More and more we have to ask ourselves as the western church, are we doing what we can? I can’t tell you how often I’ve been encouraged, instructed and sometimes even drilled by our churches in regards to bringing all the tithe into the house! What is rarely discussed is how any of us should be ‘giving’ to necessary needs. Forgive me if I poke at your conscience or that of your pastor’s. Not my intention for a moment to offend; just asking a question.
Let me give examples of needs. Many churches want bigger buildings for more seats to reach more people. Fair enough if we are limiting our vision to fill our own buildings. I myself confess it was a wonderful thing to come to such buildings and I found safety in some of the people there. But why not also use the parks where we can reach everyone? Permits? Fear of those who might take umbrage? Weather? More work to set up our ‘shows’ with sound/lighting equipment? Isn’t God’s Word as powerful in truth no matter the surroundings? Just asking a question.
This is the moment I look at my bible, reading every word! Yes, they had tents, synagogues, houses even. But they also had rivers, roads, outdoor events and dare I say, desert places where people simply were thirsty. Are we limiting what God can do by staying focused upon our planted buildings which, like barns, we desire to make larger in order to store more? Just asking a question.
I earlier asked, “are we doing what we can as the western church”? I have to look around to say ‘no’, we aren’t even close. Yes, we are taught on a regular basis how to give for the needs of our local body and I do agree we should. But let’s be brutally honest about this. If we were the real church that is written about in our book of truth, would we be concerned if there were enough funds to provide for our own comfort and agendas rather than offer what we have to feed our brethren in dire need? Have we “distributed to each as anyone had need”, or did we make a law about having a benevolence fund where we put our building plans above the brethren making their rent or utility payment. More importantly, what about feeding that family without a roof who are running from gunfire because they said they believed in Christ. Just asking a question.
In Paul’s epistles he mentioned many times the offerings of the saints for other regions. We must be awakened to needs not faced before in many of our lives. With the current upheavals throughout the world it becomes apparent we should not be passive. What would it look like to the world if we as professed Christians give offerings to clothe, feed and help our brethren even if it costs our own comfort? Just asking a question.
***Let me be crystal clear to say how much I love my brothers and sisters who serve regions, cities and community. Don’t let my words bring any division to other visions or words of directions.