Many congregations have in the past joined themselves to NCAY in the expectation that our headquarters in Sweden or other regional centres will fund their evangelistic or humanitarian operations. Unlike many of the larger denominations with have organisations for such purposes, NCAY has no central financing structure or fund because it is an association of self-supporting congregations. We therefore neither pay salaries to our ministers nor do we finance congregations. The reason for this is that we ourselves live very simple lives comparable to that of many of the Third World congregations who come to us in the hope that we will rescue them from their financial hardships.
We do not financially support congregations or ministers not under the NCAY umbrella.
It is wrongly assumed that everyone in the West is rich with limitless amounts of money that can be turned on like a tap. There is as much poverty in the West as there is wealth. Many also believe that churches in the West are uniformly rich, perhaps because they have watched the greedy and scandal-ridden TV evangelists who for filthy lucre promote their apostate and heretical teachings. We are neither like them nor do we have their wealth. In the last days nearly all the wealth belongs to those who do not fear Yahweh nor cleave to His righteousness.
As the Book of Acts informs us, the first believers lived in great poverty. Moreover, we read, it was the daughter congregations - when there was famine in Israel - who financed the starving saints in the Central Congregation in Jerusalem where all goods were held in common: the Jerusalem Colony was not a world bank for the other assemblies.
Any relationship that is based in whole or in part in financial expectation is going to be a defective and spiritually unsatisfying one. We have therefore been distressed and saddened on a number of occasions when pastors seeking for economic aid have been told that there are no funds and have reacted in anger or in silence, often failing to report their stewardships to the Chavurat Bekorot or implement NCAY policy as a kind of ‘punishment’ for not giving them what they felt was their right as ‘members’. There have been occasions when disgruntled pastors have chided us not knowing that we ourselves have often gone without warmth, water, food and other basic utilities because we ourselves are often short.
"Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Yah'shua (Jesus). And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet" (Acts 4:32-37, NKJV).
"Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need" (Acts 2:44-45, NKJV).
This, needless to say, betrays a false spirit of pride and manipulation. It is not the Christian way. Any congregation coming to NCAY has as its first allegiance loyalty to the emet (truth), the Constitution and a committment to the international fewllowship of the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh (NCAY) and its leadership.
Worse, there are numerous dishonest and reprobate 'scam churches and/or ministers' who join or form associations with denominations or apostolic movements like our own for the sole purpose of dishonestly obtaining funding. One scam (there are many) is to nominally divide a congregation in two (or more) under different leaders and for these leaders to then approach different ministries or churches for funding whilst pretending spiritual allegiance to them. Some years ago exposed once such operation in West Africa and are aware that this is a common practice throughout Africa and India. We were also scammed in East Africa after pouring in large sums of money. Dozens of congregations have been expelled from NCAY month for dishonest practices over the years. There are many churches playing the denominational chameleon, claiming allegiance to one denomination when its leaders visit them to ascertain their status and promise funding, and then pretending to belong to another denomination when another set of leaders visit for the same purpose. This is an evil practice which NCAY does not tolerate.
We are therefore very careful now in whom we admit to fellowship in NCAY.
The responsibility of NCAY congregations - every one of them - is to create a common monetary pool by laying their wealth - great and small - at the feet of the apostles. Since the apostles cannot be all around the world, they appoint their agents in the form of the Bishops and Pastors of Central and Local Assemblies. It is the responsibility of these Bishops and Pastors to appoint a Treasurer or Financial Administrator - to keep an accurate record of all tithings, donations and free-will offerings, send quarterly reports and annual audits to NCAY headquarters, and to pay their tithe in accordance with Torah. This tithe is split three ways:
(1) for the support of the local congregation and its programs (including evangelism);
The Presiding Patriarchate expects the proper annual reporting and auditing of local congregational funds. Furthermore, because of the enormous challenges in supporting our own congregations, increasingly habouring orphans, we do not support congregations and other ministries outside the official umbrella of NCAY, including those that are probationary (3 or more years) members adjusting their teachings and practices.
(2) for the annual festivals; and
(3) for the poor, both members locally and in other assemblies, and those in the local community, as the Ruach (Spirit) leads.
NCAY operates on the basis of complete transparency and honesty. Congregations unwilling to operate on the same basis, or to put themselves under full apostolic authority and accountability, are not welcome as members and should not apply. Let us not forget the fateful lesson of Annanias and Saphira who lied to the apostles and the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and paid with their lives (Acts 5:1-11).
Yahweh-willing, as we are blessed with greater prosperity after the difficult times have passed, we willin the future be able to do more to help financially. But for now it is important that our own congregations and those making application to us for support who are not a part of NCAY accept reality in grace and peace. Writing hundreds of letters to us - as some congregations have done, or even trying to arm-twist - does not change that reality.
Grace and peace in Yah'shua our Messiah,
19 January 2017