Back in the 1970’s, I worked as an assistant animal trainer with a circus that traveled up and down the East Coast. It always amazed me to watch the elephants swaying back and forth under the sideshow tent. What was to prevent them from running out of the tent and trampling the crowds out on the midway? It was nothing more than a chain attached on one end to one of the elephant’s back legs and on the other end to a stake in the ground.

The adult elephants wore the same size chain as the young baby elephants and could have pulled the stakes out of the ground with ease. And yet, in my four years of working with the circus, not one of the adult elephants ever tried to escape the chain that could have easily been snapped should they give the slightest pull. Why did they not try to escape, you may ask?

Because they were conditioned to believe they could not escape… brainwashed, if you will into believing that the chain that bound their feet was stronger than they were.

There is a principle that says, “If you tell a lie often enough, people will begin to believe it to be true”. The elephant and his chain is a perfect example of that principle. The chain is put on an elephant when it is still very young. As a youth, the elephant is not as docile as the adult. It will often pull on the chain in an attempt to free itself, yet it is not quite strong enough to pull the stake out of the ground or to break the chain. Over a period of time, and after many failed attempts to free itself, the elephant resigns itself to bondage because he gives in to the thought that no matter what, he cannot free himself from that chain.

And so, though he may grow from an infant of one hundred-sixty-nine pounds to an adult of six tons, he believes that he can never be free from that chain. So it is with many who have been taught the monetary tithe requirement doctrine for years and years. They have been told the lie long enough that, like the elephant and his chain, they have been conditioned to believe that tithing of their money is a mandatory requirement handed down to the Church by God Himself. Many have heard the lie so often, that whenever it crosses their minds, (often during seasons of financial distress) they believe the Holy Spirit is telling them that they must tithe their money to the Church.

And yet, if the Christian would only pick up his or her Bible and study all instances of tithing in it, that Christian would find that God never authorized the Church to receive a monetary tithe from her members. The monetary tithe is a doctrine that was invented long after the last book of the Holy Bible was penned. The monetary tithe doctrine is an invention of man, not ordained or authorized by God at all.

The only Scriptural commands concerning tithing are found in the dispensation of the Mosaic Law. Those commands all show that the tithes that God required were agricultural in nature; i.e., crops, flocks and herds. (see Leviticus 27:30-33; Deuteronomy 12:17; Deuteronomy 14:22-29; Deuteronomy 26:12; 2 Chronicles 31:5-6, 12; Malachi 3:7-11, Matthew 23:23 & Luke 11:42)

The only time in Scripture that God demanded tithes was during the dispensation of the Mosaic Law, and then it was only required of the children of Israel. No other nation was ever commanded by God to tithe in His Word. (see Leviticus 27:34; Numbers 18:24,26,28; Nehemiah 10:37-38; Hebrews 7:5-8 )

Pastors today have no Scriptural justification for preaching their flock must tithe their money to the Church. God never authorized such a doctrine in His Word. Pastors need to stick with what the Word of God says instead of teaching what it does not say. Many pastors teach the monetary tithe doctrine out of pure ignorance of what the Word of God actually says concerning tithing. They were, like their congregations, taught that God requires a tithe from the moment they were saved. They were conditioned to believe, and later preach, a lie.

Still other pastors know the truth about tithing, but because of a deceitful heart, they preach the lie out of greed and for self-gratification.

Saints, I encourage you to be as the Berean’s in Paul’s day. Don’t just accept the words being preached in the pulpit. Don’t just accept the lie that you have heard ever since you was a babe in Christ. Search the Scriptures daily to see if what your pastor is teaching or preaching, what you have been taught, is so. Compare the sermon with what the Word of God says. God’s Word is the only sound doctrine that is nourishment for your soul.