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As a member of my church is it wrong for me to stop paying tithe and offering when I feel that it just gets into the pockets of greedy leaders in the church? I know am not to judge but what do I do when it is obvious that the developments expected are never seen? I will rather give to the poor, which I am always ready to do.

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I don't think it is unreasonable to expect some accountability of funds here... I'm not sure how this question will be received, but: have you tried asking the church/fund officials over this? –  Marc Gravell Mar 30 '12 at 18:44
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I've always been under the belief that if your church is not properly applying funds the way that you believe is right for the church to do, then that's probably a good sign that it's time to leave for another church. Just my two cents there. –  David Morton Mar 30 '12 at 19:07
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@Nok: There's no direct biblical backing to leave a denomination that's doing things wrong, because there were no denominations in Biblical times. Paul actually spoke strongly against such things. (1 Corinthians 1:13). But Malachi 3 makes it clear that those who don't deal with tithes and offerings properly are "robbing God" and will be cursed because of it. –  Mason Wheeler Mar 30 '12 at 20:19
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Personally, I would say that walking away is not enough; I'd rather confront things head on - maybe achieve a more positive outcome. If your other option is walking away anyway, then what is there to lose? But then, I'm a fairly direct person. –  Marc Gravell Mar 30 '12 at 21:30
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@Andrew actually, 60-75% is more typical (source: charitywatch). It also rather depends on what the stated intent of the money is vs now it is actually used. If it is claimed as being for church costs, that is different to claiming it for, say, "defence for the puma league", and then resurfacing the car-park. –  Marc Gravell Apr 1 '12 at 8:00
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6 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Whatever you do, don't stop tithing. If you don't want to give to your own congregation, at least find another ministry in service to God that could also use the money.

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If you're donating money to your church, with a good-faith expectation that it's to be used to do the Lord's work, and you find out that that's not true, then you certainly shouldn't continue to allow your money to be misappropriated!

Does your church have a hierarchy, with someone above your local leaders that you can talk to about your suspicions and ask them to investigate? If so, that would be the obvious course of action. If not, or if it becomes clear that they don't care or even support it, remember that Jesus's strongest condemnations were not for unbelievers, but for hypocrites, especially hypocrites in a position of leadership!

A person who claims to be a Christian leader but who is working to build up themselves instead of strengthening the Kingdom of God is no Christian, and you have no moral duty to follow such a person's leadership. If things get to that point and there's nothing you can do about it, you really ought to look at finding a different church.

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Actually you are commanded to make this type of judgement, you are not judging the church leaders salvation, rather you are judging how they are spending your tithe to God. Same as you would judge a plumber who never fixes your sink.

Your tithe should go where you personally judge it will be most effective in the long term. It is wrong to allow the money that you would give to the needy be taken from them.

All of our money is God's money, anything beyond basic living expenses should be considered for tithe. Very few of us come close to that, but it is what we should strive for. It is a really big deal how you end up spending your money while you are still here on earth, your tithe should be given wisely.

It should be noted that the way most churches collect money causes people to violate a commandment of Jesus:

Matthew 6:3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

You, and you alone are responsible for where and how your tithe is given.

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One thing that you should definitely keep in mind is that if you are tithing faithfully to the Lord, then, as far as your giving to God is concerned, you will be counted faithful. The people who handle your tithes are under God's conviction and in His hand.

Now with that being said, it is your duty, as a church member, to reproach other members in their sins within the church. If you consider yourself a member and this church to be your family, you may want to stay there and you have every right to do what you can to set things straight. Plus, out of love for all your fellow sheep in the church, you should desire honest shepards for them too!
A biblical way to handle sin in the church can be found in Matthew 18:15-20:

15 If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.
16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed and upheld by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
17 If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a pagan and a tax collector.
18 Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven.
19 Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.
20 For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.
Matthew 18:15-20 (Amplified)

Update: My pasture shared this with me:

19 Listen to no accusation [presented before a judge] against an elder unless it is confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
20 As for those who are guilty and persist in sin, rebuke and admonish them in the presence of all, so that the rest may be warned and stand in wholesome awe and fear.
21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the chosen angels that you guard and keep [these rules] without personal prejudice or favor, doing nothing from partiality.
22 Do not be in a hurry in the laying on of hands [giving the sanction of the church too hastily in reinstating expelled offenders or in ordination in questionable cases], nor share or participate in another man's sins; keep yourself pure.
1 Timothy 5:19-22 (Amplified)

An honest leadership will have a balance sheet of the church's financial condition readily accessible by all members; you should ask for that. If they are unwilling to provide that information, you have a right to be suspicious. If need be, seek out 1 or 2 others to investigate with you and demand an honest explanation from the leadership. There definitely needs to be financial accountability in the church, and leaders should be humble and willing to be held accountable.. If they will not, find another church.

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My question to you is: Why would you continue to stay in a church led by greedy leaders? The Church is us not a building. The building is the place we meet. The pastor is the person who shepherds and feeds the flock...making disciples, growing people up. Get with the Lord in prayer and ask Him, your Great Shepherd, to lead you to the right pastor. The Lord loves you too much to permit anything less, but it is up to you to listen to His heart and then take action. May the Lord bless you and guide you.

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That's a great first answer. Welcome to Christianity SE. –  Monika Michael Aug 9 '12 at 15:23
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Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

From the Word of Faith perspective taking time to see developments and even the misuse or waste of money is not a major offense and should not be a cause to stop giving. Some sects of the WoF do not believe in any form of debt and so when churches have building projects it is common for them to take years to fund and complete. Some build piecewise and others store up until they can completely pay of the project.

Other times money is lost due to mismanagement. I know of two churches which have invested thousands of dollars to buy and/or build buildings which did not work out. Some due to no fault of the ministry itself. They were dealing with crooks. No matter how optimized any ministry is there will always be a percentage of waste and if there is no waste then the team leading the project is mismanaged by a perfectionist.

However, if you designate funds then your funds must go to that project. If you do not designate the destination of your funds than the ministry may spend it on whatever is necessary like insurance, staffing, IT, light bills, air conditioning, lawn care or maintenance. Things which you might never notice unless you were part of the process which ensured the present-ability and use-ability of the facility and ministry.

Yes you can annoy your minister by asking where the money is going but the answer probably is going to make you comfortable and ensure the safety of the ministry.

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