KLEPTOMANIAC is a journey into the annuals of biblical history concerning what the Bible teaches about tithing and giving. This book will take you on the proverbial archeological quest to uncover the true meaning of biblical words that deal with money. When confusion exists about what certain words mean in the Bible, such as tithe, tithing, tenth or ten percent, this book will examine the Hebrew and Greek language to bring to life what these words actually mean in context. This book will upend the common beliefs held by believers concerning giving and tithing based on the history of the original people of the Bible and how they related to money. From the very beginning to the end of the book, everything is supported by Scripture and research. You will know from the onset why the author, Dr. Frank Chase Jr., wrote the book and learn about his personal story of what happened as a result of embracing New Covenant giving principles from the New Testament. No book asks questions like this book. And some of those questions are: does the Bible talk about tithing? Did God change the tithe at some point in biblical history? Are first fruits money? Is the tithe food or money? Is the church the storehouse? Did Jesus, Paul and the Disciples tithe? Did the early church honor a money tithe system? Are Christians really cursed for not tithing ten percent of their income?
Frank Chase, Jr. was born in 1959. He is the son of Frank Chase and Romaine Berry. He grew up in Baltimore Md. and graduated from Walbrook High School in 1978. After high school, Frank spent four years in the United States Army and during that time became a follower of the Messiah. After completing his tour of duty, he attended Washington State University (WSU) and graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology. Because Frank believes in education, he pursued religious degrees and graduated from North Carolina College of Theology with a Bachelor of Biblical Studies, a Master of Arts in Theology, and a Doctor of Theology. You can follow is blog at http://tithenomore.com and the ebook is available on now on Book Baby and the paperback June 1st at https://store.bookbaby.com/book/kleptomaniac. For signed copies go to the Author's website at http://www.fcpublishing.com/about_kleptomaniac
In the 30 plus years in the institutional church, I've witnessed many giving gimmicks to extract money from congregants. I distinctly remember one church service where the people's emotions were stoked to a point that when the pulpit elders prompted certain actions, many took off diamond rings, earrings, expansive shoes, jewelry, wrote checks and pulled out cash, handing out these items indiscriminately across the congregation. Some even gave away their cars too. At that time, I thought it was the leading of the Spirit of God. The title of this so-called move of God was called jubilee. I know view events like these as elaborate hoaxes. So when I studied giving in the Gospels and in the letters of the Apostle Paul, I found no giving events on the scale that I had witnessed. So I spent a lot of ink writing about New Testament giving patterns from the Gospels to Paul's giving views. The NT does not give a specific prescription for how first century believers regularly gave. The scriptures are also silent about how church buildings are supported. So before you fall prey to giving gimmicks from televangelists or in church, it would behoove you to study the Bible about giving and refer to chapters 12, 13, and 14 of my book.
Many Bible verses on giving are removed from their context and given new meaning. People who read the Bible should be familiar with first century believers. Not knowing or understanding their culture, habits, lifestyles, and giving practices can affect your wallet.
Many people argue money tithing from the doctrine of first things in the Scripture. The logic is that if something is first mentioned in the Scripture, it is a prescription for a mandated eternal moral principle. It is this concept that drives the tithing doctrine. Because Abram is first mentioned tithing to Melchizedek in Genesis, this serves as justification for churches and pastors to demand tithes as baseline income. However, this belief is out of context because this book has established that Abram’s tithe was a single event for spoils of war. The perspective of first things from the Old Testament establishes how to take care of buildings and it was not with tithes but with freewill offerings. The needs of the modern church, i.e., mortgages, lights, heat, salaries for senior pastors and leaders, outweighs the needs of God’s people, which is quite the opposite of how first century believers operated in the New Testament.
The first mention of freewill giving is in Exodus 35:5, 21, 29 and 36:5-6 dealing with the upkeep of the temple. These verses address temple needs and this is where the New Covenant leadership should look when trying to find examples on how to support building funds for church upkeep and not some obscure single tithe occurrence Abram gave when he was eighty years old. Exodus establishes grace giving and freewill giving, and that concept is transferred to the New Testament from the following verses:
Exodus 35:5 From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the LORD an offering of gold, silver and bronze;…21 and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments. 29 All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the LORD freewill offerings for all the work the LORD through Moses had commanded them to do (NIV).
Then in Exodus 36:4-7, something amazing happens. People gave so much free-will offerings, they were asked to stop giving. The text says:
So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD commanded to be done. Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work (NIV).
Anyone with an ounce of biblical intelligence can see the doctrine of first mention in the Exodus text is the principle for New Testament giving. What are the observations from this text? The first point of Exodus is that God built the temple on freewill offerings before the mandatory tithe was established under the law in Numbers 18. The context of the conversation is that God wanted the Hebrew people to give from a willing heart rather than to meet a percentage. Furthermore, if they were not willing, they could choose not to bring a freewill offering. The Scriptures point out that if they felt moved by the spirit, giving took place from their heart and not out of an obligation, force or threat. The context proves that when the heart is moved to give, the people brought enough to build and care for the temple. They accomplished all of this without Yahweh asking for a tithe of money. It is clear that freewill offerings sufficed for the needs of the temple. In Exodus 30:14, children were never asked to give. It was those over the age of 20 who brought freewill offerings to God. Here is how we know freewill offerings are God’s way to give. The word willing in Exodus 35:5 is Strong’s #5081 and it is the Hebrew word “nadiyb” or “nadiv.” Based on the context of the verse, it means giving voluntarily, generously, and promptly. In verse 21, the word willing in Hebrew is “nadab” (Strong’s #5068). It means to volunteer, to present spontaneously. When you look at verse 29, willing is Strong’s #5071- it is the Hebrew word, “ndabah.” It means spontaneous gift. There is no way to interpret the Hebrew text as giving based on percentage. The only method we see implemented in Exodus 35 is freewill giving or grace giving. The whole message of New Covenant grace giving is that it is spirit controlled and not man mandated. There is no law that says giving must start at 10 percent of gross or net income. Grace giving can be anything from zero to one hundred percent. Law giving starts and stops at 10 percent and nothing else is required. However, giving from the heart is limitless and boundless and it’s totally motivated by the spirit of Yahweh upon the human heart. If you give any other way, your giving does not follow New Testament principles. If you think tithing is money and is connected to the New Testament, the first place to check is Matthew 23:23, which I call the Gospel syndrome.