I don’t know about you, but I have encountered this question many times. I even once struggled with it in my days as a nominal Christian.
Why is it that so many people struggle with the question of giving? Not only to the church that God established, but even to others.
Personally I used to think it was better to give to charity or street beggars than to lazy priests and pastors who were stealing or not living godly lives by my standard. Some people argue that the New Testament replaced the Old in it’s entirety and therefore any commandments that God had made about giving before are now null and void.
I realized the flaw in my argument judging pastors for not being godly when I myself was nowhere near godly. So I knew nothing about living a godly life, nor the struggles and temptations that come when one tries to. But that’s a story for another day.
For the sake of the New Testament argument, Jesus, when confronted by the Pharisees told them to give to Caesar what belongs to him and to God what belongs to God.
That right there is an important lesson. We miss the point when we argue that He meant charity. Beggars existed back then, but in giving to God, Jesus was talking about our tithes and offerings. The ‘thank you for both the little and the much I have’ we give to God. Charity is well and good, and is even encouraged by God to not look upon a suffering beggar and simply give good words when we can offer more.
Jesus also taught that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Now, He did not say that it is impossible, He said it is difficult. Why? Because money and worldly comforts corrupt a man such that he feels he does not need God, this same man who would faithfully tithe his $5 now feels a world of pain giving $500. Wealth is not evil, God sometimes uses it as a blessing, it is we who fall into the snare of worshipping it and render the glory of God useless in the story He was telling in our lives.
Blessed is the God who gives and takes away (Job 2)
PS: I do not work for any church and I will not benefit from this post. Just so you know