Financial Giving

One of the greatest privileges of the church is to give back to the Lord those financial resources He has given to us. The Bible is clear that giving is as much an act of worship as any other spiritual service. 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 provide the best backdrop for affirming the church’s mandate to give of our financial resources. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7), and the church must recognize the need to provide the proper avenue in which to see individual believers give regularly. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 teaches that each person is to bring their gifts each week to the Lord (through the agency of the local church), with the expectation that the leadership of the church will take those resources and strategically use those funds for the extension of the kingdom of God, and for the ultimate purpose of giving Him glory.

Many believe tithing (the giving of ten percent of one’s income to the Lord) is the scriptural mandate for the new covenant Church. However, we are of a different understanding. Various tithes were commanded in the Old Testament theocracy for the Jews, much as our obligation today to pay income taxes to the government. The Jews gave funds for the support of the “government,” and for the goods and services the government provided for its people. These included the support of the levitical priesthood which had no other means of financial support (see Leviticus 27:30-33; Malachi 3:8; Deuteronomy 12:10-18; Deuteronomy 14:28-29; Leviticus 19:9-10; Nehemiah 10:32-33). A comprehensive study of the Old Testament shows that there were actually several annual tithes the Jews were required to give. Moreover, other partial tithes on different designated years for the poor were expected. The total amounted to anywhere from 23 1/3 to 25 1/3 percent annually. This type of giving is rightly termed “required giving.”

There was also “freewill offering,” that is, giving to the Lord out of one’s own “free will,” for whatever need might exist in the community (see Exodus 25:1-2; 35: 4-22; 36:5-7; Deuteronomy 16:10-17; 1 Chronicles 29:6-9), and also a “first fruits” kind of giving (see Numbers 18:12; Proverbs 3:9-10). The New Testament has roughly the same two types of financial giving: required giving, as spoken of in Matthew 17:24-27; Matthew 22:15-22; Romans 13:6-7, and freewill giving, as spoken of in 1 Corinthians 8 and 9; Luke 6:38; 16:11-12; 19:1-10, 11-27, 45-48; Matthew 6:19-24; Mark 12:41-44; Acts 20:35; Romans 15:25-27; Philippians 4:10-18; Hebrews 13:16 and many places in the book of Acts (2:44-45; 11:29-30, etc).

The deacons of any local church under the oversight of the elders have the responsibility to see that those monies are spent in the most optimum way, benefiting each individual, as well as the collective body. There must be no misuse of those funds whatsoever as both deacons and elders are called to be above reproach in the handling of money (1 Timothy 3:3-5, 8, 12). Therefore, the elders of The Bible Church of Little Rock have instituted a conflict of interest policy that insures that no one can be called into question in the use of the Lord’s money (see attached “conflict of interest policy”).  In addition, the deacons have developed a benevolence policy to assist those in dire need of help (see attached “benevolence policy”). The Bible Church of Little Rock is committed to the teaching and the practice of all these biblical principles on giving.

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