Thursday, May 27, 2010


Tomorrow marks fifty-one years of marriage for Mary and me. We're celebrating by taking a pistol lesson together at the firing range. [seriously] We both have pistols but have never really learned to use them. This is NOT in case we get mad at each other in the coming year. [Joking]

When I think of fifty-one years of marriage It's apparent to me the key element in it has to be "God's Grace" because nothing else could explain Mary's ability to hang around someone like me. But it HAS become a gracious thing though not without it's continuing trials and learning experiences.

But were I to try to adequately say what I feel about Mary I would not be able to find the words and that's unusual for me since I'm something of a wordsmith.

C. S. Lewis, about a month after he lost wife to cancer, began writing a journal which became the basis for his book entitled, A Grief Observed. His eulogy for his wife, later put in the book, describes what I would call a truly grace-filled marriage. (p. 39) He wrote it upon the death of his wife but it speaks words I feel about Mary as we celebrate our fifty-first year and we're still together.

C.S. Lewis said...

"For a good wife contains so many persons in herself. What was [his wife's name] not to me? She was my daughter and my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my sovereign; and always, holding all these in solution, my trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow-soldier. My mistress; but at the same time all that any man friend (and I have good ones) has ever been to me. Even more. If we had never fallen in love we should have none the less been always together, and created scandal by being so."

You will notice the utter inability even C.S Lewis had in stating what his wife was to him since she was everything imaginable. I know the inability.

I will only add two things to conclude.

One is Mary and I have conquered the concept someone called the "stirring of the oatmeal" principle. That's just the idea that some people are able to find together the remarkable ability to transform little mundane events or moments into ones that are enjoyable, stimulating, memorable and just plain fun. What's more mundane than stirring oatmeal unless you discover something unique in it for the two of you? WE DO.

The other is Mary and I have learned to alter an old cliche, "familiarity breeds contempt," into one that says "familiarity breeds respect." So that in the sharing of thoughts, ideas, concerns, [familiarity] respect is learned. It is also learned in shared joys and sorrows and in the struggle to understand each other. Two people CAN, after all, live in the same house for decades without ever being present for each other REALLY. Without ever experiencing a joining or linking of thoughts and feelings, longings and fear, or sharing their failures honestly.

But to be close enough to experience all these things together will soon prove that true respect is NOT saccharine sentimentalism at all. It IS strong stuff. So strong that it is even learned and finds it's way into each person for the other through constructive conflict which is the growing edge of any relationship.

It is because of this respect that wounds can come and hurt for a while but..there will always be that long walk genuine respect and safety.

It takes forever [how about at least fifty-one years!!] for this to become reality. Especially between two people as different as daylight and dark as are we. But we are two people who are learning to walk in true respect and love. I'm glad I'm doing it with you Babe.

Happy fifty-first beautiful. I love you. I'm glad we married because that scandal we would have created had we not married would have hampered our lives a bit I'll bet.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I'm posting, with permission, an entire post that demands an audience. I want my small readership to be a part of that group that is blessed by the writings of Dr. David Black. This is his essay written on 9/13/07 on his website you will find here..

Dr. Black is currently Professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He has also taught courses at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Lancaster Bible College, Fuller Theological Seminary and a host of other places. He is a husband, father, missionary, teacher, and, as you will see, a writer of note.. I wrote and asked his permission to post this in it's entirety. He answered with an e-mail that said this...

Brother Paul,

Be honored.

Warmest regards,


For those who read Wade's blog this is a testimony to the truth of the post Wade wrote about men who have truly earned their degrees. Now enjoy.

Who Is Head of Your Church?

David Alan Black

Leadership has become an issue in the church today. This ethics of leadership has social and political implications as well as ecclesiological ones. It is not a matter of church eldership per se. No one doubts the necessity for qualified leaders in a congregation. It is the manner and means of leadership that is under dispute. (A similar question may be posed of the classroom: Is the teacher the authoritative and unchallengeable dispenser of truth, or the wise and humble facilitator of learning? This question cannot be treated here.)

It is the attitude of power, of control, of rigidity, of unassailability (no one dare point out the weaknesses of the leader though there may be many) that is under scrutiny. Wherever Christ reigns as Head and Chief Shepherd the instruments of power are devalued and scope is given for freedom. This is possible, however, only if there is true biblical Headship – only when Christ is revered as the Senior Pastor and Leader. Thus, while the movement toward a plurality of co-equal elders in our churches is a step in the right direction, it does not go far enough. True mutuality of leadership is belied whenever we speak of “Dr. So-and-So’s church” (you fill in the blank with the name of your favorite pastor). I am not saying that most pastors would desire ever to have their congregations so closely identified with one man. Yet who can deny this is happening? What we are to do in our churches is rather to manifest the reality of Christ in a way that incarnates His sole Headship, so that in all things (including perhaps such mundane things as church letterheads and marquees) He and He alone might have the preeminence (Col. 1:18).

The issue, then, is one of Lordship. Lordship is strictly a mark of the distance between us and the Lord, yet it is also paradoxically the guarantee of proximity. It is purification from the stain of pride that marks our pulpit- and program-centered churches. If we are to be true to Christ, we can no longer exult a human leader, just as we cannot serve two masters. Now, Christ’s Headship remains the same throughout events. He is and remains undeniably the only Lord of the church. But does it show? Is it evident? Not only in our humble and approachable demeanor, but in our ecclesiastical structures and titles and programs? In other words, we cannot claim to follow Jesus as Lord and not seek intentionally to acknowledge Him as such. Indeed, we can do many things that prevent Christ’s Lordship from manifesting itself. Does this suppress His Lordship? Not at all, but it prevents it from being lived out by men.

Perhaps Christ’s Headship will become more and more visible in our churches as the church becomes more and more persecuted. Sunday believers will fall by the wayside. Being a pastor will no longer be profitable or popular. There is often a strict reciprocity between suffering and humility. We suffer, and God makes free. Reciprocally, where there is little cost, there is little love. The wrestling of Jacob, Job, and Abraham brought them into a new view of God and themselves. It enabled them to place their hope in the living God, just as our hope today rests squarely in the victory of Jesus. By destroying the powers, Jesus removes the hubris, the anthropocentricity. We are free to be enslaved to our rightful Master. Power need no longer come into play. There is now one Lord as well as one faith and one baptism. In faith we accept our High Priest, the Overseer and Shepherd of our souls. In faith we bow the knee. In faith we bear witness to Him.

There are no longer any illusions about power.

As an aside, I read where Dr. Black was asked about his priorities. Here is that exchange.

"Finally, what are your greatest priorities in life?"

"That’s easy:

A..Spend time with God daily.

B..Love, honor, and serve my wife and family.

C..Strive for excellence in all I do.

D..Leave past failures (and successes) behind.

E..Say "No" to things that are not essential to fulfilling my ministry goals.

F..Face life with a joyful attitude."

All I can say is...May God increase the tribe of this kind of Professors of Greek and New Testament [or any other discipline] in Southern Baptist Seminaries.

Paul B.

Friday, May 21, 2010


There are two views Christians hold to about when life begins and ends that I've read recently that could give people pause as to which is biblically correct. One is a biological concept that suggests that life goes from conception to death. It would be difficult for this group to hold to "brain dead" [no brain activity] as the definition of when life ends since to apply the same to the beginning of life would mean that there is no life until brain activity is present. One would have to accept a "brain birth" AND "brain death" concept, as one person I read called it, to be consistent. That would, of course, effectively rule out a "conception to death" view of life.

The other view about when life begins and ends is defined by the beginning and ending of mental capacity. This view holds that to remove a fetus before a mental state begins is morally different than taking a life by interrupting mental life. [Murder] This view can legitimately hold to the "brain dead" end of life theory but finds it hard to decide when that true mental state begins. So it's just plain difficult for them to define the beginning of life. Two views, two concepts, both rational and thoughtful. But which is correct? Which is biblical?

Some people argue for the first view from the biblical materials. For example, Luke 1:41 says, "And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." This shows, the "conception to death" group says, that in the womb a baby has life. The mental state group, however, uses the same verse and says that at some point the child does come alive with brain activity while in the womb, just no proof biblically it's at conception.

Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and ...Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet..." The first view takes this as a conclusive statement that life begins at conception. The second group says.."not so fast my does not rule out a time in the womb that brain activity begins but there is no definitive time as to WHEN it does. Therefore life and death could be be connected to mental states even biblically."

Well you see the problem. So when talking about abortion we really are faced with some besetting problems. Then there is the modern language that tries to connect life to "viability" or "quality" of life. That might be OK as long as the quality is spoken of in biblical terms of "sacred." Biblically all human life is sacred and is to be handled accordingly.

So, what is my view on these things? I would say the thing my brother-in-law told me when we went elk hunting last November would be a wise thing to remember. Tommy said, as he left me in a concealed spot to wait quietly, "If in doubt don't shoot." In other words..if I didn't know what I was seeing for sure, it would be better to not shoot at all. It could be some thing other than an elk.

Since there is a legitimate question as to when life begins it would be wise to NOT abort without strong moral reasons, such as the life of the mother at stake, since you could be taking the life of a sacred human being. Some would say there ARE NO moral reasons for doing so ..ever.

But when it comes to the LEGAL [abortion laws] side of this issue there are other questions to be asked by Christians that give me some pause as well. I'll attempt to speak to this next time.

Paul B.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I've made it a practice through the years to pray for and communicate with many of the missionaries we have serving under SBC entities around our country and world. One such missionary goes under the blog name 'Stepchild.' His posts are always interesting, sometimes off the wall, and always instructive.

This one I especially like. It has a thought nuance about the gospel I find interesting to say the very least. It is so good I want my few readers to see and enjoy it too. Thanks Stepchild.

"Oftentimes, our modern need to be right can lead us to put the gospel in the box of our apologetic. The problem with doing this is that we can miss the implications of the gospel. We ignore what it can mean for what we’re sure it must mean.

A good example of this is our use of John 14:6 to underscore the exclusivity of Jesus as savior. He claims to be the way, the truth, and the life; we tend to add emphasis to the 'the.' We want everyone to know that Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only life.

The problem is that in our efforts to underscore this universal truth (and it is, no doubt, universally true), we loose some of the “good news” found within. The good news isn’t that Jesus is the only way, but that there is a way at all. That in God’s grace and beautiful plan, He provided a way for us to see and to know Him. For those who have tried to reach God through the many “ways” that the world offers, to anyone who has no hope that such a way even exists, this is truly good news!

That Jesus is the only way, that’s actually the “bad news” side of the gospel. It’s the truth that our idols don’t, won’t, and can’t save us. It’s the offensive, stumbling block that makes many rich young rulers turn and go away sad.

My question is this: Are we so focused on communicating the exclusivity of Jesus that we fail to communicate the amazing truth that there is a Way at all? Yes, Jesus is the only way; but by starting the conversation with this, are we insuring that people don’t hear that He is A way to God?

Are we so afraid of syncretism (people trying to fit Jesus into their own pagan frameworks) that we err on the side of sabotaging the effective communication of the gospel?"

Worth the read don't you think? Again, thanks Stepchild.

Paul B.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Most of you are somewhat aware of the Southern Baptist IMB [International Missions Board] controversy that heavily involved our son Wade Burleson over the past five years or so. That controversy eventually led to his resignation as a board member as you know I'm sure.

I have no desire to go into the causes or details of the controversy but do need to remind you of it to set the stage for what someone has said that I want you to hear. That someone is a person who comments as "Christiane." I can only assume that is her real name as I do not know her at all. But, according to her comments, she is Roman Catholic and, as such, has taken a degree of verbal abuse as a result of some who doubt her genuineness as a true believer and believe they are, therefore, responsible to give her the gospel.

I must say, she has heard the gospel [Some efforts were blatantly manipulative and false in my judgment.] more times than I can count as I've read the blogs and, in fact, she's shared a message of Christ herself quite well. I have no desire to try to ascertain the genuineness of her faith however. I will leave that to the Lord who is the only one who knows the heart.

Another friend, Debbie Kaufman, wrote on her blog a post attempting to deal with the nastiness of some who attack those with whom they disagree and the pain they cause some people. She mentioned specifically Wade Burleson, Dr Klouda a former Professor at SWBTS, and Dwight McKissic and then asked "where are they now that they've been so maligned? They are certainly not in leadership positions unfortunately for all of us." Debbie was certainly expressing some of my own feelings about that subject when she wrote those words.

Christiane responded with a comment that I've asked permission to share with you. It is only a portion of the comment but is worth the reading. I encourage you to listen to her words carefully. They are potent spiritually. Here's what she said in part...

"It isn’t about who’s ‘recognized by the world’. It’s about who you can count on when you need to have someone to ‘bear your burdens’ and help you. It wasn’t about the ruler that condemned Our Lord to the cross, it was about the man who carried the Cross when Jesus fell. It’s not about the ‘powerful’, or the ‘leaders’, it’s all about who you can go to and count on when you need their help.

Where is Wade now? He is the one people turn to for help when they are fearful for their friends. In the Kingdom that makes him a great servant of Lord Christ. In the Church people sometimes get a little bit lost about ‘who is important and who is recognized.' But when the burdens become too heavy to bear, the ones they turn to are ‘where Wade is now’, the servants of the Lord and His people, the most trusted of the keepers of the Royal Law. That’s where Wade is now. Not a bad place to be in THIS world, Debbie. So don’t despair. God brings much good forth in the midst of trouble. You can be at peace."

I would say that is worth all of us remembering. It captures a truth of the Kingdom that is missing in much of the discussion in blogland. My friend Debbie and I still share a disgust about the nastiness of some, but we're reminded to view it and measure it differently with Kingdom eyes. Thanks, Christiane, for the reminder.

Paul B.

Friday, May 07, 2010


Facebook is a social networking phenomenon that you are familiar with I'm sure. One aspect of facebook is the ability to join groups with a particular interest or concern. I've joined the "Stop the hate directed at President Obama and his family" group along with many others. Why would I do this?

Before I answer let me give some background. As a citizen of this country I excercised my right/privilege to vote for the candidate of my choice. I did not vote for President Obama. The simple reason was I disagreed with some of his major policy proposals. If someone even hints that it was racial they are showing total ignorance of me personally besides showing their own prejudices. In fact, my personal choice would have been Condoleesa Rice as President of this country. I think she has more character, political wisdom, and perception of proper diplomacy than anyone I have seen in some time.

I expressed my views on occasion which is the right/responsibility of every citizen regardless of political party, particular race or religious creed. It is the American thing to do. It's called being a good citizen. But the race for President is over. I lost my vote but found who my President is going to be. My President is Barach Hussain Obama. His wife is Michelle Obama and their daughters are Sasha and Malia Obama. Some of those same policies with which I disagreed are now being debated and even passed. It's called political life in America.

Now I speak as a Christian not just as a citizen. Being a Christian gives me a personal perspective that not all citizens of this country share. You see I am now more concerned with people as people than as politicians or office holders or even their policies. There will come a time when I will again express by ballot my potitical views and it could be a vote for someone other than my present President. But now I view him in a different perspective because of my allegiance to Jesus Christ as Lord of my life. This places President Obama as a man [and his family] for whom I will genuinely express my love and will pray for on a regular basis.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 records Paul telling Timothy [under inspiration] to pray for.."all men; for Kings [Presidents] and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." Earlier he had said the "end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart" so if I understand what Paul is saying correctly, my life [As Timothy's] is to reflect genuine love that results in real prayer for people, including in context, those who are leaders in the government over us. My allegiance To Jesus as Lord of my life mentioned earlier will, therefore, mandate that my attitude toward the person I did NOT vote for be one of love and prayerful interest regularly. So be it. Besides, I've found that love and hate CANNOT flow from the same heart and I've also found that you will love, not hate, ANYONE for whom you genuinely pray.

A final word on why I joined such a group as this. I joined this kind of group when George Bush was President too. I loved/love President Bush, his wife Laura and his daughters. I prayed/pray for him in the same fashion.

My prayer for peace, honesty and godliness hasn't always been granted the way I had hoped under President Bush nor under President Obama. But since my confidence is in the One who knows the end from the beginning and who understands real peace and godliness, I will trust that in His time He will do His will with regards to such things. I DO know, however, His will for me is that I not only join a group to "Stop the hate toward President Obama and his family," but that I stop it in my heart first whether the person is a President or even happens to be named Bush or Obama.

I read this on some one else's blog. I've slightly adapted it for use here...

Dear Lord Jesus, This morning I pray for Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Malia and Sasha Obama to come to know you if they don’t already. I pray that President Obama would become the best President this nation has ever known. Guide him, protect him and help him to seek your wisdom and guidance as he faces difficult issues. I pray for his cabinet and administration and for every decision he will make for my country today. My confidence is not in Presidents or leaders but my trust is in you. Amen.

Paul B.

Monday, May 03, 2010


You are aware, I'm sure, that I'm into dealing with the need of civility among Christians when disagreeing over biblical issues. Today I'm posting an article that was written on December 13th, 2009 by a Dr. Frank Chase who was resigning from a position of leadership in his church because of his coming to a position about grace giving, rather than the tithe, being the New Covenant standard of giving for all Christians. This, because the tithe WAS the officially accepted standard for leaders by his church. Notice the SPIRIT of civility he demonstrates as he does so. His theology isn't bad either by the way, though at a minor point or two I might disagree.

I've SLIGHTLY adapted it because of length.


Dear Pastor;

Grace, Mercy and Peace be unto you on this day of our Lord. Several weeks and months ago, you were informed of my theological shift from tithing to grace giving. After 30 years of tithing and pondering this matter in my heart and studying both camps who argue for and against tithing, I told you of my personal decision. Since that time, I have been buried in study about this topic and have concluded that the tithe teaching lacks scholarship and cannot be biblically proven in the New Covenant beyond a shadow of doubt. The tithe teachers in the body of Christ who force or mandate tithing would not withstand a cross-examination on a witness stand by a counsel of scholars, Elders and theologians who have studied to show themselves approved and rightly divided the Word of Truth.

Because of my position on this matter, I realize that it has created some conflict and probably more so to the bottom line of the church. Certainly, I am aware of that. But because of my conviction, study and the Holy Spirit, I can never return to tithing under the dispensation of Grace we now live in. Again, my thoughts and heart have changed because of revealed truth. The journey to find truth on this matter started 30 years ago. I must admit that I am overjoyed the Holy Spirit can and does teach you when you seek the truth from your heart.

Because tithing is no longer my position, it is unethical for me to continue in ministry and leadership. Based on your teaching and position that leaders in your church must tithe, it is unethical for you to keep me in leadership. As I have told you in the past, if I become a hindrance to you or your church and the doctrines you set forth, I would withdraw myself from all functions and duties of leadership. As a result, I requested to be put on Sabbatical until we came to a conclusion of this matter. Over the ongoing weeks and months, I've come to the realization that an impenetrable impasse is blocking this matter from being solved.Now after six months, I now realize through prayer and great trepidation that my time at XXX Church has come to an end because of forced tithing methods.

When I decided to change my theology on tithing, I did it with knowledge that I would be at odds with much of the Christian community who are simply ignorant of the biblical and secular history, the land, the language, and the literature of the Jewish Levites and Priests for whom tithing was established in the Old Testament financial system because they had no land inheritance in Canaan.

When I disagreed with you, I did it in the spirit of the Berean Jews who, with great respect for Paul, did not accept Paul's message right away but choose to search the scriptures to see if what he said was true. Since I've been on sabbatical, I've searched the scriptures, read books, examined history on this tithing issue and have found that tithe teaching as propagandized in the Body of Christ today is categorically unscriptural and is tantamount to spiritual and financial extortion akin to mafia tactics. Since I do not agree with tithing, I cannot in good conscience continue to exist at XXX Church knowing that a major difference exists between you and I on this issue. After 30 thirty years of being deceived, here are my thoughts to the body of Christ.

My purpose for changing my mind goes to the core of a metateneo (The greek word for Repent) experience. In the spirit of the Jewish Rabbi/Student relationship, my shift also represents what most Jewish Rabbis taught their students and that is the practice of learning how to challenge, debate and argue well with their Rabbi on Torah issues. A student who never questions what their Rabbi says would not be considered an excellent student. In the spirit of my Jewish Savior Yeshua, I've entered this debate because this is how Jews studied and how teaching was done. By me offering my points and your offering your counter points over the bully pulpit, we will both learn more truth on this subject.

As it stands today, you and I have come down on opposite sides of this argument. In my mind that is OK among theologians. As you continue to read, know that my thoughts on this issue are only directed at the doctrine of tithing and the lack of study by those who try to teach something they have never given serious study.

In all, this situation is not so strange. It reminds me of the incident in Acts 15: 36-41 when Barnabas and Paul came into sharp dispute over the reliability of John who is also called Mark. Because of the appearance of our sharp disagreement about grace giving in the New Covenant vs. mandatory tithing under the Law of Moses in the Old Covenant, it is proper etiquette that we part company like Paul and Banarbas for now in the interest of peace and as Hebrews 12:14-15 says: 14Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.

I know people will say, tithing was before the law, but the people also need to know that Abraham was not commanded to give it, and what he tithed came from the spoils of war. Plus he was already made rich based on a promise God made to him not because God commanded him to tithe. There is no biblical record that Abraham tithed any of his personal wealth and the nail in the coffin is that the Bible records that he only tithed once and no other text records he ever tithed again. Using Abraham as proof text is somewhat weak to build a foundation of tithing for the New Covenant.

I know people will say that tithing is an expression of devotion by sincere people but the fact remains, it is still a ceremonial law and an ordinance that was nailed to the Cross. Therefore tithing is low-realm, obsolete and defunct and the pontificators of tithing ultimately introduce weakness and confusion in the minds of believers.

Let me make myself perfectly clear. If a person of their free will decides to give a percentage of their income then of course that is their decision based on Grace and not out of fear of a curse ripped from a text and given new meaning. But as soon as giving is called a tithe that's mandated, forced, or becomes a requirement based on Malachi chapter three or Matthew chapter 23 or some other dubious implied command from the Bible, it represents poor hermeneutics and sloppy exegesis. None of the epistles or letters written by the Apostles instructed or exhorted New Covenant believers to tithe, not as a law, a principle or even as a voluntary practice. Saying we've been blessed by tithing does not make it true Biblically. We are blessed because of the New Covenant Principles of giving, not paying tithes.

In the Old Testament tithing is compulsory and does not translate to grace giving under the New Covenant. The tithe teachers throughout history have taught tithing on a weak foundation of proof text or proof texting methodology. By definition and the verses, I've heard used to extract tithes from people using slick fund raising techniques over my 30 years do not understand that, "a proof text is a verse or short passage from the Bible used by someone as part of his/her proof for a doctrinal belief he wishes to substantiate to others. However, since verses and passages may rely extensively on the context in which they appear for correct interpretation, pulling these verses out their context and having them stand alone in "proof" can at times be very misleading.

In addition, a set of such proof texts can completely ignore other passages which, if added to the mix, might well lead to an entire different conclusion. Someone who relies strongly only on a list of proof texts in order to make a doctrinal argument may have a very weak case for his argument. Noting that a religious teacher relies heavily on proof texting is viewed in theological circles as very negative in evaluation." For example, after my examination Malachi 3:10 and reading the whole book in its context, the infamous verse used by many to support their tithing position fail to realize this book is not talking to or suggesting any Gentile or New Covenant believer to tithe but it speaks only to certain Israelites in the promised land.

Even if tithing was actually commanded in the New Covenant (Which it is not), how can anyone teach 10 percent and not teach the other 20 percent outlined under the law. I bet no leader in Today's church would demand 30 percent of people's income and then ask for a free will offering to boot. In fact, if we follow this logic, to obey any part of the law and not do all of it, we are guilty and accountable for all it. For tithe teachers to prove a doctrinal point, proof text methodology is essential because it allows them to ignore the context of the whole book or chapter.

According to the Jewish Mishnah and the Tulmad writers, tithes were always defined as everything eatable (food), and everything that was stored up or that grew out of the earth. In the Old Testament money was not a titheable commodity only crops, produce and cattle. For 1600 years after the tithe was established it remained a food item up to Mat 23:23 of Jesus' time. And upon careful examination, the Pharisees extended the tithe of the Mosaic Law in the Tulmad to include spices of anise, cumin, and mint, which was never a part of the original Law of Moses or the first five books of the Bible.

You did agree that since the New Covenant standards are higher than the Old Covenant and if you ever accepted grace giving, the minimum standard would be ten percent at the start. In the final analysis, I would have to reject that as incorrect because after Calvary there is no biblical text to support any exact percentage as at starting point in the New Testament. The principle of interpreting New Covenant Giving starting at ten percent sounds good, but it is pure assumption. The New Covenant is filled with "free-will giving principles only. Because of that, giving could range from 0 to 100 percent based on what a person has, not what a person does not have; not under compulsion or reluctantly but by ability and by the Holy Spirit's prompting.

After thirty years of tithing, my heart aches at the carnage of mixed messages the tithe teaching Community has left behind and the many shattered lives and new converts who will be damaged by this grace less teaching in the future.
As I continue in search for truth, I submit this resignation with no malice because I know that tithe teachers need forgiveness too for they know not what they do. For we all are in need of the Grace of God when disputes arise.

Dr. Frank Chase


Paul B.