Exhortations

Ministry of Help

Giving is a significant factor in the church’s growth, especially if it comes from the members. However, while the church membership starts growing, the pastors’ personal touch with individual members sometimes changes. These Pastors are more focused on their own goals. Therefore, the church has many noticeable changes, which will be your observation.

The 30-minute preaching is more common now. However, attendees or congregation members spend more time listening to the same sermon, making them feel more unsaved. Hearing about a Pastor’s preaching of Salvation from time to time is familiar to most evangelical churches nowadays; thus, it raises questions about how many times they need to listen to Salvation preaching to be saved.

If a Pastor stops preaching Salvation, what will they preach? I think preaching about what religion could do to help the widows and orphans in their distress will help these Pastors avoid the temptation and influence of making easy money offered by the world. People with low incomes are the most vulnerable beings in the world to be hooked on doing wicked things. According to James, the brother of Jesus: says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27

Will these preachers have the courage to preach tithing/giving that may cause them to backfire on them? We contribute money to the church not to make the leaders rich or build an elegant building but to help the poor and save them from living a distressed life. It is stealing food from the mouths of people experiencing poverty. If the church is not doing these things, then your hard-earned money has no value and will not be added to your name in the Book of Life. We should not support a church that is just playing church as a front to get rich, but the funds should be used to help the poor. It is one of the many things that might hit back at these Pastors, especially when life gets more challenging. So, preaching the doctrine of tithing is not one of the easy tasks to get out in the open.

“Oppressing the poor to enrich themselves and giving to the rich will cause poverty to the giver”— Proverb 22:16. This means to look after your own first before giving away that hard-earned money with the assurance that it goes to the proper beneficiaries. Otherwise, it may only bring distress to your life if you give it to the wrong cause.

We should not donate in favor of the rich over poor people, to a person over another, but to be equally distributed according to their needs. One could have a more prominent family than the other, and one could be an orphan living alone. Our faith is in vain if we do not practice what the Bible tells us to do.

We should not give special treatment to people due to the amount they give or their status in life, but to those who show love and compassion to men and passion for God. The kingdom is available for those who acknowledge Him and choose less fortunate people to become faithful and love Him. Discrimination against people with low incomes because of their position in life is against the commandment of love.

If you love yourself, you should also do the same to others. Sometimes, love is misinterpreted as romantic love, and to avoid being in charge of advancement, we should remember that love can also mean respect. We love God because we respect Him. He loves us because we are His children. 

May the good LORD bless and keep us on this journey.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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