Your Comment:Thank you for a wonderful insite on tithes and offerings. I agree 100%. I belong to a church that teaches and pressures people to pay tithes and offerings. I was very faithful in paying. I came into some info that relieved me of the stress and strain. I do believe in supporting the ministry. I believe people should give freely; according to 2 Cor. 9:7
Most preachers make you feel bad. I no longer feel bad. I feel set free.
My Response: Thank you for your kind comments Delores. I am fully persuaded that God the Father and His Christ Jesus want us to care for His poor and distressed. I thank our Father in heaven for giving you understanding in His word. 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. But supporting a ministry that have leaders "living it up" on the word of God, I say is not only spiritually wrong, its stealing from those whom God say He lives among, and represent Him on this evil and adulterous world (Proverbs 14:30-31, 19:17, 22:22-23, and 31:8-9).
For the Christ Jesus our Lord and Master says, "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 Me… 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).
Now, this brings us to 2 Corinthians 9 where the apostle Paul is again speaking concerning the same gift he spoke of in 1 Corinthians 16 and in the previous chapter to this one 2 Corinthians 8. The subject is the same because this gathering of the gifts for the churches in Jerusalem went on for over a year before it was actually collected. (As Paul states in Romans 15:25-28… "25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For, if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain)"… In Romans 15:27, it says "their duty is also to minister to them in material things"; let me explain here that this was a one time gift of material things for the "poor among the saints" (v. 26) not the "ministers" of the saints unless they were poor - this verse do not give Ministers a right to demand that you give to them 10% of your income on a regular basis.
Here in 2 Corinthians 9 we have some phrases that we should examine before moving on. In verses 1 and 2, Paul says, "concerning the ministering to the saints" (v.1) that he did not need to write to them about being willingly to give to the poor saints; and that he had boast to the saints at Macedonia that the in saints at Achaia were "ready a year ago" (v.2). Now notice in verse 5 where Paul says, "I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation"… There you have it these gospel peddling, tithes and offerings demanders have made you believe that this verse was a command from Paul; but as you can see Paul states the Corinthians "had previously promised" to give this generous gift. And that he wanted them to "be ready as a matter of generosity", because if they arrived and their gift were not prepared and ready for delivery to the poor saints in Jerusalem then they would have to "grudging" come up with something on a short notice making their gift an "obligation" rather than "generosity". In verse 6, these gospel peddlers will again try and make you believe this verse implies giving to some man-made church organization rather than giving to "the poor saints in Jerusalem" which I showed you in Romans 15:25-28. Also, it is said 1 Corinthians 16:3 that this gift is for the Jerusalem poor saints in need. We can clearly see that 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 are speaking about these same "poor saints in Jerusalem". So, we as Christians who "sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully"; when giving to the poor not some self appointed minister. Notice also verse 7 where it says, "let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver". We are exhorted to give, as we purpose not as some self-appointed gospel peddler claims that we must give him 10% of your income. Then it says, "God loves a cheerful giver"; and we are not to give "grudgingly or of necessity"; question if you had to give some church building 10% of your income when you did not have rent or gas bill would you be giving it as "a cheerful giver" or as someone giving it out of necessity and fearing the curse of God if you do not give it? Think about it would God want you to give to His poor who represent Him on this planet under fear of a curse? Finally, we have verse 9 where it is said, "He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever (v. 9)"; again it says in verse 13 "they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men". These verses speak of those who give to the poor is like God giving to them saying "He has given to the poor"; and then it tells us what I have always proclaim and continue to exhort you that your giving to the poor and needy in the churches and this world will cause them to "glorify God…for your liberal sharing with them and all men". 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 God’s 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. Amen. Praise God.
Ron Davis, minister of Christ