Thursday, October 16, 2014
BUILDING THE ARK
This is the problem I have with what the Bible teaches us and what most church organizations practice. The Bible teaches us that the donations that are collected from the body of the church is suppose to be given to those less fortunate. Today, most churches turn around and use that as profit and put back into their own organizations. The main message of giving and tithing within the Bible teaches us to give so that we can receive.
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Luke 6:38 (KJV)
I understand that the church needs money to stay functioning. To me, I would rather attend and be a member of a small church that gives a majority of their proceeds to widows and orphans than a huge over-blown organizational church with all their pomp and circumstance and jumbo trons, prerecorded sermons and bloated presence. I miss the days of that personal touch, when the pastor knew each and every member of his congregation. When I was younger, I remember the pastor of the church we had once attended would always check up on us if we had not been to church, just to make sure we were okay! Who does that anymore? Now it's automated e-mails with so much going on you are just another tally to mark for attendance and numbers.
Some interesting links to read is an article through the website about religion titled "What Does The Bible Say About Church Giving?" When I tried researching about what happens to the donations once they are given to a church, most of the articles were about the actual act of giving to the church. A huge issue I have within the operations of a church is if they ask your income. If they ask you this it is because they are expecting 10% as a donation to their church, once you are a member. They'll use the Bible to tell you that's what is expected and there is evidence in the Bible to instruct as such. But, it's just a suggestive. God tells us to give what we can, not to be dictated to about how much is required of us to give. One of my favorite passages within the Bible is the generosity of a poor woman who gives her last cent to the church she went to. Even though it was only a single cent, it was all that she had. Could you imagine a person of wealth giving all that they have to a church? This article also lists the reason why people today have issues with giving to church organizations.
Another interesting read is Let Us Reason Ministry with their articled titled "The Origin of Tithing". I personally love reading these more to the point articles because it researches the beginning, it goes to (as so titled) origin and gives us the history behind the reasoning. This articles takes us through the course of giving along with the different passages from the Bible associated with tithing and the specifications of today. If you are questioning yourself about giving to your church, read both of the articles (I'll list them both below) and write out a devotional and see how He opens your heart and blesses you with understanding. Make sure to share with us your opinions on giving, tithing and those practices in today's church.
When I first started putting this post together, I looked into the Adopt a Soldier program. I actually did sign-up and conversed a couple times through e-mails with my soldier. He was married and had two young children, one was just a baby. It's so altruistic of the soldiers who commit their lives and it reminds me of another person who sacrificed his own life so that the rest of us could continue to live. Yes, I get it - people are against war. Yet, war has been around for far too long and it doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. So, for those brave men and women who sign-up and sacrifice their lives for our perceived freedom and for their belief in doing something good, the least I could do was to sign-up to say "Thank You" and send them a little goody box. I don't have much money but, I sent them what I could. Even if I never hear back from them, I know in my heart that I did something good. Years ago, a friend's sister was deployed and at the time I did have more money so I put together a box full of Bath & Body Works items and they loved the "thank you." But, it's these random acts of kindness that go a long way and not only brings joy to those who receive the gifts, it also brings joy into your own life. For more great ARK ideas, check out the links below!