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Spiritual Giving to the Church PDF Print E-mail
Written by R.W.Cothern   

April 1, 1955

Upon the first day of the week let EVERY ONE OF YOU lay by him in store as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." I Cor. 16.

There is a financial side to the activities of ANY church. It should be handled scripturally: orderly and always with a spirit of charity. The motives for scriptural giving should always be pure, and out of a heart of love moved by a desire to humbly serve God in a church capacity. It was Paul's idea and that should be sufficient: argument --that the ministry be relieved of this chore by suitable men (see Tim. 3:8) chosen by the church, called Deacons "that there be no gatherings when I come" that is when the minister comes at the appointed time and hour for sacred service there won't be any INTERRUPTIONS such as would be otherwise. If funds are needed today--right at this hour--it is quite possible that precious time would have to be diverted from the hour of service and the house full of people would have to wait, and be subjected to the menial task of raising money for the current needs. Primitive Baptists have always rightly believed that such matters imposed on the conference or preaching hour detracts somewhat from the dignity and solemnity of the joyous reception of the gospel.

Giving should be done as a matter of Christian duty. It should be given TO the CHURCH and THROUGH the DEACON--THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HE IS FOR. Any accumulated funds may well be placed in the hands of an appointed treasurer as a matter of good business procedure who may endorse checks, make deposits, and sign payouts on the advice of the deacon or the order of the church.

"That all things be done in decency and in order" is Apostolic advice that will certainly apply to a church's business matters. Inspiration records the early church’s system of finance. "It is good for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished, unto every good work." The Bible way must be the best way;. The pastor or attending minister should not have to know--does not need to know--who gives how much; to whom and for what purpose, lest it waste his time, .and become a temptation to him to favor one, and dislike another. On the other hand, if the bible system is neglected, and every member follows his own idea and one pays the coal bill, another the house rent: another gives money to the pastor, another helps a sick family, or pays a widow's funeral, however good may be their intentions, you can readily see that at the end of the month, or year, nobody knows who paid what or why! Even the ancient apostles must have known "what is every body's business is nobody's business."

The exact manner in which members give their offerings to the church is a private matter that we might well leave to the discretion of that individual church. Let us always remember that circumstances alter cases. In the early history of Texas, there were times when almost no legal money existed, and churches gave beef, potatoes, syrup, hogs, corn and fruit. Today a small church of twenty members can easily hand their money to their deacon at an opportune time at their meetings. But if there is more than a hundred members, then let the church decide for themselves a suitable plan to accept the funds, or offerings of their audience, in the dignity and quietude common to the occasion. Remembering Paul's thinking about noisy and useless interruptions in church.

The art of Christian giving as designed by the Head of the Church is a privilege and a responsibility that becomes a much higher and holier thing than merely paying the bills! It is the acting out of the true spirit of Jesus in our daily lives. He gave all--even His blessed life--for us who deserve nothing. It is a test that makes for more spiritual growth and happiness. "Prove me and see" the Lord has said "If I will not open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there is not room to contain it." It is the sacrifice in giving that honors Jesus, not so much the amount we give. The "widow's mite" brought words of praise from Jesus because she purposed in her poor heart to give "all she had."

Regular, sacrificial giving, after prayerful consideration of our responsibilities often broadens our vision, and gives wings to our little prayers. It is strictly a personal matter with you, and no one else. And as we venture out on His promises we somehow feel the satisfaction of having tried to "abide in His will" and learn more about trusting Him. The wise purpose of it all reaches far above financial matters and we grow into that "more abundant life" where faith is enriched, and as Paul said it "makes all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God."

R. W. Cothern

Last Updated ( Sunday, 03 September 2006 )
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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.