham’s financial prosperity can only be traced to his tithing lifestyle.


He categorically argues that since the new testament regards Abraham as, “the father of us all” (Romans 4:16), born again Christians should emulate his tithing lifestyle. This is a very weak argument because one could as well argue that since Abraham practiced circumcision of the physical body, born again Christians should also circumcise their bodies. He also argues that Abram or Abraham’s financial prosperity can only be traced to his tithing lifestyle but fails to back up this with scriptural evidence. Can he give us examples in the bible where Abraham did not tithe on war loot. Or where he tithed 10 percent and retained 90% . God promised in Genesis 12:2-3 that he was going to bless Abraham even before Abraham tithed in Genesis 14:20. God never said I will bless you if you give me tithes. The Apostle contradicts himself by saying that Abraham was rich even before tithing(Genesis 13:2).

APOSTLE EDWARD SSEWANYANA also errors in reasoning and biblical exegesis by ‘arguing’ that:

Since the Old Testament tithing system changed with the establishment of the New Covenant, the recipient of the tithe also changed. Someone else took up the office of the priesthood of Melchisedec, “even Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Heb 6:20). Jesus now continues to receive the tithe from Abraham’s children, those who have believed in Jesus Christ for salvation. In a practical sense, the tithe is received by Jesus Christ through the Church and especially through the church leadership that includes the Apostles, Prophets and Pastors (Eph 4:11). Apostle Paul in stating his rights as a church leader and Apostle stated.


He is arguing that the tithe should be given to Jesus Christ. The million dollar question to him is ‘’How can Jesus from the tribe of Judah receive tithes?''. He fails to provide scriptural evidence to prove that the Early Christians tithed.Isn’t it surprising to note that tithing was not an issue at all in the Jerusalem council of Acts 15. This council resolved whether gentiles should keep the mosaic law. Among the resolutions tithing is conspicuously absent. Apostle Ssewanyana also argues that Apostle Paul supported tithing by saying that :

“Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel” (1 Cor 9:13-14).

He does not seem to know that Apostle Paul never told people to tithe but to Give. Giving and tithing are two different concepts. In fact in 2 Cor.9:7, Apostle Paul says categorically that giving must be from the heart and should not be coerced. It should be noted that today‘s prosperity pastors coercive people to tithe. We need to remember that the New Testament is a covenant of the heart and not of the flesh. That is why circumcision according to the New Testament is an issue of the heart.

APOSTLE EDWARD SSEWANYANA further errors in reasoning and biblical exegesis by ‘arguing’ that:

In this scripture, Apostle Paul compares the spiritual leadership with the New Testament church leadership. Just like the Levites ministered in the temple and received tithes that were brought to the temple, as an Apostle and preacher, Paul had the right to receive the tithes from the church members. That same right belongs to the church leadership today. The last nail that stops the mouth of all the tithe haters is what Jesus Himself mentioned about tithe, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23). In this scripture, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for neglecting judgment, mercy and faith but at the same time commends them for being faithful tithers. Jesus clearly says that tithe is one of the things that a believer ought to do.

There is absolutely no scripture in the bible where Apostle Paul or Jesus Christ told born again Christians to tithe. Christ taught giving (Luke 6:38). In Mathew23:23 Christ was taking to Pharisees and not Christians. Yes, they ought to have tithed because they believed in the Mosaic Law. Secondly, they ought have tithed because the New Testament period of grace had not come. Apostle Ssewanyana does not know that according to the New testament God no longer dwells in temples made with human hands(Acts 17:24). Born again Christians are the true temples of God(Corinthians 3: 9, 16 ). How can a temple of God pay tithes?? In addition the New Testament calls all born again believers priests (1 Peter 2:9, Rev. 5:10). How can a born again priest pay tithes?

Apostle EDWARD SSEWANYANA appeals to emotion by arguing:

Behind the mask of being the “gallant defenders of the faith”, those who oppose tithe are actually bound by a selfish, miserly and stingy spirit that is inconsistent with the generous faith of the New Testament (Acts 4:34, 2 Cor 9:6-7). The motive that ought to prompt liberality in tithing as a service to God ought to be greater now than in Old Testament times, hence Christians ought to go beyond the ancient Hebrews in consecrating both themselves and their substance to God. A Christian who does not tithe is not a non-believer but is a disobedient child of God who actually opposes the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ through withholding resources over which God has made them stewards to further the preaching of the gospel through the church.


Many pastors are knowledgeable about striptures (they read bits and pieces of verses that promote their greed) instead of scriptures. They have turned the gospel of grace into a gospel of greed. This tithing heresy is being perpetuated because of the failure of born again Christians to search God in his word. This heresy aims at sustaining the greed and luxurious life styles of prosperity Pastors.

Tithing heresies debunked: The million dollar questions


And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us intobondage:(Galatians2:4)


In the new testament period of grace we are not supposed to tithe but to GIVE. The lord Jesus Christ never told his disciples to tithe. He taught them to give(Luke 6:38). The argument that the tithe should be consumed by the pastor who is a priest and Levite is pure blasphemy. We need to bear in mind that there is a separation between ISRAEL and the CHURCH. How can a gentile like Apostle Ssewanyana receive tithes. If pastors like Apostle Ssewanyana are from the tribe of Levi, which Christians in her church belong to the other eleven tribes. If the tithe in church is given to Jesus as some claim, how can Jesus from the tribe of Judah receive tithes? Examine the simple expositions of the heresy on tithing below.

1. Many tithe proponents argue that the pastor should be given tithes because he is a priest: However, the bible calls all born again believers priests. How can a born again priest pay tithes? Check out these verses:


And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.(Revelation5:10)

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen(Rev.1:6)

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellouslight;(1Peter2:9)



2. How comes that the apostles broke the tithing law. Were they under curse for not tithing?

How comes that the first Christians in the book of Acts( Acts 11:26) broke the tithing law. How comes there is no mention of the word tithing in the book of Acts. Instead of tithing the apostles told people to sell all their property and bring the money under their feet. This actually means that everything we have belongs to the God and God can demand it from us anytime to accomplish his purposes. The theology of giving God 10% and retaining our 90% is a lie. Check out this verse.

34Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. (Acts:4:34-35)

3. How comes that Barnabas, a LEVITE sold land and brought the money under the feet of the apostles. Why didn’t he stay in the house of the lord and wait for tithes?

And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles'feet(Acts:4:36-37)

4. Was Ananias, and Sapphira his wife struck dead by the Holy spirit for not giving 10%(tithing) or for not surrendering 100 percent of the money they got from selling their land. Check out these verses in Acts 5: 11).

1But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
brought

3But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hastnotlieduntomen,butuntoGod.

5And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
6And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. 7And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowingwhatwasdone,camein.


8And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?Andshesaid,Yea,forsomuch.
9Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husbandareatthedoor,andshallcarrytheeout.

10Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried herbyherhusband. 11And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as manyasheardthesethings.


The tithing heresy is the foundation of the exploitative American prosperity gospel. Once born again Christianity reject this hoax, the whole prosperity edifice will come crumbling like a sac of rotten potatoes.

Conclusion

Did you know that formerly tithes were eaten by the tither(thithing person) in the temple(Deu: 14:22ff). However, this temple was destroyed in 70A.D as predicted by our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt 24: 1-2).Therefore according to New Testament Christianity God no longer dwells in temples made with human hands(Acts 17:24). Born again Christians are the true temples of God(Corinthians 3: 9, 16 ). How can a temple of God pay tithes?? Lastly according to the Old Testament money was not tithaible (Deut 7:11ff) therefore churches that tell people to tithe money are lying to you. Some pastors argue that according to the Old Testament people tithed the fruit of the trees, corn etc because there was no money back then. This is a lie, there was money back then, remember Abraham bought a field where he buried Sarah at 400 pieces of silver(Gen 23:13-16), do you also remember that Joseph was sold by his bothers for 20 pieces of silver(Gen 37:28). So, there was money back then. Therefore tithing money is just another big lie.

APOSTLE EDWARD SSEWANYANA'S ARTICLE


Tithing not optional


http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10203&Itemid=71

Sizzling Faith

Written by APOSTLE EDWARD SSEWANYANA

Wednesday, 22 September 2010 16:11


I fully believe that Christians are not justified by the Law of Moses and should not lean on it for salvation.

However, tithing as a principle was practised even before Moses received the commandments or Laws on Mount Sinai.

Abraham was the first example of a tither. Hebrews 7:6 mentions that Melchisedec, the priest of the Most High God, “received tithes of Abraham.” Though only one incident of Melchisedec receiving tithes from Abraham is mentioned (Gen14:20), we cannot rule out that Abraham gave tithes on other occasions also.

Jacob made a lifelong commitment to tithe when he told God that, “of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee” Genesis 28:22. Abraham and Jacob lived approximately 400 years before Moses the lawgiver was born.
They lived under a dispensation of grace and their tithing lifestyle cannot be ignored on the pretext that they were under the law since there was no law at that time.

New Testament

The New Testament describes Abraham as, “the father of us all” (Romans 4:16), showing us that as born again Christians, we have to emulate our father in the faith by tithing like he did.

One of the benefits that Abraham received from his lifestyle of tithing was financial prosperity since the Bible clearly points out that, “Abram’s was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold” (Genesis 13:2). Abram or Abraham’s financial prosperity can only be traced to his tithing lifestyle.

Tithing is simply defined as giving a tenth of all your increase to the Lord. In the Old Testament the Levites had the right to receive tithes from the Israelites according to the laws of Moses (Num 18:24). The Levitical priests were mortal but Melchisedec is described as immortal.

Melchisedec’s priesthood is superior to the Levitical priesthood since the book of Hebrews states that Levi, Abraham’s great-grandson paid tithes to Melchisedec through Abraham since he was still in Abraham’s loins at the time (Heb 7:9-10).
Since the Old Testament tithing system changed with the establishment of the New Covenant, the recipient of the tithe also changed.

Someone else took up the office of the priesthood of Melchisedec, “even Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Heb 6:20). Jesus now continues to receive the tithe from Abraham’s children, those who have believed in Jesus Christ for salvation.

In a practical sense, the tithe is received by Jesus Christ through the Church and especially through the church leadership that includes the Apostles, Prophets and Pastors (Eph 4:11). Apostle Paul in stating his rights as a church leader and Apostle stated.

“Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel” (1 Cor 9:13-14).
In this scripture, Apostle Paul compares the spiritual leadership with the New Testament church leadership. Just like the Levites ministered in the temple and received tithes that were brought to the temple, as an Apostle and preacher, Paul had the right to receive the tithes from the church members. That same right belongs to the church leadership today.

The last nail that stops the mouth of all the tithe haters is what Jesus Himself mentioned about tithe, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).

In this scripture, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for neglecting judgment, mercy and faith but at the same time commends them for being faithful tithers. Jesus clearly says that tithe is one of the things that a believer ought to do.

Behind the mask of being the “gallant defenders of the faith”, those who oppose tithe are actually bound by a selfish, miserly and stingy spirit that is inconsistent with the generous faith of the New Testament (Acts 4:34, 2 Cor 9:6-7).
The motive that ought to prompt liberality in tithing as a service to God ought to be greater now than in Old Testament times, hence Christians ought to go beyond the ancient Hebrews in consecrating both themselves and their substance to God.
A Christian who does not tithe is not a non-believer but is a disobedient child of God who actually opposes the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ through withholding resources over which God has made them stewards to further the preaching of the gospel through the church.

The writer is the founder and Bishop of Worldwide Apostolic Church (at Kiswa Primary School), Bugolobi

edifire@yahoo.com



Tithing in the New Testament is not optional

http://www.monitor.co.ug/LifeStyle/Religion/-/689744/1021426/-/6gyx4s/-/index.html

Posted Sunday, October 3 2010 at 00:00

I fully believe that Christians are not justified by the Law of Moses and should not lean on it for salvation. However, tithing as a principle was practiced even before Moses received the commandments or Laws on Mount Sinai.

Abraham was the first example of a tither. Hebrews 7:6 mentions that Melchisedec, the priest of the Most High God, “received tithes of Abraham.” Though only one incident of Melchisedec receiving tithes from Abraham is mentioned (Gen14:20), we cannot rule out that Abraham gave tithes on other occasions too.

Abraham’s grandson, Jacob could not have come out to make a commitment to tithe on a consistent basis to the Lord if his grandfather only tithed once and stopped there. Jacob made a lifelong commitment to tithe when he told God that, “of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee,” Genesis 28:22.

Abraham and Jacob lived approximately 400 years before Moses the law-giver was born. Their tithing lifestyle cannot be ignored on the pretext that they were under the law since there was no law at that time at all. Since Abraham was the father of us all, as born again Christians, we have to emulate his tithing spirit. One of the benefits that Abraham received from his lifestyle of tithing was financial prosperity - “Abraham was very rich in cattle, in silver and in gold” (Genesis 13:2).

Since the Old Testament tithing system changed with the establishment of the New Covenant, the recipient of the tithe also changed. Someone else took up the office of the priesthood of Melchisedec, “Even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Heb 6:20). Jesus now continues to receive the tithe from Abraham’s children, those who have believed in Jesus Christ for salvation (Heb 7:8).

In a practical sense, the tithe is received by Jesus Christ through the Church and especially through the church leadership that includes the apostles, prophets and pastors (Eph 4:11). Just like the Levites ministered in the temple and received tithes that were brought to the temple, that same right belongs to the church leadership today.

In Matthew 23:23, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for neglecting judgment, mercy and faith but at the same time commends them for being faithful tithers. Jesus clearly says that tithe is one of the things that a believer ought to do.

Behind the mask of being the “gallant defenders of the faith”, those who oppose tithe are actually bound by a selfish, miserly and stingy spirit that is inconsistent with the generous faith of the New Testament (Acts 4:34, 2 Cor 9:6-7). The motive that ought to prompt liberality in tithing as a service to God ought to be greater now than in Old Testament times, hence Christians ought to go beyond the ancient Hebrews in consecrating both themselves and their substance to God.

A Christian who does not tithe is not a non-believer but is a disobedient child of God who is actually opposing the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ through withholding resources over which God has made them stewards to further the preaching of the gospel through the church.

Apostle Edward Ssewanyana