This topic is perhaps a bit controversial, depending on if you are the giver or the receiver. I have noted SDA organizations and institutions that remove the tithe from the employee’s wages. There was no demonstration of giving only demanding. I have observed the tithing, tithe distribution, and petty projects funded due to questionable leadership values and management. I have noted church administrators and pastors that preach God, yet demonstrate that their real god is what they can glean from the church offering or distribute to their own favorite projects.
I am a tithe payer, but I have chosen to provide funds to needed projects and the people in various countries and projects that I can observe and verify the impact the funds providing help for the sick, homeless, poverty-stricken, and those with physical deformation issues.
As a Christian, I have traveled the world (not under the limitation of SDA controls) and noted the SDA church’s financial mismanagement- even criminal activity that has deprived the local communities of diverting funds to their own use. I have noted church discipline in these areas which means moving them to another area or country to get them out of the limelight and allow them to continue these same activities.
My wife and I review the leadership in the local church and provide funds for local church expenses. However we do not support the many levels of church administration.
Instead, we provide funds for needy students and mission outreach in various countries based on interviews with those who conduct them. We find that many of these locals we work with are worthy of trust, and they are dedicated. We Arrange and provide health support for the needy as we do health outreach projects in Villages and communities in the various countries that we visit. In many instances, the relationships formed with those that we have assisted, become lifetime-projects that develop into special relationships. Sometimes, there is a failure…but then God gave each of us freedom to go our own way!
The promise of Mal 3:10 has been real for us…the Lord has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams. We budget 10%, but we do not really keep track—NO, we probably give more, but from experience, you cannot outgive the Lord. As far as time is concerned… I just work for the needs of the project and the people. Looking back…I have never considered the time commitment…Just that serving others is a very special feeling.
Just a thought and a question…Is current church leadership that far from what the Jewish priests experienced during Christ’s time on earth? During that time we noted special priests such as Nichodemus as Godly individuals, and then others not named who were raised with Christ, (Matt 27:51-53). Which were dedicated and working to fulfill the mission as assigned by Christ…then we noted Judas who aspired to be a pillar of the early church, yet his greed got in the way. My thought question…is the current church much different than that church Jesus had to deal with during his walk around Galalee?