Thursday, May 17, 2012
A Warning to Rich Christians
Dr. James I. McCord (RIP), renowned President of Princeton Theological Seminary and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, was criticized for always asking for money by somebody who probably felt guilty about her/his lousy personal stewardship: "All I ever hear from you is give, give, give!"
McCord: "I have never heard of a better definition of Christianity than give, give, give. We give in gratitude for what He gave in Jesus!"
Francois Fenelon: "Happy are those who give themselves to God!...There is only one way to love God: to take not a single step without Him, and to follow with a brave heart wherever He leads...But woe unto those weak and timid souls who are divided between God and their world!...Those who are wholly God's are always happy."
I have no hesitancies about asking for $ to honor Jesus, help His children, and advance the Kingdom.
However, these are terribly tough times for many families; and in our particular church, for example, families have suffered foreclosures, unemployment, under-employment, lost homes, severe downsizing, increasing stresses over maybe losing their homes and making ends meet, and just treading the turbulent financial waters of a declining nation.
It is almost criminal to expect the aforementioned to divert funds from the primary needs of their homes/families/children to support the life and ministry of the church; especially when there are church members coincidental to Christianity sitting on lots of $ being used for anything/anyone but Christ's sake.
I have a friend who likes to say, "The Lord loves a cheerful giver; but accepts checks from grouches...I wonder how the people who are too rich to tithe as the least they can do for Him feel about the inevitability of explaining that to Him sooner or later and definitely in the end."
Again, I have no hesitancies about asking for $ from those who have been blessed with $ by the grace of God as a test of how they will manage it concomitant to His ultimate arbitration.
Luke 12:42-48 (the warning).
Matthew 19:23 in the context of 19:16-30 as the consequence for those paying no attention to Luke 12:42-48 (the judgment).
I've been talking to pastors who have exited churches for a variety of infidelities - suffered by the pastors exclusively with no accountability for the congregational miscreants by gutless bishops, conferences, presbyteries, COMs, and the like.
Anyway, the younger pastors have been telling me that the financial health/wherewithal of traditional churches is almost over because younger generations have little to no $ and the few who do don't include churches in their financial planning.
Or something like that.
Churches in America are gonna have less and less and less $ for honoring Jesus, helping His children, and advancing the Kingdom because they are not immune to the collateral damage of a declining nation.
Sure, there will still be rich churches and rich pastors - a decreasing minority - who remain rich because they have no clue about what it means to follow Jesus as selfless, sacrificial, and serving saints. They better read those verses in the preceding section of this KD before...
But for the rest of us, it's going to be interesting/tempting in a Philippians 4:11-13 kinda way.
Or just blow Him off at your own...
Blessings and Love!