MONEY COLLECTION FOR SAINTS OR POLITICS
One sure sign of apostasy in the church today is the issue of money collection. Unlike the early church where money was specifically collected first for the needs of the needy saints, fatherless and needy widows then ministry needs, today money is being collected for political agendas and selfish greedy interests.
In the book of 1 Corinthians 16 , we see Paul expressly stating the need of dealing with collection of the saints for the saints. Finances were essentially to support those who were in need amongst them, that is the body of Christ .We also see that geography did not hinder them as those in Macedonia, Corinth and Galatia were to give for saints as far as Jerusalem.
An overview of the money collection from that portion of scripture shows the following
* the brethren were to give according to how God had blessed them
*the brethren were to recommend and appoint the agent or person who would hand over their collections to Paul
* Paul knew of the person who had been chosen by the brethren through the letter of commendation written by the brethren
this encouraged accountability and transparency
Communication was vital between the leader and the church folk.There was no imposition by the leader to take over the process of collecting money in any way.
The givers were part and parcel of the collection and the sending of their collection so that they would bear responsibility in case of any mishap since they appointed the agent who would send their collection to the apostles and elders.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TODAY ?
Well, collection for the needy saints has been put on the periphery in many places for one reason- the love of the world.
Most churches and Christians leaders are very preoccupied with politics, economics and other non essentials of the world that have put the important and priority areas .Political lobbying against abortion and homosexuality are the first priorities in giving finances in many Christian circles.
Right now the Kenyan Christian community is dealing with allegations of some Christian leaders receiving donations from American Evangelical organizations such as Jay Sekulow and Pat Robertson ACLJ, to fuel a political campaign against the new constitution that is set for referendum this year.
Although one of the Christian leaders , Bishop Mark Kariuki is denying receiving any monies, he accepts the fact that he has a ‘personal association’ with those organizations.
Donations sent for supporting need Kenyans especially in many poverty ridden ares is welcome and needed. However, donations that out to fuel political campaigns should be out rightly rejected because first of all politics is not the domain of the church. This does not mean that objective discussions of such issues by Christians should be banned. There is a difference between justice and partisan politics.
So we are seeing that donations from abroad are being used firstly to fuel power gains and struggles leaving out the gospel and the care of the poor .The consequence is that more Kenyans are going deeper in poverty as more money is being used to pump up the earthly kingdoms of some Christian kings.
Moreover church leaders are threatening to use offerings and tithes to fuel the political campaign against the new constitution.This should be an indicator to Christians that unlike the early church where they were assured of where the money was going and that they were in charge of whosoever was to send the money to the church leaders, today the church leaders take full control of the finances with very little involvement of other Christians.
AM I CALLING FOR PASTORS TO BE IGNORANT OF WHAT THE FLOCK GIVE ?
This is not the position of the word of God and therefore it is not my stand. Just because a pastor is ignorant about the church finances does not mean that there is financial intergrity in the church. Paul knew the amount given by the churches, he knew the class status of the people who gave and commended them and still the finances were used for the needs of the saints.The integrity was upheld when the Christians were directly involved in the giving and apportioning of their money and where the money was given for the main aim of supporting weak brethren.
Today many give to TBN, GOD TV, other NGOs that deal with Christian causes in the name of giving to God .However one should examine and check whether it is truly for the gospel or for political gains or greedy interests. One should know whether it is a ministry sending out sound doctrine and practicing it.Most of these organizations are sold out to politics and empire building and do not spread the gospel.Even if they give for the poor.
Others claim to be preaching the gospel but are preaching another gospel . A true Christian should turn way from such.
In summary Christian donations are fueling partisan politics and not the gospel which is evil and should utterly be rejected. This is not what the early church did with its finances . The current trend shows that the love of God which entails love of our neighbors has been replaced with the love of politics, economics and the aim of satisfying greedy lusts and desires.