I believe, though, that we are to give, and we are to support the local church.
10% ? maybe more, maybe less.
Compulsory? no .. with a cheerful heart.
That said, I'm really struggling with an issue.
Should I give money to my local church if they do not make church finance details available to the body?
It seems I'm being an unfaithful steward. God entrusts me with a certain amount of money, and expects me to use it in accordance with his Word. How can I do that if I just blindly give a good chunk of it to a church that doesn't reveal what they do with it?
I've thought more about this overnight.
It seems that if you believe we must tithe 10% to our local church, then there is no quandary. You are just being obedient, and they'll be held accountable for what they do with it.
But, if you believe we are not 'under the law' and the tithe is part of the law, as I do, then you will feel (as I do) responsible from beginning-to-end of where you give your money. And, turning it over to people who won't reveal what they do with it seems very irresponsible to me. I can't in good conscience say "I've given my tithe, check the box, and move on." I feel I must use that money for spreading the gospel, meeting the needs of the saints, etc, etc ... in accordance with scripture. And, if my church keeps the finances private, how do I know if they're doing that?
I think I already know the answer. Just curious what your thoughts are.
So, if I stop giving to the church, I can always select groups that are open and honest in their finances (gospel for asia, for instance). And, can apply the money directly to spreading the gospel.
One hundred percent of all contributions designated for use on the mission field are sent to the mission field.
Or, Joshua Fund ...
The Joshua Fund is strongly committed to financial integrity and accountability. As a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), we follow high standards of Christian ethics in fundraising, financial accounting, and reporting. The ECFA seal is our pledge that your gifts are used as intended.
Or, Food for the Hungry ...
As a Christian organization, Food for the Hungry is committed to practicing biblical standards of integrity and stewardship, and we believe we are fully accountable to God and man for effective and efficient use of donations.
Our financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. We obtain an annual audit in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards by an independent public accounting firm, Capin Crouse LLP. Copies of our current audited financial statements can be downloaded from our website or be viewed on any number of charity watchdog websites.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
I don't think I would feel right not giving anything to my local church, but how do I reconcile the admonition to be a good steward with their practice of not releasing financial information?