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New Age Movement Tithing and Offering Replaced by Economic Empowerment at the Expense of Congregants  (Essay Sample)

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NEW AGE MOVEMENT TITHING AND OFFERING REPLACED BY ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AT THE EXPENSE OF CONGREGANTS

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 New Age Movement Tithing and Offering Replaced by Economic Empowerment at the Expense of Congregants 

1/1/2011

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Table of Contents
 TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u  HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340483" Abstract  PAGEREF _Toc289340483 \h 1
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340484" CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION  PAGEREF _Toc289340484 \h 2
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340485" CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW  PAGEREF _Toc289340485 \h 17
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340486" Origins of the New Age Movement  PAGEREF _Toc289340486 \h 17
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340487" Harmonial Religion  PAGEREF _Toc289340487 \h 20
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340488" Esotericism: Esoteric Christianity  PAGEREF _Toc289340488 \h 21
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340489" Other New Age beliefs  PAGEREF _Toc289340489 \h 24
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340490" The New Age Movement and the Church: The connection  PAGEREF _Toc289340490 \h 25
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340491" New Age movement and Economic Empowerment  PAGEREF _Toc289340491 \h 26
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340492" New Age Movement and Tithing: The Deprived Sections  PAGEREF _Toc289340492 \h 33
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340493" Integration of New Age Practices  PAGEREF _Toc289340493 \h 35
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340494" Women as the link to the New Age Movement  PAGEREF _Toc289340494 \h 37
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340495" The Wealth Demography  PAGEREF _Toc289340495 \h 39
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340496" Economic Empowerment: Is it the duty of the Church?  PAGEREF _Toc289340496 \h 40
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340497" Tithe and offerings  PAGEREF _Toc289340497 \h 45
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340498" Arguments against the church engaging in business  PAGEREF _Toc289340498 \h 48
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340499" New Age Perspectives  PAGEREF _Toc289340499 \h 51
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340500" Tithing and Economic Empowerment  PAGEREF _Toc289340500 \h 54
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340501" The effect of the Economic Depression on the Church  PAGEREF _Toc289340501 \h 61
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340502" CHAPTER III : RESEARCH METHODOLOGY  PAGEREF _Toc289340502 \h 66
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340503" Background  PAGEREF _Toc289340503 \h 66
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340504" Form and Structure of the research  PAGEREF _Toc289340504 \h 72
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340505" Synthesizing Literature  PAGEREF _Toc289340505 \h 74
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340506" Sampling  PAGEREF _Toc289340506 \h 76
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340507" The case Study Approach  PAGEREF _Toc289340507 \h 79
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340508" Measurement of Empirical factors  PAGEREF _Toc289340508 \h 80
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340509" The Process of Collecting Dependable Data  PAGEREF _Toc289340509 \h 82
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340510" Conclusion of Methodology  PAGEREF _Toc289340510 \h 89
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340511" CHAPTER VI: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION  PAGEREF _Toc289340511 \h 92
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340512" Introduction  PAGEREF _Toc289340512 \h 92
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340513" Participant Demographics  PAGEREF _Toc289340513 \h 92
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340514" Findings  PAGEREF _Toc289340514 \h 92
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340515" Economic Empowerment  PAGEREF _Toc289340515 \h 94
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340516" Prudent Pal Charitable Giving Planner  PAGEREF _Toc289340516 \h 98
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340517" Utilization of Collection and Donor funds  PAGEREF _Toc289340517 \h 103
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340518" Denominational Differences  PAGEREF _Toc289340518 \h 105
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340519" Doctrinal Differences  PAGEREF _Toc289340519 \h 109
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340520" Ways of Increasing Collection  PAGEREF _Toc289340520 \h 113
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340521" Churches and the Economic Empowerment of Deprived Sections  PAGEREF _Toc289340521 \h 114
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340522" CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS  PAGEREF _Toc289340522 \h 122
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340523" Economic Empowerment as a Duty  PAGEREF _Toc289340523 \h 132
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340524" Benefit of Economic Empowerment  PAGEREF _Toc289340524 \h 145
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340525" Conclusion  PAGEREF _Toc289340525 \h 148
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc289340526" REFERENCES  PAGEREF _Toc289340526 \h 152

Abstract
This paper highlights the New Age Movements origin and proliferation of ideologies to the church. It also analyzed the need and extent of economic empowerment by the congregation, as ell as the basic replacement of traditional tithing with new tithing which build on the arguments against the former to gain ground. It emphases the need for gracious giving to go beyond the norm, and to incorporate the different development programs for the church to carry out. The economic state of the congregants is therefore one of the primer focus of this paper, as are well as ways of raising the living standards of the past. Church congregations which have adopted new Age movement have engaged in more challenging tasks in empowering the economic status of the people who need the income. This paper therefore includes arguments on traditional tithing and its validity as well as reliance as way of helping the poor. Churches must therefore seek to transform the watt they spend the money they obtain CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION
The New Age Movement is a brainchild of contemporary religion. Scholars term it as a new awakening in the spiritual, human nature such that the individual gets a new world view which encompasses more and has a larger fulfillment in terms of the purpose of the human being here on earth (Redford 1995). The New Age Movement has been viewed as the only way that modern man can rediscover a sacredness that has been gradually eroded with time and sin (Hunt 2005). In its push towards acceptance into nearly all aspects in life, it has revolutionized tradition and resulted in a huge paradigm shift. New Age churches are preaching more about economically empowering society than following such practices as tithing. Conservative denominations see a fault in this as it is an affront to the very commandments of the God they serve. Unlike in bible times where the church was only concerned about the spiritual wealth of the congregant, New Age Movement encourages a different approach. It emphasizes the need for the church to empower its congregants, as opposed to continuing the practice of giving the church tithes and offerings (Daren & Lewis 2007). Clearly, this new outlook into an age old question, it is perhaps paramount t first study the historical background of the New Age Movement and its ideologies. The reason for this is to understand the background in which the present revolutionary practices are built.
The issue of tithing is just one of the many things that the New Age Movement is changing in society and conservatives have a hard time remaining relevant.Tithe can be defined as a tenth of one’s income devoted to God, while an offering is the undefined portion that the individual gives to the church on top of the tithe. From as long ago as the time of Abraham, Christians and believers have supported their churches and pastors by giving them monetary contribution. This warranted the reading of the New Testament, 1st Corinthians 9:13. The loose interpretation of this verse is that those who serve and work by the altar should live by it, literally, as Christians used to live their tithe and offering at the altar as their contribution to the upkeep of the ministers. In the bible times, tithe represented a tenth of one’s farm produce and other texts in the New Testament such as 2nd Corinthians 9:7, 8:3 all encourage cheerfulness and heartfelt giving, without giving a limitation of any percentage which one should give.
The New Age Movement’s beginnings were largely non-religious and evolved around the metaphysical nature of man and the spiritual traditions. As an ideological movement, it developed several central dogmas to guide its followers. Paramount was the need for spirituality that was virtually unlimited, and the need for all to have a holistic view of the world. The latter was further supported by the belief that the three natures of man: the mind, body and soul are all intertwined thus being the origin of all unity and oneness that exists in the world. While many of the beliefs of the New Age Movement that related to the sciences have been debunked by skeptical scientists, its ideologies have continued to spread and be integrated into modern religion.
The new Age Movement is said to have been built on the works of four scholars (Drury 2004). These four scholars were; Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), Franz Mesmer (1734-1815), Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891) and George Gurdjieff (1872-1949). Key among the combined works of these four individuals is the elements of mystic in human nature and the belief that the metaphysical elements of man are key to spiritual fulfillment. As New age Movement gained standing among scholars, tithing was also undergoing a metamorphosis of its own which formed the basis on which believers in the New Age Movement claim has led to the economic deterioration of the congregants (Pike 2004). In the middle Ages, for example, it was considered mandatory to give tithe to church and villages and individuals could be recorded for owing tithe. This tithe was kept in the most magnificent buildings; barns built to hold the farm produce and other products that were delivered as a tithe, in the villages. In some cases, the priest and the minister would collect the tithe themselves, but the most com...
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