QUESTION: "I would like the following question answered in your Q & A section as it has bothered me for quite some time. It concerns Galatians 6:6: 'Let him who receives instruction in the word of God share all good things with his teacher — contributing to his support.' Does this refer to monies over and above tithes sent directly to the Headquarters Church? In other words, are the people the minister serves also to provide for him?"
ANSWER: Most commentators appear to believe that this expression, used by Paul, is a euphemism for "let him make a financial contribution."
In those early days the Church was not centrally organized as it is in this age. While the Headquarters Church at Jerusalem was influential in the making of doctrinal decisions (Acts 15), there was no formal, corporate structure as such. We have no evidence, except for an offering of foodstuffs collected for the poor saints at Jerusalem, that there was any centralization of funds in those times. Each local church congregation was expected to support its ministry (I Tim. 5:17-18). The apostles too, though traveling throughout the Empire and beyond, were entitled to support from the Church.
Paul made this plain in I Corinthians 9: "Do we not have the right to our food and drink... as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas [Peter]? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense?...
"Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same?... If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more?" (Verses 4-12, RSV.)
While Paul did not expressly quote the tithing law here, it follows that if the ministry had the right to claim material support from the Church, they also had the right to define how much was needed to do the Work.
Today, the cost of radio and television time, printing costs, advertising expenses, hall rentals, salaries and other expenses have made it plain that the Church must define for its membership just what is the Christian obligation. Following the biblical example of tithing (Gen. 14:19-20; 28:22; Lev. 27:30; Numbers 18:21-28; Mal. 3:8-12; Matt. 23:23, etc.), members of the Worldwide Church of God give God the tenth (tithe).
This tithe, and in many cases additional offerings, is sent to the Headquarters of the Worldwide Church of God in Pasadena, California (and to other offices around the world). From this central point it is equitably distributed to defray the expenses of preaching Christ's gospel and maintaining the Church.
Local church pastors are paid a biweekly salary from Headquarters. If a sudden, unexpected emergency creates a need for local church assistance, this is certainly in order. However, the Church does not generally encourage the giving of monetary gifts to local pastors. Their salaries are adequate for their physical needs.
So long as God allows us to maintain an organized, efficient headquarters structure, there is no reason why the needs of the ministry cannot be taken care of from a central location. Prevailing circumstances dictate the best means of supporting the ministry. In today's computerized world of paper money and plastic money (credit cards), centralization provides the greatest efficiency — and the most mileage for God's money.
A brand new booklet on the subject of tithing will be forthcoming very soon. It will expound the overall biblical basis, pre-Mosaic incidents, the Levitical system and the New Testament principle. The present administration of tithing will also be explained in detail. Just what constitutes the tithable base is a question in the minds of salaried workers, wage earners, businessmen and farmers alike. These and other technical questions will be answered by way of broad guidelines and principles.
Just as soon as this new booklet is off the press, its availability will be announced to our family of readers.
Q: "Can you tell me where Cain got his wife?"
A. The answer is found in Genesis 5:4-5: "And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: and all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."
Notice that Adam begat daughters. By this time other children had been born to Adam and Eve. It is quite obvious that Cain married one of his sisters — Adam's daughter. There simply weren't any unrelated females for him to marry.
For further details, read our free booklet titled Answers From Genesis.