Tithing (Questions and Answers) - RR145C6

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Tithing (Questions and Answers)
Course: Course - Christian Resistance and Tools of Dominion
Subject: Subject:Christian Reconstruction
Lesson#: 6
Length: 1:20:25
TapeCode: RR145C6
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Christian Resistance and Tools of Dominion.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.

[Dr. Rushdoony] The subject of tithing of course is related to the Sabbath. Because the Sabbath is a tithe of time. Except that when we come to tithing time, we give more than a tenth. We tithe one day in seven to the Lord. We rest in Him. And we tithe one year in seven in terms of the Biblical pattern. The principal of the tithe is the principal of the first fruits. As Paul says in Romans 11:16. For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy. And if the root be holy, so are the branches.

Hence, the Lord required that the first fruit be redeemed, or the first-born be redeemed. In Exodus 34:20, in Numbers 3:1-13 and 44-51. Again in Numbers 8:18. The firstborn of men and animals were to be rescued from death and given to the Lord. If they were not given to the Lord, or redeemed from the Lord with a payment, they were to be killed. The first fruit represents the totality. So that when God brought judgment upon the first-born of Egypt He was sentencing Egypt to death. Because the first fruits represent the totality. And Egypt, of course, was destroyed together with the hosts of Pharaoh. Similarly, when we are told that Christ is the first fruit, it follows that He being the first fruit resurrected from the dead, Paul tells us in First Corinthians fifteen, we to shall be raised from the dead. Because we are members of Him. And as the first fruit is resurrected, so to shall we. Tithes and first fruits are related, they are the same principle. The principle of the tithe is simply this, it is the Lord’s tax, and when I say Lord I’m using it in the ancient Old Testament sense of, Baal or Lord. [00:03:17]

Tithes were paid in the ancient world to the king,...[edit]

Tithes were paid in the ancient world to the king, to the Baal, to the sovereign, to the lord of the society. And what God says is, the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein.

And therefore the State cannot receive the tithes, nor the Church, the Lord receives the tithe, the tithe is to the Lord, it is not to an institution. Now, in the Lord, an institution can receive a portion of the tithe, but the tithe is to the Lord. The Levites normally handled it, but not always. Since it was not a monetary economy, what was done, you took your tithes to the store house or barn. And there are still some tithing barns in the United States, from the colonial period and the early days.

I wanted to see one once, in Indiana, but a tornado had gone through there a little before and destroyed it, but I do have some pictures of some of the early tithing barns here in this country. And they were taken there, and the Levites then either sold it or gave it to whatever purpose you so ordained. But in a monetary economy, you as the steward, give your tithe to the Lord, to the Church, to the missionary agency, the Christian School, or whatever else is doing the Lord’s work. The tithe for farmers was one of ten animals. And the Lord said if there were only eighty-nine sheep, you tithed eight, rather than nine. When it is monetary, it is strictly a ten percent. It is on the increase. You don’t tithe tenth of your trees you tithe the tenth of the fruit. The first tithe was every year. The second tithe was the tithing of rejoicing before the Lord, in Deuteronomy 14:22-27. And the Levites were to be included as well as the widows, orphans and strangers in your midst. Now this tithe is a very important thing. God requires us to rest in Him. So that apart from the Sabbath, a tithe was to be used by the family to rest. The Levites were to be included. Now, a principle that is basic to Scripture, a laborer is worthy of his hire, our Lord cites that, Paul cites that, and Paul sums up what the Old Testament teaches when he says, they that labor worthily for the Lord are to receive double honor. That means double pay. [00:07:22]

Do you know that the average pay of ministers in the...[edit]

Do you know that the average pay of ministers in the United State, the average pay, is ten thousand dollars? The average pay of school, Christian school teachers, is less? We’re not honoring God. We’re dishonoring Him when we dishonor those who labor in His service. It has been a barometer of the faith over the centuries, when pastors are well paid. And the sad fact today is pastors are not properly paid.

I was mentioning something just before lunch, to some of you, in the past three years our foundation has received gifts of a number of cars. With the gas crunch a number of people gave some of the big cars to the foundation and bought small economy models. Well I don’t mind that, because, for one thing, when I get in a car to go speaking in California, I’ll drive a hundred or three hundred miles without stopping on a highway. And the bigger cars are made for that kind of thing. But we have received as gifts, in just the past three years or so, a seventy-two Continental in beautiful condition, not much used, not much mileage on it, a seventy-four Mark Four Continental, which is in beautiful condition, a pick-up, which is very useful for our needs, a Buick station-wagon, seventy-four, and an Olds Tornado, front-wheel drive, seventy-four. And then we got someone who thought maybe a little economy in the picture would help, gave us, and this one had only three hundred miles on it, a Rabbit Diesel, so suddenly we’re very rich in cars. Some of those days we were getting it, we weren’t getting a check in the mail. But, any rate, I really enjoyed driving in that Mark Four. It felt good. A lot different from the kind of transportation I’ve had over the years, and the reaction was very interesting. This particular model came from a well to do man, and he had everything in it. It’s a really a superb car, and he kept it in superb condition. And when I’d drive up somewhere, or even at service stations and they’d look at the car and all the extras it had, it made me look very wealthy, and they’d ask me what I would do. And I just, on a sudden impulse, tried this. At one place I’d say, I’m a writer. Well, they were ready to take that, and they’d say, you ought to try this or that car, very expensive foreign cars that I barely knew the names of, the next time you buy a car.

When I said I was a preacher, they’d get angry. The idea of a preacher being anything but poor is offensive to a lot of people, whether they’re Christians or not. [00:11:22]

And that’s a sad commentary on the state of things...[edit]

And that’s a sad commentary on the state of things. A very sad commentary. That a preacher is expected to drive a jalopy or a beat up car, and people are going to get angry and mutter some things under their breath, and they did mutter some very unkind things under their breath, if he’s driving a beautiful car. But Scripture’s very clear. They that labor worthily are worthy of double honor. We’re dishonoring God when we dishonor His service.

I very often have preached for about ten minutes on that text, at Christian school banquets and the like, and I’ve never been invited back the second time to any place where I’ve spoken about that. But I feel it does need emphasis. Because there’s a great deal of sin the hearts of people. One of the finest pastors I know, a very, very superior man who’s done a great deal of Church building, told me once of his experience, he said: “I left the church in the city and I went to this much smaller community, and there was a real potential there, but they didn’t have a church building, and I knew a little bit about contracting. They couldn’t afford anyone that they were calling, and my wife could teach, so I felt that I wanted to go there and do some work. That there was a potential there.” And he said: “We did bring in many, many people on confession of faith,” and, he said: “We lived mostly on what my wife made, the church could pay me almost nothing, and I took charge of the construction of the church,” and he said: “We really labored over that,” and he said: “It almost cured me of being a Baptist, we had so much trouble with the baptistery leaking when we were building that.” But he said: “We finally built a very lovely church. And with the increase in the membership, the income was very good, and I went to the men and I said, you said when the church grew and was able; you would pay me a better salary. Now I’ve received next to nothing, and some of us have had as little as a hundred and fifty dollars, because we’ve plowed everything back into the building. Now,” he said: “I feel the church can now afford to pay me so much.” (I’ve forgotten the amount). But he mentioned what he felt was a fair and a good salary. [00:15:00]

And there was a great deal of bitterness on the Board...[edit]

And there was a great deal of bitterness on the Board of Deacons, and they argued a long time and finally one of the men blurted out and said, why if we give you that much, you’ll make more than I do.

That’s ungodly. That’s sinful. Well, to go on with the subject of the tithe, I hope this has helped somebody to make a stand in their church on the subject.

The second tithe was rejoicing before the Lord. The third tithe, on the third and sixth years was the poor tithe. And we find this in Deuteronomy fourteen twenty-eight and twenty-nine. And again the Levites were to be blessed through the poor tithe and the stranger, the fatherless, the widow.

Tithing through the centuries has been one of the most important tools in the hands of Christians. Do you know that one reason for the Protestant Reformation was the fact that the Catholic Church forbade people to give the tithe to anybody except their parish church? When they tithed it to the parish church under compulsion, reformation was no longer possible within the framework of the church. Over the centuries, every time the local church became corrupt, people would go out and start another church, or start another agency, a preaching mission, there was a great of street preaching. And the church would have to begin to change its ways a bit. I actually found a situation in England in twelve hundred in a Catholic church, when the congregation waited on the priest at the door, and said, if you don’t stop quoting so much poetry, and start giving us more Scripture, we’ve had it with you. And you’re not going to get our tithes. And they made him get up and apologize for the excessive use of poetry and the neglect of Scripture, the following week. But when the Church compelled the tithe to be paid to the local parish church without exception, then the Reformation became a necessity. Because there was no reforming a church that had a locked in hold on the people’s tithe. The tithe, in the United States, was the basic government as God intended it to be. When De Tocqueville wrote his ‘Democracy in America’ what he said was, that the tithe agencies, the free and private associations were the real government of the United States. What he did not know was that these were tithe agencies. [00:18:41]

Now in my book, ...[edit]

Now in my book, Revolt Against Victory and I may have mentioned it also, in Tithing and Dominion, I touch on what happened in Salem Massachusetts. I studied Salem between seventeen ninety-five and eighteen forty-five, a fifty year period. In that time Salem grew from a village of two thousand and five hundred, to a city of forty-five thousand. The influx of immigrants was predominately of foreigners, it had been basically an English village, of either no faith or of a Catholic background. At the end of fifty years, it was still essentially a Puritan community. How did they do it? Tithe agencies. They had one tithe agency that maintained a chapel and a kind of a hotel or boarding house at the wharf, to meet the incoming sailors and say, here’s a place for you to stay, and to try to win those sailors on those ships that landed, day after day, for Jesus Christ.

And they would minister also to their own sea-men on the whaling ships. They had a tithe agency to meet the immigrants that landed, and to help them locate housing, and to tell them where the nearest church was, and to call on them and to witness to them. They had another tithing agency to see to it that the children were put into Christian schools. They had another tithing agency to give job training to the men. Another to have English classes to teach English to these foreign men and women. They had another agency that had home-making classes for these foreigners, the women, to tell them, well, we have some foods here, vegetables and other things, that you don’t have in your country, you come here and we’ll show you how you can fix these dishes and so on. And they would make a witness. [00:21:15]

There was not a need that you could imagine, that they...[edit]

There was not a need that you could imagine, that they were not meeting. Now, in about 1830 when De Tocqueville wrote his book, he had a long footnote, I may have mentioned this, did I, when I was touching on? Yes, alright. He said there would be a revolution in this country if we didn’t have a large standing army. Christians organized and moved into those cities, they saw the problem. So that in the port cities, like New York and Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and so on, these tithe agencies moved into those slum areas where conditions were unspeakable, where they were barbaric and savage, where, in New York, in the Five Points area, wild hogs were running in the streets. And if a drunk dropped in the streets, he could be eaten alive by those wild hogs. Where policemen dared not enter, and they went in there in groups, and they worked and they worked hard, year in and year out, with every fresh batch that came in. And they won those people for Jesus Christ. They changed those cities. They had revivals on the streets. They went after those people with a passion for souls that we not seen since, and if we could match now, would change this country in a decade. By the time of the late eighteen fifties, eighteen sixties, seventy, because of what had happened to New York city, and granted at the same time there were still more influxes of these people, they had still built enough of a character that at that time, boys of twelve, thirteen, fourteen were used as runners by the banks of New York city. And what was a runner? He would grab a bag of gold in either hand, and go from one bank to another, transporting the gold. Not in an armored truck. Just a boy, not in his teens, or barely in his teens, carrying a bag of gold, sometimes one in either hand, and going from bank to bank. And they were never robbed. That was a testimony to what these tithe agencies did. As a matter of fact, it was said that they had established a character, that if occasionally, a bag, because it was old, broke, and the gold coins fell all over the floor, they had a cry, and I’ve forgotten now what it was, and every man in the area would gather in a circle around, and put their arms out like this on each other’s shoulders, in a circle around the area where the gold coins were, until the boy had picked up every piece and put them in a spare bag, which he always carried. [00:25:06]

And there’d never be a loss of a gold piece...[edit]

And there’d never be a loss of a gold piece. And it was said it was dangerous, for a man in that area, not knowing what was happening, to bend over to tie his shoelaces. He’d get a boot in the rear.

Now, these people were taking seriously, God’s word, to tithe. Seriously His Word to make a witness to the uttermost of the earth, and some parts of New York and Boston and elsewhere, were uttermost parts. In the Biblical sense. And they accomplished remarkable things. They were taking care of the health needs, hospital work, for everybody. They were taking care of juvenile delinquents and the homeless, and doing it marvelously. When I was a boy, there were still the Captain Dollar homes for boys in California. The State shut them down when I was in, just about ready to go to the university, because, oh, they were substandard. One couple handling sixty boys in a barracks room. That could never work. But you know, in all the years, a few generations, that the Captain Dollar homes for homeless boys were operated, they never had one of Captain Dollar’s boys ever go astray. Every last one of them were useful, God fearing men. And I can remember right up into the fifties, occasionally meeting someone who would say proudly, I am one of Captain Dollar’s boys. He’d be kept in one of those homes through the twelfth grade, high school, if he wanted to leave earlier, he could. He’d have his clothing and a silver dollar, and he’d go out into the world. Not much to start life with, is it? But he’d been given a Biblical foundation. And he had in him the discipline and the faith and the character that enabled him to go out and to accomplish great things for the Lord. [00:27:57]

The tithe is to the Lord...[edit]

The tithe is to the Lord. That’s why, about Baal Shalisha, remember that farmer, brought his wagonload of foodstuff to Elisha in the School of the Prophets, ‘cause that’s where the Lord’s Word was faithfully being taught.

Not to many years ago, because after the second American Revolution, the tithe agencies began to disappear in this country, which was their last place, but about that time, a little later, towards the latter part of the century, a very remarkable man in England, in terms of his reading of Scripture and going back to the Old Testament, sought to revive tithe agencies. And he had the same kind of zeal and spirit that had led those people in New York City and elsewhere. His name was General William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army. And he wrote a very remarkable book, which is a rare book now. And the title of it was, and it was a take-off on a book that Stanley of Livingston fame had written, ‘In Darkest England: And The Way Out’. ‘In Darkest England: And The Way Out’. And in it he spoke very sharply about church people. He says, the idea of the Church now-a-days is to produce mummies. You save them, then you mummify them and you set them in a pew, and that’s all they’re good for, from there on until they die. To occupy a spot in the pew. They are, he said, mummy Christians. And he said what we need to do is to command these people for Jesus Christ, beginning with their pocketbook. [00:30:12]

And we need to reach out and every man, woman, and...[edit]

And we need to reach out and every man, woman, and child in need in this country, lost, hungry, poor, naked, blind, minister to them in the name of Jesus Christ. And so he said, I propose that the people in this country who claim to believe in Jesus Christ, want to stop being mummy Christians that they start contributing to the purchase of places where we can begin to work with these people. And he had an idea, which is very much like that which is being applies right now by another man who doesn’t like mummy Christians. Lester Roloff. Lester Roloff has his boys out in the barge, these are the hardcore delinquents, he’s working to convert them but they’re also being taught how to work. And one of the things they do every day is to catch fish, which is then flown to the other schools. And it’s in Georgia or Mississippi, or maybe its Alabama and Mississippi, they grow turkeys. Which are flown to the other points, and the girls farm. And believe me they do some good farming. You should see their farms. They learn how to be useful, how to be disciplined. And they learn what the Scriptures mean. Incidentally, it’s an interesting thing, since we’re discussing dietary laws, Roloff takes them seriously. You’d better believe it. And his schools are the only place you can walk in and see a few hundred teenagers without a single skin problem. If, on occasion you see one, it’s a girl or boy who’s just been brought in. He finds it works. It produces results, and its part of a package deal. But this was William Booth’s vision, but people didn’t match it. And it was confined to street preaching and no more. But I believe today we are on the verge of seeing that vision that William Booth had in his book, ‘In Darkest England: And The Way Out’, put to work in this country. Lester Roloff is an example. [00:32:58]

There is a young man in Southern California who’s begun...[edit]

There is a young man in Southern California who’s begun a mission in the big city ghettos. And his concern, since he’s still quite young himself, is to reach the youth in the ghettos, who are promiscuous, who are on drugs, who are involved in violence. And it’s the passion of his life. And he’s reaching more and more all the time. And he says his biggest problem is not money, although sometimes he needs more, it’s finding the men who will go into the slums. Who’ll work to bring salvation to desperately needy youth?

Now what I’m talking about is government. Scripture tell us the government shall be upon His shoulders. We have seen, in the history Christendom, the Church trying to rule all of society with disastrous results. Rome tried it, and some of the Protestant groups have tried it at times. The Baptists have a great history in helping break that kind of thing. We are seeing now, to a frightening extent, the revival of Caesarism. You remember I spoke of the seven basic areas of government. And God’s plan is that the basic tax, since the government is upon the shoulders of Jesus Christ, is that the people of Christ govern. It takes money to govern, among other things, as well as dedication in men. And the tithe is God’s way of providing for the Lord’s government. The Church as the training center, where men are trained to go out, not to be mummies. [00:35:24]

Each having their favorite spot where they can come...[edit]

Each having their favorite spot where they can come every Sunday and park their mummy and then go on out and do nothing more, day in and day out, year in and year out. And don’t even try to grow [a section of tape is missing here].



[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes, it’s your net income. Yes, if you as a business man are spending so much for rent, for gas and oil and so on, that’s not part of your increase. Your increase is your net income. Now, we must remember that there’s a difference between what you can get a tax deduction for, and what is a tithe. Not every aspect of a tithe is tax deductible. I’ve more than once given money to someone as a part of my poor tithe; there were no way I could claim a tax deduction for that. But there’s a difference between the two and we have to remember that.



[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. A free will gift or offering is that which is above and over the tithe.


[Audience] …{?}…

[Dr. Rushdoony] No, that is alone, that’s not a tithe.

[Audience] …{?}…

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. Well, if it’s a gift to the poor, that’s a part of your tithe, yes.


[Dr. Rushdoony] Incidentally, let me say, the Feast of Tabernacles, you know, we’re not used to thinking this way, but the Feast of Tabernacles was when Israel once again lived in tents and in booths as a reminder of the wilderness journey, and it was a time of rejoicing before the Lord, and so on. And church camp meetings and conferences began as a self-conscious continuation of the Feast of Tabernacles.[00:39:02]

And it was a time for rejoicing before the Lord...[edit]

And it was a time for rejoicing before the Lord. So a good way to spend our rejoicing tithe is at a Bible conference. That’s what they were first of all created to be.


[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes, as I said, what the tithe of time is more than a tenth; it’s more than a tithe.


[Dr. Rushdoony] That’s right. Well, the Lord’s Day is a part of our tithe of time, yes, including the time in church.


[Dr. Rushdoony] I am not good at figuring in my head, but I wouldn’t be surprised if your figures are correct. But you see, it does require that we give priority to the Lord, in a very specific way.

Are there any other questions?


[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. The Lord does want us to rest and to rejoice.


[Dr. Rushdoony] Well, as I mentioned, Bible conferences and the like. It was a time of coming together and together rejoicing in the Lord. And Bible conferences were specifically created; originally they were camp meetings, to enable people to come together in terms of the old Feast of Tabernacles.


[Audience]…{?}… [00:42:41]

[Dr. Rushdoony] The Bible doesn’t specify, it lays the duty upon us. But then the deacons can handle it if a church wants to do it. Now, what our staff has done, for example, we have designated three of our group as trustees for our loan fund. And as we are able, we’re each of us contributing to it. As we see another problem and another need, we will create another group to take charge of that, and leave it to them to promote it and to solicit funds for it. We are planning, if the Lord so blesses, to start a Christian school in the community there this fall. We have someone already in charge of that. And we’re not going to interfere, let them take charge of it, and go ahead with it. Now, one of the things that we need to do with our tithes, is to create Christian colleges and universities. It’s a great need. There’re many, many things we can do, and as each of us feel called, why, we can start something.



[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes, it’s going to be, we’re not incorporating or anything, but it’s going to be non-profit, since Chalcedon exists, the funds will be channeled in the name of Chalcedon, but they’ll go to the schools a separate entity.


[Dr. Rushdoony] Surely, in and through a church, or apart from it, it’s equally legitimate; it’s the Lord’s work. It’s a Levitical ministry. The Levites, according to Deuteronomy thirty-three ten, their calling was instruction. From the pulpit, from the school. [00:45:15]

And we do need to recognize that these things need...[edit]

And we do need to recognize that these things need to be financed. There’re too many people who listen to you and pat you on the back and say, I’ll pray for you brother, but they don’t pray with their pocketbook.


[Audience] How do you assess the needs of those …{?}…

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes, alright, very good. Very good question, and a practical one, which I like. Now, most congregations of any size have a problem. They have a number of elderly people, who can no longer drive. Alright? Now that’s a simple problem, you can have somebody pick them up and bring them to church. But, many of them have a problem, how are they going to get to a store to shop? Alright, you can set up a group of, say, women in the church, who drive and have a second in the family, each to take a turn periodically, taking these elderly people who have now become incapable of driving, to the store. Alright, then you further have a problem. Some of these people have illnesses; say the wife is becoming a shut-in. there should be some kind of plan to help out. And the man is not that able to cope with things. Someone to go in there periodically to help with the house-cleaning. To find what the needs are and to minister to them. Now, what a few churches are doing that are sufficiently large, is to add a nurse to the staff to go from house to house to take care of those needs. There are a number of ways of doing it. But we have to see the needs, beginning right there, in our own midst and minister to them. Then we have to see the needs, say, a Christian school. What is there in our community? People without the Gospel, aliens that no one will talk to. You know life can be very, very difficult for some of these people, in a strange land and everything they do seems strange and difficult. [00:48:14]

My daughter-in-law, after Ron did a long term in Italy...[edit]

My daughter-in-law, after Ron did a long term in Italy, training paramedics for the paratroopers, told me that the most amazing thing to her, coming back here, was to see and hear birds. She said, because of the poverty there, birds have disappeared; people have trapped them and eaten them. And cats are getting scarce now, she said. Alright, with many of these refugee Cambodians and Vietnamese who are landing in California, and San Francisco, and Golden Gate Park, the birds are beginning to disappear. The birds are disappearing, because these people are going there and trapping them, hunting them, to eat. And all you get are angry letters in the papers, but something ought to about those people’s needs. These are some who are not ready to apply for relief, they don’t want it. They’re trying to fend for themselves, well, how do you fend for yourself in a city? You go to the Golden Gate Park, which is an enormous area, and you trap birds. You see, we’re surrounded with problems and needs, and all we can do is to complain about them, as a people today. Whereas there was a time when we tried to meet those needs.

[Audience] …{?}…

[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. That’s a very good question. Now I had that problem in my last pastorate, which was about twenty years ago. The needs within the Church, we were meeting, because we knew the situation, we knew the people. So it wasn’t a problem, are they trying to con us. Those who would stop by, they’d see the church and they’d come and knock on the door, or look up your phone number and address, and come by. This is what I would do. I would refer them to the Salvation Army. And I would say, go to the Salvation Army, they are one of our agencies. And they can assess your need and help you. And then I would call the Salvation Army. Now, they are past masters at helping people and they know phonies. They have quick ways of checking these things. They rarely make a mistake. So I would call the Lieutenant there or the Captain and I would say, did so and so come in? And did their story check out? And if they said yes, I would say, alright, we’ll do what we’ve done before. What was done, we will replace it. Or if there’s any further need, we’ll try to help. But I found I couldn’t make a judgment. I could be conned. But it took someone who did nothing but deal with such people, to be able to assess a real need. [00:52:34]

So I depended on them, but I didn’t leave it to them...[edit]

So I depended on them, but I didn’t leave it to them to do. I felt that we had an obligation with them. So that’s one way of coping with such things.


[Dr. Rushdoony] Now, in God’s provision, one tenth of the tithe was to go to the Church, to the priests. Then a portion was to go for the music and the sanctuary maintenance as well. So perhaps a third did go, we’re not given a specific number. But since we are all called upon to be administrators of the tithe, and in the Gospel age, we are all in a sense, Levites. We have to administer it. And this is something I feel that is to be a matter of prayerful concern for all of us. Some of us may feel that the needs of our local church are such we’re going to give practically all of the tithe there. And others may feel that the needs of the Christian school are such they’re going to give all there. I believe that if we once see the necessity of tithing, we’re going to take care of all those needs. And I believe that the status of God’s servants is a barometer to the health of the Church. If the pastors are not properly cared for, it indicates that the people are dishonoring God. It’s God’s barometer.


[Dr. Rushdoony] Oh, yes, I mentioned the storehouse was a barn. In a day when the Levites collected it, because you didn’t travel in those days, far from your home. You lived in one place, and there weren’t many roads or anything, and they were dirt roads. You stayed put. But if you were contributing to the Temple, or if you were contributing to something at the other end of Israel, or the other end of the United States, you took it to a tithe barn, and the Levites took charge of the sale of it, and the disposition on your instructions. [00:56:45]

And we had storehouses or tithe barns in this country...[edit]

And we had storehouses or tithe barns in this country.

[Audience] {?}

[Dr. Rushdoony] The storehouse was just a temporary place, where the tithe animals and grain were kept before they were disposed of. When we have a monetary tithe, we don’t need a storehouse. We give directly to the Lord’s cause.


[Dr. Rushdoony] No, no. I know there is a great deal of talk, I believe John R. Rice was the first years ago, who spoke about storehouse tithing. But I believe that concept goes back to the Romanism of the Middle Ages, where you say one agency’s to have a monopoly of the tithe.



[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes, but why not trust the matter to the Holy Spirit and the individual? Because I know of cases like that, and I know of men who’ve given heavily to things like that. But I do believe that when we leave it in the hands of the individual, and it’s to the Lord, if they are well instructed by the churches. The churches are going to flourish, and the proper tithe agencies. When it’s channeled through a church, it tends to become denominational. And, yes, and it’s tied to things that go astray, and I’ve seen that in denominations I’ve been in.


[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. Well, I know that agencies that have gone astray, that are local, I’ve seen them die within a year after they became faithless. Part of the problem is when it’s something, radio has become a powerful instrument of doing precisely the kind of thing you say it has, and it has, yes, it has made it difficult for others. I know that I had a program for a while on the air, Law and Liberty, it appeared as the book, ‘Law and Liberty’. The program was first aired in Los Angeles on two stations and the reaction was so phenomenal that one of the local dailies carried a little note about it. And the station manager said they’d never had a response like that. And we had one sentence at the end: “Your gifts to help the continuation of this program will be appreciated.” Something like that. One sentence. And we didn’t get anything, practically. We lost money cranking out mimeograph copies of the talks that people were writing in to ask for. But people had been conditioned to a begging kind of appeal that they would not give if it were not a begging plea, we’re going to go off the air if you don’t contribute, and so on and so forth. [01:01:23]

So, we have that problem today...[edit]

So, we have that problem today. That program, by the way, was picked up and used all over the country. And it was even used on the BJU station, six months after it came out. It was in state after state. And the financial response was practically nil. But it certainly hurt us financially, because to mail out so much stuff as we were mailing, was very expensive. So that is a problem. All we can do is to hope and to pray that it will change, and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong in a church setting itself up as a storehouse, I feel we each must do as we feel we are led of the Lord. And it’s only when we enter into a situation of compulsion that I believe that we are trying to tie God’s hands, as He works in the hearts of people.



[Dr. Rushdoony] Our time is almost over; four thirty is our concluding time.

Now this subject is one that was once the favorite topic of the pulpit, and it’s been ages since a sermon has been preached on it. The doctrine of sacrilege. Sacrilege. If you find sermons that are from the sixteen hundreds and the fifteen hundreds, sacrilege is a thing you’ll find very commonly preached on.

Yes, yes. The word itself only appears once in the Bible, although the doctrine is taught throughout. It appears in Romans two verses twenty-one and twenty-two. Thou therefore which teaches another, teaches thou not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? Thou that abhorest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?

What is sacrilege? Well, let me give a definition that is hundreds of years old.

And I quote: “Sacrilege is the robbing of God by alienating, detaining, purloining or perverting that which is God’s own, by divine right. And thereupon due to the ministers of the Gospel, whether the things be set apart by divine commandment, or voluntarily given by man, by virtue of some special warrant or direction from God.”

Now let me give you another definition, which is shorter. “Sacrilege is an invading, stealing or purloining from God any sacred thing either belonging to the Majesty of His Person, or appropriate to the celebration of His divine service.” [01:06:31]

That definition covers a great deal...[edit]

That definition covers a great deal. If you’re robbing God of His tithe it’s sacrilege. If you’re taking something that has been set apart to a sacred use, and use it for an unholy one, it’s sacrilege. If you do not give to His service, that which is their due, it is sacrilege. We see a great deal of sacrilege today. One of the things most horrifying to me is the fact that in Europe and in some parts of the East, churches that are centuries old, some of them magnificent stone parish churches, are shut down because the state church has become godless, but it will not allow that building to fall into the hands of a Bible-believing group. So it is sold to be an antique shop or a barroom, or a clubhouse, with a stipulation in the deed that it can never be resold to a church. A friend of mine, whom a few of you know, Dr. (Hans Cenows?), bought an old colonial church in Pennsylvania that his wife had been an organist in. And it had that same stipulation in it. But he tells me when he retires he’s going to open that church, because he’ll move to that community, and he said, I’m going to take them to court on that, and see how they like having it exposed that a church that claims to be Christian doesn’t want services held in the House of God.

Now, I’m going to deal specifically with some historical material on sacrilege, to give you some insight into its meaning as well as how our forefathers viewed it. Do you know that one of the things that the pagans, the barbarians in Northern Europe as the monks, the missionaries, and others went out into Northern Europe and started a missionary work, what the pagans felt? Why, you didn’t dare rob a church. It was done, but they felt that God avenged Himself on anyone who dishonored His house. And they had all kinds of stories to tell of what happened to people who robbed a church or burned down a church. So much so, that whenever there was trouble, people would, including Jewish merchants, they would have a regular deal with the local church, in a time of stress we’ll bring our valuables and our goods, and we’ll park them inside the church. Because these marauders won’t invade the sanctuary. They’re afraid of God. [01:10:03]

Now let’s jump ahead to the century, down through the...[edit]

Now let’s jump ahead to the century, down through the centuries, to Henry the Eighth. Henry the Eighth. What did he do? Yes, he sold the monastery lands and confiscated them. He had a commission go around. Now we can disagree with the theology of those churches, of those monasteries and convents. But that was God’s possession, not Henry the Eighth’s. He found a few cases of immorality and he played them up as an excuse, he was going to bring about reformation, what he wanted was the wealth they had. Do you know that despite their faulty doctrine, and lack of faith in some cases, those monasteries with their endowed funds and their lands were still taking care of all the poor in England? And a great deal of the education of the poor in England. And Henry the Eighth confiscated all that, which belonged to God. It would have been another thing to say, we need a reformation and therefore we want godly men, reformed men in these churches. No, he seized it, and he divided it among his followers. Do you know within three generations, in most cases in one, every family that seized any of those church lands was extinct? There’re about a hundred and thirty to fifty families, who cooperated with Henry the Eighth in the seizure. They were gone. All kinds of disasters struck them down. Oh, but some people will say, in those days you had wars and you had epidemics and so on, so there was a high death rate. At the same time the Duke of Northumberland, gave to twenty-six of his knights some of his private lands. And I believe the last time a check-up was made by an English Church historian on those twenty-six families, I think about eighteen twenty-eight, or eighteen thirty, those twenty-six families were still around. So you cannot say that God struck down only one and not the other, because, well, those days there were epidemics and so on, so it wasn’t the Hand of God. No. God does not tolerate theft against Himself, and that’s what the passage in Malachi, about tithing tells us. And I’ve only cited one example. History is replete with episodes and incidents of how God views sacrilege. Robbing Him of that which is His due, that which is His possession. And we know how seriously He regarded it in the case of Achan. Achan. Go to the old preachers of three hundred years ago, and look up a sermon on Achan, and you’ll see a sermon on sacrilege. [01:14:05]

And today the modern church and the modern Christian...[edit]

And today the modern church and the modern Christian has no sense of sacrilege. No sense of dishonoring and robbing God. And it’s no wonder that we live in a time of judgment. When even the pagans, in the early centuries after the fall of Rome, began to be fearful of abusing a church building because it belonged to a god who could get even with you. That’s the way they viewed it. And today, not even Christians see anything wrong in with-holding from God what is His due. And acting as though the Church was there to serve me. Not going there anymore, doesn’t have a good youth program. Or as one pastor told me, an old man in the church told me, what are you doing for us old folks in the church? Should have some kind of activity going for us, so I can meet other people of my age. I’m a widower, I’d like to meet some widow, you ought to do something about matching us people up. He really works the pastor over on that score. What’s the church doing for me? Why the pastor didn’t call on me, and I was sick. Well how many pastors have members call on them when they’re sick? Are they exempt from serving God? Can they treat the Church as something to serve them, without sacrilege? The doctrine of sacrilege is something that needs to be restored to our thinking and our preaching. Before God’s judgment on our sacrilege overwhelms us.

We have about four minutes before four thirty, are there a few quick questions on this subject?



[Dr. Rushdoony] Yes. Well the Bible tells us that God is long-suffering. Remember, he waited four hundred years before he brought judgment to bear on the Canaanites. And even to this day you are not given the truth about the Canaanites. You know, they tell us about how terrible God is because He killed all the little children of the Canaanites, poor innocent people. Well they don’t even show you pictures of their practices, which we have. Images and whatnot, indicating their sexual worship and sexual practices, which included ritual bestiality as a part of their worship. God waited four hundred years. [01:18:05]

But we’re also told in Scripture that when God brings...[edit]

But we’re also told in Scripture that when God brings judgment where does it begin? At the house of God. Because we have a duty under God to this world and we’re not here to enjoy ourselves, but to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. To serve Him with our whole heart, mind and being. To be commanded. You see, as I often told people, the Bible is an inspired book, but it’s not an inspiring book. It hits to close to home a good deal of the time. It tells me about my sins, and it reminds me how I’m falling short of the calling that is mine. It is, moreover, a command book. It lays down marching orders, thus sayeth the Lord. It doesn’t say, you know, buddy, the Lord think it’d be a good idea if you’d give consideration to this or that though, now this is purely a suggestion so don’t take offense at it. No. thus sayeth the Lord. The church has become a democracy, when it should be a monarchy, under King Jesus.

Well, Floyd, I’ll turn it over to you now. [01:19:48]