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20 August 2010

Putting Our Money Where Our Mouths Are

I posted a comment on Facebook not long ago that garnered a few responses. Please comment below; I'd love to know the "why" of your thoughts and the circumstances that might make this not quite so black-and-white. Please understand that I have no real-life situation in mind. This is absolutely hypothetical, but it will probably hit close to home.
If a church fellowship is hurting financially and a like-minded fellowship has money they've been saving in order to build a building, would it honor Scripture for the second church fellowship to postpone their building plans (or even cancel them) and give some or all of that money to the first group?
Possible reasons for a "maybe not" or "no" answer:
  • The second church wouldn't be a good steward of its resources by doing this
  • The first church has a pattern of wasting its money 
  • The second church will start losing people if it doesn't build a place to accommodate them
  • People gave at the second church with the understanding that their money would be used specifically for building
  • This scenario presupposes that both fellowships rely on an influx of money in order to actively be the body of Christ, which is a fallacy

I realize that there are things I'm not considering, but I can't think of too many reasons for a "no" answer. We should use caution when "screening" people to determine whether or not they merit our grace. That's not something that goes hand-in-hand with giving in the Bible.


Lamarr said...

I think that churches do form partnerships, and many blessed churches 'plant' other churches, giving resources and time freely to further the work of Christ. However, I think there's something to Matthew 7:6 about throwing pearls to swine. It's a spiritual reference, but it is our responsibility to discern where our gifts are being used - spiritual and monetary. So I think 'checking a church out' before being merciful is appropriate. If God is working strongly in both churches, then a fellowship could be born in which resources are shared, but there must be trust at all levels - which, unfortunately in this world, is very difficult for people.

Dean Lusk said...

I think a sense of entitlement and personal territory keep churches from helping one another these days, but your last sentence is perfectly accurate.

This is why there's not much of a sense of family in the "family of God." We don't bear one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2), and we certainly don't confess our sins to each other (James 5:16) because if we do this outside our small circle of close friends, we're bound to be bitten. We expect that people in the Church will gossip, render judgment, and be vindictive rather than forgiving.

Unfortunately, this is probably accurate. What we often see in the church in general is, I'm afraid, a conglomeration of many problems that overlap. Christians often pick and choose the doctrines that they decide are most important (or comfortable) and marginalize the rest, skip them altogether, or explain or rationalize certain teachings so that all power and relevance is removed from them.

But I do believe there is hope! It just never seems to be in the majority and is therefore a struggle most of the time. I believe this has been the case throughout history.

John King said...

Its a domino effect. One weed causes more as one lie causes more. Dont feel like others dont agree. I dont think you take into consideration this one point. Most soft heart Belivers. When there is conflict. They run home, cry an pray. Thats me/ until it overloads me. But the others go home cry pray, an never tell a sole. Why, because they dont want to be involved in conflict. Especally at church or in worship. Those who stand up like myself, our mad. an that usally backfires. those of strong will an have grace our more likely to make change. But most wont stand up at all. They will leave the church, or live in misurey due to there worship time has been bothered. I honestly blame this on the leaders when they step down. 99% of the time. They stand before the congregation an say what. The Lord has called me to go to.....when the truth is the church had dismissed them, or run them off. how will a member ever trust any leader. By not knowing the truth. The member usally gets hurt. The church trys to protect the members by not saying. Ok folks, this church is out of here....I understand that, but were adults not kids. We've heard worst. An hearing the truth later. Talk about a angry Christian. An this is about God. So Leaders must be honest even when leaving the church in my opinion. Sweeping things under the carpet creates mountains in a church. There is hope...keep the faith. Members are standing tall now. We have to. Or we our just as bad for being silent.

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