The Pastor's Kid's Shoes
A number of years ago we attended a church that believed in tithe. It was a very good church. What I mean to say is that the people in the church were incredibly intelligent, gifted, God-loving people and it was an honor to be around all of them.
Yet we functioned in a certain system with a certain set of rules.
Recently the Lord brought back a particular memory of that church to me.
One Sunday, the pastor's daughter was sitting in front of us. She was a very nice young lady, very sweet and friendly and always very well dressed. I noticed that she had on a very nice pair of shoes. An expensive pair. I realized that the tithe had paid for those shoes.
Most of the people in this church were average working folks (that's what we were and are too). But, God has placed in the church one or two people who had some real needs in terms of finances. There was a woman named Margaret. Margaret was one of the finest Christian women I have ever met in my life. She was a prayer warrior. If you came to her with a need she would just drop everything and pray for you--and she got results! But Margaret had a few problems herself. She had one leg (lost it in an accident when she was a child), and she was a widow. She lived on a small Social security check and had 2 daughters to support.
It occurred to me that Margaret had paid for the pastor's daughter's shoes.
To the best of my knowledge, the leaders of this church never gave anything monetarily to Margaret. What did happen was that "behind the pastor's back" some of us in the church would help her out financially--send her some groceries--we paid her electric bill a few times--anonymously--lead by God to do so. (I believe this is the real trua ministry in the church--the stuffl that God leads that really helps people!)
The system of church had created an environment where the "official" money-giving was all supposed to go to the pastor, and at the same time ignored the concept of giving to the needy within the church.
Now this is absolutely wrong Biblically..
"And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." (Acts 2:44-45)
"Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye." (1Corinthians 16:1)
Now I want you to understand something, and this is very important.
The pastor of that church was one of the nicest fellows I have ever met in my life. His family was a wonderful Godly example. I am no in any way blaming them or pointing a finger at them. What I am trying to say is that there is a wrong system in place in the church--which leads to this kind of disparity. Because Margaret was every bit as nice and a good example and Godly as the pastor and his family.
Why should it be that one family receives such favoritism within the system of the church?
Why can't we work together as equals?
But we are fooled.
We are fooled by what we see other people doing. That pastor and what he believed in and taught about money was just something he had seen other people do. It's not his fault at all, the fault lies with the people who invented these systems hundreds of years ago.
This is what we are always trying to say when we write these articles at this website.
Now, here is something interesting. You may think this is unrelated but listen and perhaps you will see what I am talking about and think this is not "just my opinion" on things...
Catholic priest are required to be celibate--they cannot marry and have children.
Do you know why and when and where this tradition originated?
Catholic priests were not always required to be celibate. Up until a few hundred years ago they could marry and have children. The reason the catholic organization began this tradition was because, at a certain point, many men were becoming priests simply because there was good money in the job, and part of that meant they could hand down this wealth to their children.
In other words, something like the same situation I experienced in the church a few years ago occurred in the past. One would imagine that on a given Sunday, someone noticed that the priest's daughter's shoes were very expensive (while their own kids and other people who were giving tithe in the church wore rags on heir feet). There was an injustice in the system. At that time literally everyone paid tithe to the church. They were told it went "to God" but it was apparent that some of that money went to give the priest's daughters nice, expensive shoes.
Someone must have complained!
So the leadership of the church came up with a solution. Priests could not have children. So they would not then take "church money" and hand it down to their children. Of course this also meant that the church hierarchy would get more money too. The priests were pretty much required to give whatever money they were paid back to the church after they passed away.
So here is what I am saying.
The system of tithe int he church is an ancient corruption which has been around for hundreds of years. The catholic institution has already dealt with a lot of the injustices that occur with the tithe.
I've heard many modern preachers try to make it sound as if tithe is this brand new cutting edge thing they just discovered in the Bible. Sorry, but that is just not so. Tithe in the catholic institution of the dark ages lead to incredible corruption. The tithe paid for wars, crusades to kill people, and inquisitions (among many other things!). The catholic church began with some good people (the apostles of Jesus!--WHO NEVER COLLECTED TITHES OR OFFERINGS AT ALL). But the Bible system was corrupted and handed down through generations.
Which is exactly what the Bible says in the book of Hebrews.
Hebrews talks about the fact that Jesus priesthood is "unchanging"
While the Levitical priesthood is not--it "changes" through generations (this is absolutely apparent if we read the history of Israel).
We can have Jesus priesthood if we would simply treat each other as equals the best we know how. If we respect and understand and encourage the ministry gifts in all of us and do our best to let God lead us in all things.
And do the Gospel together.