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Answers to some frequently ask questions regarding giving
Q. WHY DOES THE CHURCH TALK ABOUT MONEY SO MUCH?
A. The reason the Church talks about money is because God talks about money.
Jesus Talked about money often. Many of his parables are directed at the topic of money. He talked more about money than He did about heaven and hell combined. About 25% of Jesus words in the New Testatment deal with biblical stewardship. There are more than 2000 scriptures in the bible dealing with tithing, money and possessions in the bible. That is double the references to faith and prayer combined. Money is frequently discussed in the bible because there is a direct relationship to how we handle our money and our faith.
(Luke 12:34) “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” .
The most significant idol we face in this world is money.
(Matt 6:24) “No one can serve two masters…You cannot serve both God and money
God desires our Devotion. He knows we will come face to face with the temptation of money. That is why He speaks so often of it.
Q. WHAT IS A TITHE?
A. A ‘tithe’ simply translated means one tenth. Although God owns everything on earth as the creator, He willingly and graciously gives us all and ask only for ten percent to be returned to Him.
Q. WHY DOES GOD NEED OUR MONEY?
A. In the Old Testament the tithe was given to support the tabernacle/temple and the Levites, the priest of God, so that they could be about the work of the tabernacle and ministry to the chosen people of God. It is really no different today. The church today is called upon by God to spread his Gospel to all. It takes people and resources to do that. Resources cost money and the people who devote their life to spreading the gospel need the freedom of their time in order to do that. Our tithe, our ten percent, enables this all to happen and in the end results in souls added to the kingdom of God and ministry to bring the people of God to closer relationship and the knowledge of Gods Word at work in their lives.
Q. ARE WE “REQUIRED” TO TITHE?
A. There are two opinions for this.
YES Tithe was instituted before mosaic law and thus was not one of the things that was abolished by Christ work on the cross. Malachi 3:8-12 makes plain Gods’ feelings on not tithing and the blessings we receive when we do, but it is important to note that Gods’ words in Malachi are not only about tithing but about offerings also and that brings us to the second opinion on whether we are required to tithe or not.
NO Those of this opinion believe that the tithe was part of the Mosaic law and Jesus did away with the ‘requirement” to tithe by His work on the cross. This, even if true, does not do away with Gods’ words in Malachi also covering offerings. Jesus even reaffirmed the promises of Malachi in Luke 6:30,38 Give to all that ask and Give and it shall be given unto you.
The Church has ‘needs’ in order to carry on Gods’ work and in order to do that it ask that we give. By doing this we join in the work God has set for the church to do. That is, Get the gospel to all the world and provide for the needy in this world today.
Q. WHY SHOULD I GIVE TO MY CHURCH?
A. The word ‘church’ in the New Testament literally means ‘body of called out ones’. You have been called out by God in order to help do his will in your particular area. Today, giving to your particular body, your local church, is more about participating, taking ownership in the life of the local church and less about just giving. 1 Corinthians Chapter 12 speaks to this ownership and us being part of one body in depth but lets look at these two verses now.
(I Corinthians 12) vs 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
“In particular” means that just as each member of the human body has a part to do, an office so to speak, so do we each have an office to perform, a part to do, in the Body of Christ the church. When we talk about participating or doing your part we are not talking about just giving of your money but serving the church with your time and skills whenever needed also which are equal parts of what biblical stewardship in the church is. Giving to the church is more about identity and participating and less about obligation.
Q. CAN I TRUST YOU WITH MY MONEY?
A. This is and can be a very loaded question. Trust is part of our being a part of a particular body of believers. The church is a place where we need to be able to be open with our needs and hurts and prayer request. This ‘trust’ goes much deeper than ‘What will you do with MY money if I give it to you?’. Our trust all over should be in God and the fact that our blessings come from obedience to God and not from how our giving is used. Once we give of our finances we must learn to also ‘let go’ of them. The burden of responsibility to God for how those finances are used after we give falls on the church leadership and they should have free reign to make good Spirit led decision without fear of reprisals from those who don’t know the whole story or maybe disagree with some spending for that time. (Hebrews 13:17) Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. The very word ‘ submit ‘ implies a difference of opinion or disagreement in something. We do not need submission to something we already agree with. In Numbers 16 verses 1 – 50 we see Korah and 250 princes of Israel rise up against Moses and Aaron and their leadership of the people of God. Moses simply said lets let God decide and the end was the Holy fire of God consuming Korah and the rebellious leadership for going against the leaders God himself had chosen. There is evidence that the whole disagreement started over something as simple as the color of the fringes on the priest robes. God chooses His servants and places them in leadership over His people. We must pray for them and trust God in his wisdom and submit to those who He has placed over us in all areas including how church finances are spent. To sum up remember, OUR blessing comes from being obedient to God and giving to our church and not from how those finances are used. That responsibility lies with our church leadership who also deserve our trust.
Q. WHY DO YOU ACCEPT CREDIT OR DEBIT CARDS?
A. In todays culture credit and debit cards hold a place the same as coins, paper money and checks. They are a viable form of payment almost everywhere. Debit cards are attached to a bank account and donations made with a debit card are pulled directly from someones bank. There should not be too much of a concern using a debit card to donate. Credit cards however open up several questions for the user. If paying your card off monthly is your habit then using the card to make donations then there is not a concern. Some people believe otherwise and that is ok. (Rom 14:5-6) In many cases credit cards are a revolving account that racks up interest if not paid off monthly. In this situation donating money on a credit card that will accumulate interest may not be the best decision financially or spiritually. Using a card can be a very easy way to make sure your gift is at the church in a timely manner especially during summer months when we are many times away from our home church. As with everything use wisely and by the leading of the Spirit of God.
Now its YOUR TURN
Giving is not so much about deciding how much money we are going to donate but more about deciding how much will we keep to use for ourselves.
After all it all belongs to God doesn’t it?
Credits to Tithe.ly and their articles on Giving Today for excerpts and ideas for these answers
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Abundant Life Assembly Of God
231 Howard Avenue
Altoona, Pa 16602