Monday, July 16, 2007

Nothing is coming to mind this morning (no smart-aleck comments here, please.) So here's something to chew on from Tozer. Don't miss the last couple of lines:

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. --1 Timothy 6:17

We in the churches seem unable to rise above the fiscal philosophy which rules the business world; so we introduce into our church finances the psychology of the great secular institutions so familiar to us all and judge a church by its financial report much as we judge a bank or a department store.

A look into history will quickly convince any interested person that the church has almost always suffered more from prosperity than from poverty. Her times of greatest spiritual power have usually coincided with her periods of indigence and rejection; with wealth came weakness and backsliding. If this cannot be explained, neither apparently can it be escaped. . . .

The point I am trying to make here is that while money has a proper place in the total life of the church, the tendency is to attach to it an importance that is far greater than is biblically sound or morally right. The average church has so established itself organizationally and financially that God is simply not necessary to it. So entrenched is its authority and so stable are the religious habits of its members that God could withdraw Himself completely from it and it could run on for years on its own momentum. The Warfare of the Spirit, 9-11.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

We as a people seem to do best when met with a challenge rather than prosperity. Prosperity seems to generate apathy.

I have a feeling that if the church is growing spiritually, the headcount and finances will take care of themselves. I understand the desire to take roll/count heads - it's a fact of how many people showed up. The intangible factor of how many hearts were open to God, how many souls were edified, how many minds left better equipped to fight the daily spiritual battles are what I think to be more important but impossible to know.

I have so much growth ahead of me, so much to learn and understand and I simply want to be a part of a church that helps me become closer to God and to live out His will. If that is the mission of the church, if that is what the church does - neither poverty nor prosperity will be an issue.

I could go on and on about what my dreams might be but will wrap up by saying that I am one of a body that finds myself focused on the wrong things at times. I heard a preacher say once that we need to be focused on making the Main thing the main thing. Amen, brother.