Christian, Inspirational

A Prettier Pan

Is it easier to give at a building? Is it easier to give to someone on television? Are these things easier than giving to someone on the street?

James 2:2-4 KJV For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; [3] And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: [4] Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

Cant these verses apply to giving as well? When certain men panhandle for thousands or even millions of dollars and begrudge the man on the street ten or twenty dollars it gets under my skin. See my previous post.

In that post, I also stated that we should be prepared to exam all things that occur in our churches. We should be aware of the history of giving at churches and how our money is spent. To just tell ourselves we are giving to God may be irresponsible.

The early tabernacle of the Lord began with Moses and the Jews after leaving Egypt. Offerings were made for sin and the tithe was often of first fruits. What did this mean? The Levites had food to eat and were supported by the larger group of Israelites. The job of the Levites was care, upkeep, and transportation of the Tabernacle. When the Israelites later built a temple and moved into the promised land these same practices were followed similarly. The Levites were given land and divided among the various cities. They had rotating duties at the Temple.

What does this mean today since the Temple of God no longer exists? When you contribute at the modern church you pay for the support of the preacher and the maintenance of the Church building. 

Things you should know and question. What is the preacher paid? Does the preacher consistently preach the truth? After paying the salary of the preacher and building expenses how much is left? How much of the money you give on Sunday actually goes to charitable purposes, i.e. the poor or missions?

The Church of Christ denomination claims biblical support of all they do. Since they claim we only follow the New Testament this biblical basis should be found in the New Testament. Their biblical claim for passing the plate every Sunday is 1 Corinthians 16:2 KJV Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

What they ignore is context. This instruction was given by Paul to collect an offering to give to the saints at Jerusalem. It was not and is not an instruction to modern churches to take an offering every Sunday.

It’s your money, when you give be aware of where it might do the most good. Giving directly to the poor should never be frowned upon. It might mean survival to that person. It might mean their only meal that day.

When giving to your church or a charity be aware of administrative fees. How much of your money actually reaches the intended recipient?

A handy tool for charities is charitynavigator.org. At your local church you may have to ask for a copy of their budget.

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