The armed robber takes your cash from you with a gun in his hand: the pastor takes your cash by brandishing a bible.
Jesus berated the mercenary religious leaders of biblical days. He instructed them: “‘it’s written, my home shall be called a house of prayer,’ however you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” (Matthew 21:thirteen).
This word continues to be pertinent to pastors in the church buildings of lately. They give you all forms of schemes designed to squeeze money out of their church-participants. They search the scriptures, on the lookout for quotable prices that can be used to make merchandise of guys. some of their favourites are these scriptures coping with giving first-fruits to priests.
Fleecing the flock
those months with names ending with “ember” in English are occasionally known as the “ember” months. These embody September, October, November and December. Strictly-talking, October does no longer match this invoice; in any other case it might had been called “Octoember.” nevertheless, it is standard also to incorporate it as some of the “ember” months.
In these months, there’s a certain change of emphasis in the messages preached by way of pastors in lots of today’s new era church buildings. you probably have been paying attention, you would have noticed this already. in the “ember” months, pastors begin to talk many times about the wish to give “first-fruits;” laying down the muse for an incredible theft robotically planned for January.
in the old testomony, first-fruits were required to take delivery of to priests. Ezekiel says: “one of the best of all of the first-fruits and of your entire different presents will belong to the priests.” (Ezekiel 44:30). This scripture is seized on through as of late’s money-grubbing pastors who now insist that the “first-fruits” of all of the participants of their congregation must be exceeded over to them.
this is disingenuous as a result of, in the New testament, there’s actually no longer an unique priesthood. instead, Jesus has made all believers: “kings and monks to our God.” (Revelation 5:10). but this fact is conveniently left out by means of nowadays’s first-fruits collectors.
First-fruits were given to monks as a result of they were not allowed to own landed-property in Israel. God said: “i’m to be the one inheritance the priests have. you’re to present them no possession in Israel; I might be their possession.” (Ezekiel forty four:28-29).
however, the pastors of these days are males of way and property owners. in no way in any way do they match the bill of a individuals with out inheritance who most effective have God as their possession. certainly, some of nowadays’s mega-pastors are multi-millionaires who drive around with bodyguards in a cortege of Jeeps and even fly round in non-public jets.
Fruits of money
as the word signifies, first-fruits were strictly-speaking agricultural produce. Moses says: “the first of the first-fruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God.” (Exodus 23:19). This displays first-fruits had been vegetation. certainly, money was once by no means regarded as first-fruit in the bible; neither was it ever paid as such.
then again, lately’s pastors would not to find it funny in the event you were to carry your first-fruits to them in bananas or pineapples. First-fruits are actually only acceptable in cash or cheque. for those who ask why, don’t be shocked if you’re instructed that: “money is the answer to the whole thing.” (Ecclesiastes 10:19).
Scripturally, first-fruits have been best required from Jews residing in Israel because God gave them their land. First-fruits were inapplicable to Israelites dwelling in overseas lands. This additionally means first-fruits are inapplicable to these days’s Christians who are mostly non-Israelis and don’t reside in Israel. nevertheless, pastors hoodwink Christians by claiming there are unique benefits attendant upon giving first-fruits to pastors anyplace.
In biblical days, first-fruits weren’t required from these in non-agrarian trades, such as carpenters or fishermen as a result of these professions weren’t tied to the land. on the other hand, today’s opportunist pastors acquire first-fruits from any one and every person.
It must be clear from the foregoing therefore that pastors who insist on amassing first-fruits in the churches of today are nothing but thieves and robbers. The armed robber takes your cash from you with a gun in his hand: the pastor takes your money through brandishing a bible.
It used to be the case that first-fruits have been defined as a Christian’s first revenue after leaving school and securing gainful employment. but some pastors quickly realised that this most effective gives them the fitting to a Christian’s cash once in a lifetime. subsequently, this soon become insufficient, resulting in more ingenious and more financially rewarding biblical “revelations” about first-fruits.
Many pastors now insist that since the January cash is the primary within the 12 months, it legally falls below the definition of first-fruits. therefore, they now require that every one church-goers hand over to them their entire January salaries in the identify of first-fruits. This makes the primary-fruits boon a long way extra winning than the tithe; which is just a tenth of the Christian’s earnings. moreover, the tithe is nominally given to “the church.” The “first-fruits” is a far more profitable scam because the cash is specifically addressed to the pastor.
If this “godliness” is taught effectively, a pastor can make a bundle of cash originally of annually. just do the mathematics. imagine a situation where the pastor gets the January income of each single member of his congregation. depending on the dimensions of his church, he can get in one bonanza enough money to final him a lifetime. Is it any surprise, due to this fact, that pastors are very zealous in preaching about first-fruits in the “ember” months?
Many even refuse to be limited to their churches. flip onto Christian television such because the Trinity Broadcasting community in the “ember” months, and you’re prone to in finding Paula White or Steve Munsey extolling the benefits of giving first-fruits. after all, the primary-fruits need to be sent to them and to no one else.
In one in every of Nigeria’s big churches with a large department-community, the pastors have been making a killing collecting first-fruits. but one in all them used the money to place up a church constructing. This went a long approach to endear him to his congregants. different pastors who had nothing to point out for the primary-fruits they accumulated changed into involved that the pastor would soon convey them into disrepute. in order that they decided to take “acceptable” action.
They stated him to the general Overseer of the church. His transgression was that he put up a complete church constructing single-handedly. So doing, they claimed, he avoided others from getting blessed through no longer taking contributions from them. the final Overseer puzzled where he got the money to erect the whole building by using himself. so that they informed him the cash came from the primary-fruits he accrued from his church-individuals.
the overall Overseer changed into much more curious. simply how so much first-fruit were these pastors gathering? He was astonished to discover the sums involved. It used to be unacceptable that such lucrative trade was taking place in his church buildings without due popularity for his position. therefore, he fired a memo to all his parishes: henceforth, all first-fruits should be forwarded intact to headquarters.
then again, his memo backfired. Thereafter, his subordinate pastors relatively misplaced all interest in gathering first-fruits. “Let everyone shout hallelujah.”
“they’re grasping canines which never have enough. And they’re pastors who can’t bear in mind; all of them seem to be to their very own means, one and all for his own achieve, from his own territory.” (Isaiah fifty six:11).