“I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.” Philemon 1:6
While tithing is explicitly taught throughout the OT, numerous references to tithing remain within the NT. It's evident that Christians in the early church gave consistently & generously to support the work of God in the local church. In actuality, the NT calls us to a HIGHER standard of living & obedience. Here's a great article to read more about this topic.
You trust the church with your kids. You trust the church to teach you God's word. If you can't trust the church with your money, you've got a priority problem and you are placing a higher priority on money than your kids & God's word. At Freedom, when a tithe or offering is given, it is held accountable by 4-5 different people. On Sundays after tithes & offering is received it is counted by 2 unrelated people. They sign off on it. On Monday, the checks & cash is certified by another person and taken to be deposited at the bank. Later in the week, our admin assistant enters that money (as well as all online giving) into your church profile so that you may receive your Giving Statement the following year for your tax deductions & benefits.
Here at Freedom, we believe, you can't afford not to tithe! God makes a promise of provision that is based on your obedience to the command of tithing. When you give your first 10%, God supernaturally gets involved in the next 90%. Now this doesn't mean it's going to be easy or that you're going to get rich! You'll need to budget wisely & cut back on expenses. You'll need to limit debt & honor God's principles for your finances. We are convinced that as you tithe & live within your means on a budget, God will honor & bless you.
That's great! God wants you to be generous in more ways than with just money. However, He does not give us the option of "trading one for another". Jesus said that that money is the single greatest indicator of your heart. With that being said, it makes complete sense that God wants us to obey Him with our money because He wants all of our hearts.
At Freedom, we love charities! Our church partners with several local charities that are making a difference in our community. However, giving to local charities is not the same as giving to God through the local church. The church is the body of Christ. His bride. The church is the change agent in the world today. The church is the ONLY organization that Jesus said He would build. The church shares the mandate & mission of Jesus. The local church is also the model for giving as according to scripture. When you tithe, it goes to the local church. Giving to other charities is above and beyond the tithe.
Christian budgeting is all about aligning your finances with God's principles. It's not just about saving money or avoiding debt but also about being a good steward of the resources God has given you. By following biblical principles of generosity, wise management, and giving, you can make a positive impact in the world and honor God with your finances.
Proverbs 21:5 says, "The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit, but anyone who is reckless certainly becomes poor." A budget may be just the thing to help you get on track. Not just to be able to give generously and obediently but to also help in every area of life.
For resources a great website is Seedtime Solutions. Seedtime is ran by a husband and wife who found themselves in a mountain of debt in 2001. When God began to work in them regarding finances they took that mountain of debt and conquered it along with saving 1 million dollars by the age of 40. And now, they over give 40% of their total income away. They have a podcast, a newsletter, and even 10 different budget spreadsheets to help people reach their financial goals, live free of debt and give generously to the Kingdom of God.