The War on Bible Doctrine

The Bible has always been under attack.  From the very beginning, Satan has been enticing men to question the Word of God, change the Word of God, or compromise the Word of God.    Many of these attacks are all out frontal assaults simply denying the supernatural origin of the scriptures.  Some attacks however are more insidious.   They do not come from the front, or from the back, but from within.  The devil has always tried to add his twists and turns to the plainness of the scriptures, but the tragedy of tragedies is that many professing Christians are also in on the act.

Recently, on another blog that I read, I encountered professing Christians who did not believe that the writings of the Apostle Paul, were every bit as authoritative as the gospels.  They were making every attempt to weigh the words of “Paul” against the “teachings of Christ” as though some were true, but others were “more true.”  The fact is that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are THE Word of GOD.  So is the book of Acts, and Romans through Philemon.  Every letter of scripture from Genesis to Revelation is in and of themselves THE WORD of God.

This showed up in their rejection of the Word of God in Timothy concerning women and God’s forbiddance of them teaching or usurping authority over men.   When asked whether or not if Timothy is the Word of God or the word of Paul, they will generally say the latter.

As I look around the “Christian Culture” I see full frontal assaults on pastors, tithing, doctrine, and even truth itself.  Pastors used to have to defend themselves from the world, now it seems that they have to defend themselves from other “Christians” who know the Bible like the back of their head, and demand that all interpretations of scripture should be honored.  Blogs against pastors, preachers, and conservatives, are popping up like fireworks on the 4th of July. Liberal ideology, and liberal idealogues are making every attempt to hijack Bible believing Christianity. 

Years ago, within the Southern Baptist Convention, Paul Pressler, Adrian Rogers, Jerry Vines, Paige Patterson, Charles Stanley, and a few others organized, and orchestrated what came to be known as the Conservative Resurgence.  Now the men who are still alive, continue to be demonized, scrutinized, and ridiculed by those on the left.  I pray for another Conservative Revival.  The last one is wearing off, and this next generation needs to rise up and stand strong.  That would definitely be a change worth making.

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23 comments on “The War on Bible Doctrine

  1. Reply to Change Worth Making
    War on Bible Doctrine, Mar 1, 2010

    Tim

    We have covered this ground before and you still seem to ignore every single point I have made.
    You call tithing a “rock solid Bible truth.”
    ……………………….
    Russ: If it is that “rock solid” then why will you and church leaders not defend it using sound heremeneutics from God’s Word?
    Again I boldly declare with the authority of 16 texts that HOLY biblical tithes were always only food from inside Israel. This was true even though money was very common in Genesis and essential for sanctuay worship. This definition remained the same 1000 years later in Malachi and 1500 years later in Matthew. Where is your proof that the basic definition ever changed?
    ………………………
    You describe those who disagree with you as “re-writers” and ”redefiners.”
    ………………………..
    Russ: I contend that it is you who has “re-defined” the fundamental clear definition of th holy biblical tithe. There is probably not a church historian alive who will agree with you that biblical tithes could be the products of one’s hands or from outside God’s holy land of Israel. It is the modern preacher who has “re-written” what the Bible says about tithes in Numbers 18 to suit modern man. I state categorically that “absolutely nothing taught in the Bible before Calvary about tithing is followed by any church today –including your own.
    …………………………
    You state that it is a “Bible truth that Christians ought to be in the practice of voluntary tithing.”
    ………………………
    Russ: I reply “Defend your statementd with all of the vigor and Bible texts you can. I disagree and challenge you to an honest open in-depth discussion of the whole doctrine.
    ……………………….
    You wrote: “The fact is that most preachers and pastors who preach and teach the tithe in conservative Bible believing churches do so out of Biblical conviction.”
    ………………………
    Russ: I agree. However I believe that they have never stopped to perform any detailed study of the subject and should not treat it as a taboo doctrien. These same preachers eagerly engage those who disagree with them on almost any other doctrine –except tithing. Why? Are they insecure?
    ………………
    Tim: They do not legalistically twist the Scriptures in order to avoid the overriding principle of the tithe.
    …………………….
    Russ: Your use of “overriding principle” shows prejudice because not everybody agrees.
    ………………………
    Tim: In the Old Testament, the Lord showed and demonstrated for us the desire of His heart when He chastised the people of Israel for not “tithing” and “giving offerings.” We know that the desire of God’s heart is for His people to be a tithing people.
    ……………………
    Russ: This statement is based on the false assumption that God commanded everybody in Israel to tithe. However it only applied to food producers inside Israel. As a carpenter inside Israel, Jesus did not qualify as a tither. As a tentmaker on defiled pagan soil, Paul did not qualify either. If I am wrong, please present the proof.
    ………………….
    Tim: I’d be ashamed if I didn’t want to tithe.”
    ………………………..
    Russ: You and I cannot possibly tithe unless we were giving food from inside Israel under Old Covenant conditions and were Hebrews.
    …………………….
    Tim: Thinking for a minute about 2 Corinthians 8:12-14 Paul made it clear that there are three things required in Biblical giving. 1.) A Willing Mind. 2.) According to that a man hath. 3.) An Equal amount.
    ………………….
    Russ: Your discussin of 2 Cor 8:12-14 is totally out of context. Even most tithe-teachers would say you are wrong here because (they say) it is not a discussion of tithing but freewill giving which is dIthey say) in addition to tithing.
    ………………..
    Tim: Tithing or not tithing if your mind is not willing, it is not accepted.
    ……………………
    Russ: Agreed.
    ……………………..
    Tim: According to that a man hath. – Much or little. No one ever argues with that.
    ………………………..
    Russ: You argue with yourself in the next statement by forcing this into a discussion of tithing.
    ……………………….
    Tim: If I have ten dollars or ten thousand dollars worth of income a month, I am still to be a giver. I am still to give God the first and best of my ten dollars, as much as I am the the first and best of my ten thousand dollars.
    ……………………….
    Russ: This is simply not true. The key is “sacrificial” giving. The rich person with $100,000 does not feel the stress by giving $10,000 whereas the poor person with $100 is giving sacrificially even when giving only $5.00. Why is this so difficult to comprehend?

    The “best” of the OT tithe was only the one per cent which went to the priests per Num 18:25-28. Why do you ignore that? The first whole Levitical tithe went to the guards, ushers, musicians, singers, animal skinners, janitors, treasurers and (later) political workers for the king per Num 3, Num 18:21-24 and 1 Chron 23 to 26. Why do you ignore that?

    The tithe was never the same as the firstfruits. Firstfruits were very small token offerings per Deu 26:1-4; Neh 10:35-37 and many other texts. Why do you ignore that? The Bible commands Christians to give our FIRST to buy essential medicine, food and shelter in 1 Tim 5:8. Why do you ignore that?
    ……………………….
    Tim: By an Equality. – “not that other men be eased ye be burdened.”
    …………………………..
    Russ: Again, the poor person is very much indeed BURDENED by giving 5% while the rich person is not burdened by giving 20%. Why is this so hard to comprehend?
    ……………………………..
    Tim: When it comes to giving according to that a man hath, AND by an equality, the principle of the tithe fits wonderfully and perfectly into the practice of giving. When a $10/ man, and a $10,000/ man tithe, they both have “given according to their ability” AND given by “an equality.”
    ………………………………
    Russ: Your logic is beyond my comprehension. You are forcing a wonderful grace giving principle into a legalistic giving principle.
    …………………………..
    Tim: The bottom line is that the Tithe of the Old Testament is Principle that New Testament Christians ought to WANT to practice because it fits New Testament guidelines, and has been pictured for us as the desire of God’s heart.
    …………………………………..
    Russ: You conclusion ignores the context of 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. Tithing is not discussed in these two chapters which are addressed to a church deep inside pagan terriroty and far outside God’s HOLY land of Israel. This is a New Covenant chapter about grace-giving and is not in the context of Old Covnenat tithing in any way whatsoever.
    ………………………….
    Tim: Now that being said, the “tithe” controversies that are continually being stirred, have lead to accusations against the office of pastor.
    …………………………………….
    Russ: Stop and study Numbers 18. The OT Levitical tithe recipients (1) were not allowed to own property, (2) were to accept tithes as food from inside Israel, (3) were to prohibit anybody else from entering the sanctaury and (4) were to KILL anybody who attempted to worship God directly. Why don’t you teach any of that? Is Numbers 18 not in the Bibles of conserative preachers?

  2. First of all, Dr. Kelly I don’t know who Tim is. My guess is that you are speaking of Tim Guthrie. That’s not me.

    But your sparring with me does bring a smile to my face.

    I have heard every single point you’ve made very clearly, it seems to me that you have not heard any point that I have made.

    I do not challenge, or disagree with any interpretation that you’ve made concerning the OT Tithe. That is not the issue.

    To try and move forward here, the issue actually goes to how we use our free will. There is a right way and a wrong way to use our free will. Free will, is not now, nor has it ever been intended for us to “do as we please.” We are to always use our free will to do as God pleases, in every thing.

    Where then does the tithe come in?

    Let’s use one of your scenario’s. Two men. 1 farmer inside of Israel, under the law. 1 carpenter outside of Israel under grace.

    The Lord instructs the farmer to “tithe the increase of his grain.” Simple to understand.

    The Lord instructs the carpenter outside of Israel under grace, “to Freely give.” – Simple to understand.

    Now the Carpenter outside of Israel in his free will, has a choice. He can make up his number, and choose his own amount, which he obviously has the freedom to do. OR, He can rightly say, “How much of what I have would God want me to give? or, where do I begin?” And then He says to himself, “Let’s look at the scripture. And he finds, I see here, that when God did have a requirement on giving, he required his farmers to give 10% of their grain increase.” “Now what I do know from that? I know that if I were a farmer under the law, and my giving was to be in grain and it was to be 10%” Well then, “I don’t give in grain, but I do give in money? – How much? I can’t see giving less than a tithe, because I know in that circumstance that was what God required.”

    “He says to himself that is “according that a man hath” and it is by an “equality” and I certainly have a willing mind. I’ll begin right there.”

    That is the proper use of our free will. Because we are free to do something doesn’t mean that it’s right to do it.

    Now I say to “knoweth to do good and doeth it not to him it is sin.” I am under under the context of the law. I am free to give as I see fit. I would be wrong if I saw fit to give any other way than through the principles than I see in the law.

    I doubt that you will see it that way, but nonetheless, I do.

  3. Change Worth Making, 3-16-2010; 4 P:M EST

    CWM: I do not challenge, or disagree with any interpretation that you’ve made concerning the OT Tithe.

    Russ: That simply does not make sense because your writing strongly supports the doctrine I oppose. Why will you not take a position and defend it?

    CWM: We are to always use our free will to do as God pleases, in every thing.

    Russ: In order to “do as God pleases,” we need to take a firm hand on what we believe and be willing to defend it. Isn’t that what Jesus, Peter and Paul did? I seriously doubt that any of them would say “I do not challenge, or disagree with any interpretation that you’ve made concerning the OT Tithe” if they really did.

    CWM: Where then does the tithe come in? Let’s use one of your scenarios. Two men. 1 farmer inside of Israel, under the law. 1 carpenter outside of Israel under grace. The Lord instructs the farmer to “tithe the increase of his grain.” Simple to understand.

    Russ: Are you agreeing with me that true HOLY biblical tithes are always only food from inside Israel? If so, why don’t you clearly say so?

    CWM: The Lord instructs the carpenter outside of Israel under grace, “to Freely give.” – Simple to understand.

    Russ: I would say that the carpenter could either be inside or outside of Israel and could still be under the law. However the law did not define his gift as a tithe whether inside or outside Israel.

    CWM: Now the Carpenter outside of Israel in his free will, has a choice.

    Russ: Why not place him inside Israel as was Jesus? It makes no difference because the tithing law still did not apply to him.

    CWM: He can make up his number, and choose his own amount, which he obviously has the freedom to do. OR, He can rightly say, “How much of what I have would God want me to give? or, where do I begin?”

    Russ: In the OT God asked for freewill offerings to build both the tent-sanctuary and the Temple. In one occasion they gave so much SACRIFICIALLY that God had to command them to STOP giving. This is called freewill SACRIFICIAL giving. This is “giving beyond one’s ability.” This is “giving until it hurts.” I do this. I have no savings account for the future or emergencies. Yet I give more than ten per cent because I love my church and lost souls.

    CWM: And then He says to himself, “Let’s look at the scripture. And he finds, I see here, that when God did have a requirement on giving, he [only] required his farmers to give 10% of their grain increase.”

    Russ: Why don’t you pretend that the carpenter asked himself “Why didn’t God require me, a carpenter, to tithe? Could it be because I could boast about what my own hands have made to please God? Could it be that God only wanted a tithe from what HE miraculously increased?”

    CWM: “Now what I do know from that? I know that if I were a farmer [or herdsman] under the law, and my giving was to be in grain [and other food] and it was to be 10%” Well then, “I don’t give in grain, but I do give in money? – How much?

    Russ: I would conclude that, since God did not tell ME, a carpenter, how much to give, then He has left it up to me to decide. Simple enough.

    CWM: I can’t see giving less than a tithe, because I know in that circumstance that was what God required.”

    Russ: Illogical. If God had wanted OT craftsmen, tradesman, teachers and the poor to BEGIN their level of giving at ten per cent – then He would have certainly made that clear!!!

    CWM: “He says to himself that is “according that a man hath” and it is by an “equality” and I certainly have a willing mind. I’ll begin right there.”

    Russ: “According to what a man hath” could mean 30% for me and only 4% for you. It “equals out” means that the rich is not suffering and the poor can still buy essential medicine, food and shelter. Otherwise the church is oppressing the poor.

    CWM: That is the proper use of our free will. Because we are free to do something doesn’t mean that it’s right to do it.

    Russ: No. You have taken the “free will” out of the equation and replaced it with a commandment that everybody is required to begin his/her giving level at ten per cent.

    CWM: Now I say to “knoweth to do good and doeth it not to him it is sin.”

    Russ: A poor widow who must choose to buy medicine and food for her family or give it away should never be made to feel unwelcome in any assembly of Christ’s body. Yet that very thing happens every time it assembles to worship. You should read the horror stories I get in the mail.

    CWM: I am not under the context of the law. I am free to give as I see fit.

    Russ: As long as you only see fit to begin your level of giving at ten per cent. After freely giving her last income the poor widow in the Bible would have been rejected from many tithe-teaching churches because she had no income left at all.

    CWM: I would be wrong if I saw fit to give any other way than through the principles that I see in the law.

    Russ: Would you also say “I would be wrong if I saw fit to DISCIPLINE MY CHILDREN any other way than through the principles that I see in the law”? Exodus 21:15, 17 commanded OT Hebrews to KILL disobedient children.

    CWM: I doubt that you will see it that way, but nonetheless, I do.

    Russ: Let us be civil and continue this conversation without deletions. I will also post it on my blog.

    In Christ’s love
    Russ Kelly

  4. Gary Arnold says:

    Reply to Change Worth Making

    To compare tithing to giving is the same as comparing apples to oranges. Tithing, the Biblical tithe from Leviticus 27:30-34 and Numbers 18, was a payment, not a gift. It was law, required, not free-will.

    If you are not satisfied with the New Testament teaching on giving, and want to go back to the Old Testament, fine, but do so by going to scripture relating to giving, not making a payment.

    Why not use Deuteronomy 15:7-11 as your reference for giving? At least in Deuteronomy the scripture is talking about free-will giving. Absolutely nowhere in the Old Testament did God suggest that ten percent was a good starting point for free-will giving.

    When referencing Leviticus 27:30-34 (and Numbers 18) we must keep the topic in context and realize that those paying the tithe INHERITED the promised land, and those receiving the tithe INHERITED the tithe instead of the land.

    When following Old Testament Law, the tithe BELONGS to God, and He GAVE it to the Levites, NOT the priests. The Levites were servants to the priests, and they were required to give a tenth of the tithe to the priests, who in turn were required to use the best part as an offering to The Lord. How can you equate giving with God’s tithe?

    Giving and tithing are not the same any more than paying your taxes and giving to the poor. One is required; the other is free-will.

    God never required or requested anyone to GIVE ten percent to Him anything that man made or earned. This is a basic Bible truth that must not be ignored. Tithing came from the increase of God’s hand, NOT man’s labor.

  5. Dr. Kelly

    you said, ” That simply does not make sense because your writing strongly supports the doctrine I oppose. Why will you not take a position and defend it?”

    What I am saying is that nothing that you have pointed out nullifies what I am trying to say.
    You are presenting the tithe from a “law” point, I am talking about giving from a point of free will. I am not trying to make a “legal” case for the tithe. I am presenting it as the compelling example of God’s desire within scripture. You guys are the ones who are trying to “legally” avoid the example.

    btw – I haven’t deleted anything that I have receieved. If you’ve sent something that didn’t post, I don’t know anything about it.

    Bro. Arnold, you and I have greater theological differences than the tithe. There isn’t much ground at all from past comments that we can agree on.

  6. CWM: What I am saying is that nothing that you have pointed out nullifies what I am trying to say.

    Russ: Does that mean that you agree with me or are you trying to avoid discussing God’s Word?

    CWM: You are presenting the tithe from a “law” point,

    Russ: I am presenting the tithe from a “biblical” context. It just so happens that the only correct biblical context of a true holy tithe is from the “law” point. On the other hand, you are trying to drag it out of its biblical law context and redefine it in the grace context.

    Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

    Having been saved by grace through faith alone, are we then made perfect through works of the law –like tithing, unclean food, Sabbath keeping and unclean foods?

    CWM: I am talking about giving from a point of free will. I am not trying to make a “legal” case for the tithe.

    Russ: How can you call it “freewill” when you insist on saying that Christians should BEGIN their level of giving at ten per cent? That is a contradiction. What if I told you “Give freely whatever you desire, but you must start at no less than ten per cent”?

    CWM: I am presenting it as the compelling example of God’s desire within scripture. You guys are the ones who are trying to “legally” avoid the example.

    Russ: Your example re-inserts a legal beginning place for even the very poorest who cannot even afford medicine and food. That is the cruelty of the modern tithing approach.

  7. Dr. Kelly

    From your final comment, “Your example re-inserts a legal beginning place for even the very poorest who cannot even afford medicine and food. That is the cruelty of the modern tithing approach.” I get a sense that maybe you are beginning to see what I am trying to say. Of which your argument is just going to lead to another disscusion of other issues.

    There is still a RIGHT way and a WRONG way to exercise your free will. Free will does not mean that there is no right and wrong way. Free will means that I can now WANT to use my freedom to follow what God has pictured for us in scripture, and based upon other principles within scripture, it is wrong for me to use my free will any way other than abject surrender to what God has shown us.

    You quoted Galatians 3:3. Brother I am not talking about what I “AM” in Christ. I am made perfect in Him, totally and completely. I am talking about THE PROPER USE OF MY FREEDOM, AS A Christian.

    Secondly, you speak of the “cruelty of modern tithing” by making people choose between tithing, and medicine and food. Which 1 is a straw man argument, as though there is a circumstances that excuses someone from following the Biblical example. But 2, the best way that I can say this, or illustrate this point, – Adrian Rogers said one time when someone said to him, “but a man’s got to live.” – Rogers said, “no you don’t, all you’ve got to do is die, no one HAS to live.” It is better to follow the Bible and suffer than it is to do it your own way and enjoy comfort.

    The cruelty lies in the teaching that you can do as you please, and not as the Bible pictures. (I’m speaking beyond the issue of the tithe now) There is no cruelty in giving, because you know that you cannot outgive God.

  8. 1st Corinthians 8 and 9 both discuss Christian freedom. If Paul ever wanted to discuss tithing, he missed his great opportunity.

    Did Paul have the “right” to be supported? Yes. Does this mean that he taught tithing? No. Did the soldier, vineyard worker, herdsman, grinding ox or temple worker have a “right” to support? Yes. But, like you keep saying, one’s personal freedom can override his right.

    1 Cor 9:12 If others be partakers of this right over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
    1 Cor 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

    It is sheer lunacy to imply that Paul taught tithing when he actually boasted about working for free. As a rabbi he had been taught that it was sin to be paid to teach the Word of God. And we should not forget that tithes could not come from defiled pagan soil.

    CWM: Secondly, you speak of the “cruelty of modern tithing” by making people choose between tithing, and medicine and food. Which 1 is a straw man argument, as though there is a circumstance that excuses someone from following the Biblical example.

    Russ: Your bias is showing again. My example is NOT a straw man because your “Biblical example” is the straw man which only existed on an extremely small scale. It only included food producers inside Israel. That was nothing compared to the whole wide world.

    CWM: But 2, the best way that I can say this, or illustrate this point, – Adrian Rogers said one time when someone said to him, “but a man’s got to live.” – Rogers said, “no you don’t, all you’ve got to do is die, no one HAS to live.”

    Russ: Was Rogers saying that a poor widow should first pay her tithe and do without medicine and food for her family? If so, then he was addng law back into grace.

    CWM: It is better to follow the Bible and suffer than it is to do it your own way and enjoy comfort.

    Russ: I am following the Bible and defining “tithe” the way that God defined it. You are not. Why don’t you do the “better” thing and “follow the Bible”?

    CWM: The cruelty lies in the teaching that you can do as you please, and not as the Bible pictures.

    Russ: 1 Tim 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

    Paul did not say “except for the tithe.” I am not the one “doing as he pleases.” You are the one who has taken the unauthorized liberty to REDEFINE the holy biblical tithe.

    CWM: (I’m speaking beyond the issue of the tithe now) There is no cruelty in giving, because you know that you cannot outgive God.

    Russ: I did NOT say that it is cruel to give. I said that it is cruel to teach that one should “tithe” as a “firstfruit” and be forced to forgo buying medicine, food and essential shelter. Whom is Paul calling an “infidel”? He is calling those who put legalistic tithing before family needs.

  9. Dr. Kelly

    Aside from the 10% issue, I am surprised that you do not believe that God gets the best and we live off the rest. God gets the first, and we’ll take the worst. Where does this idea come from that we are to take care of ourselves first and foremost, and then give offerings to God out of the leftovers? I do not understand that self centered thinking at all.

    I am beginning to think that this is not even a “10%” issue as much as it is, who gets the first, top, and best?

    The scriptures are emphatic that God gets our first and Best, and we are to live within the Worst and Rest!

    Proverbs 3:9-10 – “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”

    1 Corinthians 16:2 – ” Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” 1 Cor 16:2 (KJV) Which Underscores the fact that all prosperity, and all increase are from the Lord, and not from man’s hands.

    Matthew 6:33 – “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

    Haggai 1:4-7 – “Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.”

    Surely, you do not believe in living before giving. – As much as I hear and have been hearing about “sacrifice” one cannot proclaim sacrifice on one side, and then hold to a living before giving mentality.

    When Paul said Non-Providers are worse than infidels, he was in no way shape form or fashion putting provisions up against giving. He was putting that in the context of families caring for their widows. Rarely do you have to chose between “giving” and “living”. You just have to chose which order, and who gets how much. (And yes, I have been in the situation in which large medical bills, and high priced medications were required in order for my daughter to live. I’ve been there, and done that.)

    I cannot see what you are trying to say, and you obviously have not seen what I’ve been trying to say. One of these days we will sit down together with the Lord, and He will help us see things the way that He intends for them to be seen.

    Blessings as you preach the gospel.

  10. One more thing that I noticed,

    you said, “Was Rogers saying that a poor widow should first pay her tithe and do without medicine and food for her family? If so, then he was addng law back into grace.”

    He was not adding “law” back into grace as much as “right and wrong”. Because it’s grace does not mean that there is not a moral, Biblical, spiritual, right and wrong.

  11. Gary Arnold says:

    Change Worth Making said, “Bro. Arnold, you and I have greater theological differences than the tithe. There isn’t much ground at all from past comments that we can agree on.”

    Are you saying because we have disagreed with each other in the past that you won’t respond to my comments now? Exactly what is your problem with me? You never want to respond to my comments.

  12. CWM: Aside from the 10% issue, I am surprised that you do not believe that God gets the best and we live off the rest.

    Russ: Once again your conclusion does not come from the Bible. The OT firstfruit was also only food from inside Israel. And it was an extremely small token offering. Read Deu 26:1-4. It could fit in a small hand basket. Edersheim wrote tat one pack animal could carry the firstfruits of an entire village. You reply lets your OT concept of firstfruits override Paul’s NT statement of First Timothy 5:8. I am surprised that you use that hermeneutic.

    CWM: God gets the first, and we’ll take the worst. Where does this idea come from that we are to take care of ourselves first and foremost, and then give offerings to God out of the leftovers? I do not understand that self centered thinking at all.

    Russ: I have already quoted First Timothy 5:8. It is called the principle of self-preservation and is built into the conscience of all God’s creatures. Have you ever paid your last dime as a tithe and told your own children to eat dirt?

    CWM: I am beginning to think that this is not even a “10%” issue as much as it is, who gets the first, top, and best?

    Russ: You are very correct. You and tithe-teachers have demanded that your unbiblical definition of the tithe be given first, not me.

    CWM: The scriptures are emphatic that God gets our first and Best, and we are to live within the Worst and Rest! Prov 3:9-10

    Russ: First, Prov 3:9-10 is not discussing tithes. Second, Lev 27:30-34 “emphatically” says that the tithe was the “tenth” and NOT the “best.” From Num 18:25-28 only the “tenth of the tenth” was the “best.”

    CWM: 1 Corinthians 16:2 Which Underscores the fact that all prosperity, and all increase are from the Lord, and not from man’s hands.

    Russ: You are adding to God’s Word and changing the context. 1 Cor 16:1-2 is not about tithing, OT firstfruits, church support or pastors’ salaries. It is about freewill giving. Corinth was in pagan land and it was illegal to accept tithes from pagan land.

    CWM: Matthew 6:33 – “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

    Russ: Are you implying that “first” here means the same as OT “firstfruits”? That would be impossible to prove. It is a discussion of where one’s heart is. It is not a command to neglect the poor at the expense of tithing or church support. Jesus did not tell either the rich young ruler or Zaccheus to give their wealth as tithes to the Temple system. Rather he told them to give it to the poor. Was Jesus wrong NOT to tell them to tithe first?

    CWM: Haggai 1:4-7

    Russ: Haggai 1:4-7 is not discussing tithing either. It is discussing building the Temple and only freewill offerings could be used for that purpose –not tithes.

    CWM: Surely, you do not believe in living before giving.

    Russ: I and common sense believe in SURVIVING before giving. That is what 1st Tim 5:8 is about. You are the one Paul is calling “worse than an infidel.” Even the infidels took care of their families first.

    CWM: As much as I hear and have been hearing about “sacrifice” one cannot proclaim sacrifice on one side, and then hold to a living before giving mentality.

    Russ: Again, there is a difference between SURVIVING and living.

    CWM: … I cannot see what you are trying to say, and you obviously have not seen what I’ve been trying to say. One of these days we will sit down together with the Lord, and He will help us see things the way that He intends for them to be seen.

    Russ: Just stay with me long enough to look at every single tithing text and you can see the truth this side of eternity.

    CWM: … Because it’s grace does not mean that there is not a moral, Biblical, spiritual, right and wrong.

    Russ: I simply ask that you show me from God’s Word that OT tithing is “moral, biblical, spiritual and right” for the New Covenant after the entire Old Covenant “vanished” per Heb 8:12.

  13. Bro. Kelly,

    You said, “I and common sense believe in SURVIVING before giving. That is what 1st Tim 5:8 is about. You are the one Paul is calling “worse than an infidel.” Even the infidels took care of their families first.”

    Bro. I think you’re about as confused as horse fly at a dog show. That is not at all what Paul is speaking of. He is speaking plainly of the families responsibility to care for the widows. You are manufacturing a circumstance in which 10% constitutes the difference between life and death.

    The issue of tithing/giving, and providing for your family don’t come within 40 miles of contradiction.

    We are not put in positions to choose between the two. We are instructed to do BOTH, give AND provide.

    Brother, I am sorry but the fact is that the Lord comes first in all things, and you and anyone else is plainly, clearly wrong for not giving Him first place.

    And for you to demand that all OT instructions on tithing are confined expressly to those limited contexts is an attempt to nullify the “eternal principles” found within those contexts.

    Another thing that I will say, is that giving is to come even before surviving. I don’t have to survive. You don’t have to survive. There is no such thing as the doctrine of self preservation. No one has to survive, but the LORD must be given His rightful place of absolute first, in all things. Time, Talents, Tithes, and any other teaching is abject heresy.

    It matters not what scriptures of evidence are presented, you refuse to acknowledge the fullness of their application. I believe that the fundamental difference between you and me, and others of our own persuasion, falls to exactly what role the principles, teachings, and examples of the OT play in the lives of those of us free under the NT. We do not disagree as to what the scriptures say, but we obviously disagree as to what they mean, and how they are applied.

    Proverbs 3:9-10 is plain, and means more than you acknowldge it means. You can attempt to minimize it all you want, but nonetheless the principles within it are eternal principles.

    Until you come to the place that you can see the “eternal principles” within the “temporary law” then there is nothing left for us to discuss concerning this issue.

    I do hope that you preach Salvation correctly.

  14. Bro. Arnold,

    I do not mean this to sound arrogant at all, but the fact is that because of some of your other theology, it wouldn’t be possible for us to have a cohesive discussion.

    Most of what you’ve said is nothing different than what Dr. Kelly said, and since both of you are wrong, I’ve really only been in the mood to debate with one of you.

    I do trust that you know Christ as your Savior. That being the case then I assume we will meet together in glory and the Lord will teach us all together then.

    Until then, I pray for the Lord’s richest blessings on you, and that you will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  15. First Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own [widowed mother after her husband has died], and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

    Russ: If your father dies and leaves your mother a widow, you should FIRST take care of her medical, food and shelter needs. If you decide instead to give your first tenth to the church and then cannot afford to buy your widowed mother medicine, food and shelter –that is OK. That is what I am hearing you say.

    CWM: We are not put in positions to choose between the two. We are instructed to do BOTH, give AND provide.

    Russ: We cannot always do both. You have gone far beyond a defense of tithing and have made yourself sound “worse than the infidels.” Paul said that not even the infidels (who have no faith in Christ) do not treat their own widowed mothers that way.

    CWM: Brother, I am sorry but the fact is that the Lord comes first in all things, and you and anyone else is plainly, clearly wrong for not giving Him first place.

    Russ: And what about Matthew 25: 45? “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” We put Christ FIRST by putting those he loves FIRST. Let me say that again in case you are a speed reader and missed it the first time. According to Mt 25 “we put Christ FIRST by putting those he loves FIRST.” You are the one who is “plainly, clearly wrong for not giving Him first place” by taking medicine and food out of the mouth of your own mother!!!

    CWM: And for you to demand that all OT instructions on tithing are confined expressly to those limited contexts is an attempt to nullify the “eternal principles” found within those contexts.

    Russ: If you cannot literally interpret God’s Word, then you are using liberal symbolic figurative hermeneutics and have joined the crowd of Augustine. You want to discover tithing (not giving) under every rock. I am not opposed to freewill generous sacrificial giving. I am opposed to calling such “tithing.”

    CWM: Another thing that I will say, is that giving is to come even before surviving. I don’t have to survive. You don’t have to survive.

    Russ: Sorry mom. I know that dad is dead and you have no source of income. I know you need medicine, food and shelter but I cannot help you because my church comes first. If I give to the church, maybe they can help you. Forget about Mt 25:45. That is only for people who interpret the Bible literally.

    CWM: There is no such thing as the doctrine of self preservation. No one has to survive,

    Russ: Sheer ignorance.

    CWM: but the LORD must be given His rightful place of absolute first, in all things. Time, Talents, Tithes, and any other teaching is abject heresy.

    Russ: What do you mean by that last statement?

    CWM: It matters not what scriptures of evidence are presented, you refuse to acknowledge the fullness of their application.

    Russ: You refuse to acknowledge the CONTEXT of their application.

    CWM: I believe that the fundamental difference between you and me, and others of our own persuasion, falls to exactly what role the principles, teachings, and examples of the OT play in the lives of those of us free under the NT. We do not disagree as to what the scriptures say, but we obviously disagree as to what they mean, and how they are applied.

    Russ: Correct. I understand Heb 8:12 to literally mean that ALL the Old Covenant law vanished at Calvary –good and bad—moral, ceremonial and judicial. And only that which was REPEATED after Calvary to the Church in terms of grace and faith applies to Christians. That is a consistent hermeneutic. What is your consistent hermeneutic for bringing Old Covenant laws into the New Covenant? I would like to hear it.

    CWM: Proverbs 3:9-10 is plain, and means more than you acknowledge it means. You can attempt to minimize it all you want,

    Russ: I do not minimize Prov 3:9-10. Neither do I exaggerate it to make it mean far more than it literally says. You totally ignore the definition of firstfruits as seen in Deut 26:1-4 and Neh 10:35-37a. I see it restated in 2 Cor 9:6-7. It has absolutely nothing so say about tithing and you abuse it by forcing it to say something different. You insist on calling the OT concept of firstfruits a universal moral principle but you will not accept the OT definition of your word.

    CWM: but nonetheless the principles within it are eternal principles. Until you come to the place that you can see the “eternal principles” within the “temporary law” then there is nothing left for us to discuss concerning this issue.

    Russ: What rule or hermeneutic do you use to determine what is an “eternal moral principle”? I really want to know. The Ten Commandments say to honor your parents. Exodus 21:15, 17 says to kill children who curse or strike their parents. First Timothy 5:8 says to care for your widowed mother. Tell me, is Exodus 21:15, 17 and eternal moral principle and First Timothy 5:8 is not???

    CWM: I do hope that you preach Salvation correctly.

    Russ: Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

    At least I do not dare test God by placing the Church back under the law.

  16. Russ: We cannot always do both. You have gone far beyond a defense of tithing and have made yourself sound “worse than the infidels.”

    You can always do both. (I’m speaking from a standpoint of lifestyle practice, and not a momentary event) You’re attempt to circumstantially place someone in the permanent position of choosing one or the other is a straw man argument.

    That is exactly the opposite of the Pharisees saying, “It is a gift” as an excuse to not care for their aging parents. You are saying, “I have aging parents” as an excuse to not be a giver.

    We are to Honor the Lord with the first of our increase, AND Honor our Father and Mother in care of them at the same time. – They are not mutually exclusive to one another.

    Again, I say, you do not have to survive. The only thing that you and I have to do is die. We do not have to live.

    The fact is that the “tenth is holy unto the Lord.” and Holiness does not change.

  17. Rob Fox

    You said, “From my point of view, Jeff Haney has a vested economic interest to advocate the tithe principle.”

    First of all, I would ask if we’ve met, because you speak as though you know me.

    Second of all, the reality is that I have no vested economic interest in whether or not the people I pastor practice tithing. I would venture that in my 20 years of ministry, less than half of the people that I have pastored actually practiced faithful tithing. I’ve never noticed the difference.

    The church that I pastor, provides for me period. I have no idea who gives what, or whether or not anyone in the church that I pastor tithes. Whether the offerings are up, or down, has no impact on me whatsoever.

    Furthermore in the time that I have been here, (almost in my fifth year now) I have preached on stewardship one time. (3 sermon series).

    I would go on to say that I could name drop as well, but will not because even great theologians are not the final authority.

    I am not alone with teaching the principle of the tithe, nor am I ill-motivated in it’s teaching. I do not teach it as though it is the law of the Christian. I teach it as it is, the example of God’s heart (concerning amount) that was shown to us during the time of His “requiring.”

    When a Free-Willing Christian wants to give, the first thing that He ought to want to know, is how much would God want me to give in proportion to His giving me increase. The first and overriding example that He will find in scripture is the example of 10%. Though not required, my heart would be wrong if it wanted to do less than what I know that God would want. – That’s not an issue of OT LAW, or NT Law, that is an issue of accepting the Lord’s scripturally pictured will.

  18. Russ: We cannot always do both. [i.e. give first to your and also give first to meet family essentials] You have gone far beyond a defense of tithing and have made yourself sound “worse than the infidels.”

    CWM: You can always do both. (I’m speaking from a standpoint of lifestyle practice, and not a momentary event) You’re attempt to circumstantially place someone in the permanent position of choosing one or the other is a straw man argument.

    Russ: Are you arguing about freewill giving or mandatory tithing? Earlier you wrote that you neither agreed with me nor disagreed with me. I am still waiting for your to commit on one position or the other.

    CWM: That is exactly the opposite of the Pharisees saying, “It is a gift” as an excuse to not care for their aging parents.

    Russ: Now that you mention it, I have an article which states exactly that – The Pharisees said “Corbin”, “It is a gift” as an excuse to not care for their aging parents.” Yes, those who teach tithe-paying as a firstfruit are very guilty of that sin.

    CWM: You are saying, “I have aging parents” as an excuse to not be a giver.

    Russ: “Having aging parents” is not an “excuse” not to give to the church first – it is an OBLIGATION –otherwise you are worse than the heathen. That is what Paul wrote.

    CWM: We are to Honor the Lord with the first of our increase, AND Honor our Father and Mother in care of them at the same time. – They are not mutually exclusive to one another.

    Russ: You can only spend the same dollar in one place! Again, Mt 25:45 says “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” Caring for your desperate parents IS honoring God. That is part of the Ten Commandments brought over into the New Covenant.

    CWM: Again, I say, you do not have to survive. The only thing that you and I have to do is die. We do not have to live.

    Russ: So you would rather die first than take care of your destitute mother first. Just be a good little tithe-paying firstfruit-giving Christian and let somebody else take care of your mother. You sound more foolish with every breath.

    CWM: The fact is that the “tenth is holy unto the Lord.” and Holiness does not change.

    Russ: Finally, a test to discuss. Do this: (1) Obtain an exhaustive concordance such as Strong’s. (2) Look up everything in Leviticus which is called either “holy” or “most holy.” (3) Determine how many of those “holy” and “most holy” things which have not changed in your worship ritual. (4) Then make the above statement again – “The fact is that the “tenth is holy unto the Lord.” and Holiness does not change.”

    Did God’s covenant change? Did God’s sacrifice change? Did God’s priesthood change? Did God’s temple change? Did God’s focal people change? Did the unclean food laws change? Did the multiple-marriage laws change? Did the seventh-day-holy Sabbath change?

    Oh, but, excuse all of us –only the TITHE did not change!!! Hypocrisy!
    If the tithe did not change then you should still obey the UN-changing tithe statute of Numbers 18. (1) Why is the tithe not still only food from inside Israel? Who “changed” the definition? (2) Why don’t tithe-recipients still live without owning property or inheriting property? Who “changed” that to allow you to own property? (3) Why don’t gospel workers KILL anybody who dares enter the sanctuary and worship God directly? Who “changed” that statute?

    Do you see what happens when you actually introduce a text into the discussion? It bounces back at you because your use is out of context.

  19. Dr. Kelly,

    I do appreciate debate, but your responses are degenerating into sarcasm that is unbecoming of you.

    I have said and continue to maintain that it is mandatory that all giving be free will. All of God’s “mandatory’s” are aimed at the “will.” When He “mandates” obedience to anything, He is mandating that we WANT TO FREELY, and willfully, submit.

    I have said and maintain in every article that I have written that there is no New Testament Command to practice law Tithing, (GIVING A TENTH OF INCOME). What I have said and will say is that when the Christian wants to give,(He’s wrong if he never wants to give) the first right thing He can do, is look to the scripture to find out where to begin His giving, and the first amount, and overriding amount of free will giving, and Mandatory giving, that he finds is the example of 10%.

    I will say again, there is no such thing as the doctrine of self preservation. Giving AND Caring for your aging parents are not mutually exclusive. When a person gives, 10%, or even 2.65% of his/her income to the Lord first, there is always the 90% plus, left over to care for others, and to live on. Your argument just won’t work. No man is worse than an infidel that gives God 10% and uses the other 90 to care for parents, and to live. That sir, is foolish.

    Making extreme and inflamatory accusations, ( So you would rather die first than take care of your destitute mother first. Just be a good little tithe-paying firstfruit-giving Christian and let somebody else take care of your mother. You sound more foolish with every breath. ) is irresponsible.

    You can’t get that statement anywhere from anything that I’ve said. That is an attempt to pit one argument against another, and it doesn’t work. What I’ve said, is that you do not have to live, and I do not have to live. That was a secondary statement to a tertiary point that you made somewhere along the way.

  20. CWM: I do appreciate debate, but your responses are degenerating into sarcasm that is unbecoming of you.

    Kelly: Have you noticed how I debate? I take your own words and use them against your argument. That is how best debate works. If I sound sarcastic, it is because you have first opened the door. I was taught debate in college.

    CWM: I have said and maintain in every article that I have written that there is no New Testament Command to practice law Tithing, (GIVING A TENTH OF INCOME).

    Kelly: Then I cannot understand why you appear to support all who teach tithing and want to argue with those who do not teach it.

    CWM: What I have said and will say is that when the Christian wants to give, the first right thing He can do, is look to the scripture to find out where to begin His giving, and the first amount, and overriding amount of free will giving, and Mandatory giving, that he finds is the example of 10%.

    Kelly: Correct me if I am wrong. “You believe that Christians ought to “begin” their level of giving at ten per cent because you think that is where everybody in the OT “began” their level of giving.”

    Let us go back to Numbers 18. Those who received the Levitical tithe were not allowed to own or inherit property in the land. That was a very clear principle. How do you explain that today most full-time pastors also own and inherit property?

  21. Gary Arnold says:

    To CWM

    I see your point clearly. One problem I have with your argument is that it is one sided. You only want the giver to look to The Word for giving (the OT LAW of tithing and NOT giving principles given in the NT) but you don’t want the receiver of those funds to look to The Word for the OT law applying to those receiving the tithe.

    Just putting in my two cents even though you won’t reply to my comments.

  22. Dr. Kelly and Bro. Arnold,

    I’ve been away from this for several days, and have not had time to respond appropriately. For now I am going to leave this discussion, and we’ll pick it up later if the Lord allows. I have other pressing issues to deal with.

    I will however leave you with this “cut and paste” from the minds of the leading scholars who edited and contributed to the KJV Study Bible. Wayne Brindle, Carl Deimer, Edward Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Paul Fink, James, Freerksen, Edward Hindson, Daniel Mitchell, Richard Patterson, Ronald Sauer, Stephen Schrader, Elmer Towns, & Robert Yarbrough.

    “Tithing is the practice of giving 10 percent of one’s income to the Lord. It is called “storehouse tithing” by some who require that the tithe be given the Lord through the local church. Illustration: While some Christians disagree, the principle of “God’s place” for worship is the basis for storehouse tithing (Deut. 12). The temple in the Old Testament (1) was the central place characterized by God’s presence; (2) possessed the symbols of redemption; and (3) was where the man of God served. In the New Testament, these three attributes characterize the local church. Hence, the principle of storehouse tithing continues into the church age. Application: Some people withhold their tithe from their local church because they disagree with its expenditure of funds. These Christians should join another church where they can wholeheartedly make their contributions in good conscience. Because our actual tithe belongs to the local church, giving to parachurch organizations should be in addition to the tithe.
    Thomas Nelson, Inc., King James Version Study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1988 by Liberty University.

    It is apparant that this particular group of scholars, side with the “principle” of giving 10% thru the local church. I would dare say these men are ill-motivated, or uneducated, or unable to rightly divide the truth.

    We’ll pick up this issue again, later on . . . God Bless

  23. CWM: I will however leave you with this “cut and paste” from the minds of the leading scholars who edited and contributed to the KJV Study Bible. [Many names follow]

    Russ: I will leave you with a similar list from the minds of leading scholars across the spectrum of conservative churches. In other words, a list of persons does not change the argument or God’s Word.

    Craig Blomberg, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, F. F. Bruce, Lewis Sperry Chafer; James Darby, Alfred Edersheim, Walter Elwell, Everett F. Harrison, Carl F. Henry, C. H. Lenski, Zola Levitt, John MacArthur, J. Vernon McGee, Bruce Metzger, Moody Bible Institute, Mike Oppenheimer, Dwight Pentecost, Charles Ryrie, C. I. Scofield, Ray Steadman, Charles Swindoll, Merrill Unger, John Wesley, Spiros Zodhiates. Note: Dr. James Kennedy is more in agreement with our position than he is against it.

    CWM: “Tithing is the practice of giving 10 percent of one’s income to the Lord. It is called “storehouse tithing” by some who require that the tithe be given the Lord through the local church.

    Russ: We are more than eager to engage any of these scholars in an extended dialog. Yet they are the ones who evade open discussion. You are a wonderful exception to the rule and I highly commend you for staying with us this long. Thank you.

    The definition from my book: The fourth definition of “tithe” is the precise and narrow Scriptural definition as given in the Mosaic Law in the Old Covenant. The biblical tithe was an ordinance of the Mosaic Law for the use and benefit of national Israel under the Old Covenant. The full tithe was given to the tribe of Levi, first, in exchange for his loss of land inheritance in Israel and, second, because of his servant service to his brothers in the Levitical house of Aaron who alone served as priests. A tenth of the first tithe was, in turn, given by the Levites to the priests who ministered at the altar.

    The basic tithe was not to be used for building houses of worship. Since pagan dust defiled, the original tithe consisted solely of the increase of land produce from God’s sanctified land of Israel and from the increase of animals herded on the land of Israel. Although the tithe could be exchanged for its monetary value, the tithe itself never consisted of money! A second (and third) tithe was also given to provide food for festival occasions, and to provide welfare food for widows, fatherless, orphans and needy strangers in Israel.

    CWM: While some Christians disagree, the principle of “God’s place” for worship is the basis for storehouse tithing (Deut. 12).

    Russ: Deut 12:1 begins a discussion of “statutes and judgments” which national Israel shall obey “in the land.” They only applied to Old Covenant Israel and only inside the land. Read 12:1.
    Deut 12:6-7 is a discussion of the second festival tithe which was to be eaten in the streets of Jerusalem. It was not taken to the Temple.

    CWM: The temple in the Old Testament (1) was the central place characterized by God’s presence; (2) possessed the symbols of redemption; and

    Russ: The “place” of Deuteronomy 12 was the “streets” of Jerusalem, not the Temple. Nehemiah 10:37b-38 is totally ignored when discussing Malachi 3:10. The two small storerooms inside the Temple could not possibly hold the tithe of the nation which was required in the Levitical cities where 98% of those who needed it for food lived.

    CWM: (3) was where the man of God served.

    Russ: They served in 24 courses and each course normally served one week out of 24 (twice a year). According to 1 Chronicles 23 to 26 they were not full-time temple workers; they were also political government employees working for the king. That is ignored today.

    CWM: In the New Testament, these three attributes characterize the local church.

    Russ: The word “church” is an assembly of believers. The church “building” did not exist for over 200 years after Calvary and was not legal for over 300 years. Comparing the OT Temple to the NT “Church” is not biblical.

    CWM: Hence, the principle of storehouse tithing continues into the church age.

    Russ: If that is true, then why did it take Southern Baptists over 300 years (649-1963) to even include the texts for tithing in its statement of faith? Why did the 1925 Faith and Message not include any tithing texts? Why was tithing only first presented to the Convention in 1895 (to be rejected)?

    CWM: Liberty University.

    Russ: The head of the Religion Dept at Liberty and other SBC theologians recently endorsed Dr. David Croteau’s book (also from Liberty) You Mean I Don’t Have to Tithe?

    CWM: It is apparent that this particular group of scholars, side with the “principle” of giving 10% thru the local church. I would dare say these men are ill-motivated, or uneducated, or unable to rightly divide the truth.

    Russ: And they run away from dialog. If they thought their doctrine were so strong they would eagerly defend it.

    CWM: We’ll pick up this issue again, later on . . . God Bless

    Russ: I certainly hope so. You can bring some friends with you also. God bless.

    Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

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