Pastors…Climb Down!
by Ronald W Robey
In Luke 19, we read the story of the tax collector Zacchaeus, who was a man “of short stature”. When news had met his ears that Jesus was coming to his town, Zacchaeus went out to see Him. But the crowd was too great, and because of his diminutive stature, he could not see. So, we are told he climbed up in a sycamine tree. (Sycamore) where he could get a good view of the Saviour as he passed by that way.
Jesus saw Zacchaeus up in that tree and called him down, telling him that He wanted to eat at the house of Zacchaeus. What a thrill that must have been, and how privileged Zacchaeus must have felt that day!
When Zacchaeus received the Truth into his home, he was convicted of the unjust way he levied taxes on the citizenry of his region. He promised Jesus that if he had cheated anyone, he would repay them fourfold. For every shekel he stole, he would pay four shekels back.
Zacchaeus truly was convicted of his wrongdoing concerning robbing people through taxation.
Today, we see many Churches around the world being led by men just like the unsaved Zacchaeus of old. They rob members of their congregation by demanding a monetary tithe of them… something that God never required or authorized. Just as Zacchaeus needed a visit from the Saviour in the early first century, pastors and spiritual leaders today also need a visit from the Saviour.
Pastors need to climb down from those branches that lift them above the congregation and invite the Lord into their house, confessing to Him that they unjustly took monetary tithes of their congregations, promising the Lord to repay all those they have robbed through their man-made doctrine of the monetary tithe.
Since they have placed themselves under the Law by using the Law to teach a tithe requirement, perhaps it would be good if they made restitution as required by the Law also…
Numbers 5:6-8 Speak unto the children of Israel, When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the LORD, and that person be guilty; 7 Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed. 8 But if the man have no kinsman to recompense the trespass unto, let the trespass be recompensed unto the LORD, even to the priest; beside the ram of the atonement, whereby an atonement shall be made for him.
God could only wink at the ignorance demonstrated by Zacchaeus for so long before He had to set Zacchaeus on the straight and narrow path. Pastors and spiritual leaders are no different today. God is no respecter of persons. They also need to repent and begin preaching the truth concerning stewardship and what the Lord requires of His Church. A monetary tithe is not what God requires.
When a pastor tells his congregation that God requires of them a monetary tithe or they will be cursed, he is not presenting the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible never required a monetary tithe from anyone… not even from the Jews. And the Apostles make it clear that the Church is not under the Law. The pastor that teaches that God requires a monetary tithe is guilty of presenting a god of their own device.
Psalm 106:39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.
We cannot expect our Church to grow in truth when we allow our pastors to teach us lies from the pulpit.