Yucca Valley, Ca.,-COMMENTARY-After a month hiatus from posting on Cactus Thorns, it seems that all Hell has broken loose with certain Elders of the Church where I have worshiped for the past 8 or 9 years. After weeks of no eye contact, a Pastor approached me after the Sunday service to say “Good Morning” and asked for a “Conference” on either Monday or Tuesday, and we agreed to meet. There were two Elders at this meeting, Pastor Bob Wagner, who mentioned he has been a pastor for 20 years. The second Elder, who was probably assigned as a witness to the meeting, was the most understanding of the two. During this “Conference,” I was assured this had nothing to do with the defeat of Measure U and the timing was just a coincidence.
Of all the things we “discussed” for 1 1/2 hours, using the term lightly because I was never asked for any background or examination of my heart regarding the accusations hurled at me, there is this one issue that I am not able to release after waiting for 48 hours to pass.
I was given an “example” by Pastor Wagner,”When people designate or ear mark their giving to a special cause or special project instead of giving to the General Fund that means they do not trust their leadership.” Completely clueless by his innuendo, I quickly reviewed my past donations in my mind and realized he was referring to my tithing and offerings. I was in complete shock that Pastor Wagner would cross the line to bring this up to judge me or scold me about my offerings. I told him he could have asked me why I donate the way I have for the past year but certainly I would NOT allow him to put words in my mouth it had anything to do with their leadership.
A simple question from a Pastor to a Sister Christian parishioner would have provided a simple explanation. It appeared this Pastor, speaking on behalf of all the Elders, and Pastor Jerel, had decided my tithing was a statement about their leadership.
Where do the Pastors learn to judge one’s tithing? Excuse me, but will someone please point out the verse in the Bible where my tithing is to be judged by the Pastors and subject to criticism. Please, enlighten me because I always felt my tithing was between me and the Lord.
Encouraged by Pastor Jerel to give from the heart with “Joy,” I have been cutting out monies from my “Grocery Envelope” to donate each week ear marked for the orphans in Malawi, a project that touched my heart. (Yes, we low-income use envelopes to put money aside for necessities to make it to the end of the week.)
Not that $20.00 every week is a lot of money to some of the wealthy folks, but it has been $20.00 every week for one year by cutting out certain grocery items from our food budget like cheese, prepared salads and eating less red meat. If I missed a week, I made up for it the following Sunday with a $40.00 donation. You do the math, 52 weeks @ $20.00, it certainly will go along way to help feed the orphaned children in Africa.
A judgement was passed on my offerings without the courtesy of asking me what was placed on my heart.
Is this the teaching of Jesus?
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