the Crucible


I’m not certain I agree with what I wrote… Just sort of going with the moment… and thinking outloud

A family loved their rich neighbors. Although they hadn’t mastered being great neighbors, they were trying to get a lot of practice. Functionally the only thing the neighbors needed was a better understanding of Gods love for them.

Their theological understanding of giving was just an overlay of Old Testament language perpetuated by an establishment, which utilizes opportunity for capitalization. Reallocating 10% of Gods money to a buildings organization (churchinc.)is a wonderful principle, however one is faced with complicating circumstance. If work is a curse, then it would seem fiscal gain for the reciprocity of services is also a curse. If work is a blessing then the payment for services is also a blessing. They were dumbfounded with why they would want to give a curse away as well as unclear what to do about giving their gift from God to an established business.

Defending the initial presupposition that money is only a reward for a job well done is vain. As we toil we spoil. Perhaps in Gods sovereign plan he allows the privileged few to find compensary reward, as well as humanitarian gain in lieu of their strife. In addition the commensurate gain can be utilized to accomplish spiritual as well as financial security, then if mentored properly can serve to comply with a status of comfort. How the capital ‘C” church has lashed hold of theses funds is a historical illegitimacy that proves difficult to proof text at best.

If one subscribes to the position that work is a blessing, than the fiduciary gain is also a blessing. That a fallen, sinful individual can still carnally provide for himself or herself is grace, coupled with the additional blessing of extra monetary reward

“Read my Bible? Why would I do that?. . . that’s what I pay the preacher for.
                                                                              —victim of capitalism

According to a recent Barna statistic of the churches in amERICa approximately 90% of their tithes never leave the building. Rather, they are appropriately used to power the building, heat it, air conditioning it pay salaries, mortgages, taxes. . . With that remaining 10% Church Inc. necessarily decides how to best utilize their remaining gifts, perhaps 2% is allocated for emergency funds, 1 for the poor, 3 % for international work, 2% for the sick, and the remaining for 2%widows. Unfortunately in the average American church, when the average working person makes $1000 and decides to generously give $100 to his Church Inc. Only ten of those dollars will be used to do kingdom work. Of those $100 it is imaginable that only 1$ will land in the hands of a homeless person! That’s exactly .01% of the original givers money-isn’t that illegal. Next time the American makes 10$ he should just give the homeless guy 2 pennies and save himself the guilt of not giving on a Sunday, at least that way he will know his money went twice as far.

The engaging entrepreneur would immediately eliminate the middleman and recoup his 90% loss, wouldn’t it be more functional for us to teach responsible giving? Teaching our family in Christ to cut a check to McChurch is not teaching responsible giving its allowing the responsibility to land in the hands of a board who has a legitimate agenda; they are forced to feed their machine. Eliminating the middleman pragmatically is more than semantically driven. The middleman is: the building, the programs, the badges and every other positive force which funds McChristianity.

With only 1% of and individual’s money going towards humanitarian relief it seems we have missed the goal of generously giving.

Solution fulfills the Churches mandate to be generous givers and stewards for the reallocation of Gods generous provisions. Teach them to be stewards, and mentor his Church in hands free giving. Rather than teach amERICan worker to give a portion of money (who’s money it is- why is it Gods money) to a building teach him how to see what the spirit is doing, teach him to love his neighbor beyond social norms. What would it look like to take $100 as an individual and pray about how much to allocate for emergency funds, the poor, international work, the sick, widows. . . or even neighborhood birthday parties and then appropriately respond by personally giving it away? Is it as practical to give money to a McChurch as it is to go to Wal-Mart, choose a really great power ranger, not the $7.99 one but the big MegaZord that costs 29.99 and give it to your neighbors son for his birthday? Try it and find out, chances are the neighbor who does this will have more influence as a neighbor than the neighbor who cheeses out and buys the crappy $7.99 one. In addition depending on whose earlier mentioned position one subscribes to, the act of giving away hard earned, toiled for and deserving cash will make and individual feel Christian. What about setting aside your own missionary fund in your personal budget and deciding that your going to invest$150 into your neighbors every month, and in addition begin a neighborhood emergency fund? If you invite you neighbor over for salad, French bread, potato, petite sirloin or filet mignon, with bottled wine (with a cork), unless he’s vegan he will undoubtably return again to your own home, a personal missions program. When you have found you have relationship (as well as a cholesterol problem) after several meals together and he shares that his position at work is in jeopardy because his employer is relocating overseas. Imagine if you volunteer the information of your neighbor hood emergency fund and elaborate that you have been setting aside funds for this very sort of opportunity. It has been said that we are out of the age of Christendom, because the Church no longer has influence in society and individuals cannot distinguish between the churched and the unchurched. Loving a neighbor in this way, like a brother or family would reestablish Christians in their communities.

may 5, 2003


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