Why I Wrote Kleptomaniac: Who's Really Robbing God Anyway?
The story behind Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway is a 30-year unfolding tale of suspicion, intrigue and questions. My quest for truth started innocently when I first became a believer in the Messiah. One of the doctrines I first became indoctrinated to was the practice of paying ten percent of my income to the coffers of the institutional church as a command from God. As the years passed by I began to question this overtaxing financial obligation. Although it was tough to pay this kind of money year after year, I dutifully kept my obligation to pay God ten percent no matter the circumstances. Even in the face of not being able to pay my bills and struggling to feed my family, I paid God what He required to His representative on earth—the Church. I did this in hopes of receiving a financial blessing from God for my tithe commitment. The primary scripture pastors rely on for monetary tithing resides Malachi 3:8-10. As the years passed, I began to notice the windfall financial blessing I hoped to receive from God never materialized. The abundance that was to overtake me financially somehow escaped my grasp. After 30 years of paying ten percent of my income as a so-called tithe to God, my questions about the practice grew as my financial struggles mounted. About several years ago, I started investigating the doctrine of tithing on a deeper theological and scholastic level out of a need to try to find some financial relief.
Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway began with a probing question. What is tithing? By this time, I was a member of a church group that taught heavily on tithing and even suggested that all tithes must be paid on gross income before taxes to receive God’s blessings. And before you ask whether I succumbed to the pressure to of paying tithes on gross income, the answer is yes. And this went on for several years, which almost lead to bankruptcy. The book came into fruition as a result of a conversation with my x-pastor about the belief system of Jewish people have about the Bible. At that point, the subject of tithing came into the conversation, which prompted me to inquire of Jewish experts and Rabbis about what the Bible actually teaches about tithing monetary income. My first shocking discovery about monetary tithing came from a Jewish Rabbi’s point paper on giving to God. As I read through the document I wept tears of joy, but when reality set in, I became angry. What I thought was tithing for 30 years turned out to be not so accurate. As it turned out, tithing is in the Bible, but tithing money was not in the Bible. As I got over the initial shock, I thought I perhaps needed to do more research to verify my initial discovery. And so I went on a research journey and read my first two books on tithing. The information contained in those books blew up my so-called theology on tithing like an IED and created immediate cognitive dissonance in my tithing belief system.
Now, I was faced with a theological decision about what I would do about my newfound information. My first action was to write my church leadership about my decision to resign from monetary tithing and to take sabbatical leave to go on a yearlong study of the subject and come back with an empirical analysis on what tithing is in the Bible. Needless to say, my decision did not go well and the struggle for truth began. Even as I stepped down or was removed from leadership depending on who you talk to, fellowship with this church became more difficult because leadership felt I became a financial threat to the bottom line if the congregation discovered what I had learned about tithing. In the end, I was indirectly excommunicated from that church. After leaving that institution, I began studying tithing and compiled 117-page power point study and sent my finding to the church. Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway started as a power point study and expanded into a 400 page theological manifesto based on empirical, academic, scholastic research that went from the church in America to the land of Israel. In that journey, I discovered that tithing monetary income is not contained on the pages of the Holy Bible, nor was it ever uttered from the mouth of God that a tithe is ten percent of a person’s income. Writing this book about tithing monetary income and giving gave me biblical insight into the scriptures that changed my life forever. The academic, scholastic the theological study of tithing is a journey not many Bible readers undertake to get an understanding of what God required as a biblical tithe.