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sonofadam777
Member



Joined: 2006/3/24
Posts: 108
Rochester, New York

 Ministry, Money, and Trusting God

Ok. I hope this is a healthy discussion. My wife and I have been trying to understand some things Biblically as it relates to ministries asking for money, giving to others, making a living as a minitry, charging for "the gospel" material, giving away vs. asking for money.

I remember Last Day's Ministry heard from God to give their material for free and people would give to them "as the Lord leads".

Then there are ministries begging for money and live in luxury, and then ministries asking and struggling.

Then there are ministries to give their material away for free and others charge for it.

There are pastors who still work a full time job and others who use 50% or more of the tithes of the local church for his "salary".

Should a ministry just completely "trust God" and never ask for finances and like George Muller would be provided completely, or run a business and live off that?

I know of a Christian homeschool "entrepreneur" who is hosting conferences charging $400 for a weekend conference teaching people how to make money, (lots of it), promoting them to make money the same way... is that 'ok', if there is no reference to Christ and reaching the Lost and giving to the poor?

I guess, what it the Biblical understanding of finances as it relates to ministry, business, greed, need, etc.?

I hope this makes sense what I am trying to get into a discussion here. I am trying to understand what God's word says about minsitry and how to make a living doing it, if that is what God's model is for ministry and finances.

Grace,
Doug


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Doug Renz

 2006/8/12 22:29Profile
JoeA
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Joined: 2004/11/29
Posts: 364
Decatur, Illinois

 Re: Ministry, Money, and Trusting God

The Bible says "they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel", but being sustained in order to continue preaching and living an opulent lifestyle are two totally different things.

Take John Wesley for example. He made alot of money, but gave most of it away to publish Bibles, and build orphanages. Then look at the typical televangelist who lives in a mansion and drives a Mercedes. Stark contrast there. I fully believe in supporting Gospel-preaching ministries, but i don't see the use of them living like kings when Christ had no place to lay His head.


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Joe Auvil

 2006/8/12 22:55Profile
sermonindex
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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37186
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re:

Quote:
being sustained in order to continue preaching and living an opulent lifestyle are two totally different things.


The hard thing for me is living in North America everything seems "opulent" I was listening to a message by K.P. Yohannan and what he said about living a "simple life as possible" stuck out to me.

Raising missionaries in the foriegn field instead of sending westerners is definetly the way to go, but the westerners that are sent can be great "mobilizers" for the native people in those countries.

As the Lord guides and directs I believe tent making is a very biblical method of how a preacher or full time missionary is to be able to live. Also in the apostlic method having all things in common helped many people to have what was lacking in personal needs.

I will try and dig it up, I remember Zac Poonen having some very radical yet biblical things to say about this topic.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2006/8/12 23:04Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
I know of a Christian homeschool "entrepreneur" who is hosting conferences charging $400 for a weekend conference teaching people how to make money, (lots of it), promoting them to make money the same way... is that 'ok', if there is no reference to Christ and reaching the Lost and giving to the poor?



Money has power over pragmatists...as such it is a powerful force in the American church. Some believe God needs money to reach people, so they spend their spiritual energies working for money instead of reaching people. Money seduces Christians because they believe it is their source of power to do good. Money is credited with building churches, and printing spiritual books, and doing charitable works...this is it's idolatrous appeal to the unwary Christian.

My experience on this topic has been painful, regrettable, and through God's grace, ultimately instructive.

Some say that Jesus didn't want the rich young man to sell all he owned, but only that he should be willing to sell all he owned. Claiming willingness is the great loophole to obedience in the American church.

This loophole to obedience is that we don't have to obey God as long as we are willing to obey. The persistant passion for excessive personal wealth that remains in the American Church is the greatest example of this empty 'willingness' to follow Jesus "regardless of the cost".

Not to be simplistic, but I think our nation was founded on the bible and Adam Smith... Christianity and capitalism have been merged in our self-image, which has done much to create the modern individualistic Christian. If Christians believe commercial ambition is blessed by God, as long as the ambitous are Christian, it is easy to see why many once tolerated slavery for it's economic benifits, and even still today generally hold contempt and mistrust for the poor...

Quote:
I remember Zac Poonen having some very radical yet biblical things to say about this topic.



I think this is the only way to deal with this topic. It is actually a great mercy to challenge each other to give up our deeply held secrecy regarding our money. (not here over the internet of course! Find a trustworthy brother or sister to open up to...) There are Christians who teach that it's okay to want money...as long as you don't love money. (Another absurdity people nod wisely to...)The truth is that our hearts are like baking soda and money is like vinegar. Even a good man can be changed, or perhaps revevealed, by wealth. I've seen it first hand with many well-meaning and mature Christians.

Having tasted heart-piercing grief on this topic, I have learned one simple lesson...

Financial security isn't looking into your bank account and finding enough money, but looking into your heart and finding not even a penny. This is true for individuals as well as churches.

MC


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Mike Compton

 2006/8/13 1:05Profile
JoeA
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Joined: 2004/11/29
Posts: 364
Decatur, Illinois

 Re:

Quote:
Financial security isn't looking into your bank account and finding enough money, but looking into your heart and finding not even a penny. This is true for individuals as well as churches.



Wow. That's powerful. Brings the verse "[b]My God[/b] shall supply all your needs" really into perspective.


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Joe Auvil

 2006/8/13 1:29Profile
mamaluk
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Joined: 2006/6/12
Posts: 524


 Re:

Quoting Compton

[b]Financial security isn't looking into your bank account and finding enough money, but looking into your heart and finding not even a penny. This is true for individuals as well as churches.[/b]

Praise God for using your difficult experience to bring us this post, with its testimony against Mammon. When the Lord said that the love of money is the root of all evil, we can see the fruits of this evil in our culture, our church buildings and even in my own sinful heart at times.

The day when I can't find a penny in my heart, that will definitely be the day I find true financial freedom, I suppose. Money can become such a burden in a Christian's life. For the most part, I dread the control of it more so than loving it.

In my mind, financial security is a phantom object, as in Proverb 23:5 " will you set your eyes upon that which is not, for [b]riches certainly make themselves wings, they fly away as an eagle towards heaven."[/b]
I prefer to have financial freedom that is aligned with the provision of God.


Thanks for your testimony again.
mamaluk

 2006/8/13 21:05Profile
sonofadam777
Member



Joined: 2006/3/24
Posts: 108
Rochester, New York

 Re:

Quote:
I will try and dig it up, I remember Zac Poonen having some very radical yet biblical things to say about this topic.



Hi Greg, Have you found this sermon from Zac Poonen? Thanks.

Grace,
Doug Renz


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Doug Renz

 2006/8/13 22:27Profile
Tears_of_joy
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Joined: 2003/10/30
Posts: 1554


 Re: Ministry, Money, and Trusting God

Hi Doug,

May I recommend you one life changing video sermon on this subject by Keith Daniel:

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=5301]Prove me now (video)[/url]

Your brother,
Kire

 2006/8/13 23:07Profile





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