Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Wealthy Church

The Roman Catholic Church is said to have billions of dollars in assets. It it hard to determine how much money that 'church' has. Some people suggest it is the wealthiest organization in the world.

A common critique of the church is how can we spend so much money on our buildings when there are so many people in need.

Did the protestant reformers change course on this issue? Every week people give to their 'church', and the bulk of the money goes towards staff and buildings. There are mega church buildings that compete with the extravagance of the older Catholic churches.

But if we look to the early church:
  • Those who had wealth gave very generously
  • Money was given to anyone who was in need.
  • I can't find evidence of church budgets that supported programs, buildings and staff
Acts 4:34-35 (NIV)

There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
Are we to give money to primarily support buildings, staff, and programs... or is the giving priorities of the New Testament church meant to be different? Are we following the book on this one? Is there room for further reform?

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1 comment:

Al said...

It seems pretty clear to me that our priorities have been drastically skewed from NT times.

There are many aspects of specific church structure and practice that can be considered cultural, subject to change with the times. I don't think love and compassion fit into that category. I think they should be basic tenets of being a Christ-follower.

But it seems pretty difficult to find a 'church' that focuses more on reaching out than reaching in.

Fortunately, we have the choice to put our money where our mouth is.