Your Question(s):My only question is how do you keep up the church of today w/out [tithes] and offerings [?] Who pays the water bill, the electric bill, and the general up keep of the church building [?] How would you help members who may fall upon hard times [?] How would they get help from the church [?]
My Answer(s): Thank you for your questions Angela, and for visiting my web site, on Tithes and Offerings. I pray that God my Father in heaven will help you in understanding His holy word. It appears you have not visited by web site at www.Kemonline.org, I suggest you visit this site. For these type of questions always come up, and well meaning Christians actually believe giving away a tenth of their earnings for these expenses is justified. Angela, I hope you are not asking these questions because you wish to continue to give ten (10) percent of your earnings for your pastor to determine who gets help and where it goes. For if after I reveal to you the truth concerning tithes and the Holy Spirit shows you that what I say is truth, and then you still insist on giving your money to others to spend as they please. Then, what should I say? Should I say not to pay your congregation gas and electric bill, water bill, expenses of the congregation, and the needs of the needy in your congregation and others? No, I have never said such things neither would you find such language on my web sites.
However, I am fully persuaded that God the Father and His Christ Jesus want us to care for His poor and distressed. As for supporting the different ministries and churches in this world, I say if the true expenses of these organizations are known then supporting these needs are fine within reason. This calls for open expenses of the congregation, and not blindly giving ten percent of your income to some person claiming to represent God. For I know of many so-called representatives of God who live as the rich and famous, while those who pay them tithes and offerings struggle to pay their rent and feed their family. This I am sure, you should not be supporting a ministry that have leaders "living it up" on the word of God. Yes, I say this is not only spiritually wrong, its stealing from those whom God say He lives among, and represent Him on this evil and adulterous planet (Proverbs 14:30-31, 19:17, 22:22-23, and 31:8-9).
Now, when we go to Matthew 25, we see Christ Jesus our Lord and Master saying, "I was hungry and you gave Me something eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit MeÖ I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me" (Matthew 25:35-36, 40). So I ask, how can someone argue against this? When it is clearly shown to all that giving to the poor is giving to God, and you are performing Godís work by doing these good works. Unless, some how the deceiver has deceived you into believing that giving to your Minister is giving to God.
The question here in Matthew 25 is who is the "you" in these verses Christ is speaking about? Is it "you" the believer or "you" the congregation? The answer is found in Matthew 25:41-46, where Jesus tells those on the left to depart from Him, "you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (verse 41). For it is clear from this judgment that the "you" in these verses represent the individual professing Christians, and not some congregation feeding the poor and needy. Therefore, it stands to reason that you should be giving to the poor, and those who have fallen upon hard times, as you say. Not just the congregation as a whole if it has excess funds after taking care of the needs of the congregation then these excesses are to be given to the poor in the congregation first, and next the community, not the minister for a salary.
Again, I say God did not command you to give no man or if some woman (for there are some who claim to be a minister) 10 percent of your hard earn money. Yes, you should help with the upkeep of your meeting place and utilities if they are made known to the whole congregation, then funds should be raised to pay these expenses. And if the minister do not receive enough free will offerings from the members to support his basic living expenses, then he should get a job. Your offerings should be used to support the upkeep of your meeting place, and other expenses of your congregation as a whole. Not to pay some unknown salary which is beyond your means to pay some self-appointed preacher demanding a right to 10% of your income.
The rules and regulations concerning tithing, dues, fees, and the like are all man-made teachings having no root in the teachings of the Holy Bible nor did Christ command these greedy ministers any such thing. It is sinful for these ministers to burden the members with such outrageous financial burdens. Something they themselves do not carry and refuses to carry, yet they will burden the unknowing and innocence babes in Christ with such burdensome tithing system. I ask, how many ministers do you know who run or own their man-made human organization paying tithes? I mean to whom do they pay tithes? For God the Father in heaven is not a respecter of person, and He do not give commands to just you as a member, as it is said we are all brothers and sisters. And the members are these man-made organizations find themselves guilt stricken for not following these blasphemous teachings of the evil one and his followers. Itís only a sin to support these money hungry, greedy Balaam ministers who demand your money for their many ventures, and not helping the poor. Any excess monies after taking care of your family should go to help the needs of your congregation, the poor, the oppressed and needy. Never giving any minister or congregation ten percent of your income without considering the needs of your family first then the poor.
For the Holy Spirit clearly says:
Yet, you will have money hunger, gospel-peddling ministers telling you to give to their human organizations even before caring for your family needs. Often quoting the Scripture about the poor widow to shake down money from those who receive social services. Having no shame they will carry on for hours shaking you down, and abusing their authority (2 Corinthians 5:10). It is obvious why these gospel-peddling preachers claim a tenth of your money as their salary, for they preach from their belly. Most of these preachers would throw you out of "their churches" if you donít tithe to them. I mean ask yourself Angela, what part of your money would you want for your salary? If you are giving your minister ten percent of your weekly or twice weekly or monthly paycheck on a regular timetable, and only give offerings when the preacher beg for additional money for so-called upkeep of his human organization or "pet projects". Which would you want for yourself, the tithes or offerings? You see thatís an easy choice for those who are running greedy for financial gain and a large salary themselves.
As I said before, I say again stop tithing and only give for the upkeep of your meeting place and other expenses, if known. And I say if known because there are some greedy and power hunger preachers out there, who will even refuse to tell you what their expenses are. Nor will they tell you the amount of their salary, if receiving a salary from "Your Money". I mean think about this, I want 10% of your income but I am not telling you how much I am using for my personal expenses. Yet, most Christians happily give away their money thinking they are giving to God. And even refuses to question or be concern with the excessive lifestyles of these gospel peddlers. Tell your minister you can only give offerings, and not tithes because of your family needs and see how much love and open arms you receive. He probably will not speak to you anymore, and threaten to stop you from speaking in "his so-called church".
Now, I am compel also to answer the other question of most Christians if a preacher does not work how is he suppose to survive? You know Angela; I find it strange sometime, yet its not strange. When a person is more than willing to give there hard earn money to some preacher who refuses to work for a living. The answer to this question is simple; the preacher gets a JOB! I mean why is it your responsibility to support a person who refuses to work. Because he has this notion that you should give him 10% of your money, to do what he "claims" God called him to do, that is to preach the word. In Matthew 10:7-8 it says, "As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give" (NIV). Jesus commands preachers to "freely give" what they have received, that is the understanding of Godís word, doing this without demanding those preached to give them 10% of their earnings. The minister should be content with whatever offerings he receives from those preached to, maintaining the meeting place and other expenses with these offerings, and getting a JOB if he wants a salary.
The Scripture says, "if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10 NKJV). Do you think these verses in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 only applied to Christianís lay members only? Well, Paul and Barnabas believed these verses applied to them as well. For if the offerings were not sufficient to support them, they worked. Please, read my articles on 1 Corinthians 8, 2 Corinthians 9 and 1 Timothy 5:17-22 at my web site on Tithes and Offerings. All Christians have the responsibility to work for a living, and not depending on other Christians to support them with 10% of their money. Therefore, the Holy Spirit says if your minister feels he does not have to work then neither shall he eat with that sinful attitude.
I exhort you to read and study Godís holy word, and not just depending on some self-appointed preacher to tell you what God says. Donít believe just what I say believe your Holy Bible, I mean dust off your Bible and study it. I pray that you continue to seek understanding, testing all things that I say and others in this evil and adulterous world against the Holy Scriptures. And remember just because everyone is doing or believing something do not make it right. For each one of us will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ Jesus, yes all who have live must give an answer for what they have done.
I hope this help you in understanding what I preach and say. And I exhort you to continue to remain humble and teachable, following the lead of the Holy Spirit, yet testing every thought, which comes into your mind. I pray that God will continue to bless you and your household in understanding His holy word. Amen. Praise God.
In Christ love
Ron Davis, minister of Christ