Recently there has been a lot of hoo-ha on tithing, particularly in Nigeria.
As my pops pointed out, this is not the time to retreat on teaching the Church accurately on tithing and offerings in general. Because Satan will use every opportunity he can to rob people of knowledge & truth.
On the other hand, I also know through God’s prophetic word that He is not happy with some of our ways in the church particularly that there are things that our leadership need to address. It is time for self examination. Let us judge ourselves so we are not judged. Are we accountable with tithes and offerings? Do any of our practises when we make a call for offering promote competition/jealousy/envy/self validation/pride? Do we acknowledge or give extra honour/recognition to those who have more to give directly or indirectly, are we elitist? Are our methods man made or God inspired? Are we trying to cajole the people of God because we do not trust God enough to raise funds without a little extra muscle from us, do we get out our rolodex of expert fund raisers to enlist their help to cajole without any specific leading by God to partner with these experts? I have seen &been in environments where the need/expenses of the church/ministry are simply stated to the people of God & the people give, the needs met with overwhelming support from God’s people - scripture says in the days of Thy power, Thy people shall be willing, some versions say Your troops, another Your volunteers "His troops, His volunteers" (Psalm 110:3a). Note THY POWER (not my or our power).
How do we administer funds? Is it evidenced by transparency & accountability? There is a standard set in the bible that we can see in 2 Corinthians 8:20 “We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift.”
Are we taking care of the genuinely needy amongst us within the church from collections? Taking care can be expressed in more ways than one (scholarships, bursaries, training/education programs from within from those that have succeeded in an area, money, food, clothing) - ever heard the saying “leaving no one behind” Scripture says “Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,” Acts 4:34 KJV “At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”2 Corinthians 8:14-15 NIV
On the flip side, I also want to remind church goers that they also have a responsibility & free will to choose their church. In the scriptures, letters of commendation were written to accompany brethren - Paul said“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 Otherwise you do yourself a great disservice being under a church leadership that you despise, I think that is extremely counterproductive. If God has called you somewhere where you see imperfections & you are sure he called you there, then He must have work for you to do - as an intercessor, as a sent one not as a gossip, not to tear & run down. If God called you there, then He has given you grace to love your church and to stand in the gap as an intercessor or sent one. Paul said “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,” Galatians 4:19 NIV
As congregants and leaders we must examine our hearts on both sides for the love of money.“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”1 Timothy 6:10 KJV
Now that we have got that out of the way, I can begin to teach further in my upcoming posts.