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Pentecostal beliefs: tithe and offering

God's Word stands forever
God's Word stands forever

Many of the more recent models of church planting and growth have suggested leaving a "donation box" at the back of the church or out in the hallway so that the pastor no longer asks for an offering during the worship service. This so that those who find giving money to the church a burden or a nuisance are appeased and might come back. Many churches in Nashville operate this way, and the trend is increasing.

The error of this practice is astounding!

First and foremost, God is clear in His Word that those who would come to worship in His temple bring with them an offering of themselves and their labors. In Malachi 3, God is stern toward those who do not give, so stern that He uses the language of robbery! God demands His portion, which is 10% of one's income, "so that there may be food in [God's] house." (Mal.3:10a) In return, God promises to "open the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it." (Mal.3:10b). The practice of tithing is about faith - trusting God with what ultimately belongs to Him any way.

Some people say that God no longer requires 10% because that was Old Testament teaching and there are more bills to pay these days. Jesus came not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. (Mt.5:17) Most of those same people have no difficulty recognizing the Truth that full-time ministers are to receive financial support for the work they do. "...the Lord has commanded that those who preach the Gospel should live from the Gospel." (1 Cor.9:14). How will these ministers live satisfactorily if the congregation fails to bring to the storehouse the fruit of their labors? The Word of God says "the laborer is worthy of his wages." (1 Tim.5:18).

Pentecostal Christian churches teach that the tithe is to be given not because of Law, but because of love - love for God is demonstrated by obedience to Him and His Word, so giving is part of worship. Tithing is the minimum requirement. A believer can demonstrate love for God and ministry through offerings, which is above and beyond what God asks for. If you visit a Pentecostal church, it will not be uncommon for the pastor to pray over the offering and the givers, that they would receive the blessing that comes from their obedience.

Any church that is ashamed of what God teaches in His Word is charting dangerous waters. Luke 9:26 "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels." The offering should be a central component to worship, not a side note or a hidden secret. If a visitor refuses to return because the church asked for money, the visitor isn't ready for a relationship with God any how. It is necessary for the American church to return to Biblical Christianity in which the church stands unashamed in upholding Biblical principles without compromise.


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