Tag Archives: corruptions of men through scripture

Maintenance of the Clergy

TAT CoverDuring the early days of Christianity, church leaders all worked and provided for themselves and their families. Offerings were never taken for the maintenance of clergy. The offerings were always distributed to the poor and needy, the widows and orphans, the captives. The corruption, of men taking for themselves from the offerings, didn’t happen until the third century. It was shortly after they started taking a portion of the offerings that they then began to EXACT the monies for their office. God never commanded us, nor showed us by his example, that those who shared the gospel should be partakers of any earthly goods of others. As a matter of fact, scripture tells us that they are not to take from the people (see my book, The Truth About Tithing)!  Jesus was a carpenter by trade. Paul was a tentmaker. Other Apostles were fishermen. None of his disciples lived off the offerings they received that were given to help the poor. This corruption, of men living off the backs of the poor through their forced tithes and/or giving, has to be one of the grossest and most blatant misuses of the position of ‘Pastor.’ Many passages have been twisted or overlooked in order to propagate this lie and, my book, The Truth About Tithing, exposes them.  Here’s what early church history tells us:

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Early Church History to the Death of Constantine

by Edward Backhouse, 1906

MAINTENANCE OF THE CLERGY. We have seen how, in her days of pristine simplicity, the ministers of the Church supported themselves by their own labour. The free-will offerings of the congregation were at first appropriated to the use of the sick and the poor, of orphans, widows and captives. By degrees a portion of the weekly contributions was set apart for the maintenance of the presbyters [pastors].  At a latter period, in some churches a three-fold, in others a four-fold, division was adopted; one share, in the latter case, being appropriated to the bishop, another to the rest of the clergy, a third to the church building and service, and the remainder to the poor. [Notice how the sick, poor, orphans, widows and captives who once received 100% of the offerings are now relegated to only one portion of them. They are the ones that need it the most!]

In the circular issued by the synod of Antioch against Paul [of Samosata], . . . and the Apostolical Constitutions say, “Let the young be diligent in their business, so as to have enough for their own support and to bestow on the needy. For we ourselves besides our attention to the word of the Gospel, do not neglect our inferior employments. Some of us are fishermen, some tentmakers, some husbandmen; for none of those who are dedicated to God ought to be idle.” We have seen in Cyprian’s lamentation over the state of the Church, that the pursuit of trade was not unknown to the African clergy, and was indeed too eagerly followed by some. The council of Elvira forbids the bishops and clergy to be itinerant merchants, but permits them to trade within the province. They were however on no account to exact usury. Even so late as A.D. 398, the fourth Council of Carthage directs that “clergymen, however learned they may be in the divine word, should provide themselves with food and clothing by some handicraft or agricultural labour, but not to the hindrance of their office in the Church; and that such as were strong enough to labour should be instructed in some handicraft and in letters.”

Chrysostom also, about the same time, has described the country clergy around Antioch: “Their language was not Greek but Syriac. They were engaged in agriculture at one time following the plough, at another taking their turn in the pulpit; at one time hedging or cutting thorns with a bill hook, at another sowing the seed of the word; being able to boast of a very small modicum of worldly learning, but yet fairly acquainted with the Holy Scriptures.” “The bishops and presbyters of those early days,” observes Hatch, “kept banks, practised medicine, wrought as silversmiths, tended sheep, or sold their goods in open market. They were like the second generation of non-juring bishops a century and a half ago, or like the early preachers of the Wesleyan Methodists. They were men of the world, taking part in the ordinary business of life. The point about which the Christian communities were anxious was, not that their officers should cease to trade, but that in this as in other respects they should be ensamples to the flock. The chief existing enactments of early councils on the point are, that bishops are not to huckster their goods from market to market, nor are they to use their position to buy cheaper and sell dearer than other people.”

But this liberty was not suffered to continue. The Church had now become subject to the State. It is true we find Theodosius at the end of the fourth century exempting the inferior clergy from the trading tax, provided their mercantile transactions were kept within bounds; but this immunity being abused, all clerical persons whatsoever were by a law of Valentinian III. (A.D. 425-455), interdicted from trade.
The practice of taking fees for the services of the Church, a practice utterly unknown in her days of purity, was not admitted without opposition. In Spain, at the beginning of the fourth century, it had become a common custom to drop a piece of money into the font or box as a gratuity for the rite of baptism. The
Council of Elvira prohibits this custom, assigning this cogent reason, “Lest it be thought that the priest gives for money what he has freely received.”  In the same spirit, at a much later period, the Council in Trullo forbids the clergy to receive any thing from the communicants at the Lord s table, because “the grace of God is not an article of merchandise, nor is the sanctification of the spirit to be bought with money.”  In like manner Jerome declares it to be unlawful to take a fee for performing the burial service. — Early Church History to the Death of Constantine, pgs 233-235.

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According to Backhouse, the third and fourth centuries were where the origin of tithing developed. Iranaeus, Origen and Cyprian began planting the seeds toward tithing by teaching that tithes were similar to ‘first fruits.’ Cyprian even taught that, “on the ground that the tribe of Levi was supported by tithes in order that it might be devoted entirely to the Lord’s service, claims the same inheritance for the Christian clergy, who receive as it were tithes, that they may not depart from the altar (Backhouse).” By equating the office of Bishop and presbyter with the Levite Priest that served in the Temple, it allowed them to also add to the position the same honor, reverence and holiness of the position that the Priest in the Temple held. This also instilled a “fear” of going against the “man of God.” Does any of this sound familiar? Of course it does. Presbyters, Bishops and Priests (or whatever other term used for leadership) attained for themselves a holiness and reverence that was never given them by God. They stole these honors through craftiness in order to benefit and reap personal gain.

The idea had acquired a yet stronger hold in men’s minds by the time of the Apostolical Constitutions where they later added, “As the Levites, who attended upon the tabernacle (in all things a type of the Church), partook of the gifts, offerings, first-fruits, tithes, sacrifices and oblations, so you, O bishops, are, to your people, priests and Levites, ministering to the Holy Tabernacle, the Holy Catholic Church, ye who stand at the altar of the Lord your God, and offer to Him reasonable and bloodless sacrifices through Jesus, the great High Priest. . . . Oblations and tithes belong to Christ and to those who minister to Him. Tenths of salvation are the first letter of the name of Jesus. (Backhouse)”

By deceiving the people into believing that priests, presbyters and bishops were similar to Levite priests that served in the Temple, it allowed the Catholic clergy an avenue into people’s pocketbooks. This one corruption has proliferated down through history and has become so massive, that it has allowed uneducated and self-serving men to enter into the ranks of pastoral leadership while earning salaries that rival many large corporations.

It’s time for clergy to earn their own livings and provide for their own families. Offerings should be dedicated 100% to the poor and needy and not divided between administrative expenses, employee expenses, building expenses, expense accounts for pastors and, pastoral salaries. Christians everywhere should be angry at having their finances siphoned by religious institutions that coerce or force giving and/or tithing through fear of judgment or cursing from God. There is nothing wrong with giving, but there is everything wrong with giving under duress or threat of punishment. Many churches use tithing as a means to determine one’s Christian character and, as a prerequisite for serving in the church!  Some churches, like the one I was involved in, would not help you if you were in desperate need of help, if you did not tithe! Tithing was used as a weapon against the poor and needy — the very ones that God COMMANDED we take care of — because they could not afford to tithe.  Yet, when the truth is brought to light regarding this lie about maintaining clergy, many will fight against it and, against the one that points out the corruption. Remember, I didn’t invent this truth, I am just pointing out what has already been pointed out by someone else. Maintenance of the clergy is the biggest ponzy scheme this side of heaven. We had better wise up to this lie of the church and start requiring clergy to get a job and support themselves. Imagine how many poor could be helped just with the savings in clergy salaries?

The FRUIT of Male Leadership – A Shocking Reality

“In former chapters, we reviewed the worship and government of the Church, from the days of the apostles to the end of the second century. Enough has already been said to show that in the period now under consideration (from A.D. 200 to 337), there was no check to the growth of ritualistic observances, but the substitution of external forms in place of the primitive simplicity was still going on, and with constantly increasing force.

The worship of the Apostolic age was without altars, without temples, without images; but as sacerdotal ideas entered and prevailed, ancient simplicity disappeared. The common meal, in which the early Christians united to commemorate their Saviour’s love, became a sacrifice; the table at which they sat to partake of it became an altar; the community which Christ signed to be one body was divided into clergy and laity. When the liberty of prophesying was lost, and the spiritual gifts promised to the congregation were exercised by a restricted order of ministers alone, those ministers became priests; whilst the simple effusions of Gospel love, prompted by the Holy Spirit, and therefore powerful to break in pieces the stony heart and bind up the broken heart, were replaced by learned and eloquent discourses, which were even at times received with plaudits as in a theatre.

Lastly, the room or simple meeting house was exchanged for a stately temple, richly furnished with gold and silver vessels. Even the wise Dionysius of Alexandria so completely loses sight of the New Covenant idea, as to call the table at which the bread and wine were partaken of, the “Holy of Holies.” — Edward Backhouse, Early Church History to the Death of Constantine

male dominance picWhat we have learned from church history is that the corruptions that entered into the system of worship were many. Repeatedly on this blog and my Religion’s Cell facebook page, I have pointed out the corruptions; many of which, were aimed at keeping women in bondage to men.  Not only did man corrupt they simplicity of worship, but later, he corrupted the manuscripts from which the Bible is derived. Throughout history, one can clearly see a theme that shrouds the Gospel and the Lord’s people. This theme is Power, Control and Money. It is so very obvious.

As a result of this desire to be in control, men have written women out of places of honor, dignity and authority in scripture, thus pointing them into a position of servitude and abuse. Sadly, it has always been religious MEN that have brought the corruptions, not women. Think about this. What better way to control the world than to make sure the competition is confined by chains called “God said,” “the scriptures say” and “it is written.” Scripture, no matter the religious sect, is used to control women and children so that men can have their desires satiated. These chains of bondage and abuse were penned by the very hands of warm blooded men whose only desire is SEXUAL dominance and control. Under the guise of religion, millions of women are confined to situations of bondage and abuse that God never intended!

It doesn’t take rocket science to see the signs of this sexual dominance and control throughout the world today. Please notice the following:

  • Sexually enhancing drugs for men to help prolong the sexual act.
  • Pornography
  • Incest
  • Sex Trafficking
  • The rape of women worldwide without prosecution of the rapist.
  • The rape of women worldwide with the VICTIMS being prosecuted instead of the rapist.
  • The rape of children worldwide without the rapist being prosecuted.
  • Sexual mutilation of women and children.
  • Sexual abuse of women and children.
  • Torture of women and children.
  • Emotional and spiritual abuse of women and children.
  • Domestic abuse
  • Honor Killings
  • Child pornography
  • Child marriage
  • Physical abuse of women and children.
  • Polygamy
  • The removal of women from leadership positions in society.
  • The development of Date Rape drugs to enable men to rape women without the women having any recollection of what happened.
  • Secular Laws that allow for the killing of women and children without punishment to the murderer.
  • Higher wages for men even though women can do the same job, and even better.
  • The fight for the control of women’s bodies by men: i.e. no birth control and no abortion
  • The fight to keep women uneducated and dependent on men.
  • The ability of men to rape women, impregnate them and then leave them with the responsibility while they go off on their merry ways.

(Through various articles on my blog, you will find examples of all of these. Also see my Religion’s Cell Facebook page for news articles that encompass almost all of these areas of abuse.)

All of this wrapped up in the religious shroud of the chains of bondage listed above used to beat women and children into servitude to men’s desires and demands. It is time for the corruptions of the RELIGIOUS system to be exposed. It is time for men to be prosecuted for their crimes against women and children. It is time for women to be given their honor, dignity, equality and authority back. It is time for laws to be enacted to free women from the bondage and protect them from the abuses. It is time to put women in leadership to help in the protection of their children from these abuses.

History shows us the real fruit of men and their leadership. It is fraught with rape, murder, torture, incest, sexual mutilation, physical abuse and on and on. More women need to be in positions of power to help in bringing about change. Most women will not tolerate any of these atrocities and, will work diligently to stop them and wipe them out. Women will work to enact laws to protect women and children!  Leaving men in control has only proliferated the atrocities, allowing for these things to be the biggest plague on humanity the world has ever known.

Links to Related News Articles that prove the above points:

Norwegian Woman: I was raped in Dubai, now I face prison sentence.

Mom, Dad planned child sex abuse before kids were born

Scores arrested in child prostitution case

More rape in India as Delhi reports 4 year old assaulted

Newlywed Afghan beheaded for her refusal to become prostitute

Afghan women imprisoned for ‘moral’ crimes

Ohio: Muslim doctor who drugged, killed pregnant woman accosted others

Saudi preacher gets fine and short jail term for raping and killing 5 year old daughter

Honor Killing Index – new stories attached to each killing

Saudi cleric says ‘baby burkas’ would prevent child molestation

Female genital mutilation on the rise in the United States

Police Say Pastor Spanked Girl Who Claimed Abuse by Relative

Orphans ‘left to die’: state parliamentary inquiry into child abuse told

Egypt women angry after president’s advisor says harassment “exaggerated”

Hundreds arrested in US-led operation against sex predators

Ex-mega church pastor gets 12 years in sex scandal

Muslim gang-rapes across Europe under reported by Press

Teen Ends Life After Photo of Her Alleged Gang Rape Goes Viral

Eastbourne priest trial: Children as young as seven were assaulted in home, court hears

Ex-Liberty Lake pastor starts prison term for child porn

St Pius X Priest Facing Child Sex Abuse Allegations in California

Child abuse lawsuit filed against church

Taliban-style edict for women spreads alarm in Afghan district

$3 Billion Jehovah’s Witnesses Class Action Over Child Abuse

Sacrificing Our Daughters: On the Psychology of Islamic Rape-Gangs

Catholic Church Defends Pedophile Priests, Crusades Against New Sex Abuse Victims Protections

Local Missionary admitted to molestation, making child porn, officials say

Southern Baptists, like Catholic Church are protecting Pedophiles

‘Ex-Gay’ Pastor Ryan Muehlhauser Sentenced For Sexually Molesting Men

Carter Center Conference Mobilizes Faith Groups to Advance Women’s Rights

Documents show Milwaukee archdiocese shielded pedophile priests

Papua New Guinea woman burned alive for sorcery

Serial sex offender priest told 7-year-old victim he could get dead grandfather into heaven

Former president Jimmy Carter says religion is to blame for abuse of women globally

The True (and False) Persecution of the Church

Scots police smash two ‘large’ pedophile rings

Sir Patrick Steward calls on ‘1 million men’ to end violence against women

LaPorte Co. minister arrested for sex offender violation

Las Vegas Police: Dina and Markiece Palmer Beat 7 year old son to death for not reading Bible

Former Pastor gets 10 years

Southern Baptist Pastor, Matt Baker, Convicted of Murder

Pastor of the ROC accused of Sexual Misconduct

Toronto: Sharia swim times prevent Dad from watching own daughter’s swim class

Rape is Rape: How the Culture of Shaming, Stigma, and Victim-Blaming is Hurting Us

Baptist Churches More Vulnerable to Clergy Sex Abuse, Experts Say

Catholic Church in UK faces child sex abuse quiz

Christian School Teacher with Panty Fetish & Supervision of Kids Loses Lewd Acts Appeal

Former Church Employee Arrest for Child Molestation