The controversy of giving money to the Church?

Do you give money to your Church? If you do, how and why do you do so? What is your motivation?

Some people give money to their Church from their hearts. Others do it as a public show, to attract public acclaim. Some do not give it; and advance all types of excuses for their action.

The issue of tithing or giving money to the church has never been an easy one to discuss. It has raised a lot of dust. It is a controversial subject on which much ink has been spilled.

It interests me to know your take on this thorny matter. Are you for or against offering money to the Church? And what reasons do you advance for the position you have taken.

I have come across people to whom giving money to the church is throwing away valuable income.

They say money is precious and hard-to-earn currency that should be jealously guarded and preserved for themselves and their families.

They hold and say giving money to the Church is a way to swell the bank accounts of Church leaders and make them feed fat on the sweat of others.

I do not deny that many Church authorities have swollen jaws and smooth faces, reflective of good living.

But I don’t buy the idea that money should not be given to the Church. I don’t feel comfortable with it. Unfortunately, this school of thought seems to be gaining grounds in Christian milieus. I actually see it winning more adherents and the spread is more or less like a wildfire among Christians.

You find people who actually resist coming out during offertory on Sundays to chip in their widow’s mite for the spread of the gospel and the upkeep of the Church.

When at all they do it, it is more to throw dust in the public eye. What they put in is minimal.

Of course, at the other extreme of the spectrum, there are magnanimous individuals who give to the church with joy and generosity.

To them, all they have is a gift of God’s grace and hence, it is only but fair to give back to him some of what has been received as a way of gratitude.

This is wisdom. When we give alms during offertory in Church, we are offering to the one who has offered us so much. Our alms are needed for the work of evangelization. God has commanded us to take the gospel to all the corners of the earth. This needs money. The Church needs money for its buildings, for it to function. The pastor or priest needs money for his upkeep to do the best work for God. And the Church is not an income-generating or commercial enterprise. Where then will such money come from?

Giving of alms and other donations to the Church is one way God wants the lay faithful to contribute to the building of God’s kingdom on earth.

Both the New and the Old Testaments are replete with verses that exhort us to give cheerfully to the Lord, for God loves a cheerful giver.

It is proper for us to give money and other gifts to our Church. In fact, it is compulsory except we do not truly believe the faith we profess. One cannot be a serious Christian and expect the work of evangelization to triumph and not contribute for it to do so.

Give money to your Church. Give generously. You will be rewarded as you give.

Give and receive

If you know true love
Count yourself lucky;
For it is not an easy
thing to find;
Fake love is everywhere;
But true, genuine love
Hardly anywhere;
It is so scarce;
But not impossible;
However, a real possibility;
If you want it;
You can find it;
But you must start
By giving it to someone;
What you give
Is what you receive;
What you don’t give
You don’t receive.
Give true love
And receive true love.

Give from your heart

When you give, do so cheerfully;
Give from your heart;
Don’t give from your hands alone;
Let your heart be
In what you give;
Give with love;
Give selflessly,
Without a desire to be seen
Praised, or rewarded
For your generosity.
Let charity be your sole motivation;
You shall be abundantly rewarded,
For God loves a cheerful giver.

Losing Sight of Christmas

Losing Sight of Christmas cover

Enjoy “The Christmas Shoes” by Newsong 2000!


The muddy slush piles up against curbs and trampled footprints scatter about on the snow-covered sidewalks. Storefronts capitalize on impending Christmas shopping with festive, decorated windows. Full of alluring ideas that tax the mind where wallets won’t permit, it’s hard to swallow. But, love consumes our hearts, so we become obsessed with not wanting to forget a single person. We shop online and by foot comparing prices, then wait in long lines. Frustrations mount as, sometimes, we end up paying for overnight delivery because we ran out of time.

Losing Sight of Christmas pic 1

Are we losing sight of Christmas? We join together bearing gifts for one another to commemorate Jesus’s birthday on the 25th day of December. But where did the idea of excessive gift-giving come from, anyway? It’s not how this holiday began because there was a time when celebrating this day was a taboo.

 

Origin of the Christmas Holiday
Jesus’s birth was categorized as a pagan holiday. It is their belief He never existed as a man, only as a spiritual entity. Then, in the 1600s, Rome became the birthplace of Christmas as we know it; so, it’s a fairly new celebration. But, as history reveals, Protestants (the Puritans) in America hated this holiday and banned it in 1644. They believed it was an insult to God to honor a day associated with ancient paganism. The Puritans also considered Christmas trees and decorations unholy rituals as well as traditional foods such as mincemeat pies and pudding.

Losing Sight of Christmas Pic 2

Pagan Christmas image courtesy of Huffington Post

 

Commercialism of Christmas
So, how did Christmas ever come to the point of being the ultimate gift-giving experience instead of the rejoicing of a holy birth? Perhaps the commercialization of Santa Claus bearing bags of gifts started the dreaded Christmas creep. New York City’s annual American International Toy Fair is held in February, and the stores purchase and scheme for the following holiday. Isn’t that a little much?

Losing Sight of Christmas Pic 3

Do you know a whopping 18% of gifts given to others are never used by the recipient? To make matters worse, we spend the next six months paying off the debt we incurred because it was ‘the thought that mattered.’ Scroogenomics author, Joel Waldfogel, summed it up well – “if the spending we engage in doesn’t produce any satisfaction, then it’s hardly a measure of well-being.” Why are we allowing the commercialism of Christmas to affect our purses and create greediness?

 

Make Your Christmas Count!
I think this Christmas we should, instead, get involved with our communities. Spend money, if you must, giving to those less fortunate. There are orphanages, Senior Citizen centers, hospitals, and homeless people who would appreciate your gift. Take your children with you and let them feel the happiness of another person smiling over an unexpected present. After all, as a Christian, God expects us to help others in need.

Losing Sight of Christmas Pic 4

Image courtesy of YouTube

Overloading our own kids and others with presents is not the reason for the season! Limit your immediate family gifts to three and make them count. The birth of Jesus should be our celebration. Attend a local church service and enjoy the sensations of the joyous season. Jesus was born to save us – let that be enough for you this year.
God bless and Merry Christmas!

Losing Sight of Christmas Pic 5

Please join us on Thursday, November 22nd for another “Everything Christmas Blog”!


Give the gift that keeps on giving! Order your book of grace, love, and understanding today!

Christmas ad for book Instagram

Give your best to the world

What are you giving
To the world?
Are you giving your best
Or your worst?
Are you giving excellence
Or mediocrity?
Are you giving quality
Or garbage?
Are you giving light
Or darkness?
Are you giving peace
Or war?
Are you giving hard times
Or easy times?

I encourage you,
Give your best;
You are the best;
Give excellence,
You are excellent;
Give quality,
You are quality;
Give gold not silver
You are gold not silver;
Give light,
You are light;
Not darkness.
You give what you have;
From what you give
Will be known who you are.

Giving opens door to receive

Giving, your key to success;
If you want to succeed,
Give and give;
The more you share,
The more you receive;
Do you believe in this?
I do;
The more you give,
The more you are given;
And there is so much
You can give;
Not only material things,
But more importantly
Intangible things;
Things you cannot see;
Things you cannot touch;
Things so cheap
You don’t need money
To buy;
At the top of them are,
Love;
Good will, kindness,
Help, your smile, care,
Friendship;
Give boundless love
To fellow humans;
Give boundless love
To God;
Give generously to him;
He has given generously
To you;
And continues to do so;
Give and you will receive;
Give to others
And receive from others.
Give knowledge;
Give your previous time;
If you don’t give,
Don’t hope to receive;
The giving equation is real:
Giving equals receiving.
Giving leads to receiving;
Receiving emanates from giving.
If you want to succeed
Learn to give;
And give generously.