Another facet of this whole giving bit is that ideally and theoretically it should go to individuals, and not organizations or institutions. These latter are only the transmitting agencies to see that individuals receive the money. In the Old Testament that was pretty simple. Did you ever stop to think that in the OT, especially in the wilderness, they had no money? What good would that have done anybody, without stores and banks? Lots of “rich” people are poorer than you and I; you can’t wear or eat money, so what good is a million in the bank?
But now, in order to help some “poor African,” the gift has to go through a hundred hands in order to reach him. Now many of those “hands” work for nix, but still plenty is siphoned off for postage, ads, telephone, etc. even if nobody is paid to phone, send the mail, think up the ads, etc. Almost all of this is “church work” – let’s face it. Necessary, perhaps, just like building a Crystal Cathedral in order to have a place to meet, but still a means and not the end. What God is always and primarily interested in is that needy individuals are helped by us who can, not just spiritually, but physically. Hence all the places in the Bible which say, “Stop bringing those tithes and sacrifices to church; give them to the poor and unsaved. In as much as you do it to them, you do it to me.” So you are accountable to no one as to amount,you give, the recipient, motive, etc. Whatever your “new nature” prompts you to do, do it. Jesus said long ago, “Where your heart is, there your treasure will be.”
Just a quick word about the other “nine-tenths” or maybe even a smaller fraction that a person “keeps” or uses for himself. You will find there too is something that follows naturally, not arbitrarily, on account of the “laws” that the world operates, bred into creation’s or Nature’s being. People who observe Sunday by not working (just a good guideline of God) discover they make just as much money or produce just as much work as the “seven-dayers.” Look at “Chick-Fil-A,” as an example. By the same token, money remaining after tithing goes just as far, and farther, seems to earn more (sometimes by being spared big expenditures, wealth that is more outgo than income) than keeping 100%. Why does it seem that the people who often keep the most are living paycheck to paycheck? Jesus said all that, in his down to earth, “non-religeous” teaching, when he talked about losing and keeping, money-bags with holes, assets that rust or get ripped off (by the government or con men), etc. But more of that later.