Is the Iglesia Ni Cristo doctrines on voluntary givings shoddy? In the article “The Many Different Offerings Inside The Church of Christ“, I listed all types of offerings I can possibly identify and all the bible verses we hear in doctrinal lessons. While all the teachings are biblical, the interpretations are different than other religions. That make INC different but is it for the good faith or is it a flawed doctrine?
Order in the Church Assembly
In 1 Cor. 14:26, Apostle Paul explained how the church gathering is to be conducted, that is with psalm, teachings, tongue, revelation, interpretation.
Nothing mentioned about the offerings. So why churches teaches members to make an offerings during worship services? There are several bible verses Ministers use like the ones identified in “The Many Different Offerings Inside The Church of Christ“.
Many Protestant churches only have offering boxes before you enter the sanctuary much like the locale offering boxes inside the INC chapel. The difference is (some if not all) Protestants do not collect during the worship. I think because they follow 1 Cor. 14:26. Why is so different in the INC?
The Perfect Offering
A young rich man asked the Lord Jesus Christ, “what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”. 18 … Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”.
This is the most radical teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ when it comes to giving, that is, He advised the rich young man to sell all his possessions and give to the poor. To close the context of Matthew 19:21, theologians explained that in Matthew 19:22, it clarifies that the young rich man is so attached to his possessions, Jesus knows that and so he answered the rich man’s question in a radical way. The interesting part here is that Christ did not say give it to the Church!
The Basis of Giving our Contributions
What is the basis of giving our contributions? One of the verse we use is Hebrews 13:15-16.
Read the two verses carefully now, verse 15 teach about offering the sacrifice of praise to God which is the fruit of our lips [spiritual offerings]. According to verse 15, there is no money needed in spiritual offerings because what is required is only the use of our lips to praise and thank God. Verse 16 is teaching about doing good and to share [material offerings]. This is where the Church might have above and beyond interpretations of offerings for it is verse 16 that we use to instruct not to be absent on weekday and weekend worships service for our God seek for our offerings, for such things He is well pleased. But is there mentioned of offering in the church in verse 16? It is speaking of “doing good” and “share”. Doing good may be a form of monetary offering to help the Church expenses and propagation of the gospel. Sharing is sharing to the poor. But what about the poor member of the Church? Sadly, we also tell them to do all kinds of offerings in the church instead of helping them.
Are We Giving To Please God or To Please Man?
The Lord Jesus wants us to give for the right reasons. Jesus warned His disciples not to give for the sake of being admired by men. “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them,”.
We ought to give for the glory of God and the good of His people. We must desire His approval of our giving, rather than the praise and admiration of people. Are you giving for God’s praise or man’s? When the church offering is below the target set by the Church administration, a rigorous campaign will be instructed to the overseers. It is even announce in worship service nowadays. Is in it the objective to raise the percentage is to please the administration? How about the manner of giving locale and special special offerings in the church where you have to write our names and amount in the envelope? Is that spiritually correct? What do the finance officers, head deacons and Ministers think when they see someone offer too little or too big? Do they not judge those offering too little? What about the weekly thanksgiving deposits where you have to write your name and you see how much others deposited and others see how much you deposited? Is this not the hypocrisy mentioned in Matthew 6:1? If the offerings is for God why do we have to write our names and amount for it is between you and God not you and the administration is in it? We’ll admit it or not it is for auditing how much individuals are offering that is why there is always auditor in the locale.
How about the giving of donations of the church? We do this once in a while and when we do, we make sure it causes traffic jam so that our efforts are noticed by men. Is this not hypocrisy?
Is the Church doctrines on offerings flawed from the beginning?