Turned away over tithes
This revelation comes after watching a Government Information Service documentary on HMS Dodds prison. It was on the final episode, a young man said he belonged to a church and after he committed a crime the members of that congregation stopped speaking to him and shunned him. This was after what he termed being the musical star-boy of that church. Well here’s my story.
I, TOO, was my church’s star-boy. As the building committee chairman, I loved, and was loved by everyone – or so I thought.
Being chairperson of that committee meant that I would spearhead the buying of the land to build a church, and the initial funding to start the building of that new church.
As the chairman I took all my money and placed it into the building funds. When the time came to elect church officers for the next year though, I received a call from another church official who told me tithes were not seen from me for the year. Note, I was putting my money into the building fund, but this church teaches that regardless of how much you give to this church otherwise you still have to pay tithes.
I was of this belief, too, but given the genuine sacrifices I had made, I wanted to make sure I had done nothing wrong. So I decided to research tithing to see if what the organization was telling me now was compatible with The Bible.
What I found was that the church adopted the Levitical system of tithing. (This system supported the Levite Priests and temple activities in biblical times).
But The Bible says in Hebrews 7 that the Levitical system has been changed. I was the most disappointed person to discover my church was contradicting the Bible’s teachings. Yet the congregation was often told that our church was the only true church.
This made me check further to see where else there could be contradictions in the teachings of my church and The Bible. I intended to have all of these questions answered. As we were told that the Sabbath is the greatest commandment, I decided for the first time to check what The Bible says about this, only to read Jesus said the greatest commandment is love, Matthew 22:36, 37.
I also found out from The Bible that the Sabbath was part of the old covenant that was changed too – Jeremiah 31:31, Galatians 4:22 to 26, Romans 7:1 to 4 and 2 Corinthians 3:4–7. No wonder the reaction I got from the members for no longer keeping the Jewish Sabbath.
As I shared my extensive research with leadership and members, the leaders never showed me from The Bible where I was wrong. I was referred to a church leader’s writings for proof to keep the Sabbath, only to be told their authority for keeping it came from a dream.
How could I believe these dreams now?
This church teaches members to be prepared for persecution from Sunday churches and the Government as they will pass what they call a Sunday law, which will force Sabbath keepers to work on Sabbath, and they will be persecuted for keeping the Sabbath. In fact, they have a youth arm which is trained how to survived when Sunday worshippers and the state persecute them.
I was now seeing all of this for what it is, so I wrote my letter of resignation from the organization. Who tell me do that? I was left to be the loneliest man in the world. This organization is an exclusive one where members are restricted in a number of ways and they must see Sunday churches as fields to be evangelized.
Another aspect of this church is that they say God has appointed it as the interpreter of The Bible and bright lights will go out so no one wants to be a light that goes out.
After I left that church, my family and friends no longer called, and some members stopped speaking to me. Some I shared my research with gave disrespectful and abusive responses. I am now returning to people I once judged. Thank God they know the greatest commandment is love.