Rekjalhew

May 17, 2007

How the Church Should Treat Politicians, the Rich, Famous and Others Held in High Earthly Regard, When They Enter Our Meetings/Services.

by @ 12:38 pm. Filed under The Truth Shall Set you Free!

So it’s campaign season very early this year. And it always loathes me when they start visiting churches. Really, how churches treat people who are earthly popular irritates me a great deal. I have never ever and I mean never ever found a church that acts appropriately when the rich and powerful enter the assembly of the saints. So lets see what an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ was inspired to write by God through the Holy Spirit.

James 2:1-9 (New King James Version)

1) My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.

2) For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes,

3) and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, ?You sit here in a good place,? and say to the poor man, ?You stand there,? or, ?Sit here at my footstool,?

4) have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

5) Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

6) But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?

7) Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?

8) If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ?You shall love your neighbor as yourself,? you do well;

9) but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

The bottom line is, just because someone has money or is recognized by the general public, does not mean they receive special treatment from the church at our meetings. We should not hold any special place for them. We should not allow them to utilize our assembly to play up themselves. If the truth is being preached, no pastor needs to recommend anything to a member regarding voting. When a well known celebrity or athlete enters the assembly, they should not be treated better than the poorest person at the meeting/service. Jesus holds poor saints in HIGH regard and for us to put anyone before them for the sake of that well known person’s earthly stature, we do a disservice to the Lord. When we put the earthly powerful before the least of us, we do no better than what the heathen would do who seeks earthly favor.

This problem is epidemic throughout the body of Christ. We must work to correct it.

It’s so bad, that I now attend church meetings and see people fanning themselves with fans that have the names of politicians and corporations on them. Our assembly should reflect the love of the Lord, which does not show favoritism. Even fans at our assemblies should glorify the Lord, or be blank!

If someone who is known desires to visit our assembly, grant them an available seat in the general congregation. If that is not acceptable to them, tell them we don’t give special seating and they must accept open seating like everyone else. If someone in a good seat desires to give their seat to the well known person, ask the person with the seat if they would have done that for a poor person, we know the answer, so no seat swapping for the rich. Give no special recognition to them during services, that’s as bad as sitting them in front of everyone. So of course they should not get special time to address the saints, none is given to the poor. Church announcement time (for churches that dedicate time to special announcements) is for announcements related to the body of Christ, not the activities of others. Once the meeting/service is over, the earthly rich and powerful should be shown the door, like everyone else, without being given an opportunity to grand stand at the close of the service. And once the saints exit the assembly, don’t allow politicians to even pander in the parking lot and no celebrity autograph time either. If they come to our assembly it should be for the purpose of giving honor to God and once that is done, they can go home like everyone else.



51 Responses to “How the Church Should Treat Politicians, the Rich, Famous and Others Held in High Earthly Regard, When They Enter Our Meetings/Services.”

  1. If This How Your Church Treats The Rich And High, How Do They Treat The Poor And Low? « Heal The Land With Spiritual Warfare Says:

    […] Posted by healtheland on May 17th, 2007 An excellent thought – provoking piece can be found by clicking on this link. Things like this are precisely why so many people who might be real for Christ never set put in our churches, which allows the hypocrites to take their place and profane the house of God. […]

  2. Gxg--G2 Says:

    Excellent post, Brah.

    Proverbs 22:2
    Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.

    Proverbs 14:31

    He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

    Proverbs 19:17

    He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.

    __________________Quick COMMERCIAL BREAK….Consider this

    uke 14:7-11
    7When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8?When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’
    Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    12Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

    Quote: L
    Question: I wonder How often have any of us speaking against Prosperity teachers (with valid reasons, of course) have done what this passage is describing? DID IT HAPPEN AT THANKSGIVING DINNER? How about planning for this UPCOMING CHRISTMAS (at our  house, )?

    You rarely hear about events like this taking place (except at a shelter, though even there it generally the case that EVERYONE’S ON THE SAME LEVEL…..& rarely would you see this happening at a CHURCH SOCIAL.).  I’ve heard of/seen this rarely (except at my friend’s church) since many churches would choose to invest financial resources on having a church banquet for the members only while leaving any sort of team effort to help the poor alone

    In all honesty, if a poor man walked into a church during a church social at most modern day churches, that man would probably be passed up, escorted OFF THE PREMISES for fear that “He might steal something or just wants to get a hand-out” or avoided because of stereotypes (i.e “He may be dirty so don’t get too close…..”, or “He looks scary…”)

    How many would go up, give the man a hug, and give him the SEAT OF HONOR? More often than not, he would not be placed besides those within the middle class but at the end of the table…..and probably most people wouldn’t have any compassion on his situation. They would talk amongst themselves regarding life and theological issues……& even perhaps the FOLLY SEEN ON TBN as a DISGRACE TO THE GOSPEL (ironic ISN’T IT, )

    Moreover, most people would never stop to consider that many people who were at the poverty line were once MIDDLE CLASS THEMSELVES.

    I remember having a conversation with someone who was homeless and it was amazing to hear their stories.

    I had NO IDEA that this man was once a PASTOR, Married, and in ministry…..but his wife became involved in sin, kicked him out the house, and he was struggling looking for a job. And yet most people driving by would never even talk to him but dare speak out against the SINS IN THE MODERN CHURCH!!!!!!!

    The point it this: ARE our STANDARDS TRULY IN LINE WITH GOD’S????

    I can rail all day about what Copeland or Creflo is doing, saying they’re exploting/dishonoring the poor…..& yet if I SHOW FAVORTISM in wanting to associate moreso with people on MY ECONOMIC LEVEL, I’M JUST AS GUILTY.

    Personally, I do wish that many more churches would invest more time doing things that were more radical than merely having sermons, teachings, and then having the individuals go home to do their own thing.  

    James 2

  3. Gxg--G2 Says:

    Something else to consider:

    James 1:9-11
    9The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.

    11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

    Christians who are not in high positions in this world should be glad because they are GREAT IN THE LORD’S EYES. This brother in humble circumstances is a person without status or wealth. Such people are overlooked, even in our churches today, but they are not overlooked by God.

    The poor should be glad that riches mean nothing to God; otherwise these people would be considered unworthy. The rich should be glad that money means nothing to God because money is EASILY LOST. We find true wealth by developing our spiritual life, not by developing our financial assets. God is interested in what is lasting (our souls), not in what is temporary (money, power, and possessions).

    If wealth, power, and status mean nothing to God, why do we attribute so much importance to them and so much honor to those who possess them?

    Do our material possessions give our goals and our  only reason for living>? If that were gone, what would be left? What you have in your heart, not your bank account, matters to God and endures for eternity.

    Again, thanks for sharing your post, Brah. It was a blessing…..

  4. Gxg--G2 Says:

    I think, by the way, that your situation regarding James 2 touches on a much larger issue. The example of James 2 almost certainly applied to other, related real-world instances of socioeconomic discrimination experienced by James’ poorer readers.

    James 2:1-4 makes it clear that such discrimination is based on visible distinctions such as the rich man’s “gold ring” (James 2:2) and the poor man’s “shabby clothing” (James 2:2), and judging people on the basis of appearances and socioeconomic distinctions is evil (James 2:4).

    Today, the  many examples of this sort of evil are far too many,  for consider how churches often abandon lower income areas, moving toward safety and comfort to the suburbs (the opposite track of the Savior, who moved toward danger/sacrifice, M atthew 16:21-28). Or how we often tend to ignore, look down upon, or make fun of people for the way they talk or dress or act (even if we only do this in our heads). Of course, it is natural to gravitate to people who are beautiful, less needy, and seem to have “got it all together.”

    When considering all the subtle ways  churches seek to keep/attract well-educated and wealthy people (ESPECIALLY AT CAMPAGNING TIME), it makes sense since people are naturally inclined to make large expenditures for beautiful buildings and programs while simultaneously neglecting run-of-the-mill mercy ministries that may not impress or attract “the movers and the shakers” or those who can pay for more such programs and buildings.

    Proverbs 14:20

    Proverbs 19:4

    Proverbs 19:6-8 6 Many curry favor with a ruler,
            and everyone is the friend of a man who gives gifts.  7 A poor man is shunned by all his relatives—
           how much more do his friends avoid him!
           Though he pursues them with pleading,
           they are nowhere to be found.

    Nonetheless, such partiality, whether it exists on a personal or corporate level, is evil (Proverbs 22:16).

    By all means, if one wants to invite rich/powerful men to their churches for funding, cool…..but as long as any money given is used for the things God made clear in His Word were of TOP PRIORITY— USING (“unrighteous”) wealth for eternal purposes, being wise with our resources & putting them toward what counts (Matthew 25:31-46

    Luke 12:16-21

    Luke 16:9-34

    James 5:1-6


    I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. Luke 16:1-10

          It’d be interesting if much of the campagning taking place in churches BY THE RICH/POWERFUL OR POLITICIANS would BEGIN to happen in IMPOVERISHED NEIGHBORHOODS/CHURCHES.

  5. IndependentConservative Says:

    Gxg said:

    By all means, if one wants to invite rich/powerful men to their churches for funding, cool

    It’d be interesting if much of the campagning taking place in churches BY THE RICH/POWERFUL OR POLITICIANS would BEGIN to happen in IMPOVERISHED NEIGHBORHOODS/CHURCHES.


    No my brother, not cool, not cool at all.  What makes playing off celebrities for money any better than tickling ears, or playing a little secular music to attract masses of people?  No, the church should NEVER leverage people with earthly stature for the sake of donations.  Neither to get a donation from a rich unbeliever, as I’ve noted about Rick Warren and not to lull saints to give either, because they would be giving out of a heart of partiality for the celebrity.  Even if a pastor knows a rich saint, it’s not for them to go pressing that rich saint for money, 2 Corinthians 9:7.  No one is to be placed under compulsion to give.

    Publicans are all over Harlem churches during campaign season.  They do go to impoverished areas during campaign season.  With cameras in tow.  It’s all part of their show.  Consider Matthew 6.

  6. Gxg--G2 Says:

    To clarify, what I’m advocating isn’t what Rick Warren is about….for he’s willing to invite someone in the church (who’s really USING THE CHURCH) and yet never speak out against the actions of those people which go against CHRIST/THE CHURCH. That’s not my M.O, Brah….and in a true godly church, many celebrities would probably NOT BE COMFORTABLE being there if they were planning to maintain the STATUS QUO:

    Ephesians 5 1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.  8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible.

    If the celebrity is decent, moral, &  acting JUSTLY (like Duncan Hunter,  for example), then cool. IMHO, Shouldn’t be a problem….Obama, Operah, or other on the other hand whose actions are ANTI-CHRIST & DAMAGING TO THE BODY, that’s an issue. Also, unless I’m understanding Luke 16:1-10 incorrectly, it says what it says………but I could be wrong.

  7. Gxg--G2 Says:

    I’d be very interested to know what your take is on Luke 16:1-15.

    Luke 16The Parable of the Shrewd Manager  1Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’  3"The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— 4I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’  5"So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’  6" ‘Eight hundred gallons[a] of olive oil,’ he replied.
          "The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.’  7"Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’
          " ‘A thousand bushels[b] of wheat,’ he replied.
          "He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’  8"The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.  10"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?  13"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."  14The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

  8. IndependentConservative Says:

    Gxg, every scripture you are providing is for how someone should conduct themselves.  It is not saying that any pastor should press any rich person who claims the Lord’s name for money.  What it says is that the rich man should feel the Holy Spirit within himself and act accordingly.  It’s not for any pastor to go pulling in the rich in hopes of raising money.

  9. IndependentConservative Says:

    Gxg, if a pastor goes seeking out a rich person, saint or not, is that not partiality?  Please take some time to think things over.

  10. Gxg--G2 Says:

    Also, I think it’s significant that it is significant that the Scriptures themselves do not refrain from speaking quite publicly about Christian giving. In the same way that King David exhorted all Israel to give to the building of the temple (1 Chronicles 29),  the apostle Paul also addressed whole churches, urging them to give and thanking them for their generosity (2 Corinthians 8, Philippians 4). The prophets and apostles apparently considered personal giving to be a matter of great significance to God and therefore appropriate for preaching.

     Paul even presses the Corinthians to give by talking about the giving of others like the Macedonians, who gave generously with great joy despite their own poverty and suffering (2 Corinthians 8:1-5). As he said “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sakes became poor so that we by his poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9).

         Even with II Corinthians 9:7, it is true It is true that the apostle Paul says, "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give,  not reluctantly or under compulsion” (2 Corinthians 9:7). However,   curiously, this verse is situated in the middle of a passage urging Christians to give generously (vv 6-15).  I think far too often people take the passage the wrong way.

    This verse has often been ripped from its context and twisted to relieve the consciences of selfish people. They are told, “God wants only what you can give cheerfully, so let that be your gauge. Only give what you can give without grudging.” Consequently, greedy people give little or nothing, demonstrating no self-denial or love, and think God approves, since He doesn’t want what they can’t give cheerfully. Paul, however, was not trying to make greedy people think that God is comfortable with their greed, as the context so clearly reveals (see 9:5). He was trying to help each person consider what is in his heart. If one is giving under compulsion or grudgingly, he is not giving because he loves needy brethren. By the same token, the reason God “loves a cheerful giver” is because a cheerful giver is motivated by love for God and neighbor. He finds joy in sacrificing on behalf of those with pressing needs because he loves them. The one who gives grudgingly or under compulsion, however, reveals a greedy heart, and thus gives hypocritically, because he is doing what his heart would prefer not to do. Thus, it would be better for him not to give at all, but let him not think that God approves of him in either case. God wants him to repent of his selfishness, be transformed by His grace, and become a cheerful giver who denies himself with joy. God, and only God, can turn greedy people into cheerful givers. They then become imitators of Him, who gave sacrificially from a heart of grace and love (see 9:15).

    Moreover, as the Word says:

    Even if a pastor knows a rich saint, it’s not for them to go pressing that rich saint for money, 2 Corinthians 9:7.  No one is to be placed under compulsion to give.

    For your consideration:

    http://www.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=9&page=506

    http://www.shepherdserve.org/stewardship.htm

    http://www.growingchristians.org/dfgc/coin.html

    I believe that I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this one, Brah, as it is my understanding that the rich in the congregation were ESPECIALLY to be pressed & lists four nonnegotiable activities which Christian leaders MUST REQUIRE OF THOSE WITH WEALTH, using the strong language of COMMAND (1) to do good, (2) to be rich in good works, (3)   TO BE GENEROUS and (4) "LIBERAL" OR OPEN-Handed. These are almost synonyms, and the fact that Paul uses four similar words/phrases drives home his point emphatically.

    I Timothy 6

    17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

  11. Gxg--G2 Says:

     It is not saying that any pastor should press any rich person who claims the Lord’s name for money.  What it says is that the rich man should feel the Holy Spirit within himself and act accordingly.  It’s not for any pastor to go pulling in the rich in hopes of raising money.

    Can you please show me where you got this from, Brah? Sincerly, I’d like to know because I don’t see that anywhere in the passage. Also, how to be consistent with that in light of I Timothy 6:17-19 (unless the verse’s uses of "command" mean something other than instructing those who are rich/claiming the name of the Lord to be very generous/willing to share? ) That seems like a good bit of pressure, but then again, even the rich were uncomfortable, it’s happened before already with Christ….and even HE PLACED PRESSURE on those CLAMING THE NAME OF THE LORD BUT WHO WERE RICH (Luke 19)

    Gxg, if a pastor goes seeking out a rich person, saint or not, is that not partiality?  Please take some time to think things over.

    Partiality is when one ignores one in favor of another. Regarding rich and poor, I don’t think that you’re being impartial if you’re seeking to engage those who are rich as long as you’re also doing so with those who are poor. The word makes clear that both those who are RICH AND POOR are involved in the life of the church……but to those who have the ability to give (the rich), attention should be paid to them in regards to asking for donations so that the POOR can be sustained. If it was a scenario where the RICH WERE BEING sought out/paid attention to but the ministry to the poor was being ignored, that’s another story.

    James 1:25-27   Besides this verse, there’s a repeated emphasis in Scriptures to be concerned for the oppressed/poor, seeing that’s apart of Scripture’s REPEATED Admonition to love our neighbors as ourselves as the Summation of ALL OF GOD’S STANDARDS ( Matthew 25:35-45, Luke 10:26-28, Romans 13:8-10, Galatians 5:13-15, James 2, 1 John 3:17 )….and IMHO, there’s nothing wrong if the church wishes to use resources to meet those needs CORPORATELY rather than individually.     In my understanding, Acts 6 is the best example of this. This is when the office of the diaconate was instituted within the Christian church. Notice that the specific reason this office was instituted was to address needs of mercy and sympathy within the church (e.g. care for widows, food for the hungry)….& leaders WITHIN THE CHURCH were chosen to ADMINISTER THE FOOD PROGRAM ( (though there were restrictions/boundaries as how going about it was to be done, 1 Timothy 5).  http://www.9marks.org/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,,PTID314526|CHID598016|CIID2376562,00.html   The office of the diaconate itself should remind us of how important generosity is to God and how central it is to the work of the church……and that we must be careful that today’s deacons do not neglect the primary tasks of the diaconate (i.e. sympathy and mercy) and turn their focus on secondary tasks (e.g. buildings and church upkeep), as important as these secondary tasks may be…..and focus SOLEY on the rich as a result.

  12. IndependentConservative Says:

    Gxg, I really hope you take a moment to walk away from the PC, think things over, pray and then return to discuss.  You break scripture with your statements.

    The Macedonians were not rich and not pressured to give.   Read more, they were poor.

    II Corinthians 9 was in response to a pledge they had already made.  Not a solicitation for something they had not already said they were going to give.  Just telling them that they needed to follow-up on what they already promised.  Read more of those chapters in full my brother.  Read it from the first to the last.  Start at at least chapter 7 and read forward.  Best to read whole books but at least for this start at chapter 7.

    Giving is to be done as each is led by the Lord, not what they give from someone trying to impose guilt.  That is compulsion. 

    And you know I don’t like when you copy/paste without proper attribution.  You copy/pasted and then provided some links, but you fail to say that what you posted above IS NOT YOUR THOUGHTS, YOU LIFTED IT FROM SOMEBODY ELSE at http://www.shepherdserve.org/ttne/ttne_09.htm

    You’re not taking time to think things out to express them yourself.  You’re whole cloth pasting the views of someone else.  If that be the case, please have them come here, because I should not be discussing this with you, but with them instead.

    With 1 Timothy 6:17-18, which I’ve been waiting for you to pull up.  You now see why I flipped to using NASB.  Because the term "instruct" (NASB) is more accurate than the term "command" (NKJV).  Even in telling saints to live moral lives, it was instructed, only God can "command" anything.  The Greek term paraggell? carries varied meanings and instruct is more appropriate for that case.  If Timothy "commands" a rich person to give, they are NOT giving of their heart, they are giving of compulsion.  That is how your view BREAKS scripture.  If the rich man does not feel moved to give, it’s not anyone’s job to try and push the money out of their pockets.  Rich saints are to be informed that they are to give and this brings reward in Heaven, however salvation is by faith.  The rich must as they increase in faith do as the Lord leads them.  Christ is the leader of all, not someone’s desires for collecting money.  The rich are not to be greedy, they are to give, but NO a pastor should not be looking up the people who have money so he can go stick his hand out in front of them.  A pastor ministers to all, reads 1 Timothy 6 top to bottom to all.  It is for the rich to feel the command from God in their own hearts, it’s NOT something anyone else can place there.  We instruct, God commands.  Who you feel is "rich" could be in a position you are not aware of.  That is why each must give as the Lord leads.

    The rich are to be told to put their hope in God, not their wealth, to give for Heavenly reward, but this is not something to press, or it’s compulsion.

  13. IndependentConservative Says:

    We are not debating if the poor should be cared for. We are not debating if the rich should give.

    We are debating if the rich should be pressured with any degree of special focus and emphasis in regards to your statement of:

    By all means, if one wants to invite rich/powerful men to their churches for funding, cool

    We agree that the poor should be cared for and that the rich should give and give a lot. We don’t agree that pastors should seek the rich and powerful for their money. Pastors should seek to minister to all and people give as the Lord leads. I’m saying preach 1 Timothy 6 openly to all, you’re saying it’s OK for the pastor to initiate a campaign where he targets and pressures rich people for money. I’m saying preach to all and let the Lord lead via the Holy Spirit.

    I think you’d be OK with a pastor constructing a list of people they feel are rich, calling them up or going to their homes and pressuring each to give money. And you might be OK with their list including unsaved people too, you tell me please?

    I’m saying targeting the unsaved at all is wrong and targeting the saved to pressure them is compulsion. You’ve referenced a 9 Marks page. Please show where pressuring rich groups in particular is mentioned? Notice how 9 Marks got their funding. They never used the pressure methods you advocate.

    You can’t instill what must come from the Lord.

  14. Gxg--G2 Says:

    To clarify on some things,
    One,

    The Macedonians were not rich and not pressured to give.   Read more, they were poor.

    Never said they were rich. The context I used that in was one regarding the need to preach about giving, seeing that a statement was made:

    Even if a pastor knows a rich saint, it’s not for them to go pressing that rich saint for money, 2 Corinthians 9:7.  No one is to be placed under compulsion to give.

    Two,

    And you know I don’t like when you copy/paste without proper attribution.  You copy/pasted and then provided some links, but you fail to say that what you posted above IS NOT YOUR THOUGHTS, YOU LIFTED IT FROM SOMEBODY ELSE at http://www.shepherdserve.org/ttne/ttne_09.htm

    You’re not taking time to think things out to express them yourself.  You’re whole cloth pasting the views of someone else.  If that be the case, please have them come here, because I should not be discussing this with you, but with them instead.

    To clarify, the paragraph from Shepherd Serve was to go in "quotes" so you’d know it was not from me,  but once the post is sent, you cannot get it back to edit. That’s why I gave the link at the end because in reading it, you’d realize where the info came from. My bad, though……but in any case, I have thought things out for myselfnothing wrong with referencing the thoughts of others which have been well-thought out & saying it as they said it if they said it best, provided that you also do your own study on the issue, just as it’s been with you referencing others to study Mr.Mel or Ariel’s views on tithing which have shaped your own. As you know, that’s Biblical

    Ecclesiastes 12:11,

    Proverbs 15:2

    Proverbs 15:7

    Proverbs 19:20,

    Proverbs 22:17-21


    Three,

    Even in telling saints to live moral lives, it was instructed, only God can "command" anything.  The Greek term paraggell? carries varied meanings and instruct is more appropriate for that case.  If Timothy "commands" a rich person to give, they are NOT giving of their heart, they are giving of compulsion.  That is how your view BREAKS scripture.  If the rich man does not feel moved to give, it’s not anyone’s job to try and push the money out of their pockets

    Forgive me, Brah, but this seems to be like pulling hairs….and a bit inconsistent. Don’t get me wrong, for I’m not advocating that saints/pastors "mean-mug" those who are rich in their congregation & then proceed to "force" them to give. That would be innappropiate since their is no willingness.

     However, all I’m saying is that the issue can still be preached upon. Those who are rich are challenged/commanded to give liberally…..and of course, even with the argument that it’s meant to be an instruction & not a command, the one’s speaking this are the APOSTLES….and what they said was as if it came STRAIGHT FROM GOD. Examples:

    The Apostles recognized the authority of their own teachings and writings as the very words of God. Paul commands the church in Thessalonica to receive his words “…not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13), and points out, as was the case with denying the words of the Old Testament prophets, that anyone who disregards his words “disregards not man but God” (1 Thessalonians 4:8).

    Others are punished for disregarding the message of the Apostles; “If anyone refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonians 3:14) Also, in 2 Peter 3:15-16, Peter equates Paul’s letters with “the other Scriptures.

    Further, Acts 5:3-4 & 21, implies that lying to an Apostle is equivalent to lying to the Holy Spirit, and thus God himself!

    That’s why the argument that "command" means instruct being more appropiate isn’t seemign logical to me. Moreover, if the rich are not being giving generously, then that’s an issue because it goes against Paul’s admonition to make certain that giving is PROPORTIONATE to what you have (which ties into Pauls command for the rich to give generosuly). Giving what’s in one’s heart to give or cheerfully/not under compulsion was only half the equation…..and this needs to be measured.

    For good commentary (articles which I’ve studied throughly on the subject):

    http://www.bible.org/topic.php?topic_id=89

    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=1231

    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=637

    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=813

    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=1595

    II Corinthians 9 was in response to a pledge they had already made.  Not a solicitation for something they had not already said they were going to give.  Just telling them that they needed to follow-up on what they already promised.  Read more of those chapters in full my brother.  Read it from the first to the last.  Start at at least chapter 7 and read forward.  Best to read whole books but at least for this start at chapter 7.

    That I well understand. During his third missionary journey, Paul had collected money for the impoverished believers in Jerusalem. The churches in Macedonia–Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea–had given money even though they were poor, and had given more than expected…this was SACRIFICAL GIVING–THEY were poor themselves, but they wanted to help and did so in light of how Christ gave of Himself for us: loving God COMPLETELY WITH ALL HE HAD, &  loving neighbor as himself (Matthew 22:37-40; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 1 John 3:16-19)…..& this was reasonable since the standards for generosity were RADICALLY INCREASED IN THE NT (Luke 3:11 )(Luke 21:1-4
    (Luke 19:1-10
    (Acts 2:44-90)

      

  15. Gxg--G2 Says:

    We agree that the poor should be cared for and that the rich should give and give a lot. We don’t agree that pastors should seek the rich and powerful for their money. Pastors should seek to minister to all and people give as the Lord leads. I’m saying preach 1 Timothy 6 openly to all, you’re saying it’s OK for the pastor to initiate a campaign where he targets and pressures rich people for money. I’m saying preach to all and let the Lord lead via the Holy Spirit.I think you’d be OK with a pastor constructing a list of people they feel are rich, calling them up or going to their homes and pressuring each to give money. And you might be OK with their list including unsaved people too, you tell me please?I’m saying targeting the unsaved at all is wrong and targeting the saved to pressure them is compulsion. You’ve referenced a 9 Marks page. Please show where pressuring rich groups in particular is mentioned? Notice how 9 Marks got their funding. They never used the pressure methods you advocate.
     

    I just noticed this. My bad then for the earlier response, now that I see moreso where you’re coming from.

  16. GaryV Says:

    I gotta side with IC here……..Paul told Elders/Shepherds to command/instruct their flocks about many things. That’s done in the context of expounding the Scriptures and allowing the Holy Spirit to work on the heart through the power of the Scriptures. The pastor cannot replace the work of the Holy Spirit through coercing and compulsion. The commands Paul is speaking about (as IC pointed out) are the commands of God, because Paul makes it clear to his pastoral charges that they are to preach the Word as the central focus of their ministry. 

    If Paul was advocating spiritual strongarm tactics and personal pressure on select believers to underwrite the expenses of any venture in his didactic, we should surely see examples of that played out in the narrative portions of Scripture as examples, but we do not. In fact, the Apostolic example is best laid out in the story of Ananias and Sapphira. Here we have the Apostles in control of the wealth and lives of the saints to an extent that was never replicated. They all lived together communally under the unchallenged authority of the Apostles, yet the text makes clear that while many sold all they had and laid it at the feet of the Apostles for distribution to the poor, there is no record of the Apostles commanding that.

    Acts 4:31-37 illustrates that the impetus for the saints selling what they had for the distribution was the preaching of the Word of God, and the "great grace" that was conferred upon them by that preached Word.

    Act 4:31   And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. Act 4:32   And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any [of them] that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. Act 4:33   And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

    The Word preached brought great grace for giving through the Spirit. It was through the Word and Spirit imparted Grace, not through Apostolic compulsion, that the saints gave.

    Act 4:34   Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, Act 4:35   And laid [them] down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

    When we get to the very next verses about Ananias and Sapphira, Peter makes it clear that it was entirely up to THEM how much they gave. Ananias and Sapphira weren’t struck down because they disobeyed some Apostolic command to give everything, but because they lied and SAID they gave everything. Peter makes it clear that while the land belonged to Ananias and Sapphira, it was theirs to do with as they willed.

    Act 5:1   But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, Act 5:2   And kept back [part] of the price, his wife also being privy [to it], and brought a certain part, and laid [it] at the apostles’ feet. Act 5:3   But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost (this was their crime, not the fact that they didn’t give everything), and to keep back [part] of the price of the land? Act 5:4   Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? (It was theirs to do with as they willed.Peter NEVER made a claim upon it under Apostolic command) and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? (Again……Peter makes no claim upon the land. It was theirs to do with as they pleased)why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God (A reiteration of the charge against them.)
    Act 5:5   And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. Act 5:6   And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried [him] out, and buried [him]. Act 5:7   And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. Act 5:8   And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?(Again, Peter highlights the lie as the crime) And she said, Yea, for so much. Act 5:9   Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband [are] at the door, and shall carry thee out. Act 5:10   Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying [her] forth, buried [her] by her husband.

    So, at the point in the church when the Apostles had the most direct control of the saints, there is no record of them compelling anyone to give. The source of the grace which brought about sacrificial giving was clearly the preaching of the Word and the Holy Spirit working upon the hearts of the saints. There is no record of compulsion or Apostolic personal commands to any individual to sell anything, and Peter makes it clear that the possessions were in the power of the believers to do with as they pleased. The Apostles relied upon the Holy Spirit to grant Grace to give through the exposition of the Word.

    The didactic (teaching) of Paul in the Epistles about giving as a freewill activity, and not under compulsion, is in complete accord with this narrative (storytelling) portion of Scripture that compulsion to give was not exercised even by the Apostles under dire circumstances and persecution, when the church was most directly under their control in everyday life. Even with Ananias and Sapphira, it was made clear that whatever property they had (like everyone else) was under their power to do with as they pleased. Their judgment did not occur as a result of not being generous, but because they lied before God about how much the land sold for,and whether or not they gave the full price. This is a prime example of acting under pride with its pressure to give to maintain appearances, yet not having the Grace to give freely as the Word and Spirit had formed in others.

    Pressure to give…..whether from inside through pride or outside through a pastor……..circumvents the Holy Spirit/Word infused Grace that creates a giving heart,and God never accepts anything as a sweet sacrifice that is not born of His Spirit and Grace. Human pressure is a means for man to abrogate and negate and replace the Holy Spirit’s work of Grace. It render whatever is given as a stench rather than a sweet smelling savour, because whatever is not of faith is sin. JMO.

     

  17. Gxg--G2 Says:

    Also, my bad as I caught this one as well:

    2 Corinthians 8Generosity Encouraged  1And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. 6So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us[a]—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.  8I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

    From that point, what I am trying to say is that there should be more instances where people are challenged to give like the Macedonians did when there’s a great need to provide for impoverished saints (which in our time, Brah, has DRAMATICALLY increased).

      

    1 Corinthians 16The Collection for God’s People  1Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 4If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.

    From my study, SERIOUS food shortages occured during the reign og the Roman Emperor Claudius (A.D 41) BECAUSE of a drought extending across much of the Roman Empire for many years. It is significant that the church in Antioch assisted the church in Jerusalem, for the daughter church had grown enough to be able to help the established church when there was a NEED, just as it was for them (Acts 11:27-30)

    When the Christians in Jerusalem were suffering from poverty and FAMINE, Paul was actively collecting money for them (Romans 15:25-31, II Corinthians 8:4, II Corinthians 9:1). He suggested that believers set aside a certain amount each week and give it to the church until he arrived to take it to Jerusalem. Paul had planned to go straight to Corinth from Ephesus, but he changed his mind (II Corinthians 1-2).
    When he finally arrived, he took the gift and delievered it to the Jerusalem church (Acts 24:17).

    The point of that was that throughout the entire process there was repeatedly a constant admonition for folks to give, and not simply giving but to do so radically because there was a NEED for that to happen. And this needs to happen today…….when the need is FAR GREATER.

    I think you’d be OK with a pastor constructing a list of people they feel are rich, calling them up or going to their homes and pressuring each to give money. And you might be OK with their list including unsaved people too, you tell me please?I’m saying targeting the unsaved at all is wrong and targeting the saved to pressure them is compulsion.

    No, Brah……I am not saying make a list of those who are rich and  get on their cases (you make it seem like I’m the IRS, lol lol).

    Regarding funding from the unsaved, IMHO, I guessing that the question of "whether funds should be sought from non-christian sources" may be appropiate to ask.

    IMHO, I think it may be a matter of practicality. For example, Nehemiah took donations from the Persian king to build the wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:8).  Zerubbabel, however, refused the help of the Samarians in rebuilding the temple (Ezra 4:1-3).  What seems to  make the difference is the idea of whether the influence would be corrupting. The same goes for King Cyrus, who was used by the Lord even though he was not a servant of Yahweh, to help in funding the Jew’s work of restoring Jerusalem. (Isaiah 44:28-45:6)

     In Nehemiah’s case there were no strings attached, BUT Zerubbabel’s case did….& therefore the question to ask at all times is whether the donation will hinder or aid our commitment to the Lord.

        The same thing, IMO, goes for government funding. I can see no where where there’s biblical reason for Christian organizations to not receive support from the state.

    I think there’s a positive biblical precedent for God’s people receiving funds from governmental sources (ex. Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:8). If and when the state’s willing to fund the Kingdom (provided there are no compromises or  strings attached), PRAISE GOD.
     
    Obviously, that’s not how it is 24/7 in the U.S. Many cases involve
    government donations with compromises to the faith (ex. state monies not being ALLOWED for “proselytizing activities,”  including  preaching of the GOSPEL). It’d be better for ministries to not accept state funding in that case……..and seeign that how the church related to the state differs from country to country, Each ministry must again ask itself whether accepting secular funding will compromise the FAith.

  18. Gxg--G2 Says:

    By the way, I’d still be very interested in seeing what your thoughts were on Luke 16:1-10 and Christ’s statements on "using worldly wealth to gain friends."

    I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. Luke 16:1-10

    What’s your take, Brah ?

  19. Gxg--G2 Says:

    Thank, Bro Gary, for the thoughts. They were very insightful. I read the Annais/Saphria story and came to the same realization. They were not judged because of stinginess or holding back part of the money, for it was their choice of whether or not to sell the land/how much to give. But their sin was indeed lying to God & God’s people—saying they gave the whole amount but holding some back for themselves/trying to make themselves appear MORE GENEROUS than they really were (i.e. dishonesty, greed and covetousness.

         

  20. Gxg--G2 Says:

    There are, however, some intriguing thoughts that say the command from the apostles to give away all they have and that never being said to Annais/Saphria needs to be considered in light of Christ’s previous commands. In his own words,

    How are we to interpret Peter’s questions to Ananias regarding his land and the proceeds of its sale, ““While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control?” (Acts 5:4)? Does this prove, as some say, that Ananias had no obligation as a follower of Christ to sell his land, and once sold, had no obligation to give any of the proceeds away?In light of Christ’s commandments regarding self-denial, loving fellow believers, selling possessions and laying up treasures in heaven rather than on earth, it seems unlikely that Peter was telling Ananias that he could do whatever he wanted with his land or the money gained from its sale, regardless of Christ’s commandments. Perhaps Peter simply pointing out that Ananias was responsible for his actions. It was Ananias’ land and the proceeds of its sale were completely under his control, thus he stood condemned, and had no legitimate excuse for his actions. Or perhaps Peter was exposing Ananias’ deception, namely in how the value of his land changed between the time he owned it, sold it, and brought the proceeds to the apostles. Or perhaps he was pointing out Ananias’ contradiction in his selling his land supposedly in obedience to God but then attempting to deceive the entire church regarding his generosity. Since he had supposedly decided to sell it out of conviction to obey Christ’s commandments (as were all the rest who sold their land), he was also just as obligated not to lie to the Holy Spirit and the entire church regarding the price of the land.Even if none of those interpretations of Peter’s words to Ananias are correct, does any other interpretation annul everything that Christ taught regarding stewardship? Are we to believe that Peter was attempting to convey to the church, “None of you has any obligation to sell land that you don’t really need, even though Christ commanded us not to lay up earthly treasures”?

        This seems reasobable to me, but I could be mistaken. In light of the examples of how Jesus treated those who were rich to give away their possessions (excess), such as the rich young ruler or Zaccheus (as well as many of the various other parables), it’d seem that it may’ve been a mute point for the disciples to say anything else.

  21. Gxg--G2 Says:

    Proverbs 18:15
    The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.



    Proverbs 18:17
    The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.

    Proverbs 24:3-6
      3 By wisdom a house is built,
           and through understanding it is established;  4 through knowledge its rooms are filled
           with rare and beautiful treasures.  5 A wise man has great power,
           and a man of knowledge increases strength;  6 for waging war you need guidance,
           and for victory many advisers.

     


    Proverbs 27:17
    As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

    I love good discussion…..& again, can’t tell you enough (both Gary/IC) for the willingness to wrestle with me regarding the Word. Ya’ll are a blessing…….& can’t tell you enough IC how much I LOVE YOUR SITE!!!

  22. art123 Says:

    Is God a respecter of persons when it comes to money?  Let’s find out.  Are you familiar with Evander Holyfield’s divorce case, involving Creflo Dollar?  It was reported that he gave Dollar ministries about 5 million dollars.  Why?  Just like the rest of the lost so that ‘Gawd’ can bless him.  What was the result?  He divorced the wife and his wife was seeking to reclaim the money given to Dollar ministries.  Holyfield was hoodwinked, bamboozled and Dollar is 5 million dollars richer, still beguiling unstable minds, both rich and poor.  It was also reported that Holyfield gave Benny Hinn over $200,000 for his healing ‘miracle’.  It turns out Holyfield was misdiagnosted and now Hinn is over $200,000 richer with Holyfield’s money.  Like Dollar, Hinn is still beguiling masses of unstable, vulnerable souls.  Holyfield’s lesson should be this:  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.  You cannot buy your way into the kingdom of heaven.  God could careless about your money, fame and power.

  23. Gxg--G2 Says:

    In the case of Evanderfield,  he’s trying to BRIBE his way into salvation. There’s no genunie concern for justice or the Lord’s ways. Is he excused, however, from giving substantially because he’s out of line with the Lord?

  24. Gxg--G2 Says:

    No one’s arguing that God’s a respector of persons…….but what is being argued is that for differing persons God has differing standards….and for those who are rich, the bar has been set SUBSTANTIALLY high in God’s eyes, which is something to be answered for when we face Him

    Luke 12:32-48

    48But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

  25. Gxg--G2 Says:

    Forgive me, art123, if I was reading into your statements…

    But I do see EXACTLY where you’re coming from…..

    Proverbs 22:16
    He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.

  26. Gxg--G2 Says:

    As another wisely said on the verse,

    Solomon describes two men. Each man has a plan. Each man thinks that his plan will make him wealthy. However, both plans will fail. Both men will become poor. These men become poor, because their plans are not wise. Both plans are evil plans. So God opposes these plans. And God punishes the men.

    The first man wanted to be wealthy. So he was cruel to poor people. Perhaps he was an employer. He decided to pay poor wages for hard work. Or perhaps he was a landlord. The rent was expensive and the houses were dangerous. Or perhaps he was just a thief. He stole money from the poor people. All these plans are evil.

    The second man did not think about poor people. He wanted to get money from wealthy people. Perhaps his gifts were bribes (secret gifts). He wanted government officials to like him. Then they would help him to make a profit. He thought that this would make him rich. Or perhaps he gave gifts to impress other people. He wanted people to think that he was wealthy or important. In the end, he wasted all his money.

    People make many plans to become wealthy. But, in the end, wealth does not matter. When we die, we shall lose all our money (Ecclesiastes 2:18; 1 Timothy 6:7). But when we die, we do not lose wisdom. Wisdom teaches us to respect God (Proverbs 1:7).

    We must not trust in money. We must trust in God.

  27. IndependentConservative Says:

    Gxg, we are making some progress.  Regarding your quotes in this comment and this one, in your future comments, please fully attribute your quotes with a name and direct link in each comment you use someone’s words in.

    Just because Christ asked one person to give up all because HE KNEW they were caught up in their wealth and THEY WERE NOT ACTUALLY ONE OF HIS SHEEP TO BEGIN WITH, IT JUST HAD TO BE EXPOSED.  Don’t assume He asked all to give big loads of money.  Christ never asked Zaccheus to give a dime.  He only asked to stay at Zaccheus’ house, that was all, Luke 19:5.  When Paul spoke of a challenge in giving, it was in regards to money in an amount that had already been previously promised.  Not some tactic like we see in secular fund raisers or 700 Club styled challenge money pimping.  The Word is to be preached in full, including parts about giving and those who give will do so as the Lord leads.  It’s not your job to try and crank up the juice because you see the need growing.  You let people know of the needs and leave it there.  Each must give as they feel led with no compulsion tactics.  Joe should not give $100 because Bob gave $50.  Joe should give as he feels he should give, yes as he has purposed in his own heart as with his own walk with the Lord.

    I need to impress upon you, that the church taking money from outside of the saints is a terrible idea, no matter the source.  We are primarily to minister the gospel, not seek money from heathens.  We are to speak to the heathen’s heart about Christ, not their wallet for donations.  I could pull old covenant material to support straight stealing money by force.  However, from the example we have of Christ and the apostles, they NEVER sought money from people who were not converted, period.  If you can show me where THE CHURCH engaged in soliciting the finances of heathens, I’ll support your notion that the church should happily accept funding from sources outside of saints.  The church is to take money from saints, to service saints and perform outreach ministry and the buck stops there.

    I’m waiting for the next Jehovah’s Witnesses (they are false witnesses) to come to my door.  When they find I’m not interested in their garbage, they always ask me for fifty cents.  I want to ask them, since their cult claims to be a reflection of the early church, when did the early church members go door to door taking money from people they felt were heathens?  I have not seen this in scripture, but maybe it’s a lie they’ve placed in one of those funny looking books or magazines of theirs?

  28. IndependentConservative Says:

    Gxg you asked:

    By the way, I’d still be very interested in seeing what your thoughts were on Luke 16:1-10 and Christ’s statements on "using worldly wealth to gain friends."

    It as you know boils down to this one verse:

    Luke 16:9 (New American Standard Bible)

     9"And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.

    In short, use the money of this world to give to others in need and after this life you’ll have an eternal reward in Heaven.  This is comparable with Matthew 25:31-46.  Those who love the Lord and have faith in Him keep His commandments.  They strive to use their wealth to help others.  Not from pressure to do so, but because in their hearts the Holy Spirit moves them to do so.  It’s just an outworking of faith.  In that passage in Luke, Jesus is NOT saying to obtain money from sinners.  He’s saying use any money that comes under their control for good.  The phrase "wealth of unrighteousness" simply means "money", not "get some money from evil doers".  The apostles always took donations from saints, never sinners.  On top of the money they obtained via working at times themselves.  When you’re dead, the money won’t do you any good, hence the statement "when it fails".  They made friends by giving to others who were in need.  Those friends they made granted them access to "eternal dwellings".  So who then are these "friends" they made for themselves, by giving of their material wealth?  The Father and the Son.

  29. Gxg--G2 Says:

    Thanks for the replies, Brah. They are sincerly appreciated.

    There are still some things I disagree with you on, and I’ve done some research/wanted to respond but I’m struggling to put it into words, so I’ll leave it alone for now. However, I’d like to point out the many things that I do think are SPOT ON:

    the church taking money from outside of the saints is a terrible idea, no matter the source.  We are primarily to minister the gospel, not seek money from heathens.

    Most definately, Brah……& if at  any time it came off like I was advocating preaching  SOLEY ABOUT MONEY/GETTING INTO POCKETS, my bad….that was never my intentions, for the GOSPEL OF THE POWER OF CHRIST IS WHAT SHOULD BE AT THE FOREFRONT OF ALL WE DO AT ALL TIMES ( Titus 2:11-14)
    (1 Corinthians 15:1-11 ).

    from the example we have of Christ and the apostles, they NEVER sought money from people who were not converted, period.  If you can show me where THE CHURCH engaged in soliciting the finances of heathens, I’ll support your notion that the church should happily accept funding from sources outside of saints.  The church is to take money from saints, to service saints and perform outreach ministry and the buck stops there.

    I still think that even those not knowing/alligned with Christ but who are yet reverent of God/generous in meeting the needs of others can be used of God to fund His work/need to be sought out (a good example, IMHO, being Cornelius…..Acts 10, though of course the GOSPEL was also preached to him, with his conversion being a MAJOR stepping stone  in spreading the Gospel to the empire’s capital city
    http://www.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=43&page=428#901
    http://www.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=43&page=587#310

    Moreover, as Scripture makes clear (such as the Book of Ezra)  is sovereign, in spite of the failures and faithlessness of men. 

    The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord like channels of water;he turns it wherever he wants (Proverbs 21:1).

    Just as God moved in the heart of Cyrus, so that his decree fulfilled the prophecies of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:8-12; Jeremiah 27:21-22; Jeremiah 29:10-14 )and Isaiah, with  Cyrus being God’s servant (Isaiah 44:28-45:9 ), as well as  Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 25:9),….or even with Joseph in Egypt/having the support of unbelieving pharoah,  so I believe the same’s possible today (and I’ve seen it happen, as well as many churches seeking to serve the Lord).

    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=125
    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=819
    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=256
    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=230

    However, to a certain degree, definately see where you’re coming from and agree.

    As another wisely said ("Generous Giving.com):

    Is it OK for ministries to accept funds from unethical sources generally?

    No, unless the giving is a part of a repentant renunciation of such sinful activities. The principle involved in refusing lottery winnings applies to other similar cases as well. Especially relevant in this regard is the Old Testament law prohibiting the contribution of prostitution income to the tabernacle (Deuteronomy 23:18). Because the Lord detests the source, he says, the money is not a suitable gift. We take this view with regard to money gained via prostitution, gambling, pornography and other de facto sinful trades. In all these cases, sin is sin, no matter how many steps removed we are from it. Therefore, we would encourage Christian ministries not to accept gifts of ill-gotten funds in any case, unless the gift is intended as an act of repentance and transformation (Luke 19:1-10). Those repenting may need to direct their gifts toward those they have wronged, or give the money to churches and ministries which help those whom they have harmed (such as recovering drug addicts, former prostitutes, etc).
    http://www.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=43&page=585#112
    http://www.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=43&page=301#503.6

    This (along with your earlier points) is something I actually discussed with a friend, who argued that it doesn’t matter where money comes from since it has gone through the hands of virtually EVERYONE, including those who have used it wrongly…..& that if someone wished to use it for God, there’s no reason to reject it (i.e. a drug dealer deciding to give drug money in the offering since he felt led to fund the church).

    I sharply disagreed since Not even the Pharisees themselves did that, as seen in the example of Judas offering back blood money but them refusing to use it since the law was against the means which it was gained (Matthew 27:3-10),….& the same being true of Christ,  INFURIATED over the WAY the temple was funded— Regardless of whatever benefits came about from it since the means/ATTITUDES by which it was gained were UNSCRIPTURAL (John 2:12-25, Matthew 21:12-14) ….& that we were no better today if we  recognized funding done in a wrong manner but remained silent ( Proverbs 28:9 )

         So, from the angle of heathens being IMMORAL/UNGODLY in their dealings,  I definately agree money shouldn’t be accepted from them. No one would consider it honoring God if a church received donated drug money, or money stolen in a bank robbery….. for the ENDS NEVER JUSTIFY THE MEANS ( Exodus 20:15  , Leviticus 19:13, Exodus 22:25Exodus 23:8Proverbs 20:17, Proverbs 22:16 Proverbs 13:11, (Proverbs 12:11  Proverbs 23:4-5 Ecclesiastes 5:10 , (Malachi 3:5) (1 Timothy 6:6-10
      Hebrews 13:5  , etc.)

  30. Gxg--G2 Says:

    There’s still a case that can be made stating even what the wicked give may be used of God for His purposes if he pleases:

    Proverbs 28:8
    He who increases his wealth by exorbitant interest amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.

    Proverbs 16:4

      4 The LORD works out everything for his own ends—
             even the wicked for a day of disaster.

    Even with the stance that those with influence should be associated with, I’m still cautious. As the Word says:

    Proverbs 23

     1 When you sit to dine with a ruler,
           note well what [a] is before you,  2 and put a knife to your throat
           if you are given to gluttony.  3 Do not crave his delicacies,
           for that food is deceptive.

    There’s the admonition to be careful when associating with an important or influential person since he or she may try to bribe you…and unwary meetings can lead to undermined convictions, as seen CONTINUALLY with those individuals/churches associating with the Rich & Famous & who eventually compromise biblical principles in order to gain POLITICAL FAVOR/GREATER INFLUENCE….

    Deuteronomy 10:17
    Deuteronomy 16:19
    1 Samuel 8:3
    2 Chronicles 19:7
    Job 36:18
    Proverbs 15:27,
    Proverbs 17:8,
    Proverbs 17:23,
    Proverbs 29:4,
    Ecclesiastes 7:7
    Acts 24:26


    The church is to take money from saints, to service saints and perform outreach ministry and the buck stops there.

    Agreed, Brah. In talking to Sis Maverick today, I was reminded of the fact that the reason why the church often turns to celebrities/outside help is due to the simple fact that the SAINTS WON’T STEP UP TO DO THE JOB. In Acts, the saints accepted the responsibility to live for each other/not themselves, & DILLIGENTLY worked to ensure  everyone was well taken care of….to the point that poverty didn’t even EXIST among them (Acts 2:44, Acts 4:32-35 )

        I Timothy 5 is the passage that most supports the position.

    Where many often turn to celebrities for FINANCIAL help, Paul turned to FAMILIES. Even though the believers pooled their resources when necessary and gave generously, also taking care of a large number of widows (   Acts 6 , I Corinthians 16:1-4 ), He insisted children/grandchildren take care of the widows in their families, suggested the younger widows remarry to start new families, & ordered the church to NOT SUPPORT LAZY MEMBERS REFUSING TO WORK (II Thessalonians 3:10)


    Because there were no pensions, social security, life insurance, and few honorable jobs for women, widows were unable to support themselves….& the responsibility for caring for the helpless naturally fell on the families first—the people whose lives are most closely linked with theirs. Paul stresses the importance of FAMILIES  caring for the needs of widows rather than LEAVING IT SOLEY FOR THE CHURCh—-so the church could care for those widows WITHOUT FAMILIES….& if the church would work in HARMONY, then everyone’s needs would be met….& if members were to work as hard as they could and be as independent as possible, they’d be able to adequately care for themselves/less fortunate members. Only when church members are both responsible/generous will EVERYONE’S NEED BE MET…….but till then, ASSISTANCE FROM THE OUTSIDE WILL SEEM MORE THAN NECESSARY.
     

    I’m waiting for the next Jehovah’s Witnesses (they are false witnesses) to come to my door.  When they find I’m not interested in their garbage, they always ask me for fifty cents.  I want to ask them, since their cult claims to be a reflection of the early church, when did the early church members go door to door taking money from people they felt were heathens?

    You probably would be given this: Matthew 10:1-16, Mark 6:7-13, & Luke 9:1-6, where the disciples were instructed to depend on others when they went from town to town preaching the gospel. From what I’ve researched, the reasoning behind the command was 3-fold:

    Their dependence on others clearly showed the Messiah had not come to offer WEALTH  to his followers.It forced them to rely on God’s power and not their own provision. It involved the villagers and made them more eager to hear the message.

    In short, use the money of this world to give to others in need and after this life you’ll have an eternal reward in Heaven.  This is comparable with Matthew 25:31-46.  Those who love the Lord and have faith in Him keep His commandments.  They strive to use their wealth to help others.  Not from pressure to do so, but because in their hearts the Holy Spirit moves them to do so.  It’s just an outworking of faith.  In that passage in Luke, Jesus is NOT saying to obtain money from sinners.  He’s saying use any money that comes under their control for good.  The phrase "wealth of unrighteousness" simply means "money", not "get some money from evil doers".  The apostles always took donations from saints, never sinners.  On top of the money they obtained via working at times themselves.  When you’re dead, the money won’t do you any good, hence the statement "when it fails".  They made friends by giving to others who were in need.  Those friends they made granted them access to "eternal dwellings".  So who then are these "friends" they made for themselves, by giving of their material wealth?  The Father and the Son.

    I concur, sir…..ESPECIALLY on the part of "not getting money from evil doers". As the Word says:

    Proverbs 11:4
    Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.

     
    Blessings, Brah……

  31. Gxg--G2 Says:

    Wanted to clarify, however, that using Matthew 10:1-16, Mark 6:7-13, & Luke 9:1-6 as support for going door to door asking money from non-believers may be innappropiate since the approach was excellent for the disciples SHORT-TERM mission, but not intended as a pernament way of life for them.

  32. Gxg--G2 Says:

    2 Corinthians 6:14-7:2    
        This is probably the passage in which the issue of working with those not believers in Christ is most debated. People are still wondering where to draw the line on this one & whether it means working with those who are IMMORAL or those who’re simply claim no faith in God but are decent/moral people….cause the ramifications of any answer are endless.

  33. IndependentConservative Says:

    Gxg, on some of this you are being repetitious, so I’m taking liberty to remove or not approve some comments.

  34. IndependentConservative Says:

    Gxg, if the Lord uses someone evil for good, that will be done without the church having to depend on sinful deeds receive donations. God used an occult fan named King James to create an English translation of scripture. God has used the cult of Mary (Roman Catholicism) to provide original Greek scripture that was even older than the Textus Receptus (KJV source) and when even older papyri (outside of the Vatican) have been found, they have been mostly in agreement with those older Greek Text the Vatican has provided copies of. Although in all cases the differences are minimal and when using scripture to interpret scripture any English translational error (or even variances between the Greek sources) can be flushed out by the reader as led by the Holy Spirit. (Which maintains scripture being inerrant, even if a translation has a flaw, because of the Holy Spirit guiding as scripture is used to interpret scripture. Hence my statements about the term “command” versus “instruct”, but people who only read NJKV can and do figure it out. And I figured it out back when all I read was NKJV and before that I only read 1611 KJV.) My point although I rambled is that God used King James (and even the cult of Mary at times) for the benefit of the church, but the church did not need to take in money from an occult group for that to happen.

    You mentioned that assistance from the outside is needed regarding things like welfare and social security. Have you ever stopped to think, that is ONLY the case because the church has not done the job as it should for saints? Here’s a project for you. Go lookup what the Biblical Healthcare alternative is and learn a little about it. You’ll see that if the church were doing more as it should there would be no calls to government. The very fact government is called at all is a testament to the FAILURE of the church to do as it should.

    If a JW hit me with those scriptures you’ve mentioned, I’d point out that only Jews who accepted their message would give them money ;) . Hence, they would not be taking money from someone who felt they were a heathen. No way any Jew who felt they were speaking evil would have given them a dime. I’m going to need you to find a little something better than that. Sure Jesus took in money from people who very likely USED TO BE prostitutes, but they were converted, Jesus (and the apostles) did not go around taking money from people who were prostitutes and remained such. Unless you can find me a scripture to support such a notion :) .

  35. IndependentConservative Says:

    And Gxg, don’t forget to check out that post I told you to check out about Rick Warren.

  36. art123 Says:

     If you tell a powerful and rich politician or celebrity to sit up front and tell an unknown and poor person to sit in the back, well you mind as well tell them to don’t come there at all.  Sitting in the back is like you’re on your way out the door.  If you show partiality, I believe that you do have a hidden agenda because why the difference where a person sits when the gospel is being preached.  Unfortunately, this happens all the time in churches.

  37. IndependentConservative Says:

    And how many churches preach that passage of scripture at all?  If they did, they might have to confront the issue!

  38. IndependentConservative Says:

    And I didn’t mention it when I wrote the post although I knew about it.  Some of these "mega" clubs churches have special parking spots AND special seats in the building for certain celebrities!  The partiality begins even before anyone enters the building in many cases.

  39. art123 Says:

    IC, I know that you are a witness to it, especially when I recall that you’ve stated just paraphrasing that Eddie Long wouldn’t give you the time of day, unless you’re ‘somebody’.  He only allows the parishioners to shake his hand only once.

  40. Gxg--G2 Says:

    Thanks for the reply, Brah. I did check out the article on Warren by the way & it was very insightful, for which I do appreciate. I see better where you’re trying to come from (though it was a bit hilarious/ironic since the point of Jesus not working with the money changers due to their having wrong motives/mentalities is something I’ve always been in TOTAL AGREEMENT WITH)…….that, and the fact that I too HATE WHAT RICK WARREN HAS DONE (and even did a post on the issue, seeing that I’m a Human Services Major & see the dangers when Christians choose to work with unbelievers soley on the PHYSICAL ISSUE of AIDS/"SAFE SEX" at the expense of adressing the SPIRITUAL ISSUES/CONSEQUENCES behind it….or ignoring Scriptural Solutions since they’d most likely go against the mentalities MANY UNBELIEVERS have on issues)

    To clarify some things,

    You mentioned that assistance from the outside is needed regarding things like welfare and social security. Have you ever stopped to think, that is ONLY the case because the church has not done the job as it should for saints? Here’s a project for you. Go lookup what the Biblical Healthcare alternative is and learn a little about it. You’ll see that if the church were doing more as it should there would be no calls to government. The very fact government is called at all is a testament to the FAILURE of the church to do as it should.

    Thought I said I was in agreement with this. As I said earlier,

    I was reminded of the fact that the reason why the church often turns to celebrities/outside help is due to the simple fact that the SAINTS WON’T STEP UP TO DO THE JOB.

    Because there were no pensions, social security, life insurance, and few honorable jobs for women, widows were unable to support themselves….& the responsibility for caring for the helpless naturally fell on the families first—the people whose lives are most closely linked with theirs. Paul stresses the importance of FAMILIES caring for the needs of widows rather than LEAVING IT SOLEY FOR THE CHURCh—-so the church could care for those widows WITHOUT FAMILIES….& if the church would work in HARMONY, then everyone’s needs would be met….& if members were to work as hard as they could and be as independent as possible, they’d be able to adequately care for themselves/less fortunate members. Only when church members are both responsible/generous will EVERYONE’S NEED BE MET…….but till then, ASSISTANCE FROM THE OUTSIDE WILL SEEM MORE THAN NECESSARY.

    If I was unclear on the issue, my bad…..but again (to a degree), I feel where you’re coming from. Churches need to step it up…..especially seeing that the NT church was able to do so in VERY DIRE TIMES (and often with LESS RESOURCES than we have today….but then again, who can honestly say that the vast majority of churches—at least in the U.S OR WESTERN WORLD today— are keepin’n it REAL/living as RADICAL as much as the old school saints did?)

    Honestly, though I’m still not 100% certain government involvement is a bad thing ACROSS THE BOARD. IMHO, every circumstance is different & it’s never a "ONE SIZE FITS" all approach. Besides, I believe 9 marks said it best when discussing the state’s relation to the poor in their article"What about the Poor?":
    (Edited by IndependentConservative: Large block quote removed. Eating too much space. Those who wish to read have the links and article name from this thread of discussion already.)

    This adequately sums up much of where my heart’s at on the issue. Of course, there may still be disagreement……but they seemed to be very reasonable in their response. And hey, there’s room for disagreement between brothers in Christ (Romans 14)

    There were other points I wished to adress (paticularly on the Matthew 10:1-16, Mark 6:7-13, & Luke 9:1-6, as there have been biblical arguments/interpretations by many sound theologians made asserting that even those who are unbelievers can host those proclaming the Gospel if they wished to), but that can be done for another time.

    Honestly, writing’s a bit of a struggle for me (and hey, if you’d like, you can always email me so we could swap cells….seeing live conversation easier for me regarding expressing my points/hearing where others are coming from…[Edited by IndependentConservative: e-mail address removed for his privacy. I think we’ve shared our thoughts on the matter well enough already.]) I’m finding time is limited for me nowadays so I’m gonna have to take a break, Brah…….but again, APPRECIATE THE DIALOUGE!!!

    Later……& Greetings with a Holy Kiss (tackful enough, Brah?…lol lol )

  41. Gxg--G2 Says:

    By the way,

    And I didn’t mention it when I wrote the post although I knew about it. Some of these "mega" clubs churches have special parking spots AND special seats in the building for certain celebrities! The partiality begins even before anyone enters the building in many cases.

    Too true, Brah…….and the sad reality being that JESUS CHRIST WAS NOT A SUPERSTAR nor did he have the "fame seeking" mentality.

    Time for us to bring this back….for if people wish for greatness, fine. This is how you do it:

    Matthew 20:20-28

    (Edited by IndependentConservative: Scripture text removed, because this guy has taken up enough comment space :) .)

    Matthew 23(Edited by IndependentConservative: Scripture text removed, because this guy has taken up enough comment space.)

    James 3:12-32 , John 13

    Philippians 2

    Later…….

  42. art123 Says:

    I know this is slightly off topic, but this is in response to Gxg’s comment that when the government is taking care of poor saints and the people instead of the church, something is wrong.  Well, anytime the government plans to privatize social security with IRA’s, something is wrong with both the church and the government.  Why gamble with the market with hard working people’s money when they retire.  IRA’s are currently available for people who are interested.  This is a capitalistic society and the church has sold us out.

  43. IndependentConservative Says:

    Gxg, I know you and some others really are into 9 Marks. I want you to take a look at this page on their site and please tell me what you think?

    I find that to be a major, major, MAJOR problem.

  44. IndependentConservative Says:

    Art123, your government is already broke. Social security is a con job.

    The Pension Plan Scam! (Social Security included!)

    The wheels of change are turning!

    And by all means, please read this one:

    Social Security: All Trust and No Fund

    And here are others for you to pass time reading:
    End Social Security by Alex Epstein
    Chile’s Social Security Lesson For The U.S.

    Trust me when I say, you want as much control over your own money as possible. If I could press a button tomorrow and totally pull my family out of the social security plan completely, to have the money to do with as I saw fit, I’d stomp that button with MY FOOT and jam the thing in.

    When an economy is in bad shape, the LAST thing you want to do is look to the government hoping an already mathematically broken plan that is stacked to the hilt with IOUs will secure your financial future.

    I’m not saying dump those already getting Social Security checks, but we need an off ramp from that scam and FAST. I don’t even want the IRA plan at this point, I want Social Security totally GONE and I’ll decide how the money is spent.

  45. art123 Says:

    The government controlls social security, despite its broke state, the stock market is unstable, and corporations are moving overseas and will you have a job tomorrow?  Now what?  Many people already know something is wrong with the government.

  46. art123 Says:

    I believe that the Enron scandal should be a lesson taught that you shouldn’t sleep on these corporations.  There’s too much greed and wickedness in high places and the poor and less fortunate suffers.  This is the time for prayer that the Lord has a strategy for you in order to survive.  When the government, the corporations, and the church don’t care, it is time for us all to get on our knees and pray.

  47. IndependentConservative Says:

    Art123 – There is no money in the fund for you.  So you have no "Social Security".  You’re pushing to keep an empty piggy bank.

    I agree we need to pray, but I know Social Security is anything but.  With all the other financial instability that you recognize, you need to admit that Social Security is not what you should bank your financial future on.

    All roads regarding commerce have to eventually lead to the anti-Christ.  So you can’t do commerce without him right?  Well a total financial meltdown might make people all run to one "savior" (false savior of course), to do commerce and have money.  No way I’m looking to godverment for my security, no way.  If I have CONTROL of my money, I can decide to keep it under my mattress if I desire, but thinking the government scam will continue…don’t count on it, literally.

  48. Gxg--G2 Says:

    Hey, Brah….

    Gxg, I know you and some others really are into 9 Marks. I want you to take a look at this page on their site and please tell me what you think?

    Having a hard time finding the link, but If you can direct me to where the link to the site was at, I’d appreciate it. Regarding the link information, yes…….that is an issue. (especially if there is not an active refutation/examining of the theology of Roman Catholicism & the MANY DANGEROUS ERRORS it promotes).

    Perhaps it’d be best to email them and ask them about it……cause sometimes, people honestly don’t know..

  49. Gxg--G2 Says:

    Odd, however, seeing that they’ve tackled other DANGEROUS & HERECTICAL movements (both in highlighting the valid/biblical things they’ve done and adressing where they’ve fallen away from Scripture)…….such as the EMERGENT CHURCH for example (look under the title "EMERGING & MISSIONAL" on the bar to your right).

  50. Gxg--G2 Says:

    The same thing goes for their even adressing the issues of Rick Warren/"The Purpose Driven Life" book (under the Book Review section). Again, though, I’m guessing (and hoping) that perhaps there’s innocence on their parts……because if they’ve chosen to be faithfully sound in theology/belief on the majority of what they do, it’d be illogical for them to slip up intentionally on something JUST AS CRUCIAL (i.e. adressing the issues of Roman Catholicism)

    Think I’ll email them….

  51. IndependentConservative Says:

    Gxg, I got your comment about the current financial issues and we do have fiat money coming out of our ears, but your source leads to other things that are total garbage and nonsense. (Basically a source like that throws up any conspiracy theory they can think of hoping to see what sticks, because they have a politically driven agenda.) And please folks, stop following people that toss around 9/11 conspiracy garbage, because it’s been shown to be bogus too many times over. We have covered the financial matters in this other thread.

    I’m shutting this thread down from comments, because it’s gone way off topic.

    Please use the contact form if you get any details about the 9 Marks issue.

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