- Church leaders should not be deceitful nor mislead others in giving under false pretense; in order to make a personal financial gain or outright lying, tricking, deceiving and stealing God's money. If you need money that bad... get a job, or start a business. Ministry is about making disciples; not making money! And if you are allowing others to manipulate you into false or pressure giving; you really need to examine yourself and motives against the clear standard of giving in the Bible. You don't give in order to be blessed, you give because you are blessed. We do not use ministry as a means to make money... we use money as a means to establish a covenant with God's people by ensuring that each member is cared for and supported in every area of life. Some would like to call it a donation, gift or seed, but whatever you call it it should still have the same purpose.
UNITED FINANCIAL LEVERAGE
- Some would claim that the law ended with Jesus, but it didn't end it was fulfilled that is why the New testament Church supported each other behold the tithe. If you want to give money, food, clothing or whatever you have to support the "community of believers" with practical needs, not buildings or ministers, then do so freely and God will honor it. We like to refer to this as Corporate Wealth Opportunities.
BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING
- Far too many so-called Pastors, are simply just motivation speakers, with no real or genuine care for the members of their congregations. They manipulate people in order to fleece; instead of feeding the flock by getting people's emotions charged up, simply for filthy lucre's sake or for money. You can't serve both God and Mammon(riches), for you will love the one and hate the other. Don't allow money to rule or control your life... use money as a means to change someone's life. Money is not the answer to all of your problems. Life does not consist of the abundance of a man's possessions. God blesses us to be a blessing to others. "For the love of money is the root of all evil", but a love of people is the root of all goodness. We understand the concern about giving money to churches/ministries these days, because of the many wolves in sheep's clothing and a misrepresentation or out right lie concerning key scriptures just to get money out of your pocket by false prophets. But this is also a convenient excuse for those who are stingy and greedy not to give.
- We want to take this time to help you understand God's purpose and our responsibility in giving, so that you will not be robbed of the blessings that God has promised to those who walk in obedience to His Word. We are destined to walk in the peace and favor of God, with nothing missing and nothing broken. God wants to trust us with the responsibility of managing the wealth of this world in order to bring salvation to many people who would not otherwise give us the time of day. It is interesting to note that those who say that they don't agree or believe in the principle of tithing, also do not give anything to support other people at all, because it's all about them and their lack and debt that they have. You see believers who don't tithe are in debt just like the rest of the world. All true followers of Christ are the total opposite of this line of thinking and living.
- The Book of Acts records how the people voluntarily went and sold their possessions and laid them (the proceeds) at the Apostle's feet for them to distribute according as everyone had a need. For the spiritually mature and enlightened realize that we are called to help support one another, not only spiritually, but physically, socially, emotionally and yes... financially as well. "No one who is an active member of a local church should ever be in lack".
- "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. test me in this says the Lord almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing, that you will not have room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10). This was admonition to the priest, as well as, the people of God who not unlike the many false prophets and believers today, had corrupted themselves by not bringing "all" the tithe into the storehouse. In order words they were stealing from God. You need to find out the truth about where your tithes and offerings are going and how it is affecting the lives of God's people, because that's what the money is for.
- We would not have our members ignorant, so please don't allow the abuse and misuse of this ordinance by men and women in lack, who love God more than money, rob you of your blessings that God has promised you. Please notice that the tithe is given to support people, not places of worship.
WHAT IS A TITHE?
- Tithe - is a word that means "a tenth" or 10%. The tithe is an offering used to provide material, physical and/or financial support for widows, orphans, strangers in the land and a 10% of the tithe was used to support those who provided these outreach services. It was not to be used for buildings, staff salaries, other that the 10% of the tithe that God designated for those whose sole source of income came from providing these services. We encourage our members to store up 90% of their tithe to support those that God has designated and contribute a 10% of their tithe to the work of the ministry. Here is a practical life application for this, if your gross income is $1000.00, you would store away or contribute $90.00 for those that God has designated and contribute $10.00 to CUC for the work the ministry. All of our ministers are bi-vocation and ministry is not their sole source of support, so we do not misuse or manipulate our members through this teaching.
- It is important to understand that this was an Old Testament principle giving by God to the Children of Israel in order that they would take their responsibility for caring for one another seriously and honor by by doing so,
- The primary reason is to provide for the care of one another and to help support those who have been set apart for the work of ministry. In order to establish the Kingdom of God in the earth, the church (Body of believers must be an example of the love and fellowship that exist within the church and one of the ways we show that is through our support for one another financially. Here is an Old Testament example of how this manifested:..."When you have finished setting aside the tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levites (ministers who are entitled to a tenth of the tithe), the alien (those who are strangers in your land), the fatherless (those 17 or younger, who have have no direct family support), and the widow or widower (those aged 60 and up who have no direct family support), so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied." - (Deuteronomy 26:12)". As New Testament followers of Christ, we are all a part of a royal priesthood and responsible for being obedient to the instructions given in scripture in the context of what it means for us today. Tithing is not a means of getting rich quick, nor a gimmick for fundraising; nor is it to be associated with being blessed or not. It's a matter of obedience to honor God by honoring Him with our resources to care for one another.
- "Give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give unto God what belongs to Him" (Matthew 22:21). Here we see that Jesus avoided the trap set by the Pharisees, by showing that we have dual citizenship (1 Peter 2:17) in the earth. One that requires us to pay taxes to support our earthly kingdoms and the other to support our heavenly Kingdom.
WHAT ABOUT OFFERINGS?
- Offerings are gifts that are used to support the redeemed community of believers. It is the natural result of being a tither (one who gives a tithe/10% to support the needs of those that God has designated). You see saints, once you learn to tithe in right way, for the right reason, and in the right place...the Lord God, Jehovah, will provide more seed for the sower and bread for your food and INCREASE the fruit of your righteousness (your ability to give even more). It is these types of offerings which are used to support building projects, salaries and such miscellaneous expenses, as Moses took an offering from the people to build the tabernacle in the wilderness.
- You see, God will keep His promise to open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing more than you can receive, in order that you may be able to be a blessing to others in need. The key is to give cheerfully, not grudgingly or because someone made you feel guilty if you don't give, because God loves a cheerful giver. Offerings can be used for whatever purpose that they are designated for, as they are free-will and their is no limitations on how much you give or how gift/offerings can be used to support the work of ministry. We encourage our members to contribute at least a $10.00 monthly offering to support the work of ministry.
NEW TESTAMENT EXAMPLE
- "And all the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his/her own, but they shared everything they had with one another. And with great power the Apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. For time to time those who owned lands, or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds from the sales and put them at the apostle’s feet or simply give the money to the apostles and it was distributed to everyone who had a need". - (Acts 2:32-37)
TAKING CARE OF ONE ANOTHER
- Here is another new testament example that expresses this..."If anyone has materials possessions and sees his brother/sister in need, but has no mercy on him, how can the love of God be in him?" - (1 John 3:17). We teach our members how to set aside 10% of their income to support those in need and those who provide for those in needs.
THE PURPOSE OF GIVING
- The purpose for giving has been outlined through various examples from both the Old and New Testament Scriptures. It is essentially to support the life of the redeemed community of believers not just spiritually, but physically, socially, emotionally... and yes, financially, as well.
BLESSINGS FOLLOW OBEDIENCE
- So, in conclusion saints... if you are an active member of a local congregation of believers and we all should be connected to others saints in one way of another and you are not willing to support their well-being, then you are simply out of the will of God concerning how we should express our love and support for one another. In conclusion, we are blessed in order that we might not only be blessings to one another, but also a blessing to the world.