MODERATOR of the Presbyterian Church (PCTT) The Rt Rev Joy Abdul-Mohan said it oppressive for any church or religious organisation to compel or demand that its members give from a social relief grant for the poor and needy.
Rev Abdul-Mohan was responding to statements reportedly made by Prophet Rev Dr De Van Narine, founder of The Prophetic & Apostolic Ministries International (PAMI). Newspaper articles here and in the Caribbean quoted messages from the pastor’s Facebook profile in which he told worshippers they owed the church 10 per cent of any social relief grant they receive.
In one post, Narine urged members to “remember to pay your tithes from your grants and hampers, 10 per cent belongs to the Lord’s Church.”
Government has agreed to grant temporary financial relief to people who may be out of work because of the covid19 pandemic and to those who may have lost their jobs. The Roman Catholic Church has also opened up a bank account so members can continue to contribute.
But in a response, Rev Abdul-Mohan told Newsday, “The PCTT does not compel or coerce its members to give offerings or tithes of a certain percentage.”
She said the church is governed by a practice of systematic and proportionate giving based on scripture, “to give your best, freely and generously without compulsion.”
Instead of demanding that members give from the little they are getting to feed themselves and their families in these trying times, Rev Abdul-Mohan said the church should have a preference for the poor.
“The church should be giving to the needy and less fortunate and not store up treasures for itself at this time of crisis, albeit it has expenses of its own.” She said the PCTT practice the philosophy of their reformers John Wesley who says, “Give what you can without hurting either yourself or your neighbour in soul or body “
The PCTT has embarked on a series or outreach initiatives, recognising and assisting the most vulnerable including the homeless, elderly, differently abled, children, the abused and those with the least resources available to them.
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