3 out of 4 stars
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“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV
Demanding that the Bible requires a tithe of money and that giving must start at 10 percent under grace shackles love and turns giving into a tax offering or membership dues. Comb the entire Bible and nowhere does God command any Hebrew, Israelite, Jew, or Gentile to pay a tithe from gold, silver, shekels, weekly or bi-weekly paychecks. Even though many Christians have convinced themselves that Israel’s economy was totally agricultural and the tithe came from their land, crops, herds and flocks, it does not mean that we do the same by paying a tithe in money because our economy is totally monetary. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway? by Dr. Frank Chase Jr., Th.D. is a nonfiction book discussing the untwisted truth about the centuries old tithes and offering deception. The information in this book comes from a wide variety of educational and research sources. All references are detailed in the book from the Bible quotations to the Greek and Hebrew references. Website links and tithing quotations from other sources are detailed in the bibliography and end notes. The author's discussions revolve around tithing, the purpose of tithing, what to tithe, how much tithe to give, who should tithe, and to whom tithes are due. It also includes the difference between freewill offerings and mandatory tithing. This book contains a heavy dose of proper exegesis, hermeneutics and scriptural research on tithing to avoid confirmation bias.
The freewill offerings and mandatory tithing remind me of sadaqah (charity) and zakat (yearly mandatory to those who are able to pay) in the Islamic faith. Muslims have no problem about these as the Qur'an and the hadiths give clear instructions. As for the Christians, most Bible teachers create extra-biblical instructions along with taking Scripture out of context to amass financial support. Here's an excerpt from this book: "Requests for fifty-dollar seeds, hundred-dollar seeds or thousand dollar seeds are heralded from pulpits with promises of great blessings." Other than that, the money from the collections are used for the ministry's personal gain - salary, electricity bills, church upkeep, and support ministry costs which could have been asked from freewill offerings not from mandatory tithes.
I agree with the all the things written in this book other than this: "This was a type and shadow of God sacrificing His Son, Yeshua, (Jesus) on the cross to clothe us in righteousness through a blood sacrifice." I was born and raised with this teaching in mind. I believe in this blind faith until I was 29 years old. In Islam this is blasphemy. Jesus (peace be upon him) is one of the prophets and there is only One God, Allah. If Jesus (peace be upon him) was His only son sacrificed to pay for our sins and to grant all people's salvation, wouldn't that be enough to guarantee us all heaven in the hereafter? Was the sacrifice not enough? Why are there still evil in the land? Why are we still tested? Why is heaven still elusive for us all?
Refuting unsound tithe doctrines and teachings is not that hard to do. It requires study, thorough research, reading between the lines and reasoning skills. I admire the author for the well-researched and detailed presentation of the truth in a conversational tone which hopefully opens the reader's mind before being pickpocketed spiritually and financially. This book can save the readers from an elaborate hoax, i.e. hijacking Scripture for personal gain.
I found more than 10 errors ranging from spelling, random capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. I suggest better layout for this book, too. It would have been better if titles are in bold fonts and separated by a space before the contents. This made me rate Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway? by Dr. Frank Chase Jr., Th.D. 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to all Christians especially to those who would like to know everything about tithing. However, those who easily get bored with lengthy read and few redundant contents will find this book boring. Anyway, give to your heart's content in charity without any limit, but from the money tithes, grip your wallet and run for your financial life.
Kleptomaniac: Who's Really Robbing God Anyway?
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