"I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.
Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away), then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice.
At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Definition of offering, donation, contribution & gift:
- Offering: something that is given to a God as part of religious worship.
- Donation: something that is given to a person or an organization such as a charity, in order to help them.
- Contribution: the act of giving something, especially money, to help a person or an organization.
- Gift: something that you give someone as a present.
I believe many people ever heard someone said that offering is a contribution to the funds of a religious organization. In non-religious speaking, it might be right and truly what we learned from this term literally. But I can't help paying attention to a fact that not every fundraising is based on justice, especially fundraisers use the religious reason for excuse. Since it's a forbidden topic to some people, please forgive me that I have to define the term I used in the prior place. What I'm talking about here is aimed at "offering" that is used specifically to give to God as part of religious worship. So there is a certain divine reason in the "offering", and the reason must be met the standard of God's teaching. Some people always like to emphasize how important the tithe is. Yes, I agree. The tithe is very important, but the reason might not be the same to what we heard after looking up more scriptures in Bible. The connotation of tithe is to teach us to revere the God. The offering we gave is to remind us that all we have is came from God's mercy. God has absolute sovereignty of everything. Each believer has to memorize it and give offering cautiously. Because giving offering wrongly is a shame and equivalent of taking part in other people's sin at the same time. The original divine reason will be humiliated. Actually, it's not easy to make a differentia discrimination when giving an offering. Thus it might be helpful to review some criteria before any decision is made.
- Free will: The donors have the power to make their own decisions without any proviso. God loves a cheerful giver.
- Theological: Meet the standard of God's teaching, revere and rejoice God's mercy. Don't forget the noted example of vanity in Act 5:1-11.
- Legal: Allow by law. Especially in modern age, the fundraiser should be a member of a certain registered institution with well operation. Revenue and expenditure are open to the public actively.
A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.