"Are members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) compelled to give ten percent of their earnings or wealth to the Church? Do you practice tithing? Some say that your members are forced to tithe or give ten percent of their income?"
ALTHOUGH THERE ARE many religions that practice tithing (giving ten percent of the income or wealth), the Church of Christ is definite and firm in its stand that such kind of monetary contribution is not what God commands for true Christians. The Apostle Paul teaches:
“Each person should give what he has decided in his heart to give. A person should not give if it makes him sad. And a person should not give if he thinks he is forced to give. God loves the person who gives happily.” (II Cor. 9:7, Easy-to-Read Version)
Christians are not mandated to give a specific percentage of their earnings or a particular amount of their wealth. Apostle Paul exhorts the Christians to “give what he has decided in his heart to give.” Hence, tithing is not practiced in the Church of Christ.
What is practice in the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) is voluntary contributions. Giving voluntary contribution is written in the Bible and the one practiced by the New Testament Christians:
“For the rendering of this service not only supplies the wants of the saints but also overflows in many thanksgivings to God. Under the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the gospel of Christ, and by the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others.” (II Corinthians 9:12-13 RSV)
Why “voluntary contributions”? “Voluntary” because “Each person should give what he has decided in his heart to give.” Even non-members who are studying and observing this Church could testify that Iglesia Ni Cristo members are never coerced, forced, or manipulated to offer ten percent of their income, nor any particular percentage or amount.
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