Money, Money, Money

2 05 2012

Evangelical Christians spend more money on dog food each year than on missions. This is an indictment on our priorities. While people continue to die and go to hell without ever having heard the name of Jesus, our dogs are fat and happy.

Money always seems to be a hot topic when it comes to missions. It seems that every trip we take, I end up asking for more and more money. Most organizations have perspective missionaries raise their own funds before they go. At church we are bombarded about giving money to this great opportunity and that wonderful ministry. It seems like there is just not enough to go around, but that is not true at all. If we, in the American church, look at the way in which we spend our money, we would see that the vast majority of that money is spent on ourselves both corporately and personally.

It is time that we as World Christians begin to spend our money on things of eternal significance. We need to understand that every penny counts. We need to learn to question every expenditure. I am the worst at this. Wrongly, I usually spend first and then think. I have to do a better job of living simply. I certainly don’t think that God calls us all to a life of poverty, but neither does he call us to a life of extravagance. There is a balance that we need to strike between living on rice and beans and thread-bare clothing and buying luxury vehicles that we don’t need. We must remember that God has blessed us to be a blessing to the nations. How are you doing that with your personal finances?

My family and I have two dogs and two sugar gliders (look them up – they are cool), and that stat that I mentioned in the opening paragraph made me stop and think. Do I spend more money on feeding animals than I do on people’s eternities? Just something to think about…


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9 responses

3 05 2012
Shelly Tyler

Have you read “When Helping Hurts” by Steve Corbett and Brian Filkert? I am working on it right now, and it is really teaching me a lot about spending my resources wisely in the Kingdom, I recommend it!

3 05 2012
Scott Ward

I have read most of that book. It is fantastic. Subsidy is something that we dealt with in Tanzania all the time. It is very difficult.

3 05 2012
Andrew Perkins

Hey man… I read this just AFTER paying $25 for a bad of dog food, that apparently my beagle doesn’t like. Sigh.

3 05 2012
Scott Ward

I’m going to buy a bag this weekend. I’m sure I’ll feel the same ouch.

3 05 2012
Andrew Perkins

that should read ‘bag of’

3 05 2012
shane

I was steered to this blog post for your general point, but when I read “die and go to hell without ever having heard the name of Jesus” it was a real slap in the face. I’ve never seen that thought thrown out with what appears to be such callous glibness. It would be interesting to discuss that concept with you in more depth.

4 05 2012
Scott Ward

Hi Shane – I appreciate your comment and I would be happy to discuss with you more about that statement. It certainly was not stated with glibness. I simply stated it as a matter of fact, because that is what is happening. I am an evangelical Christian who has given his life to the Lordship of Jesus. This means that I follow his commands. When he says to go, I am supposed to go. The Great Commission calls us to go and make disciples of all nations, because if we don’t, those people who make up the nations will die and go to hell. Paul, in Romans, asks the question of how anyone can believe unless someone goes to tell them. So, I don’t apologize for my hard words. They were not spoken out of “callous glibness,” but out of a sincere desperation to see the church do more.

9 05 2012
Shane

I apologize for being so slow to respond- computer problems…

To be honest, I don’t think you genuinely believe what you say. That’s not meant to be insulting; I don’t think anybody truly believes that in their gut. Like Stalin said, “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.” Like the concept of a Trillion, we just can’t wrap our heads around the enormity of it. If we could, we’d fire everyone above the level of Janitor in Washington DC.

You claim to believe that every human who existed and died “without Christ” is in hell. Let’s be conservative and consider the origin of modern man as happening with the first evidence of civilization, some 50,000 years ago. Granted there was no chance of propagating the word in those earliest days. There are, however, any number of writings and traditions which predate Christ by hundreds or thousands of years, and yet survive to this day. So Christ could have manifested far earlier and yet he didn’t, effectively damning those millions of people to hell. And how many more billions have been similarly condemned in the last 2,000 years?

The human mind just isn’t built to handle those numbers save as abstract concepts. We can accept the idea of such huge numbers, but we can’t attach reality to them as we can the things and people immediate to us. An omniscient god obviously could, but not us.

So we’re left to believe that a god creates these billions of people, knows them, loves them, then after a flicker of life on this rock condemns them to an infinity of unimaginable torture with no hope of redemption. Further, these people did nothing wrong and had no way to avoid this infinity of pain. They’re given no chance. They’re nothing but logs for the fires of hell. God created them specifically to suffer for all time. To put it another way, they’re collateral damage. I can accept the idea of collateral damage in war. What I can’t do is reconcile an omnipotent, loving god designing a system dependent on creating obscene amounts of “collateral damage”.

You need a project -a project which can never be completed- and billions of people must suffer infinitely to accomodate it? To my mind that’s perhaps the most hideous idea in the history of human thought. It’s so hideous that I can’t wrap my head around it. Nor, I think, can you.

10 05 2012
Scott Ward

I think that I understand what you are saying. It is a common belief held by many called Universalism. I have rather chosen to follow the Bible’s teaching on the matter. Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no man comes to the Father except through Him. If this statement and many others like it in scripture are true, which I believe they are, then I need to be doing all that I can to share this good news with people who have not heard. I could go on and on, but honestly, it sounds like you are set in your beliefs. I could write out my beliefs, but all you would need to do is look up Evangelical Christianity. I really do appreciate your comments, but with all due respect this is getting away from the reason that I have my blog and I don’t have time to respond to this in full. There are some great blogs and books out there on apologetics that address the argument of Universalism. I just don’t have time to do that here on this blog.

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