I have taken another excerpt from a chapter of Raj Samuel’s book called “Church Outside The Walls”
Money plays the most prominent role in the survival of present day churches. One reason is that unscriptural practices crept in, such as the construction and maintenance of so-called church buildings and expenses towards the exclusive professional hierachy of clergy. Where funds are lacking, the old church buildings are closed down and sold. Churches which have money just carry on, whether or not there are worshippers in the pews. Some denominations spend a huge amount of money on the upkeep of buildings. Although they adorn the sky line, there is nothing sacred about them! God’s money is being wasted in maintaining these edifices. Church institutional systems and properties have become a major financial burden on worshippers. In order to raise money to maintain the buildings some churches adopt fund raising programmes, utilising marketing techniques.
Os Guinness wrote, “We evangelicals make the money-changers look like bungling amateurs the way we have turned faith into products to be sold in the marketplace. The use of television, marketing styles and so on is incredibly uncritical and profoundly worldly.”
Some churches raise money by insisting on tithing, justifying it from the Scriptures. But tithing is not a law in the New Testament. Paul says, “God loves a cheerful giver” [2 Cor.9:7]. We are to give generously, but not out of compulsion or in response to pressure. Whenever the NT talks about giving, the motive is always out of love for the Lord and for needy people. Everything a believer has belongs to the Lord and he is called to be a good steward of money. We must be prepared to give away, willingly and cheerfully, whether it is a tenth, or more, or even the entire amount, according to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The churches which insist on taking tithes from the people for their own institutions or organisations should practice all the other laws of the OT. The Jews have 630 laws. If you break one law then you’ve broken all the laws. Likewise if you decide to practise one law, then you are obligated to practise all the laws! [Gal. 5:3]
If you are interested in copies of this book please email Raj and Lynda Samuel at firstname.lastname@example.org