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Bill Palmer wrote this commentary on Phil Pringle’s book, ‘Keys To Financial Excellence’ in 2006. Palmer examines Pringle’s scripture handling and critiques Pringle’s tithe doctrine.
Palmer has given us permission to publish his article. We express our thanks for his work and his commitment to see people come to know the truth about Phil Pringle and his false doctrines.
Keys to Financial Excellence – a commentary on Phil Pringle’s book
A SCRIPTURAL COMMENTARY & REBUTTAL TO PHIL PRINGLE’S TITHE DOCTRINE
The purpose of this paper is to disprove and expose Dr Phil Pringle’s unscriptural doctrine of tithing as found and written in his book ‘Keys to Financial Excellence’.
Paul the apostle exhorts us in the book of Titus to ‘convict those who contradict’.
Paul also makes it very clear that those who do contradict the scripture do so for personal monetary gain –
“…Clinging to the faithful Word according to the teaching, that he may be able both to encourage by sound doctrine and to convict the ones contradicting. For there are indeed many insubordinate men, empty talkers and mind-deluders, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouth you must stop, who overturn whole houses, teaching things which they ought not for the sake of ill gain…” Titus 1.9-10, Literal translation of the Holy Bible
I should say from the outset that I am not attacking Dr Pringle’s character; I am however exposing his false teaching and unscriptural doctrine. I will be quoting parts of Dr Pringle’s book and then making comment. The tithe teaching begins on Page 55 and is labelled key number 9, ‘Tithing’. It concludes on Page 91 with key number 15 labelled ‘Deliverance through the tithe’. He also makes mention of ‘tithing principles’ throughout his book and I will be referencing these some of these quotes as well.
QUOTE, PAGE 55 –
Key Nine Tithing.
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse” Malachi 3.10
From the outset Dr Pringle would have you believe that tithing is a commandment from God for you today.
What he fails to acknowledge though is that Malachi was written to the physical nation of Israel living under the Law of Moses. In the preceding verse, Malachi declares that the ‘whole nation’ was under a curse.
“…For you have robbed me, even this whole nation…” K.J.V
What nation? Is it Australia? USA? England? New Zealand? No, Israel was nation under the curse.
All of the Old Testament law was written specifically to the Nation of Israel.
We are living under a new dispensation, the ‘administration of the secret’ or ‘dispensation of the spirit’ and these things that were observed by physical Israel are now type and shadow for us, spiritual Israel. They are NOT literal actual works we need to physically implement.
“…But if the ministry of death having been engraved in letters in stone was with glory, so as that the sons of Israel could not gaze into “the face of Moses” because of the glory of his face, which was to cease, how much rather the ministry of the Spirit will be in glory! For if the ministry of condemnation was glory, much rather the ministry of righteousness abounds in glory…”
2 Corinthians 3.7-9, Literal Translation of the Holy Bible
“…And to enlighten all as to what is the administration of the secret, which has been concealed from the eons in God…that now may be made known…”
Ephesians 3.9-10, Concordant Literal Version
“…In that he says “A new covenant” he has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away…” Hebrews 8.13, K.J.V
“…For the Law had a shadow of the coming good things, not the image itself of those things…”
Hebrews 10.1, Literal Translation of the Holy Bible
Dr Pringle also neglects to inform the reader that the Law was a total package deal; it was never a compilation of commands that you chose from at will. The tithe was certainly included as part of the Law but guess what?
So was circumcision (Joshua 5.2), abstaining from unclean meats (Leviticus 11.4-8), wearing tassels on your cloak (Deuteronomy 22.12), not working on the Sabbath (Exodus 16.29) and a whole host of other stringent requirements.
Funny don’t you think how Dr Pringle is quick to point out the tithe law but neglects all the other equally important aspects of the Mosaic covenant? Yes, I think so too!
The simple fact of the matter is that if you insist on keeping one part of the law, you then become a debtor to do the entire law of Moses:
“…For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace…” Galatians 5:3 K.J.V
Paul uses the “circumcision” aspect of the law here because that was the issue that Pharisee converts of his day insisted upon. Indeed, the basic starting point of the physical law was circumcision but the message is clear – if you want to keep the law, you need to keep the entire law, not just the parts that have an appeal to your own demographic sensibilities. Furthermore, money was NEVER a tithe-able commodity.
Fisherman didn’t tithe fish, merchants were unable to tithe on their stock, candlestick makers couldn’t tithe candles, jewellers couldn’t tithe precious stones or gems and a seamstress or tailor didn’t tithe on their stores and stocks of clothing. The only time God asked the Israelites for gold and silver was in the construction of his dwelling place while they were in the wilderness. Did he demand it of them? No, absolutely not! Everyone who had a willing heart could freely give it if they chose –
“…And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the sons of Israel, and let them take an offering for Me. From every man whose heart impels him, let them take My offering. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, and silver, and bronze; and blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and goats hair; and rams’ skin dyed red, and dugong skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, spices for the oil of anointing, and for the incense of perfumes; onyx stones, and stones for setting, for the ephod, and for the breast pocket. And let them make a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell in their midst…”
Exodus 25.1-8, Literal translation of the Holy Bible
QUOTE, PAGE 57 –
This point of revival cannot be ignored. When people come back to the Lord, repent at the altar, renew their commitment to follow Christ and start being part of the church again, one of the most important areas to revive is bringing tithes into the church.
Dr Pringle is making a blatant unscriptural statement here.
He implies that tithing is an essential ingredient to your walk with Christ.
How is it then that nowhere in the records of the early church do we find any of the apostles teaching or advocating tithing? If it were ‘one of the most important areas’ as Dr Pringle states, why is it that we find no evidence whatsoever that tithing was even taught?
In Hebrews 6.1 we are told clearly what the foundational principles for new believers are –
“…For this reason, having left the subject of the beginning [principles] of Christ, let us continue being moved to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead [fig., utterly useless] works and of faith toward God, of [the] teaching [or, doctrine] of baptisms [or, immersions] and of [the] laying on of hands and of [the] resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment…” Analytical Literal Translation
So in this scripture we learn what the basics of following Christ are. We have six fundamentals –
1. Repentance from dead works
2. Faith towards God
3. Teaching of baptisms
4. The laying on of hands
5. Resurrection of the dead
6. Eternal (Eonian) judgment
But hang on, where is tithing? Didn’t Dr Pringle say it was ‘one of the most important’? If it’s so important it must be here. Why isn’t it then? Because it was NEVER taught, advocated or endorsed by the New Testament church.
In all of his epistles Paul NEVER mentions tithing.
If, as Dr Pringle implies, the tithe were ‘one of the most important areas’ then surely Paul would have commended or criticised the churches he oversaw in regards to it?
QUOTE, PAGE 57 –
Some people argue against tithing and giving offerings to God. Some have religious reasons.
Dr Pringle is confusing the issue at hand with this statement.
He is putting tithing in the same category as giving offerings. We are all called to give when and where we are able to, without a doubt. I am in no objection to people giving monetary funds to a church or any other non-profit organisation for that matter. An offering is just that, something freely given without restriction. A tithe is ten percent – a specified and stated amount. Pringle then makes a statement designed to prejudice the reader saying ‘some have religious reasons’. In other words, if you question his line of thought you are being religious and dogmatic. No Dr Pringle – you are just a man! God’s word is the foundational aspect we should be leaning on and looking to for truth, not your say so and opinion.
QUOTE, PAGE 57-58 –
They say tithing is an Old Testament practice that Jesus released us from when he released us from living under the law. This is wrong. Jesus himself taught us to tithe.
Matthew 23.23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint, anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done without leaving the others undone”. He is clearly declaring that the scribes and Pharisees should have been looking after justice, mercy and faith as well as tithing.
Dr Pringle here is basing his justification for tithing on a single scripture in Matthew that has Christ talking to Pharisees of all people. This is just so terribly sad! What Dr Pringle fails to see is that Christ pronounces ‘Woe’ upon the Pharisees. No not abundance from heaven and blessings forevermore but ‘woe’. And let us not forget whom exactly Christ was speaking to –
Was Christ speaking to his disciples when he said ‘These you ought to have done?’ NO. Was Christ speaking to the multitudes who sat at his feet to be healed and set free when he said ‘These you ought to have done’? NO. And Pringle honestly thinks that this applies to believers in Christ – that is unbelievable!
Don’t forget that the Pharisees were the church of the day.
They were religious bigots and Jesus likened them to ‘vipers’ and ‘whitewashed walls’ of all things. Jesus was never impressed by the fact that they tithed!
In chapter 23 of Matthew (the same chapter) Jesus makes the following comments to these same Pharisees –
“…Now woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are locking the kingdom of the heavens in front of men. For you are not entering, neither are you letting those entering to enter. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are going about the sea and the dry land to make one proselyte, and whenever he may be becoming one, you are making him more than double a son of Gehenna than you are. Woe to you, blind guides! Who are saying, whoever should be swearing by the temple, it is nothing; yet whoever should be swearing by the gold of the temple is owing. Blind guides! Straining out a gnat, yet swallowing a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are cleansing the outside of the cup and the plate, yet inside they are brimming with rapacity and incontinence…”
Matthew 23.13-17, 24, Concordant Literal Version
Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I do not see Christ pronouncing blessings and abundance upon the tithe-paying Pharisees! Maybe I’m missing something?
The facts are that the Pharisees were under the laws and customs of Moses and as such were bound to obey all of the commandments and requirements contained in that law. They like Dr Pringle thought they could gain righteousness through works of self and the blessing of God through tithing. Did they get it? No, certainly not! In fact they were so blinded by their self-righteousness they even went so far as to crucify Christ.
Jesus being a carpenter would not have been obligated to tithe anyway; He was however obligated by the Law of Moses to pay an annual temple tax (Exodus 30.13-16, 38.26)
He would have paid that wouldn’t he? Jesus would have paid the temple tax surely? No – He did not! (Well he did eventually but read on…)
Christ didn’t keep the Sabbath because he was ‘Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12.8) and likewise and in the same manner he had no intention of paying the annual temple tax because he is ‘Lord of the temple’
“…When they arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the half shekel (the temple tax) went up to Peter and said, Does not your teacher pay the half shekel? He answered, Yes. And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him (about it) first, saying, What do you think Simon? From whom do earthly rulers collect duties or tribute – from their own sons or from others not of their own family? And when Peter said, From other people not of their own family, Jesus said to him, Then the sons are exempt. However in order not to give offence and cause them to stumble go down to the sea and throw in a hook. Take the first fish that comes up, and when you open it’s mouth you will find there a shekel. Take it and give it to them to pay the temple tax for me and for yourself…” Matthew 17.24-27, Amplified Version
What an amazing little piece of scripture!
Dr Pringle though tells us that ‘Jesus himself taught us to tithe’. How exactly Pringle figures that is beyond me!
Simon was forced to lie because he knew Christ had no intention of paying the temple tax. Jesus told Simon clearly that Kings and Sons of the King are exempt from these things. And yet, Dr Pringle says ‘Jesus himself taught us to tithe’. Once again Dr Pringle’s foolish unscriptural arguments amount to nothing in the light of God’s word.
QUOTE, PAGE 58 –
Anyway, tithing did not originate with the Old Testament.
It is not something that came into being under the Law of Moses. Abraham tithed (Gen 14.20).
He lived at least 400 years before the law was introduced.
Jacob tithed (Genesis 28.22). He also lived hundreds of years before the instigation of the law.
Dr Pringle misses it once again with this statement.
He obviously cannot see past his idol of finance to the truths of scripture. Abraham DID NOT tithe – he gave a ‘one off’ offering of ten percent. He then gave the other ninety percent back to the King of Sodom.
You will note that Dr Pringle has failed to include the scriptural quote: why is that?
Because he knows that his argument for Abraham establishing a tithe principle is flawed.
Let’s examine the Genesis 14 account of Abraham ‘tithing’ –
“…And blessed, praised and glorified be God most high, who has given your foes into your hand! And (Abram) gave him a tenth (of all he had taken). And the king of Sodom said to Abram, Give me the persons but keep the goods for yourself. But Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lifted up my hand and sworn to the Lord, God most high, the possessor and maker of Heaven and Earth, that I would not take a thread or shoelace of anything that is yours, lest you should say, I have made Abram rich…”
Genesis 14.20 Amplified Version
The scripture is in relation to Abraham defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him. As a consequence of the victory, Abraham takes possession of the bounty and also his nephew Lot who had been captured.
It is here that Abraham is mentioned as giving a tenth or tithe of the spoils of war to Melchizedek the high priest of Salem. He then gives the other 90 percent of the booty to the King of Sodom. So what does Abraham decide to keep? Well… Nothing!
He was already an extremely wealthy man. With over 300 servants alone (Genesis 14.14) you can imagine how much else he must have had in proportion to his servants.
Looking at the scripture closely, all that really transpired was that Abraham gave Melchizedek an offering from the SPOILS OF WAR.
Is your paycheck each week from the ‘spoils of war’? Perhaps if you decided to fund your own guerrilla war in a 3rd world country somewhere you could then give 10% of the funds you receive to the church? That would be an equivalent scenario!
Abraham gave a ‘one-off’ offering and NOT anything from his personal possessions and certainly not in accordance with the Mosaic tithe Law at all. To argue that he somehow set a precedent in relation to tithing is foolish.
If you take that line of thought then you’d better be prepared to give away the other 90% of your income too!
There is never any instance before or after this where Abraham gave a tenth of anything again.
If he had in fact ‘set a precedent’ and God was adamant that Abraham give us an example of how to live out our faith, do you really think God could not have arranged another scenario to drop a hint or 2 our way? If as Dr Pringle teaches, that he had ‘set a precedent’ then surely Abraham would have continued to ‘tithe’ after this occasion?
So now onto Jacob. Dr Pringle says clearly that ‘Jacob tithed’.
Well, did he? No he did not – Dr Pringle is again twisting scripture to suit his agenda.
Pringle again fails to quote the actual scripture in relation to Jacob; probably in the hope readers will gloss over the reference but won’t bother to check it for themselves. Let us examine the scripture in question –
“…Then Jacob made a vow, saying, If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go and will give me food to eat and clothing to wear, so that I may come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God; and this stone which I have set up as a pillar (monument) shall be God’s house (a sacred place to me), and of all (the increase of possessions) that You give me I will give the tenth to You…”
Genesis 28.20-22, Amplified Version
Jacob had been sent by his father Isaac to Padan-aram to find a wife for himself from his Uncle’s family.
On the journey, he stops to rest for the night and has an amazing encounter with God. God promises to watch over him and to bless his offspring. Jacob wakes from the dream declaring that the place was none other than the house of God and the gateway to heaven! (Genesis 28.17)
It is then that Jacob makes this vow to God; well, in actual fact it’s really just a bargain.
He declares that IF God will look after him and bless him he’ll give a tenth of his increase back to God (Genesis 28.20) It was a conditional arrangement and it was dependant on a few things happening –
God had to be with him.
God had to keep him in the way that he went.
God had to give him bread to eat and clothes to put on.
He had to come again to his father’s house IN PEACE; don’t forget that he’d left on VERY bad terms with Esau!
Jacob vowed that only AFTER all these things had happened that ‘then shall the Lord be my God’.
Once that happened, he would then institute a tithe or tenth on his goods.
We know he worked for Laban (his Uncle) for at least 14 years! By then he had still NOT returned to his father in peace. In a nutshell all Jacob really said was ‘You bless me first God and I’ll bless you back later’.
Oh and by the way, there is NEVER any indication that Jacob actually stuck to his deal with God, we are not told either way if he actually followed through with it.
If you want to follow in Jacob’s footsteps, make a list of everything you can think of and then tell God that after he gets all the goodies your way you’ll start tithing because that’s all that Jacob did. And yet Dr Pringle says ‘Jacob tithed’.
This is an outright lie designed to support and endorse his false teaching and is in no way maintained by scripture!
QUOTE, PAGE 58 –
Recently I heard someone attempting to argue that even though tithing was introduced before Abraham, so was circumcision, and that therefore, because circumcision finished with the beginning of the New Testament, so too did tithing. This is not sound thinking or clear logic at all.
First, the bible never states that tithing is done away with under the New Testament, but clearly states that circumcision is. If tithing were to be done away with as with circumcision there would be no question. It would be just as clearly stated.
With this statement Dr Pringle shows just how off the mark he is when it comes to understanding scripture and the truths of Gods word. He also contradicts scripture on a number of points.
Firstly circumcision is NOT done away with but instead of being a physical act by eliminating the foreskin of the penis, circumcision is now ‘of the heart’. It is not done away with at all –
“…So circumcise the foreskin of your (minds and) hearts; be no longer stubborn and hardened…” Deuteronomy 10.16, Amplified Version
“…For he is not a real Jew who is only one outwardly and publicly, nor is (true) circumcision something external and physical. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and (true) circumcision is of the heart, a spiritual and not a literal (matter). His praise is not from men but from God…”
Romans 2.28-29, Amplified Version
Again, the idea is that the spiritual replaces the physical. The physical was only ever a mere shadow type of the spiritual anyway. This is what physical Israel and Dr Pringle misunderstand.
Dr Pringle then goes on to say that because tithing is not specifically mentioned as being done away with then we obviously have an obligation to continue it. What a thick-headed dull-minded thing to say!
In Proverbs we are admonished to answer a fool according to his folly (Proverbs 26.5) and that is what I shall now do with Dr Pringle. Ok Phil, so tithing is never SPECIFICALLY stated as being done way with.
But hang on just a second, why don’t I see you getting about with fringes and tassels on the corner of your clothing?
“…And the Lord said to Moses, Speak to the Israelites and bid them make fringes or tassels on the corners in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and put upon the fringe of the borders or upon the tassel of each corner a cord of blue…That you may remember and do all my commandments and be holy to your God…”
Numbers 15.37-38, 40, Amplified Version
We are not told SPECIFICALLY that this particular law is done away with are we? Since you’re so keen to take this line of thought then I suggest you crack out that sewing kit and tassel yourself up Dr Pringle – oh and don’t forget the blue thread! Oh and another thing Dr Pringle, where’s your beard? Yeah and what’s with that close haircut of yours?
“…You shall not round the corners of the hair of your heads nor trim the corners of your beard…” Leviticus 19.27, Amplified Version
But since there’s no New Testament scripture SPECIFICALLY stating this has been done away with then shouldn’t you be adhering to it? I mean that is your reasoning for tithing is it not?
Hopefully you can see how profoundly dumb Dr Pringle’s reasoning and his arguments are for tithing.
Just because something is not specifically stated as being done away with does not mean we need to still adhere to it.
This was a hard fact for even the apostles of Christ to come to terms with. In Acts we read of Peter’s struggle to differentiate between his adherence to Mosaic Law and his newfound freedom in Christ –
“…Now, on the morrow, as they are journeying and drawing near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray about the sixth hour of the day. Now he became ravenous and wanted to taste food. Now, while they are preparing it, an ecstasy came on him, and he is beholding heaven open and a certain utensil descending, as a large sheet, with four edges, being let down on the earth, in which belonged all the quadrupeds and reptiles of the earth and the flying creatures of heaven. And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter! Sacrifice and eat!” Yet Peter said, “Far be it from me, Lord, for I never ate anything contaminating and unclean!” And again, a second time, a voice came to him, “What God cleanses, do not you count contaminating! Now this occurred thrice, and straightway the utensil was taken up into heaven…”
Acts 10.9-16, Concordant Literal Version
Peter was in fact struggling to accept the fact that Gentile converts were actually being redeemed and were now a part of the Kingdom of God. It would be fair to say that He had a hard time even associating with them! Being Jewish Peter would have been raised to be highly un-accepting of non-Jewish peoples or Gentiles; they were actually referred to as ‘Dogs’ as a reference to how beneath them they viewed them to be. God had to get Peter to see the truth of this fact.
To do so God showed Peter a vision with all sorts of unclean animals (unclean as defined by the Mosaic Law) and commanded him to eat them! What it comes down to is that either Christ abolished some of the Law or he abolished all of it. Which one was it?
“…By abolishing in his (own crucified) flesh the enmity (caused by) the law with its decrees and ordinances…” Ephesians 2.15, Amplified Version
“…Christ purchased our freedom (redeeming us) from the curse (doom) of the Law (and it’s condemnation) by (himself) becoming a curse for us…” Galatians 3.13, Amplified Version
People like Dr Pringle just cannot see that the Law pointed to Christ himself. Christ was the fulfilment of the Law; he himself was never obligated to live out the exacting specifications of it and neither are we. If Christ was obligated to live out all of the Law then why did he constantly flout the Sabbath and dismiss the temple tax? Because Christ is Lord of the Law! The Pharisees and Dr Pringle seem to prefer the shadow itself rather than the body that casts the shadow –
“…Let no one, then, be judging you in food or in drink or in the particulars of a festival, or of a new moon, or of Sabbath’s, which are a shadow of those things which are impending – yet the body is the Christ’s…” Colossians 2.16-17, Concordant Literal Version
Paul could have gone on and stated every single facet of the Mosaic Law in the above scripture but the meaning is clear to those with ‘eyes to see and ears to hear’. The Law was simply a shadow; the body casting that shadow is Christ! Dr Pringle – give this idol of your heart up. You cannot support any of your arguments scripturally; 2 pages into your tithe article and already I’ve blown your reasoning and petty doctrine sky high.
Dr Pringle then goes to further confuse his readers by saying that physical baptism is necessary to be saved (I have not included the quote as it is not directly related to the tithe doctrine)
I won’t go into this whole topic now but again his Pharasitical mindset cannot comprehend that physical actions are shadows of spiritual realities. What about the thief on the cross with Christ? Was he baptised? No. Will he be saved? Yes. Read the scripture yourself in Luke 23.43
QUOTE, PAGE 59 –
The real problem is not theological, although we can certainly gloss up a miserly attitude with some scripture and high-sounding theology.
People who have a problem with tithing generally have a problem with giving.
Often they go looking for a scripture they can bend into a shape that sanctifies their position.
Here again Dr Pringle uses sub-text and sly remarks to prejudice his reader into thinking that tithing and giving are one and the same. They are absolutely not the same.
Giving is just that – giving. It is free from restraint and bounds. Tithing is a regulated specific amount that dictates what one must do and give. Pringle also insinuates that those who are ‘anti-tithing’ have a miserly attitude!
Again we see that the man has no sound scriptural reasoning and must resort to cheap tricks to emotionally manipulate his readers. He also states that the problem is ‘not theological’ What the? I think I’ve disproved that easily enough! Dr Pringle’s problem is that he CANNOT back up his false doctrine with any pertinent scripture or sound reasoning. Again he uses off handed comments to suggest that people who disagree with his false teaching are then forced to ‘sneak about’ within the bible to justify their reasoning. No quite the opposite in fact; Dr Pringle is the one who is botching and bending scripture into shape to suit his own ends.
QUOTE, PAGE 59 –
It is hard to understand that people who claim they love God resist the call to bring the tithe, which is His, into His house to give to Him.
Dr Pringle is way off base here if he thinks God is dwelling in some man made building of bricks and mortar. Again he shows just how immature his spiritual understanding really is.
Where is the House or Temple of God situated? Does God actually dwell in a debt free multi-million dollar suite of church buildings at Oxford Falls?
“…Are you not aware that you are a temple of God and the spirit of God is making its home in you? If anyone is corrupting the temple of God, God will be corrupting him, for the temple of God is holy, which you are…”
1 Corinthians 3.16-17, Concordant Literal Version
“…Or are you not aware that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you, which you have from God, and you are not your own?”1 Corinthians 6.19, Concordant Literal Version
So tell me Dr Pringle just how do we ‘bring the tithe, which is His, into his house’ if as we just read the house of God is within us? Can you answer me that one? No – you can’t! Dr Pringle just cannot get past his idol of finance to the great and wonderful spiritual truths of God’s word. He’d have you believe that his multi million dollar complex at Oxford Falls is in fact the ‘House of God’. Nothing could be further from the truth.
QUOTE, PAGE 59-60 –
People who fight tithing must imagine that they are being robbed by giving it to God.
Yet God says it is actually him who is being robbed. God does not cheat us by asking us to give to him. We do not lose through giving to God. Rather we cheat ourselves out of blessing when we do not give to the Lord. God is a good God. He is not going to ask you to do something that short-changes your life. You will be enriched through your obedience to God, not impoverished.
And again Dr Pringle confuses the reader by tagging giving in with tithing. They are not the same! It would appear that even he is confused on this issue. I agree with his statement that we do not lose when we give to God. This is correct and scriptural. However the context of Dr Pringle’s statement carries an implication that God requires your monetary funds. Is this true? Can this be supported with scripture? Can we actually purchase the blessing of God with finance? Let us examine a scripture in Acts of someone who attempted to do just that –
“…And the apostles in Jerusalem hearing that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who going down prayed concerning them so that they may receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen on any one of them, but they were only being baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. But Simon having seen that the Holy Spirit is given through the laying on of the hands of the apostles, he offered them money, saying, Give to me also this authority that to whomever I may lay on the hands he may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said to him, May your silver be with you into perdition, because you thought to get the gift of God through money. There is neither part nor lot to you in this matter, for your heart is not upright before the face of God. Repent, then, from this wickedness of yours, and petition God if perhaps you will be forgiven the thought of your heart…”
Acts 8.14-22, Literal Translation of the Holy Bible
So what happened here?
Simon thought he could gain the Holy Spirit and the blessings thereof through giving money to the apostles.
Like Dr Pringle he was convinced that God’s abundance and blessings would fall upon him because he was prepared to part with his financial resources.
What was Peter’s response? He rebukes this man and declares that his heart is not upright before the face of God.
We can NEVER buy anything from God – his blessings are not some cheap luxury you or I or anybody can purchase with a tithe. This is a ridiculous mindset but one that false teachers and deceivers will have you believing to be true.
If this were in fact the case, if you could actually buy God’s unparalleled blessing then why are there so many meagre Christians who tithe? I mean c’mon, think about it – If you could just tithe and have all your wildest financial dreams come to pass then EVERYONE would be doing it wouldn’t they? Of course they would! Phil Pringle’s candy-coated tithe message is very deceptive and you can very easily fall for it, I certainly did for many years.
Paul tells the Corinthian Church that many such false teachers are corrupting the word of God. How can we corrupt the word of God? Let us examine the scripture –
“…For we are not as many which corrupt the word of God…”
2 Corinthians 2.17, K.J.V
The word translated ‘Corrupt’ here is a Greek word Kapeleuo and means to retail, merchandise and make money by selling. So that’s right – we can corrupt the word of God by selling the things of God and the revelations he gives us. We are told throughout scripture that we are not to engage in this! The things of God should NEVER be for sale; freely we have received and freely we should be giving. Is your book for sale Dr Pringle? Oh, yes it is!
Another scripture along this line is found in Paul’s letter to Timothy. Here Paul is speaking of men who DO NOT teach the sound and wholesome gospel of Christ –
“…Who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source of profit (a money making business, a means of livelihood). From such withdraw…” 1 Timothy 6.5, Amplified Version
Dr Phil Pringle would have you thinking that Godliness and righteousness is a source of amazing prosperity and profit – just bring that tithe in and look out for the blessing! That is not the message of scripture though; in fact we are admonished to withdraw from such people. It is easy to be caught up in this message being preached by Dr Pringle and many other esteemed ‘ministers’ but we must always look to God and his word for our guidance and not man.
QUOTE, PAGE 61 –
The curse of not tithing
Oh dear… Dr Pringle has now stooped so low as to suggest that people who do not tithe are in fact under a curse!
What is sad is that he really believes this to be true, that God is some kind of glorified penny-pinching accountant keeping track of every dollar you earn and if you fail to tithe? You better look out cause there’s a curse coming your way hard and fast! Pringle is now playing on people’s fears and is convinced that failing to tithe will earn you a firm whack up the side of the head from God: this is classic cult-like fear-mongering technique!
No, as we’ve already discussed, God never asked the Israelites to tithe money; it was never a tithe-able resource! Giving? Yes! Tithing? No! Do not be deceived by cunning arguments like the tithe doctrine. The apostle Peter had a revelation of the end time church and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit penned some pertinent scripture relating to our topic at hand.
In 2 Peter 2.1-3 we read –
“…But also false prophets came to be among the people, as also false teachers will be among you, who will secretly bring in destructive, heretical sects, and denying the Master having redeemed them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their flagrant sexually immoral ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in covetous desire [or greed], with fabricated words, they will exploit you, for whom their judgment of old is not idle, and their destruction will not sleep…” Analytical Literal Translation
“…Motivated by greed, they will exploit you with their counterfeit arguments…” Berkely Version
“…In their lust they will exploit you with cunning arguments…” Moffatt Translation
“…In their greed for MONEY they will trade on your credulity with sheer fabrications…” The New English Bible
QUOTE, PAGE 64 –
(Speaking of the city of Jericho) –
God had given strict instructions, however that everything in this city was to be destroyed. Nothing was to be taken by any Israelite. The entire city was ‘under the ban’. It was devoted to destruction. It was the first fruits of their land.
It was the tithe of the prosperity that was coming upon them.
Dr Pringle is entirely off the track here yet again. Yes, the city of Jericho was to be utterly destroyed and nothing was to be taken by any Israelite – that part is true. Yes it was a kind of first fruit offering but a tithe? A tithe by definition is a tenth. Did the Israelites only take ten cities of which Jericho was the first? Well, no they didn’t. They took far more than ten cities. We know for a fact that Israel under Joshua defeated thirty-one kings. A king naturally would rule over a city or large region of some sort wouldn’t he? If Jericho was in fact a tithe wouldn’t they have had to repeat this scenario for every lot of ten cities they took?
But Dr Pringle tells us that the city of Jericho was ‘a tithe of the prosperity that was coming upon them’. Again he is making blatant unscriptural assertions with this statement.
QUOTE, PAGE 65 –
The tithe has never belonged to us. The first tenth of our income is always God’s.
As mature people, it is unthinkable to expect blessing from God in one hand when we have stolen from him with the other.
I am constantly amazed at how little many of Christianity’s supposed ‘ministers’ actually know of God’s word. Even though Phil Pringle has a doctorate in theology (supposedly anyways) he still comes out with unscriptural nonsense and hoo-ha like this.
Dr Pringle tells us that the ‘first tenth of our income is always God’s’. Oh really?
“…And all the tithe of the herd or of the flock, whatever passes under the herdsman’s staff (by means of which each tenth animal as it passes through a small door is selected and marked), the tenth shall be holy to the Lord. The man shall not examine whether the animal is good or bad nor shall he exchange it…” Leviticus 27.32-33, Amplified Version
Can you see that scripture? I can – and what does it say? Did God want the first out of every ten animals? (note that the tithe according the scriptures was always livestock or produce, never money) No he did not! The tithe was on the tenth animal – NOT THE FIRST.
And God wasn’t overly concerned about whether the animal in question was a prime specimen or completely and utterly bogus. So even though Dr Pringle is advocating an unscriptural tithe doctrine he can’t even see fit to get the logistics or actuality of it correct – unbelievable!
You will note that again Dr Pringle makes use of sub-text to suggest that ‘mature’ people do not expect blessing from God when they have simultaneously robbed him. How is it then in Psalms we learn that God sustains ALL of the living?
“…The eyes of all hope to You and You give them their food in due time. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing…” Psalms 145.15-16, Literal Translation of the Holy Bible
We are told clearly here that God satisfies the desire of EVERY living thing; this includes the unrighteous and the wicked. No – not every ‘tithing’ thing; every living thing. Christ tells us in Matthew that his Father shows no impartiality towards people, he freely sends his blessings upon us all:
“…That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust… Matthew 5.45 K.J.V
I suggest that perhaps Dr Pringle stops writing books he knows nothing about and starts to read his bible.
Although I had planned to make comment on all thirty-something pages of Dr Pringle’s tithing message it became abundantly clear that he really is just flogging the same old Malachi scriptures and using petty unscriptural reasoning and emotional jaunts to justify his stance on this issue. If I did make comment I would simply be repeating myself over.
Dr Pringle is like pretty much every Pentecostal minister I have met or researched, he has simply missed some very basic and fundamental truths of scripture. Like the Pharisees in the day of Christ, Dr Pringle has totally missed the truth of God’s word and has settled for physical laws and rituals believing that by observing them he is calling down the blessing of Heaven upon himself. These things were only ever shadows of the reality – Jesus Christ is the reality and in him there is freedom and fullness of life.
We read in Acts chapter 15 that there were Pharisees who had converted to Christ but who still wanted to maintain observance of physical rituals and customs from the Mosaic Law. These Pharisees had caused division in the early church –
“…But some who believed (who acknowledged Jesus as their Saviour and devoted themselves to him) belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, and they rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise the Gentile converts and to charge them to obey the laws of Moses…” Acts 15.5, Amplified Version
These same Pharisees argued that Gentile converts needed to be circumcised and obey the Laws of Moses. Well, tithing is certainly a part of the Law of Moses and don’t forget that if you’re not a Jewish person then you are by default a Gentile. The argument of the Pharisees is really no different to what Dr Pringle is preaching about tithing – different topic but exactly the same mindset. The Pharisees were convinced that circumcision was absolutely necessary and in fact they had good reason; Abraham was circumcised and he predated the Law and even Jesus himself was circumcised! (Luke 2.21)
But again it comes down to the issue of whether or not Christ’s death removed some of the Law or the entirety of it. What was the response of the apostles? Peter put it very simply.
“…Now then why do you try to test God by putting a yoke on the necks of the disciples, such as neither our forefathers nor We ourselves were able to endure…” Acts 15.10, Amplified Version
Do you see what Peter is saying? The Law is a yoke about your neck – It will restrain and constrict you.
Do you see also that Peter said ‘were able to endure’? This tells us clearly that Peter no longer adhered to the strict customs of the Mosaic Law. He understood the work of Christ and the freedom that came with it.
What is both unbelievable and rather mind-boggling is that modern day ministers think they can freely pick and choose which bits of the Mosaic Law should be re-instated. The Law was a complete package deal, always was and always will be – you can’t grab this that and the other without taking the whole thing.
The Pharisees in the early church at least understood this aspect, which is more than I can say for Dr Pringle and ministers like him. The Pharisees, like Dr Pringle, were focused on physical actions and as such were and are unable to comprehend spiritual realities. What is amazing is that Dr Pringle believes he truly has the insight into this matter.
I recently downloaded a recorded service from his church’s website.
The following quote is from the 6pm service of the 12th February 06 –
“…He (speaking of the apostle John in the book of 3 John) could pray a prayer over their lives of blessing and prosperity because he knew the truth was in their soul. And when you’ve got truth inside you, you understand the truth is tithing, the truth is giving to God, the truth being acted in our lives is actually coming to God with something more than just words – it’s substance, it’s an offering. That’s what truth is in our spirit and when we want to believe a lie it’ll take us away from that, we won’t enter into that prospering hand being upon our life that God has promised all the way through scripture…”
You can see clearly here with this statement that Dr Pringle has NO understanding whatsoever in regard to tithing – he has not a clue what he is talking about; ironically, it is he believing a lie.
Despite his doctorate in theology, he has clearly NOT studied to show himself approved and as a consequence he is unskilled in the word of righteousness (2 Timothy 2.15, Hebrews 5.3)
I pray that you, the reader, have gained some insight into the truth about tithing and that you can clearly see how manipulative and deceptive this doctrine is. If after reading everything I’ve presented in this paper you still think you can justify tithing (I didn’t say giving, I said tithing) then you obviously have an idol of finance within yourself that God will need to deal with! People like Dr Pringle who endorse this teaching are robbing God’s church of truth and denigrating the word of God for profit. I strongly suggest Dr Phil Pringle take note of the criticism outlined in this paper if only for the following reason:
Jeremiah 48:10 “…Cursed be he that does the work of the LORD deceitfully…”
(Original Source: http://matthewsixtwentythree.blogspot.com.au/2008/01/keys-to-financial-excellence.html)