We believe that all offerings and money should be given from the heart and not the law. We do not preach tithing as a standard.
The first church council took place in Acts 15. The Apostle Peter and Paul were there amongst other notable leaders in the early church. They discussed how the gentiles, who received the Holy Spirit as they did, should live. They decided not to put them under the law. Letters were given to Paul and here is the content and story written about the Council of Jerusalem. Acts 15: 1-30 (NIV) “Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them. 5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.” 6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” 12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. 14 Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: 16 “‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, 17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’[b]—18 things known from long ago, 19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”
The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers
22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. 24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
Never is tithes mentioned again to the gentiles in any of the epistles!
The new standard given to the gentiles is –
2 Corinthians 9: 7 (NIV) “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Giving in the New Testament is from the heart. It is personal and before God. We are not under the law, but under grace. We believe that all forms of giving are up to the individual.
Giving according to our Lord is quality not quantity Luke 21:1-4 “Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Tithing was a standard under the Law of Moses. An individual may choose to tithe because of his or her own personal convictions of faith. If you have a personal conviction about tithing, then you must do it without judging others who do not. We do not have a right to know another individual’s personal affairs. All personal situations are not the same. A believer should give freely as they have received out of their own faith and circumstances.
Titus 2:9-10 (NIV) “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” One out of three were slaves during the ministry of the Apostle Paul. If he told them to revolt they would have been killed along with their family. He was not living in a democracy. He never told these slaves to pray for what their rich masters had. He never ever preached a claim your riches prosperity message. 1 Corinthians 1:26:28 (NIV) “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are.” Do you ever wonder why this false prosperity message isn’t preached in the slums of Calcutta, India or San Paulo, Brazil or in the garbage dumps of Mexico City where people scavenge? This message doesn’t deal with economic oppression and reality; it is a scam.
The Apostle Paul was a tent maker and worked with his own hands so as not to burden the church. 2 Thess. 3:8 “nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.” He spoke of those using the Gospel as a means to make money. 2 Corinthians 2:17 (NIV) Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit.” Today we see rich huge edifices made on the backs of people. We see high overhead churches constantly preaching money for another edition or a new parking lot etc. So many times we see Pastors as little CEO’s competing with other churches not in their brand. We see television evangelist’s rich off the Gospel and displaying a false prosperity message. So many people are turned off by these antics. Success has become quantified as numbers, wealth and money rather than real spiritual humility in helping people. Many sincere God loving leaders and real people have been born into this milieu and take it as normal. We understand and we are not trying to divide the church but cleanse it. John 2:14-16 (NIV) “In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”
Table of the Lord does not preach tithing as a standard. We teach all giving is free will, private and from the heart. We will always strive for low overhead and have bi-annual meetings on finances. All books and money will be opened to all. Anything bought outside of necessities will be a congregation’s decision. If the church folds all assets will be sold and given to an agreed charity or charities.