Thursday, November 05, 2009

Does God need a $130 million edifice to be glorified?

I ran across a link tonight and nearly had a meltdown. I am naming names and pointing fingers and I do not apologize for it. First Baptist Dallas has decided to "honor" God by building a $130,000,000 "state of the art" church campus in Dallas.

As I look around downtown Dallas, I see spectacular temples of commerce, of culture and of government – many new, some restored to former glory, and all intended to stand for generations. The Kingdom of God needs a home to equal them – a spiritual oasis in the middle of downtown. - Dr. Robert Jeffress

Seriously. My God is glorious beyond all measure and His Kingdom is magnificent in such a way as to set all the wonders of the this world to shame.

From the press release:

In two special services this morning, Dr. Jeffress informed the congregation that already more than $62 million has been committed to this campaign. Mark Lovvorn, chair of the church’s Planning and Development Committee, further noted that the economic downturn has led to unprecedented potential savings in construction costs, citing research showing that for every dollar spent the church will receive up to $1.30 in value.

Oh that makes it OK. We are getting a good value because the economy is in the toilet. Some more:

“For more than 140 years, God has put First Baptist Church at the center of Dallas, the nation’s fastest-growing city in the heart of America,” Dr. Jeffress continued. “Jerry Jones recently unveiled a new $1.2 billion ‘temple to sport.’ In these tough economic times, why can’t we use our gifts to build a church building that provides a spiritual oasis and matches the splendor and majesty of God?”

A church building that matches the splendor and majesty of God? What sort of blasphemous statement is that? The thought that a building can even begin to match the splendor and majesty of God is a damnable heresy.

Is this what the Gospel ministry is about, building $130,000,000 church buildings in the midst of a time of economic crisis? Jesus didn't call us to try to outdo Jerry Jones, He called us to humility and servanthood. Do you think the hurting people of Dallas will read about "Christians" building this temple to wealth and see God glorified?

I am sure I am going to get aggrieved comments about "not judging". Before you do, here is my response:


Anyone who can defend this perversion of stewardship has a serious and sinful misunderstanding of the Kingdom of God and Christian ministry. Christ my King did not need or desire earthly riches because He has the cattle on a thousand hills and will reign over streets of gold. This building is an idol, pure and simple, an idol to greed and covetousness and worldliness and is unfit to wear the name of the King of Kings. This is a modern day Tower of Babel and the folly and pride of mankind is on full display.

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steve s said...

Way to go, Arthur.
You are spot on.....again!
I love that you put 3 'l's in mill(l)ion. It's a picture of the ludicrous excess we're discussing here.

Arthur Sido said...

Steve, thanks for the benefit of the doubt but that was a spelling error (that I am going to correct right now!)

Brian said...

sickening really - and what about all the other churches in the Dallas area that need repair or upkeep? don't think churches should necessarily build bigger buildings, but instead more buildings through active church planting. But that is me.

J. Guy Muse said...

Here's my own missionary perspective on the same subject FBC Dallas launches $130M building campaign.