Monday, May 17, 2010

Rich Christians?

As of last Saturday, my wife is 36 weeks pregnant. As of last Friday (with the exception of 1 outstanding paycheck), my wife and I are living off of my salary. In the past few weeks we have received several letters asking for donations for mission trips and have had several special offerings at church for some really good causes. Allison and I were talking yesterday about this. As we're writing out checks to give to these different causes, we can't help but wish we were able to give more. We thought, "If we had a lot of money (or at least more), we would be able to give so much more to all of these causes. We would be able to take people out for dinner 'on us.' We could help so many things to happen for the Kingdom!"

There are a lot of books out there that promote simple living, rooted from the biblical text "go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor." I've even heard it said that there should never be a rich Christian.

This week I met several rich Christians. Probably millionaires. They were supporting a lot of ministries and giving to a lot of organizations. Are there rich Christians?

John Wesley's Axiom for Christian Economics was "Make as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Give as much as you can."

What do you think? Can there be rich Christians? What does it mean to be a rich Christian?

6 comments:

  1. Your guilty of thinking God could "Do More" if you were able to give more. If you were able to privately fund a charity or noble cause, you would get the glory. But God is glorified when He multiplies and blesses the small offering. Think of Jesus feeding the multitude with a boys lunch of a few fish and a loaf of bread.

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  2. Well, I don't think that was my point. I didn't mean I wanted to totally fund a charity, but I want to give more than $10 when someone is going on a mission trip.

    Yes, it's true that God gets the glory when He multiplies small offering. But if all the money is God's to begin with (and we're just stewards of it), doesn't that mean that He can use people to pass large amounts of it in the way of ministries doing His will?

    That parable does show that God is able to make a little go a long way. Does that mean that He doesn't use a lot to go a long way?

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  3. Doesn't the Bible talk about how it's harder for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and the whole thing about the camel going through the eye of a needle. I don't know if it's true, but I remember learning that the eye of the needle was the door for the camels and they had to get on their knees to go through.. It wasn't easy, and a lot of times they were stubborn making it much harder for them to get through. I think it's a putting down your pride thing.. I think that rich people can be Christians, but it all depends on where their hearts are.. and from my experience money can make it very hard to be a good Christian bc many people with money end up serving money. For me, I've spent a lot of time in other countries, and to be honest I have a harder time serving God in the US.. I tend to look towards money bc that's what everyone around me is looking at.. When I'm in third-world countries where no one has money, they seem to be able to focus on God in a way that is so perfect and selfless. It's beautiful. They live by faith because they have to... It's a very different perspective. but yes, I think God can use someone with money. (Growing up my family had a lot of money and recently have had lots of financial troubles.. It is rocking their world not being able to get everything they want and you can visibly see how it changes their "faith" from strong to weak and their attitudes from good to poor).

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  4. It's true...it is easier for us as Christians to trust God when we have nothing to lose. We have a hard time trusting God with the stuff he has blessed us because we don't want to lose it. K-dizzle, did you have to read "Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger" for DVH at ONU? I remember it being a pretty powerful read while I was at ONU. If you have access to a library it may be worth skimming.

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  5. I went to a Country Club Church back in the day. The membership included doctors, professors, lawyers, bankers... I have to admit, the youth group was well funded and took lots of big trips. Had an honest pipe organ, lots of stained glass... But I don't recall the Church ever having a prison ministry, food pantry or shut-in visitations. You'd think their beautiful building and well staffed events would've been very effective in attracting people to come to Church and eventually lead them to Christ. But I can tell you, our little Church on the hill, is "Richer" and more fruitful. A "Rich Christian" perhaps isn't defined by their level of income after all?

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  6. Man, that's a tough question, especially since a lot of the rich Christians in our churches are also the power-brokers of the church, and that is frustrating.

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What do you think?