Monday, January 18, 2010

Aren't Some Churches Just After Your Money?

By: Rev. Angela Lee Price

"Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs." 1 Timothy 6: 6-10

In the gospel stage play Church Mess, coming to Louisville, Kentucky Saturday, January 23rd, there is a "money hungry deacon." When I read that phrase in the play's description, I thought of Deacon Ernest Frye in the sitcom, Amen. Deacon Frye (Sherman Hemsley from The Jeffersons fame) use to come up with some rather unorthodox methods and schemes for raising money, growing ministries, and advancing the church. Amen usually had a happy ending each episode. Deacon Frye would get caught by either his son-in-law the pastor (played by Clifton Davis), his daughter (Anna Marie Horsford), or one of the church members. Then, he'd give his usual "See, what happened was" line, beg forgiveness, and all was well.

When it comes to money, all is not well. Money issues are a true source of mess and confusion in the church. It is one of the reasons people don't go to church, church hop, and have misconceptions about God, that He's a Santa Claus, bell hop, or genie whose sole purpose is to make one wealthy, healthy and wise.

Dr. Eric Redmond states on pages 59-62 of the book, Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men's Questions About the Church that although critics have valid points about the overemphasis on money and giving in some churches...
1) No church or organizaiton can function without money;
2) Money is mentioned in the Bible as part of church life ( 2 Cor. 9:7, Acts 2:44-45);
3) The church has a way of doing things collectively with money that an individual cannot accomplish with money by pooling together funds collected by "tithes and offerings"; and
4) The Bible teaches that faithful ministers of the gospel are to be supported financially by the people whom they serve (1 Cor. 9:1-15) and 1 Tim. 5:17-18).

What are some of the ways we can minimize the mess in the church relative to money matters? Join our Church Mess group discussion on the Jesus Saves Social Network and post your comment.

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