Today I got a short article in the e-mail which taught that we must not love money more than God. True, so far. It went into a shortlist of things we shouldn't love more than God. What stuck out like a sore thumb was the writer's assertion that we should never say: We can't give money to God because we must feed our kids!
What shameful religious chicanery! It doesn't take a high I.Q. to figure out the possible motivation behind that statement. Such a tactic appeals to people's sense of guilt and lets them know that if they feed their kids before they pay the preacher, they don't really love the Lord very much.
This article begs a question, too: When we give money to "God", does the Lord of Hosts up in the Heavenlies reach down His hand to take it because He is so poor He is about to go bankrupt? Does it not, rather, end up in some MAN'S bank account to fund the projects (or pleasureable things) which are dear to him? Isn't it just as legitimate to give to the Lord by giving alms to the poor as He leads? There is much more teaching in the New Testament about giving to the poor than to the preacher, though both forms of giving are Scriptural and sometimes necessary.
What constitutes giving to the Lord? Many take that to mean the act of givng only to professionally trained pulpit ministers. People are insidiously taught that the giving we do to our own loved ones and friends is incidental and does not count toward giving to the Lord. But if anyone supposes our own Christian families and friends don't count as being in the Lord, that is flawed theology. Nowhere in the New Testament to you find the Body of Christ divided into clergy and laity, though each member has different gifts and callings.
When we feed our children, we minister also to the Lord, for whenever we do something kind for the LEAST of these His brethren, we do it also unto Him (Matt.25:31-46).. Let the children FIRST be filled, not after some professional preacher's pet projects have been financed. It is not meet (fitting) to take the children's bread and give it unto the building fund, a new steeple, etc. (principle based on Mark 7:27). Jesus taught the Pharisees that it is wrong to take money which ought to have gone toward feeding elderly parents and dedicate it to the Temple (Mark 7:10-13). And just what IS the Temple of the New Covenant? It is comprised of the whole Body of Christ's believers, not just the so-called clergy (Eph.2:18-22).
Jesus says in Matthew 10:42 that even if you give a cup of cold water to one of His little ones who believe in Him, you in no wise lose your reward! How shameful, that the idea is conveyed today in Christendom that only money counts as giving, and even then such giving is only acknowledged by God when it goes directly into the treasury of the institutional church.
Countless old ladies in America have dined on cat food in order to provide luxuries for TV preachers. And like a snake charmer, many smooth-talking preachers mesmerize their listeners into complying with them. The most beautiful religious lies are told to pry money out of God's poor people.
Alms were taken up in the New Testament mainly to feed the POOR, not construct new buildings. If any man provide not FOR HIS OWN HOUSE, he is counted as worse than an infidel who has denied the faith (I Tim.5:8). When people feel forced to give to professional ministers FIRST to the point of neglecting their own hungry families, they are being forced to be "worse than an infidel". Whoever DELIBERATELY instills guilt in Christians who feed their families first, so as to re-channel that money unto themselves, also falls into that category.