Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why is The House Studio promoting Shane Claiborne and Relational Tithing?

      Many within the Church of the Nazarene may not be aware yet but there is a new Publishing arm of NPH. I have not read all the books, but I have read one so far and to be quite honest that was more than enough if that is the taste of books to come. After reviewing the titles and some of the content of the other few books I can see a theme coming forward and it is not holiness of heart and life. The House Studio is building there “House” foundation on sand as a message of a social gospel is emerging.
                 Recently I discovered two more books on their website by the name of “Economy of Love”. Subtitle is, Creating a Community of Enough by Relational Tithe; video sessions with Shane Claiborne.

Having been aware that Shane is a social gospel advocate who runs with the social liberal left emergent crowd, I was just blown away that NPH is allowing these type of heretical authors and messages to come forward.

Why I am so alarmed? I wish I did not have to write what I am about to write, but biblical justice must be expressed by someone who sees a fire burning in “The House”. Shane Claiborne is misguiding from the original intent of many scriptures and stories to support his own personal agenda to end poverty.  If this book and video material is taught to a fairly substantial amount of people in our churches many more problems will be forthcoming and eventually the message of Holiness with be a twisted social gospel only fitting well into the landscape of a social form government. 

    Those who are running The House Studio are either blind, ignorant, deceived or aligned with a different gospel other than that which NPH was built on. Shane Claiborne is so confused and biblically misguided it is amazing that the Nazarene church would even associate with his name let alone his videos.

One of Shane’s quotes is “rebirth demands redistribution”. This just does not settle well with my spirit or the biblical teaching of tithes or offerings.  Since the term ‘Relational Tithe’ is not in the bible as well it being a new term to me, I had to go research what it meant and found a video by Shane describing it.

Please watch his video for yourself with a bible in one hand and your finger on the pause button and really listen to what this yahoo is really teaching the next generation. If ‘The House Studio’ is trying to cause a revolution with provocative speakers and writers like Shane Claiborne then they have a mission accomplished with me.  If I and our local churches were to adopt Shane’s anti biblical philosophy of ‘relational tithing’ along with the entire denomination then headquarters will shut down soon for lack of funds.

Shane says, “100% of the tithe goes directly to meet the needs of those relationally connected”.   This is biblical incorrect. The tithe was originally designated to go to the priest:

 "Moreover, we will bring to the storerooms of the house of our God, to the priests, the first of our ground meal, of our [grain] offerings, of the fruit of all our trees and of our new wine and oil. And we will bring a tithe of our crops to the Levites, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all the towns where we work. Nehemiah 10:37

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. Malachi 3:10

And unto the children of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they serve, even the service of the tent of meeting. Numbers 18:21

Shane also teaches that the early church eliminated poverty using the text Acts 4:32-35
The truth is that that scripture was referencing the body of Christ sharing as needs arouse among the brotherhood in the church and not the entire population of all people around them as Shane implies.

“Once we really discovered how to love our neighbor as our self capitalism as we know it won’t be possible and Marxism won’t be necessary”.  Shane Claiborne.

Shocked again by the another  liberal release coming from “The House Studio”.


  1. The tithe first appears in Genesis with Melchizedek, not the priests. Psalms 110 identifies Jesus as a priest in the order of Melchizedek. Jesus nor other New Testament authors require a tithe, but the spirit and words of Jesus (including his old testament prophetic undergirding) clearly connect with care for the poor and fatherless.

    Jewish tradition was to give the tithe to the priests in the temple or, if you were too far to do this, to the poor (which is foundational to relational tithes understanding). Local rabbis (the equivalent of local churches today) were supported with gifts above one's tithe.

    As for your issues with redistribution, read about gleaning and jubilee laws in Leviticus. It's clear that God supports redistribution.

    Reread Acts 2 & 4.

    It appears that your view is that God isn't big enough to use his people to care for the needs of the entire world, only one another. I would challenge you to rethink this as God's love and provision flows abundantly over all creation (even the birds). Our greed and selfishness are the barriers, not God's provision.

    You seem to have been co-opted by the poltically conservative right. While Shane is certainly off-base with some things (aren't we all), you appear to be much further off-base.

  2. "The gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness but social holiness." - John Wesley

    From: The Works of John Wesley, Jackson Edition, “Preface to 1739 Hymns and Sacred Poems”, vol. 14:321.

  3. The "foundations" the The House Studio are built on do not differ from the foundations of NPH or the Nazarene Church as a whole. As chiapett posted above, social justice is at the heart of Holiness and Wesleyanism. Perhaps you are in the wrong church.

  4. I don't know where to post this, but why hide behind a title of Nazarenes for Biblical Holiness? If a blogger feels strongly about his/her opinions, they should post an ABOUT ME on their site; knowing your background might explain some of your thoughts.

  5. ummm.....ANONYMOUS, don't you think it's a bit funny that you are asking that question??

    Thanks for starting my Saturday off with a bit of ironic humor. ; )

  6. Interesting to see people armed with messages like "New kind of Christian", "Everything must change", "Repainting the Christian Faith" and starting an "Irresistable Revolution" come to a message board like this and claim to be the establishment-- and then tell the legitiment establishment that they are in the wrong church--seriously--(by the way, that "wrong church" comment was pretty "intolerant")

    And if the Biblical message is all about pure Socialism (call it what it is), why wasn't Jesus patitioning Rome, eveyday, for the poor in the Judea--no, he was here to do the will of his Father. The "Social gospel" is nothing more than adding Jesus' name and the Bible to a political agenda.

  7. God presents us with three general ways in the Bible to take care of the poor and needy: 1) through the family; 2) through the church; and 3) through individual charity. The applicable passages for these three ways are Deuteronomy 14:28, 29, Numbers 18:24, Matthew 6:1-4 and 1 Timothy 5:3-16.

    As David Chilton points out in his great book "Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators," the bulk of Christian giving to the local church should be geared toward financing professional theologians, experts in biblical law and church discipline, teachers of God's word and leaders skilled in worship. It was only every third year that all the giving was set aside to help the needy, poor, widowed and orphaned. Even then, the money was not given just to anyone who showed up. Those able to work but don't do not qualify for help. Also, those who have families to take care of them don't qualify, nor do widows under age 60 qualify, according to the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 5:3-16.

  8. Pure socialism isn't even starting to be the correct frame. Read Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, Jesus for President, and the writings of John Howard Yoder.

    Jesus isn't attempting to legislate a Christian morality via Rome (in fact that was one of the key reasons cited by those arguing He wasn't the Messiah). Jesus was focused on the people of God being the people of God (one aspect of which is redistribution).

    Why can't those on the right recognize that they are doing nothing more than adding Jesus' name and the Bible to a political agenda just as much as the Christian left attempts to do? At the root, you both make the same mistake, attempting to legislate what you view is the will of God, rather than seeking to boldly and self-sacrificially live out the will of God in your lives while encouraging your brothers and sisters in Christ to do the same!

  9. There are many well intended genuine Christian believers, that out of innocent ignorance get wrapped up in what Reformed Theologians call Neo-Progressive-Orthodoxy or the "Emergent Church" movement that is just an offshoot of Liberal-Orthodoxy that started to creep into the Western church around the late 1800's. From these doctrines there is a misunderstanding of what the true meaning of the Gospel is, which they basically think that Traditional Orthodox Theology is not enough for sinner, that the purpose of the Gospel is take care of the poor and the needy, by the means of Government interaction, while it is biblical to not ignore the poor,downtrodden, or destitute, it is not biblical to teach "the ends justifies the means" or "communistic Living", socialistic government. Capitalism is not "entirely" a Biblical concept either, the OT,and N.T doesn't teach any of these ideas. Many American-Christian Evangelicals misunderstand these ideas because we live in 21st-Capilistic Free Democratic Republic, therefore we mold the context of our time into biblical context, which will confuse everything. When you really study the Bible for all it's worth, you learn that Christ, didn't come to save us from our Poverty,(although he did heal the sick, feed the hungry) he came to sovereignly save sinners from their sin and eternal separation from God. The promoters of the "Social Gospel" are not telling the truth of the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Galatians 2:6-9 the Apostle Paul teaches that "if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received(Christ crucified, died, rose again on 3rd day, man is a sinner in need of Savior, if they repent and believe in faith, they are saved for eternity) he is to be accursed." The Gospel that the emergent church teaches is false teaching.

  10. Ben, you're 100% correct in asserting that these radicals (myself included) believe that "Traditional Orthodox Theology is not enough for [a] sinner." As you believe "Traditional Orthodox Theology" is enough for a sinner, I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Lord, Creator, and Savior Jesus Christ. The Gospel is manifest in the being of Christ, not in "Traditional Orthodox Theology" otherwise there is no need for a savior.

  11. Matt,

    Tell me us about your testimony and of your encounter with Jesus. Its one thing to say one is radical, but another thing to hear about the fruit of it. I am not insinuating that you do not have fruit, but would like to hear about how you are living out your Radical unorthodox theology beliefs to affect other lives. Do you have a blog about your ministry in action anywhere or your testimony of the grace of God in your life?

  12. Matt, you can try to spin my words all you want. Traditional Orthodox Theology is all about Christ. I fully believe you are a follower, however I would question your fruit and motives for trying to imply that I don't know Jesus.I am simply saying that when Christians (followers of Jesus) put more weight to "social justice" "the green movement" ect than the very reason this man you want to introduce me to came to this earth (forgiveness of sins, dying to ones self and the filling of the Holy Spirit one misses the point and risks doing a lot of "good works" but not seeing people saved from hell.

    Blessings bro

  13. So, what if every Christian bought into this "Relational tithe" deal -- what if it worked, what if, it acutally ended poverty (even though Jesus himself said we'd always have the poor among us), what if, because of this idea, homelessness became a thing of the past.... the end result of Christianity = the poor and homeless would have a nice dwelling place until the end of their life.

    On the other hand, if we put the Salvation of their souls as priority, if we tell them there is a God who loves them (in spite of their circumstances in life), if we give them hope from the bondage of sin, and encourage them daily and pray with them for God's will in their life, and through that, they accept Jesus' free gift of Salvation. The end result of Christianity = the poor and homeless (and everyone else we can reach-- CEO's, upperclass, middle class, and everyone in between) would have a great dwelling place for eternity.

    78.2 years or eternity?

  14. Amen!

    For the record of the blog First of all “Relational tithe” is not biblical. Relationships among believers is biblical and tithing is biblical, but not the two concepts together in the fashion that Shane has weaved them. Giving to others is biblical above the tithe. Shane seems to have a great heart for hurting people, but he is not biblical in his execution of such. Not all poor people want to be Christians any more than all rich people want help. Not all rich people want Jesus as Lord anymore then all poor people will accept Christ as their Lord. Since only Jesus knows who is ripe for the harvest then we need to just keep going and sharing Christ with the message of salvation. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

    We should not divide people into camps based on wealth or the lack of wealth. We just need to live out Christianity within the circles of influence God leads and guides us too. We should nurture the community of believers He develops through us and around us regardless of wealth, gender or ethnicity as the church first did according to the biblical instructions in the N.T. Then as we do such we are in a place of stability and provision to share compassionately to those who are without as He leads to keep growing the body of Christ.

    God never commanded us to go and rescue the world of poverty, but go with a message of redemption to the entire world with compassion. Of course as we go we should share compassionately as God puts the hurting neighbor before us who needs compassion shown. We should not go with an agenda to rid the world of poverty over an agenda of reaching the world with a message of salvation first and foremost. Both are noble causes, but only one is a commission of Christ and that is that we "make disciples of the nations" and not that we rid the world of poverty.

    The redistribution of wealth is a Spirit led outflow of a health community of believers and not a scripturally mandated model within the walls of the body of Christ as noted in the New Testament. In Acts they were living and walking with the Spirit and He built His Church. Shane Claiborne notes that there was no poverty in Acts, but that is a misinterpreted understanding of what was happening in the New Testament Church. The entire Roman world was not without poverty at that time.