Friday, July 15, 2011

Our financial priorities

A few things you need to know…

A Christian who is not quite able to articulate the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement is still saved and will spend eternity in Christ.

A Christian on the “wrong” side of the baptism issue (and let’s face it, one way or the other a lot of us are wrong about baptism) is still invited to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

A Christian without a pew to sit in or a bulleting to refer to or a preacher to listen to is still saved.

On the other hand….

An orphan who starves to death is still dead.

A young woman sold to a sex trafficker is still enslaved.

An unvisited widow is still lonely and alone.

The billions of people in the world who have not heard the Gospel are still lost and under the condemnation of their sins.

The church, the combined Body of all Christians everywhere, has a finite pool of financial resources and, just being honest, a huge percentage of those resources are found right here in the U.S. of A. So this question of financial priorities is especially important here. Even though we are incredibly wealthy, we still have limited resources. So we make declarations with how we invest our ministry money.

Are those funds going to minister to those in need, whether that need is food or shelter or help with addictions or most importantly of all the need for Jesus Christ who is presently absent from their lives?

Or is it going to help those who are already Christians become “better” Christians?

This is not an "this and that", it is an "either or" scenario. I don’t mean to belittle the importance of sound doctrine. I think the church needs more, not less, of it! I also think that if the church was functioning the way it should be, we would have far more mature Christians and those mature Christians would be both making new disciples and mentoring and equipping those disciples. That sort of discipleship is cheap in terms of money but expensive in terms of time. We are Americans and like to pay others to do stuff for us but when eternal souls are at stake, when widows and orphans and enslaved women and children are in need, we need to make some hard choices about where we invest in the Kingdom.


Anonymous said...

I think sound doctrine matters, but I'll go ahead and belittle it in terms of what many say it means (certainty about every issue on which people disagree).

Galatians, Romans 10-14, 1 Corinthians 1-3, and John's gospel all make it clear that when Christians disagree about things that God justifies them by faith in Jesus Christ. All the other doctrines exist to help and make sense of that faith, but faith in Christ (trusting him enough to follow him) is what saves. All other doctrines are miniscule in comparison.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your perspective! ~Cindy Stuckey

fisher_david said...

Love, compassion, service and generosity seemed to be Jesus' priority in terms of doctrine....