MONEY – ALL MIGHTY

greed

(A continuation of 2 Peter 2;1-3, False Prophets, from yesterday.  https://onetahayes.com/2018/10/14/false-prophets/)

2 Peter 2:1-3 “…In their greed these (false) teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.” Of course our minds are immediately drawn to the extravagant TV preachers who leach money from little old ladies. And that is true; but there are other ways. Me talking, opinion only.

I have seen about everything in local churches that do not evidence the spirit in which I believe we are to give our tithes and offerings—having everyone stand who will give $1000, $100, $10, etc; pledges, faith offerings, planning budget, matched offerings, person who takes offering shows his offering, all those pressure techniques. I was sitting in the choir loft once upon a time when the preacher made a show of giving his check, then I believe he put the check back in his wallet. I could hardly believe my eyes; I doubt my own story but I think that’s what he did.

Some people claim “God gave me a message for you” then offer to sell it to you. I want to say, “if you worked your fingers to the bone for that message, you deserve money for it. If God gave it to you for me, then you give it to me.”  I’d pay expenses if necessary.

But if God really gave him/her the message for me, then he probably will help with the postage to get it to me! Like me taking a gift to my neighbor, telling her God told me to give it to her, then ask for ten bucks for it!

I know the “workman is worthy of his hire” and have no problem with preachers, singers, etc selling their wares. They research, organize, type,  take lessons, go to school, preach the sermon, pray, and they  deserve pay.  Just don’t claim God gave it to you to give me, then charge me. Again, it’s just me talking.  Maybe you see it differently.

And the holding money up in air with shouts of “joy?” Give me a break. Preach what the Bible says about tithes and offerings, pass the hat, or install offering boxes, and trust God to meet the need the same way you tell the “lay” person to trust God to meet the need.

Many people want to expand their ministries beyond what God might plan for them. I’ve never known of one who said, “Stop, we have enough, as Moses did (Ex 36:6); I think Solomon also. Anyone out there know the other time that happened in the OT? So they keep needing more until it becomes an empire and the preacher becomes an administrator rather than a minister/pastor.

There is scripture for tithes and offerings, but not psychology. But I will admit Paul used a bit of psychology on some of the churches when raising money for the church in Jerusalem. (Romans 15:26) If Macedonia and Achaia did it, you should too! Oh well, that doesn’t make me like it! Still, just sayin’.

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image:  unsplash, Vitaly Taranov

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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10 Responses to MONEY – ALL MIGHTY

  1. floridaborne says:

    You have much wisdom to offer.

    In my lifetime, I’ve found pedophiles in the church, and young men professing outrage at prostitution while trying to entice “unsaved” women who come to their revivals into bed. I was raised in the Methodist church and watched how so many used it as a fashion show to flaunt their money and high-standing in the community. When I see a preacher in a limo living in a mansion, I immediately think “fake!” These are 4 reasons I never found comfort in churches. Oddly, the place where I felt the most comfort was a tiny synagogue whose spiritual leader was a Rabbi who lived simply. Had I not had to move to another state to get a job, I might have converted.

    There is a lot of wisdom, and a lot of history, packed in the Bible as well as the books that were not put into the Bible. If you look at the different religions around the world, they all have this piece of wisdom in common: Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.

    As the saying goes, those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Societies around the world are experiencing the proof of that.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Dear floridaborne, (Joelle, is it?) I am sorry to be late answering. I can make no justification for many things that go wrong in churches of all kinds. I only point to the fact that the New Testament teaches that one should be involved in local churches. I also state that evil has no more delight than to get its fangs into Christians (or those who purport to be Christians) because it does such damage to the observer. Among Christians, we know we have nothing to offer within ourselves and we urge the sinner (seeker) to look to Jesus. He is the one who redeems and helps to overcome sin and evil. I was raised in Pentecostal churches, and I have remained “churchy” all my life. I now attend Baptist. Therefore, I know many people who have been hurt in the church; I know of no one hurt at the corner bar or country club because I don’t know anyone there. 😀 Life is like that. We are hurt by people we know and love – probably most notably, our families. Churches are made up by people, people are not perfect, some are not even good! I have found great love in churches; I have found many who give generously in love and labor to help others. I have found people who reflect the love of Jesus. I have also found that, like you, a small group offers close friendships and love. That is one reason I left my “big” church and now attend a small one. Thanks for the comment and for following my blog.

  2. mandibelle16 says:

    Interesting piece as always. In general in the Lutheran Church, I’ve never found them to be money hungry in that way. They will encourage it, but both pastors I had growing up, said God would rather have what you give freely, not what you give that causes financial suffering or resentment.
    So, yes God through your pastor etc deserves a tithe, b/c that’s how the building runs, the pastor has a salary, and a major way to spread the message of salvation; however, these over zealous evangelists can be very damaging.

    On my mom’s side my Grandoa (Gedeo) went to a pentacoastel church. He was working, and fell off their house roof and broke his back. Not only was this very painful and meant a loss of income, but my mom’s family was not wealthy and this made times tougher. Nonetheless, the church elders literally came to visit my grandpa and instead of asking how he was, encouraging him, praying for him, they said he was behind on his offering that he owed. Although grandpa remained a Christian, he never went again.

    These men did not care that he was hurt or out of a paying job until he was better, they just cared about the money, not the person. And that’s a huge flaw when using certain methods to collect offering. While it is needed, understanding for situations like my grandpa (long passed now) is vital & so is remembering that as congregation members, people give with a free heart. It’s remembering for the church elders, pastor etc. that people are a means in themselves, & not just a route to more money. As, a result of this situation, my Grandoa still drove my mom and her siblings to Sunday school, but he hardly if ever went to church. The situation was also deeply impactful on my uncle when he was young. He was the eldest sibling and understood more. So, whenever he was free to do so, he left the church & never returned b/c he no longer trusted them. And that’s a sad thing. I always taught the church is it’s people, not ripping people’s money away, or threatening damnation or whatever, if people can only afford to give so much.

    Anyways that’s my thoughts on this post. Have a great week.

  3. oneta hayes says:

    Oh, I am so sorry for the bad experience for your grandfather. What happened is inexcusable from any earthly standpoint, and forgivable only by Jesus from a spiritual standpoint. Not that it will help much but I ask your forgiveness in behalf of my church. No, not the actual church, but from the pentecostal fellowship of people. Thank you for sharing this situation. One cannot serve God and mammon (money), Jesus said.

  4. I just love your “tell it straight” style! I read that a certain popular Bible teacher with a large platform and international ministry has a marble commode that cost more than I’ll ever see…I’m not envious, wouldn’t want such a thing, but still–it makes me frown and shake my head 🙂 We’re asked to “support” many of these huge ministries, and I realize nothing is “free” but God’s grace–but lots of the “poor” are going bankrupt, sending in their donations… “just sayin'” ❤

    • oneta hayes says:

      Amen. Jesus said many will say “have we not done great things in your name” (I’m paraphrasing. It is 11:50 so I’m getting lazy) The Lord says, “I never knew you.” Sins had kept them apart from Jesus. I believe such indulgence is sin.

  5. Faye says:

    I have journeyed through Church hypocrisy and still flow and love God’s People wherever they may be. I thank God He is ever constant and now at this time of life I have come to realize He wants ‘nothing’ from us except our whole hearts. If we do not give to Him in worship of Who He is …..He does not want it. Its not about building grand church buildings or ‘stuff’ this is about our hearts and our relationship to HIM. A small worship tithe (could be a million dollars from someone else.) If it is given in worship it is pleasing but because of obligation or some clever oratorical speech I do not believe He is pleased. Grace is ‘free’ and His sacrifice cost much. Our response must be LOVE. We cannot earn our salvation, nor can we throw money to achieve it. If money is not our God…….let us all ‘listen’ to the Spirit and worship and sow to the Kingdom where and when He directs. In past couple of years I have been surprised how He has clearly directed me to sow to Him in an unexpected way. A ;PEACE book He inspired me to write……….placed on a table in a room where trauma and heartache were rife.
    Not money but (out of my lack) what He deemed a heart response to circumstances.
    Blessings! Peace!

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