Dear Aunt Dara,
I read your reply to the person who asked if church attendance is necessary, and I mostly agree with what you said. However, the reason that I seldom attend church is because they always want money. It seems that every time the door is open they pass the offering plate. Then the preacher or one of the deacons stands up there and says that the church needs more money. Even the preachers on TV are always asking for money. It just makes me sick! When was the last time that you heard of a church having to close its doors because they did not have enough money to pay the bills? Why should I give more money to the church just so the preacher’s kid can go on a so-called mission trip to
? Furthermore, most of the TV preachers live in mansions, drive nice cars, and live a life of luxury. Why should I give them money just so they can continue their lavish lifestyle? At least I can turn the TV off when they start asking for money, and if I don’t go to church I don’t have to worry about being hassled about not tithing. India
Fed up with their greed
Dear Fed Up,
I may be wrong, but you sound somewhat disgusted and a little angry. Nobody likes to feel pressured, and it appears that you feel as if you are being pressured to give money when you don’t want to. The Bible has much to say about giving, so much so that it would not be possible to reference all that is recorded. Therefore, I will try to address some of the reasons that a Christian should give.
When we look at the issue of giving, I think it would be helpful to look at the ultimate example of giving—God Himself. James tells us that God is a liberal giver (James 1: 5) and that every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1: 17). What blessings have you received from God? Do you appreciate the things that God has given you? How much do you appreciate His gifts? When we give to the Lord’s church, we are giving to God Himself and expressing our gratitude for His blessings.
Love gives. When we love someone, we do not begrudge the things that we give them. For example, we don’t grumble and complain about having to give food to our children (Luke 11: 11-13). God gives blessings to us because He loves us. Because God loves us, He has given us far more than we could ever give back (John 3:16). Do you love God? Do you truly, deeply love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength? Do you love God enough to give back to Him—through service, worship, obedience, and yes, even monetarily?
Though our primary motivations to give should be our appreciation for God’s blessings and our love for Him, we also should give to God to please Him and to be obedient to His wishes. Jacob made a vow to give God 10 percent (Gen. 28: 18-22). Later, God instructed His people to give 10 percent to Him, and when they did not Malachi 3: 8-10 says that they were robbing God. The Apostle Paul expressed his wishes that Christians grow in the grace of giving (II Cor. 8: 1-7).
Finally, we will be blessed when we give and we will receive much more in return (Acts 20:35, Luke 6:38, Prov. 11: 24-25), though not necessarily financially and not necessarily immediately. When we give back to God by giving generously to others, we will have treasures in heaven and we will find a level of spiritual joy that cannot be experienced by those who do not give.
When we disagree with how the money is being used, we should not withhold from God. What happens to the money after we give is not within our control. The churches, televangelists, and other ministries who receive our funds are using them the best way they know how, according to what they believe is God’s will. They pray regularly for God’s guidance and wisdom in using His money to accomplish His work. We need to trust that they are following God’s leading, and we should not judge or condemn them when we question their decisions. Instead, we should pray that God gives them wisdom and guidance in using the funds according to His will.