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Stop Giving Your Money To Greedy Pastors And Priests, Start Giving To God -

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Christian Giving: How To Give Your Gift To God
Today’s church world is replete with recognition seekers and praise-hungry, proud-hearted church goers, who would gladly donate huge sums to adorn church buildings but neglect the very thing that interests God—giving to the poor. I laugh out loud (Lols) not mordantly though, each time I encounter people like this. I’ve actually encountered many of them in my few years of service in the Vineyard. In fact, they are in the majority in our churches today. Perhaps you may want to know why I laugh in “Swahili” each time I encounter them. The reason is simple: people of this nature demonstrate in full glare the zenith of puerile Christianity and somewhat spiritual imbecility, period!

The foundational call of God’s children to charity—especially giving to the poor and needy-- is a frequent theme of Scripture. All through scriptures, from the Old Testament to the New Testament, the Holy Spirit didn’t hide God’s interest in the poor, widows and strangers. They have always had a special place in the heart of God, to the extent that Jesus himself made it clear that the only way anyone can give him anything is when they give to the poor and needy in their midst. Sadly, the reverse is now the case in our Churches.

Literally speaking you can’t find Jesus anywhere in the streets today to give him anything, yet he is always ‘physically’ present and close to you. If Jesus were to show up in person today in our streets, many of us who are mere church goers and religious trumpeters, not really true Christians, would gladly offer him everything we have to show him how much we love him. Yet, the same people would ignore the same Jesus Christ, who hides himself in the poor and starving and lives in their midst, and choose instead to run to their churches and or prayer ministries to make huge donations, where they receive applause and recognition, and of course the usual accompanying noisy prayer from the man of gold, believing they are giving to God in such places. You foolish Christian who bewitched you not to know what true worship is This is the height of hypocrisy in today’s Christendom! This is stupidity in full maturity. This is what I call spiritual imbecility and sheer disobedience to the true Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. St. James in his epistle explains what true religion is. See James 1:27 for details.

Now before you say that yours sincerely is discouraging people from supporting Church projects, I wish you hear what St. John Chrysostom has to say on this: “Do not, therefore adorn, the Church and ignore your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all more than where you are seeking recognition.” Hear also from some other saints of old:

The rich man who gives to the poor does not bestow alms but pays a debt. -St. Ambrose of Milan

It would be considered a theft on our part if we didn't give to someone in greater need than we are. -St. Francis of Assisi

If you want God to hear your prayers, hear the voice of the poor. If you wish God to anticipate your wants, provide those of the needy without waiting for them to ask you. Especially anticipate the needs of those who are ashamed to beg. To make them ask for alms is to make them buy it. -- St. Thomas of Villanova

The bread you store up belongs to the hungry; the cloak that lies in your chest belongs to the Unclad; the gold you have hidden in the ground belongs to the poor. - St. Basil the Great

For it is in giving that we receive. -Francis of Assisi

God has no need of your money, but the poor have. You give it to the poor, and God receives it. -Saint Augustine

Charity is that with which no man is lost, and without which no man is saved. - St. Robert Bellarmine

Alms are an inheritance and a justice which is due to the poor and which Jesus has levied upon us. - Saint Francis of Assisi

Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to one who has nothing. Neither is it small to God, if we have given what we could. -St. Gregory Nazianzen

Let us have charity and humility, and give alms, for almsgiving cleanses our souls from the filth of sin. At death we lose all that we have in this world, but we take with us charity and the alms-deeds we have done, and for these we shall receive a great reward from God.' - St. Francis of Assisi

If we look forward to receiving God's mercy, we can never fail to do good so long as we have the strength. For if we share with the poor, out of love for God, whatever he has given to us, we shall receive according to his promise a hundredfold in eternal happiness. What a fine profit, what a blessed reward! With outstretched arms he begs us to turn toward him, to weep for our sins, and to become the servants of love, first for ourselves, then for our neighbors. Just as water extinguishes a fire, so love wipes away sin. - St. John of God

Obviously, the medieval church clearly understood Christ’s position on giving to God, and practiced same in truth, and the grace of God was abundant with them. The fact remains that we scarcely hear such admonition from today’s church leaders, which makes it look as though our brand of Christianity today is different from what the apostles and saints of old practiced. Somewhat, methinks that what some of us practice today, as Christianity in many quarters, is merely a show of STUPIDITY. I don’t think this is an insult on those concerned.

Sometimes I think something is seriously wrong with our brand of Christianity in this clime. Sometimes I wonder who sold us this blindness and self-deception we practice today as Christianity. I see people demonstrating flagrant disobedience to God yet claiming to be doing God’s will. For instance, concerning the topic we have today on GIVING TO GOD, I see people donating hundreds of thousands of naira, even millions, for endless church projects, yet the same people ignored poor people in their localities starving to death, children sent home from school for not paying their school fees, widows with children languishing in poverty and deprivation. I know that many greedy characters will misunderstand my position on this and think I’m discouraging people from bringing their money to Church; but that is not a problem to me. Supporting church projects is every Christian’s responsibility, yet it shouldn’t precede Church’s main project—taking care of and feeding God’s sheep, both spiritually and materially.

Fact is: I choose to stand with and for Jesus Christ and what he taught in his teachings. I choose to stand with the apostles of Jesus Christ and the saints, who themselves observed to the letters the injunction from Christ to take good care of the poor and needy. I choose to stand with Mother Church, whose responsibility it is to cater for her numerous children, both spiritually and materially. I choose to stand with the Holy Spirit who takes the responsibility of providing everything she needs to fulfill this assignment. Lastly, I choose to stand with my conscience, the just voice of God in me. Hence, I make bold to say that if you are the type that donates thousands and millions to adorn Church buildings but neglect the poor and needy around you—indeed the real temples of God—you are not doing God any service. In fact you are somewhat incubating ignorance and foolhardiness, period!

The Jesus Christ of the Bible has something interesting to say on the topic of almsgiving to the poor. Yes, you heard me right! I said “Jesus Christ of the Bible” because there many ‘Jesuses’ being preached today in Christendom. These foreign Jesuses come with strange gospels--gospel of demons---, which promise prosperity to the giver when they empty their pockets and give to their pastors, priests, and church leaders for mere endless church projects. But these end up using their monies for selfish interests.

Interestingly, the same Jesus Christ who willingly offered himself up for crucifixion to secure our salvation clearly stated that judgment at his second coming would not be based on one’s Church attendance, huge donations for erecting gigantic Church buildings and other sundry church projects, but it would hinge solely on charity to the poor and needy. Hear him yourself:

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Unclad, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or Unclad, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: Unclad, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or Unclad, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Matt.25:31-46.
We shall continue this discussion in our next edition. Then I shall bring to your notice passages of scripture where God speaks on true giving to him. God bless you.
By Rev. Br. Kenneth Chigozie Alamezie, BSS

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