Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Church Order' started by kceaster, Nov 18, 2009.
Not a lot more. We'd see to that.
I just want to be clear that I'm not advocating a scenario in which people are discouraged to give as much as they want, nor am I advocating that the soverignty of God somehow justifies anyone to be uncharitable, not cheerful, or stingy in their giving.
But part of the sovereignty of God clearly shows that He is in control, even when we are out of control. There is nothing He cannot do. I'm sure you agree with that. It is also His work to perform. I'm sure that you agree with that as well. His Spirit is accomplishing all His holy will. So statements like Spurgeon, who I believe blundered when he said (paraphrased) that men are perishing because we are not doing all we can, miss the sovereignty of God in salvation. There are no people in existence who perish because we failed to use our resources or our industry to reach them. They perished because God chose them to destruction. No amount of money given to the church will change that. The sovereignty of God neither justifies the ill use of resources, nor does it praise the excellent use of them. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who is at work in us both to will and to do His good pleasure. Sure there is tension in that, but at the end of the day, we cannot say what God will do based upon our resources.
Who are these people who teach tithing as a 'requirement'?
Note the bold-faced words. Rather convenient.
You're argument was used on a young missionary years ago. He went anyway, which you believe may proves your point. However, there is going to be a good number of Christians who are going to have to explain to the Lord why they used their money the way they did. It just might be that the Lord had wanted them to give that money to His work. I know...crazy talk!
If you can say that each minister of the Gospel is having their needs met, that each seminary student is getting an education without enslaving himself to a lending institution, that each Christian family within our churches are provided for, that every orphan is placed in a loving Christian family, etc, etc...if you can say that every spiritual need is being met and each physical need is being met...then I say keep your money.
If not, then there is work to do. If you are not called to it, don't hinder those who are.
No one, not even Spurgeon, is arguing that our efforts, or lack thereof, can change the end result that was decreed by God before the beginning of the world. But, we are to live our lives as if we can, as your quote of Phi 2:12,13 attests. No matter how much or little we 'work out our salvation' will change the decree of God, but we are, nevertheless, to work it out.
I think we are, to a large degree, talking past each other and should probably take a break from the discussion to really consider what all are saying.
I wanted to ask forgiveness if my posts in any way have been uncharitable or contentious. I didn't mean it to be at all. I appreciate everyone's contribution to the discussion.
There is certainly an issue with churches not knowing what to do with surplus funds outside of the 'usual' activities.
One thing that irks me about the church in the UK today is the 'lets just see what happens' mentality. No budget is set, there are no targets, nobody is made aware of what is needed. If here is a shortfall, some savings will be dipped into, and at the end of the year someone says vaguely 'oh, we need to give a bit more'.
If God's people know there is a need for, say, an extra 2,000 by the end of the year to pay pastor's salary, or to continue outreach work, or whatever, then even if they cannot help with extra finance, they can all PRAY and ask for what is needed. So often 'you have not, because you ask not' comes to mind.
I know of one very large church with a huge budget here in the UK. A wealthy american who knew what the church was about and supported its mission, gave it one million pounds.
What says the most about this church is that once the officers had drawn up suggestions as to where the money could be used, they had found (not in frivolous purchases and so forth) uses for double that amount, and they had to make some tough decisions.
A church that does not know how to spend what God gives to her trust and continually builds up savings for no particular reason (i.e. not for a building fund etc) is in a perilous state.