I heard a talk one Sunday about “the rich man”, he was one of the only people ever to walk away from Jesus with a sad face! Why was that? Because he didn’t want to do as Jesus suggested and sell all he owned! It has been said that “speakers have 3 main temptations- Money, Sex & Power”
One famous preacher, I discovered not only “strikes” people on points of their body to cause temporary “blackouts” or “dizziness” which is mistaken for the Holy Spirit by their “victim”, but the amount of money he spends on luxury hotel rooms, unnecessary flights etc you could be confused about whether he is a preacher or a politician!
The bible says that you can tell what someone is about by their fruits, i.e. by what they do! So I get annoyed by preachers who say one thing and then you know for a fact that they are doing something totally different!
What amazes me is the extent of obsession with wealth, that the general “church” seem to have! The Anglican Church for example owns £1.6 billion of property and I wonder how much of that actually gets used for helping the community? The early church sold all they had and none of the group were in need, the problem is if I suggested that to a group of “church goers” now, most of them would think I was either on something or trying to start a cult!
If someone is “charismatic” enough and manages to quote the bible in such a way that people cannot argue with it, they may manage to get a large following like “David Koresh“, but they are called “false prophets” and we are called to “test the scriptures“. If I said “I am the new “messiah” and quoted loads of the bible, but my life was unbiblical, i.e. husband to more than one wife (why I would want to do that, I don’t know, but it’s for illustration purposes), a drunkard, if my children were unruly (F.Y.I. I am proud to say they are not!) and if every week I prayed for the poor whilst sitting in a multi-million pound mansion! You should come up to me and say “Oi, your life is not God-centred! You ask for money every week but it is only helping you!
The idea of a ministerial stipend is/was to enable ministers to be able to concentrate on ministry rather than having to work 5 days a week to provide for their family and then have to find time to be available to pastorally support their “flock”. Surely the church wants the best out of their ministers, so they should provide for the needs of the minister, financially, emotionally and psychologically. So should you give more financial support to a minister the more children they have? Or is that too similar to the UK benefits system?
The happiest Christians that I have met are the poorest financially! Why? Because they trust God in everything, they have to! Got a car that starts when it wants? Pray for it and push! (I know someone who did this every time to get their car started!) Don’t know where your next meal is coming from? Pray, thank god for your past blessings, trust in him and he will provide for all your needs!
Remember everything under the sun, belongs to God! It is up to us to be kind to others, be less self-centred and have our eyes open to the needs of others. our lives in the west, have been blessed in so many ways and it is not just so that we can enjoy life, but we have been blessed so that we can bless others!
- Do you have a talent for making money?- support those who need financial help, advise them/give to them!
- Do you have a degree/doctorate/life experience?- share your knowledge, blog/answer questions on forums, give free advice!
- Have you been “blessed” with early retirement/temporary redundancy?- volunteer/offer to help those who need practical help!
- Do you have a relatively fit and able body?- just be willing to help when asked/or even offer!
What do you have to offer the world?