A place to help people to find understanding why church tradition and experience is often quite different from the simplicity of the New Testament.
Is the phrase "go to church" ever stated in scripture?
What about Titles and building-centered assembly?
What is a 501c3 church?
These are examples of practices needing examination and we hope will provoke thought and prayer among those the Lord is stirring and calling to a deeper consecration, and we want to encourage you to "hear ye HIM".
Rory Moore came to the Lord in 1979 at the age of 28. He married Linda in 1983 and they have three children: daughter Savanah, sons Jetrey and Dustin.
For 24 years Linda and I were in our
churches "inner circle" doing almost
everything you can do in a church without turning "pro". In
24 years I served as an Assistant Pastor, Youth Leader, licensed minister,
Elder, Board member, preacher, teacher, fund raiser, altar worker,
deacon, building maintenance, counselor, visitation minister and we were
financial pillars to the church in every way via tithing, offerings, fund raisers and more. Our
personal service works included building cleaning and maintenance, construction, visitation, and much more. I guess we might be called the typical, average loyal church supporters.
We also worked closely with all of
our pastors and leadership and had many friends in ministry, in the local
church scene, and with other fellowship circles. -long before the
Linda was Choir Director for 7
years, a "special"
singer, Sunday School teacher, church secretary treasurer, fund-raiser
worker, and did many "helps". We were faithful attendees
of almost every service and function of the church. For two
decades we were among the first to arrive and were among the very last to
leave church services and were often there 2-4 hours on those days, plus staff meetings.
As the years went by, we
did not notice the progressive decline away from the
scriptures and prayer as we stayed busy with church programs, activities,
and the routine of church life. This decline occurred as our church
transitioned from a denominational Pentecostal church into a non-denominational
Evangelical Christian community church.
In 2004 in the wake of two events, a
family crisis and the passing of my dad, in my grief and sorrow, I sought
the Lord fervently and returned to regular and prayerful study of the
Bible. After "praying through" to a spiritual renewal, I asked
the Lord for deeper understanding about our tithe doctrine after noticing a
verse in Nehemiah 13:5that said the
"singers" were given tithes!
When I showed that to Pastor, he
looked at me with a funny expression on his face and mumbled a few words I
do not recall. It struck me as strange singers and doorkeepers were to
receive tithes. So I asked the Lord to show me the truth about this, and
the Lord spoke to me clearly "start reading the New
A few weeks later it came as a shock
when I realized there was no direct instruction to any Christians or
churches that they were to pay tithes!
(this was before I later discovered
that Biblical tithes were never paid in money).
I literally thought I was losing my
mind. How could everyone I knew be wrong? But I simply could not find
monetary tithing given to any church or saint in scripture as New Testament!
Mentioning this to a few others about my questions
only brought an attempt to "correct" us in the form of a surprise
visit from the pastor and other elders one Monday night. When I attempted
to question tithing in front of the elders, the subject was immediately
shut down by Pastor and no questioning church would be permitted in front of us elders.
We never dreamed of leaving our church but on Sept. 29, 2004, after an
agonizing decision, we walked away from the church we helped
to start in 1993 as founding members.
We fit the typical
middle-of-the-road Christian role models of the sincere church
going family for 24 years but we realized we had to leave the church
in order to find a renewed relationship with God all over again.
So after more than 3,500 church
services, staff meetings, revivals, and related
gatherings, we walked out into unknown territory.
It was very difficult, as not once
had we left the church before. But The Lord began to also confirm these
things in a multitude of dreams and the Scripture began to open up and we
saw things right there in the Word that nobody ever taught or mentioned,
as The Lord God became our shepherd.
As He revealed more of Himself to me, the Lord told me to "Write" and we now minister to far more
people through writing and ministering the Word of God in order to serve
others. -And we are glad to do so freely.
Writing the book, "The Tithe That
Binds" was the off-shoot of our personal study and
questioning the Lord on the subject of tithing. When the book was in the
writing stage, at one point I sought the Lord for the title as I wanted HIM to
name it. For three days we prayed for a title and on the third day, He
gave us the name of it, and He also provided a Christian publisher who worked
and gave of her time to us freely in order to publish it.
A second revised edition is forthcoming, expanded
and further building on the truths regarding what the scripture does or does
not say about monetary tithing.
At this point, we are 10 years out of
"Institutional" Christianity and enjoying fellowship with other
ministers and saints who have also come out of the system. It took us two years
of "de-churching" and un-learning what we had been taught from
men, in order to learn and be taught from God's Word. In order to learn from God we had to be willing to unlearn what we learned from men.
The Bible is a wonderful and amazing book and has
become a beacon of truth to us as we seek to do what it says rather than what
others say it says...
"Good morning and welcome everyone one, God bless you!
I am the the Senior Pastor, Dr. V.A. Nity. We are honored and privileged today to have as our special guest speaker, Bishop C.M. Proud, D.D./PhD, Chief Apostle and President of the Worldwide Association of Mainstream Ministries."
-"Thank you Dr. Nity, it is a great honor to be with you, your staff, and the congregation today .... Your Music Pastor Ken Olie and Choral Director Bobbie-Jo, did a wonderful job in the Song Service and we want to compliment Deacon Jones who worked to provide us with such generous hospitality."
What you just read takes place in an unlimited number of variations, depending upon who the players are, in pulpits around the world every Sunday morning. How quickly and easily these typical flowery introductions go in one ear and out the other of the typical pew-sitter. Incredibly, that nice introduction and response by-passed the very words of the Bible those eloquent men desire to represent.
We mind-numbed church goers just smiled, clapped, and nodded at smiling men in suits up there on the platform, some wishing deep inside they could be up there getting the accolades too. We all watched with anticipation what stirring words of profound wisdom might be forthcoming from our Titled speaker.
Little did we or anyone in the auditorium realize we had just steam-"roled" right over some admonishments of scripture!
1. Job 32:21Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. 2. Job 32:22 For I know not to give flattering titles in so doing my maker would soon take me away.
Now that is a pretty stiff uppercut to the Doctor of Divinity Bible College mills, Para-Church Ministries, card-carrying "Apostles", and Denominational hierarchies.
Do you think a man like the apostle Paul may have had those scripture verses in mind when he wrote in 1 Thess 2:5
"For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness".
As we searched for the meaning of "flattering", we found in the Hebrew, kânâh; toaddressby an additional name; hence, to eulogize: - give flattering titles, surname (himself).
According to scripture, in lauding and titling ourselves and others, we have brought harm and hurt to the Body of Christ. Prov. 29:5 says A man that flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his steps.
This simply means that the lifting up of men (and women) with titles(surnames and additions to their name) causes them to trip, i.e. stumble over God's Word. Have you seen how Jesus taught on this same subject in Matt. 23?
Rather than seeking to please the crowds, inflate their own ego, or meet their own self-esteem needs, both Jesus and the disciples utterly forsook the ego-centric outward appearances of success so common in today's church world.
Not only did we toss honorific flattering titles and positions around our churches, but we had our own well-paid prophets come around call forth great "visions" for our future to go with them.
In prophesying to old Israel we find a repeating in our day in Christianity. There seems to be no shortage of Prosperity Prophets who envision bigger barns for the church folks and bigger ministries for the titled clergy. We had ours too, and we recall the stirring prophecies foretelling us how we would soon be moving to a new building, bigger crowds, and destined for greatness. Most of it was ear-tickling and flesh-pleasing that appealed to our sense of achievement and desire for success.
"But we must "HONOR" them that labor" among us, the Bible says...... "
Are you ready once again to have your mind changed and your theology tweaked?
"Honor" is used in several forms often in the New Testament, none of which legitimatize the use of flattering titles which tend to puff up egos and enhance the perception carnal authority:
Here is a little word study from the Lexicon. G1784 valued,: - dear, more honorable, precious, in reputation. G5091
fix the value
to honour, to have in honour, to revere, venerate
G5092 a value, that is, money paid, valuables; by analogy esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself: - honour, precious, price, some. to prize, that is, fix a valuation upon; by implication to revere: - honor, value
Now you can "plug-in" the actual meaning with the general term "honor" in the verses below.
Eph 6:2Honor g5091thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), Phil 2:29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy; and hold such in honor: g1784 1Thes 4:4that each one of you know how to possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor, g5092 1Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honorg5092 and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1Tim 5:3Honor g5091 widows that are widows indeed. To"honor" has everything to do with "to prize, value, consider precious, dear", etc. in the context of Christian love, than it does to flattering titles and flowery speeches and financial reward! If your Bible is to be believed and followed, "flattering titles" have a role in causing God's people to stumble.The fact that New Testament writers and Jesus Himself never sought "glory from men", or had "respect of persons" testifies to yet another area where visible Christianity has fallen away from the humility of the Gospel.
We are not making "sin" out of the wearing of church titles. We are pointing out some scriptures that address the Titles and the motives for them. Again, read what Jesus taught about them in Matthew 23 in addition to what is here, and you will understand why some have chosen not to take titles as we minister.