"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16

I think we have all been raised in some way or another that givings are part of our devotion or worship. While practical issues such as maintaining and sustaining the church financially is of great importance and is at times heard in sermons, the greatest stress is laid upon the devotional aspect of tithing/giving and how it is a good spiritual discipline, not to mention that it is often preached from the pulpit that tithing (10%) is a christian duty or at least a good guideline. So it seems to the new christian that as long as he is sincere in dipping some money into that bag month in and month out, his christian duty is fulfilled, at least partially.

Yet, what is mind-boggling is the fact that those who give weight to the devotional aspect on their part, do not really care about how the money is utilized ultimately on the other side of the story. It is true that God sees the heart of a cheerful giver but is there any reason why we should not care about how the funds are utilized? The common answer to the issue of misappropriation of funds would be that God will deal with those who administered the funds. Indeed, the real issue is really about delegating the role of administration of funds to someone other than yourself. It's pretty much the I-will-do-well-as-long-as-I-tithe mentality, without reference to where we place the money in the first place. By focusing on the devotional aspect only, are we now into an unworldly version of christianity?

Maybe we have long overlooked the responsibility of our parts to make sure that we do give and that the giving is not in vain, but for a good cause. And perhaps those who collect tithes and offerings should also educate the members that they have their rights to specify for what use of the funds that they are contributing under the law, instead of dumping everything into the general fund, which by nature can be used to pay for anything as long as it relates to the church. No ground to regret if one resent the "misuse" of funds in opinion later on.

But again, will we be accused of being Judas by questioning the use of funds? This, only God knows, but I do think that transparency is needed, and not just transparency but an ear to listen and act upon of whom the members have elected to act in goodwill on their behalf. Having said that, I think we ought to maintain a delicate balance not to be overly skeptical in regards to all givings. Afterall, what comes will go and it is the Lord who gives and takes as He pleases.

Note: The author does not believe in tithing per se, but in the charity of givings.