A Get Out of Cult Free Card

Remember when you played the game of Monopoly when you were a kid? Well, this is not to say that adults don’t still play it, but when you were young, you had a lot less patience about things. Particularly, if you land on the “Go to Jail!” spot or you pick up a Chance or Community Chest card that tells you to “Go to jail! Do not pass ‘Go.’ Do not collect $200.” You hate being in jail because you miss turns. You want OUT right NOW!
But… if you had a “Get Out of Jail FREE” card, you didn’t have to miss those turns and you could be back on the road to victory. The truth about tithing can be a “Get out of Cult FREE!” card for those in a cult or sect of Christianity that regards tithing as a fundamental requirement of being a member of the organization.

One particular sect or cult is that of Seventh-Day Adventism. To make a long story short, Adventism had its roots in a Baptist preacher named William Miller, who interpreted the days of Daniel 8:14 to be years instead of literal days.
Daniel 8
13:  Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
14:  And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
Miller believed that these 2,300 years began along with the 70 weeks in 457 B.C. with the decree of Artaxerxes I to rebuild the Temple. The 2,300 years led to October 22, 1844, when Miller believed would be the Second Coming of Christ, when He would fulfill the cleansing of the sanctuary by purifying the world in judgment and gathering His elect to Himself.
October 22, 1844 came and went and the Great Disappointment included about 100,000 followers of Miller’s predictions. To rescue the doctrine, some Millerites proposed that Jesus did come on that date “spiritually,” and it was actually when Jesus entered the “sanctuary” in heaven to begin a process known as “Investigative Judgment,” where Jesus Christ is making priestly intercession for the saints that would evaluate their fitness for heaven at the time of the end. The Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) church today believes that the soul sleeps upon death, awaiting the resurrection at the end of the world. Those who pass Investigative Judgment will enjoy eternal bliss, whereas those who fail will be annihilated.
Naturally, SDA doctrine is a works-based system that, like other sects and Catholicism, would claim salvation by grace. However, when all is said and done, the determining factor for salvation is the person’s obedience to God in works, even if this is claimed to be based on the atonement of Christ. One of those continual works happens to be tithing.
Ellen G. White was a prophetess of the Adventist movement in the 1800’s, and modern followers regard her commentaries on Scripture to be absolute truth for today. Although Adventists would deny that White’s writings are “inspired” as is Scripture, they would claim that her commentaries are an “infallible interpretation” of inspired Scripture. In other words, what Ellen White said a passage of Scripture means must be true. Ellen G. White taught the modern doctrine that Christians are required to give 10%+ of their monetary income to the church.
According to Ellen White in “The History and Use of the Tithe”:
The tithe is the Lord’s and those who meddle with it will be punished with the loss of their heavenly treasure unless they repent. Let the work no longer be hedged up because the tithe has been diverted into various channels other than the one to which the Lord said it should go.
The tithe, like Baptism, Sabbath-keeping, and other things are integral to determining if an Adventist will be saved at the final judgment; therefore, an Adventist would be afraid of reading alternative positions on what the Bible teaches about tithing.
The door to the SDA is their in-depth teaching on why Christians need to observe the Saturday Sabbath.
The gate out of the SDA may very well be the plain teaching from the Scriptures about the truth of tithing and that Ellen G. White was very WRONG!
Tithing truth: a get-out-of-jail-free card! How about that?

About dmynyk

Daniel holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Pensacola Christian College and an M.I.S. from University of Phoenix. He is passionate about defending and promoting historic, orthodox Christianity that has lost its foothold in evangelical churches.

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