“ As I have loved you, so you must love one another." Jesus
At Home Churches in Muskogee, our offerings are directed only toward outreach and missions. We have no staff salaries or overhead.
The modern day organized church however, is kept in motion and built largely by money. Today in the church we have impressive buildings, big signs, strategic locations, television ads, yellow page ads, radio spots, programs for every possible need, nurseries, salaried professionals, date night, pizza parties, youth group activities, ski trips to keep the kids happy, fancy or trending clothes, expensive audio systems, automatic retractable video screens, and million dollar family recreation centers. All of this takes large amounts of finances. The tithe is an Old Testament requirement but modern church teaching has kept the tithe requirement alive in order to fund itself. The New Testament church did not need money. It ran on power and passion. It was kept alive and it continued to grow because of the life that it had. Under the New Covenant that we are in, Jesus does not require a tenth of our incomes, He requires ALL of it. Now we give offerings and gifts freely and joyfully or it should not be given at all. All of It all belongs to God. We are just managers of what we have, not owners.
What should we do?
We all know about the tithe. The tithe was a tenth portion given by Israel to the Levitical priests. What about tithing in the New Testament?
There is not a direct commandment in the New Testament to pay tithes. But we do have some examples of how to relate to money and giving. Jesus said that unless you give up all your possessions you cannot be my disciple. In Luke 18:12 Jesus tells us of the man who fasted twice a week and paid tithes of all he had, but the tax gatherer who said, “I’m a sinner,” was justified instead. Then there is the widow who gave very little compared to the Pharisees, but she gave all that she had. Jesus said that because she gave all that she had, she had given more than anyone else. The New Testament economy is the economy of the Kingdom of God. It’s the opposite of the kingdom of man. The more you give away to love and help others, the richer you are in the Kingdom. The first is last, the last first. We don’t get it though. We think that if we pay our 10% that we have covered the base and did what God expects. We are completely missing the point.
If a money plate is passed in a Christian meeting, we ought to encourage those who have need to take money out of the plate to meet needs they may have.
The covenant that we are in only has one rule. It’s the rule of love. What we give is to help others and further the Good News. There is only one law now in the New Covenant. It’s the law of the Spirit. There is no list of rules that you have to go by anymore. God has set us free in order to serve Him in a new and living way.