Paul's Passing Thoughts

Is The Baptist Tithe Nothing More or Less Than a Catholic Indulgence?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 5, 2015

ppt-jpeg4“Christians” need to understand church isn’t what it used to be. It was ok for about a 100 years due to a mixture of Scriptural truth and Protestant orthodoxy, but once again, the church is returning to authentic Protestantism—Protestantism was ok when it was misinformed by grammatical vestiges of Scripture, but those days are gone; Protestantism is returning to the original article at breakneck speed.

And few misinformed sanctified pastors of the old school are standing their ground; yes indeed, everybody is doin’ it.

The likes of John Piper and John MacArthur Jr., who clearly represent mainline evangelicalism, have said in no uncertain terms that being a church member is synonymous with being part of the body of Christ (8:25 mark). Ministries like 9 Marks aka Mark Dever make it clear that church leaders, according to them, have authority over salvation on earth via John Calvin’s “power of the keys.” TANC Ministries has written on these facts extensively with accompanied citations numbering in the hundreds.

Also in vogue by church leadership is bringing people up on church discipline for not tithing. This is heavily endorsed by the who’s who of the Southern Baptist Convention like Al Mohler and David Platt. Church discipline is the Catholic version of excommunication. It’s their way or the highway, and in this case, a highway to hell according to them. While attending a local SBC pastors conference some time ago in Springboro, Ohio, I got into a serious tiff with one of the workshop teachers over tithing cash. In other words, somebody who merely puts cash directly into the golden plate or sacred basket without personal identification. His argument at the time to me follows: “That’s not being accountable to the church leaders.”

As a longtime SBC pastor, let me share the paramount SBC pastor fib: “I don’t know what the members tithe.” And the same SBC pastor hacks that would tell you that will also stick out their chests and say, “I am on my way to the hospital to visit ________, God put him there to extract the tithes he has been robbing from God.” In the past, half pregnant Protestant pastors used fear, the kickback of prestige, and the allurement of tax deductions to get the tithe, now in keeping with a more accurate Protestantism, they will take away your salvation if you don’t pony up. Shockingly, many evangelical churches require a financial statement in lieu of membership, and people actually cooperate accordingly.

How can this be? While the populous is becoming more and more irreligious, the church infrastructure that continues to be supported by private funds defies belief in light of the church’s steroidal hypocrisy and indifference to justice. One example among myriad follows: while the church doth protest abortion contentiously, statistics show that abortions are higher in number among evangelicals than those of the secular realm. Regardless of outrages perpetrated by both churches, Catholic and Protestant, the money keeps pouring in. There is only one answer that makes any sense at all: the church brokers salvation. And the linchpin of the deal is good ole’ fashioned forgiveness of “present sin.”

Whether Protestant or Catholic, the brokerage of forgiveness knows no bounds. In medieval times, Catholics could purchase forgiveness for premeditated murder before they committed the act in case fate would prevent one from making it to the parish after the deed was accomplished. The price list for Catholic indulgences is fairly easy to find online via Google. TANC possesses some actual cash receipts for indulgences from the 1940’s. Actually holding them in one’s hand and reading them is downright creepy. The concept certainly gives new meaning to the truism, “It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.”

Protestants are a little bit more discreet in brokering forgiveness for “present sin.” The idea here is that justification is defined by fulfilling the “righteous demands of the law” instead of new birth into the literal family of God. Think about it: if we are once born again always born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit until redemption, what do we need the institutional church for? Trust me, merely being better informed on how to love God and others does not raise the stakes high enough to support four million dollar aquariums in the church lobby; no my friends, it is our very salvation that must be at stake—that’s what brings in the big greenbacks. In an envelope with your name on it of course, and studiously recorded lest you not get a tax deduction (wink, wink).

But should I pay the 10% temple tax on net or gross income? According to everyone, gross, who knew? When you give saint to saint you give from net income because that’s all you have realistically to contribute to a specific need, but when it comes to tithing so the church can decide how to use your money to “meet need,” it’s based on gross income. Go figure.

Luther and Calvin both were huge on the present sin going against our justification gig, and forgiveness of present sin, according to them and Protestant orthodoxy, can only be found where “God has assigned it,” namely, your local Protestant church. So, is this nothing more or less than a Catholic indulgence? The rhetorical answers follow: Did you sin today? Will you sin tomorrow? Is forgiveness only found in the church? Can the church take away your salvation? Can you be brought up on church discipline for not tithing? Or the short version: Does a bear poop in the woods?

Justification has NOTHING to do with “present sin.” We can suffer present consequences for sinning against our father in regard to family sin, and such sin is not love as articulated in the Bible, but in regard to sin against justification, there is NO law and no sin accordingly which means we don’t need the church for any reason whatsoever except to support the egos of the rich and famous.

All we need is like-minded fellowship that encourages us unto good works and the giving of our money to N-E-E-D, not institutions. We are a holy nation of priests with ONE authority ONLY: Christ the King. Our unity comes through agreement on the truth we love—not shameless Protestant orthodoxy. We are guided by the indwelling of the Spirit, not lovers of filthy lucre. We are slaves to no man save Christ…

…come out from among them and be free.

paul

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