Thursday, February 26, 2009

Church, Inc. Part 3 - Money???

The Bible says "The love of money is the root of all evil." This is often misquoted, somehow making money itself evil, but we know this to be untrue. But I'd be hard-pressed to find a subject so widely varied in it's views than the Church's teaching on money. The issues are confused and sometimes contradicting. This often leaves believers and non-believers alike in a stupor, causing most Christians to decide for themselves what they think is right.

Tithing: Some cling to the practice as God's command for today, others denounce it entirely as a part of the Law that could not be kept. I'm in the middle on this. I think there's a strong enough argument to reason that while we are not "law-bound" to the standard of 10%, it is a fair "guide" for those of us who give consistently. Especially taking into account that there are actually 4 different tithes mentioned in the OT, and they usually ended up being closer to 30% of the faithful Israelite's income, not to mention that most didn't tithe with cash, but instead the fruits of their harvest or occupation (material items). But, I humbly submit to my church's teaching in favor of Tithing as God favors obedience over sacrifice.

Personal Finance: Does God want us to be insanely wealthy? Or would he rather we completely forsake material things for the cause of the Kingdom? Obviously, some unscrupulous preachers have taken the "health and wealth" doctrines over the top and led many astray in the pursuit of material things. However, I'm not sure the Kingdom would benefit if everyone lived like a pauper, but I do believe the Word when God says He will supply all of my needs....

Selling in the Church: This particular issue is full of contradictions, inconsistencies, and misinterpretations. So on one side there are people who would sell the pews and auction off the Holy Ghost if it would make them a buck. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who roundly denounce any type of selling by or for the church, including food, CDs, books, etc. My question to those people is "How did you get your hands on a printed Bible? Oh yeah, you PAID for it. In fact, you probably paid some secular ungodly corporation for it."

So obviously, I didn't write this to provide any solid answers. Someone would just debate them anyway. But I am pleading for us to avoid extremes, and carefully consider the Word of God in it's proper context before we make snap judgments and make irresponsible claims concerning God and HIS money.
elder todd

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