2 Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry".

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I guess God doesn't love Living Word Christian Center?

From WCCO:
Financial Woes Force Church To Sell Private Jet
BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (AP) ― Dwindling donations to the Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park have prompted its high-profile pastor, Mac Hammond, to put his private business jet on the market.

Church spokesman the Rev. Brian Sullivan says Living Word has also cut its hourlong Sunday morning television broadcast to 30 minutes to save money.

He says the church has fallen $40,000 to $70,000 short of its weekly budget in recent weeks. Sullivan says the church is adjusting its budget accordingly.

Sullivan says the church's problems could be a combination of the recession and the recent bad publicity about churches preaching the "Prosperity Gospel."

The prosperity churches are based on the idea that success in business or personal life is evidence of God's love.

Late last year, the U.S. Senate asked six churches to submit financial documents because of complaints about the lavish lifestyles of their ministers. Hammond was not among them.

Sullivan says the church is aggressively marketing the jet, and that the money raised from the sale would be reinvested in the ministry.

I'm sorry, but didn't Jesus say that we would be persecuted? Did Jesus have a place to lay his head, a place to call home? Didn't He call his disciples away from their nets to follow him? To leave their plow behind? Didn't he tell the rich young ruler to sell everything he possessed and to come follow Him?

Does picking up the cross and following Jesus Christ mean that we are supposed to be healthy, wealthy, and comfortable? Or are we supposed to count all things dung but the knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ? Aren't we supposed count all things loss ? Where did this humanistic gospel of comfort come from, but from the pits of Hell? 

I guess by their own theology, the evidence presented that they have to sell their plane and that they have to cut their air time that God must not love them. How God must hate those in Muslim nations that are being murdered for possessing a Bible, how He must despise those being dragged  by the Hindu militants from their homes because they desire to pray! How God must really hate the Chinese Christians who must knit together pieces of Bibles in order to have the Word of God! How God must despise those being killed all over the world today because of their faith in Jesus Christ, those engaged in the civil war in Kenya who are killed for their faith in Jesus. In fact, God must hate 2/3 of the world who live in abject poverty. 

What could that $40,000-$70,000 weekly shortfall do in the world? In Haiti, it could double the annual income for 400 people. It could build and stock a medical clinic where the Gospel could be spread in Indonesia. In Cambodia, it could buy 40-80 young girls out of the sex trade- and this is per week! That money could demonstrate to poor, homeless, and sick people all over the world the love of God.  You could pay 3-4 church planters in America a starting annual salary every month so that the Gospel could be proclaimed here in America! Of course, none of these suggestions have to do with prosperity, just practical uses of wealth that could spread the good news all over the world. 

Of course, it is more important to finance a coffee shop, heat and air conditioning, a real nice studio/sanctuary, great electronic equipment, marble floors and columns, and a publishing house. Is it really important to encourage Christian hedonism by having a rocking nightclub where First Avenue used to be? There are many things you could downsize and make a better Gospel impact on the world, but that would not be a demonstration of your kingdom to the world, it would be a demonstration of God's kingdom. After all, isn't that what we are supposed to promote?


jazzact13 said...

Ok, I'll bite...

First, good points about the shallowness of wof thought, and how it isn't faithful to Christ's teachings.

And it's a good point as well about how much of what some churches do with their funds may well be worth rethinking. I'm not going to go so far as to condemn if I think they are a church trying to be faithful, though, because those aren't decisions I think I am fit to judge.

I don't want wealth to be some kind of measure of God's love, but that goes for both having it and not having it.

Corey said...

Finally! Something we agree on! I would take slight issue with the Club 3 Degrees slam...I think the idea has merit, though I don't think they execute it very well.

REB said...

Never fear, they are bringing the Copelands in this week. Everyone knows that the Copelands preach $alvation to the poor.

$eeds will be sown, and souls will be $aved!

Pastorboy said...

"I don't want wealth to be some kind of measure of God's love, but that goes for both having it and not having it."

Amen, Jazz, thats my point. I was saying that, by their own theology, God must not love them. As far as judging how a church spends money, you oughtta see this place (I have been there) On the outside, it looks like a warehouse, but on the inside it looks like the Taj Majal.