Christian, Inspirational

A Prettier Pan

Is it easier to give at a building? Is it easier to give to someone on television? Are these things easier than giving to someone on the street?

James 2:2-4 KJV For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; [3] And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: [4] Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

Cant these verses apply to giving as well? When certain men panhandle for thousands or even millions of dollars and begrudge the man on the street ten or twenty dollars it gets under my skin. See my previous post.

In that post, I also stated that we should be prepared to exam all things that occur in our churches. We should be aware of the history of giving at churches and how our money is spent. To just tell ourselves we are giving to God may be irresponsible.

The early tabernacle of the Lord began with Moses and the Jews after leaving Egypt. Offerings were made for sin and the tithe was often of first fruits. What did this mean? The Levites had food to eat and were supported by the larger group of Israelites. The job of the Levites was care, upkeep, and transportation of the Tabernacle. When the Israelites later built a temple and moved into the promised land these same practices were followed similarly. The Levites were given land and divided among the various cities. They had rotating duties at the Temple.

What does this mean today since the Temple of God no longer exists? When you contribute at the modern church you pay for the support of the preacher and the maintenance of the Church building. 

Things you should know and question. What is the preacher paid? Does the preacher consistently preach the truth? After paying the salary of the preacher and building expenses how much is left? How much of the money you give on Sunday actually goes to charitable purposes, i.e. the poor or missions?

The Church of Christ denomination claims biblical support of all they do. Since they claim we only follow the New Testament this biblical basis should be found in the New Testament. Their biblical claim for passing the plate every Sunday is 1 Corinthians 16:2 KJV Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

What they ignore is context. This instruction was given by Paul to collect an offering to give to the saints at Jerusalem. It was not and is not an instruction to modern churches to take an offering every Sunday.

It’s your money, when you give be aware of where it might do the most good. Giving directly to the poor should never be frowned upon. It might mean survival to that person. It might mean their only meal that day.

When giving to your church or a charity be aware of administrative fees. How much of your money actually reaches the intended recipient?

A handy tool for charities is charitynavigator.org. At your local church you may have to ask for a copy of their budget.

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Christian, Inspirational

A Giving Heart

Yesterday on 700 Club there was a woman who asked if she should give to people on the street or if she should give $10 or $20 to whomever asks?

The response from Pat Robertson I have heard from preachers before. Don’t. There are panhandlers in every city and all you are likely doing is enabling their drug habit.

To Mr. Robertson and those supposedly righteous men, I say hypocrites. Your giving pays Pat Robertson’s or your Preacher’s salary. They don’t mind panhandling themselves, to the tune of millions, but they want to hurt people on the street where your charitable giving may do the most good?

Organizations like the 700 Club have administrative fees. These fees pay the salaries of the hosts, the production team, building expenses, etc. This occurs the same in churches and usually is done before charitable giving.

It’s your money, but don’t be afraid to help those that could be in greatest need because of what they may or may not do with your offering.

I think the poor are often marginalized to psychiatric facilities, jails, and to places unseen. 

When else will you have a chance to help the needy, except they ask. Jesus said in Matthew 5:42 KJV Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

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Christian, Inspirational

Denominational Deafness

I am of the opinion that most people, like myself, attend church based on parental influence. It’s hard to leave a group you’ve known since childhood. The Church of Christ I attend is given over to denominational deafness. They are no different than thousands of other churches. At the base level I think people pay for what they like to hear, comfortable words.

When people would not hear Jesus, he bluntly told them they could not hear because their father was the Devil. He said, if your father were God, you would hear me. John 8:43-47. I am not Jesus to say this of someone, but I wonder greatly. If a person is partially deaf to the truth, does that show they have given room to the Devil? What level of deafness can cause loss of salvation?

The following ways to fight deafness are crucial.

Question the actions that occur at your denomination. Are they biblical? Is their scriptural interpretation accurate?

There are only two ways that I know of to answer these questions. Study and prayer. Read the Holy Bible on your own and pray for wisdom that you may understand it.

Acts 17:11 KJV … they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

James 1:5 KJV If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

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Inspirational

Power of God

2 Timothy 3:5 KJV Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

This verse I think describes many churches. They sing psalms, they pray, they offer the Lord’s Supper, but do they believe in the power of God?

The following are a few things I have heard and observed at the Church of Christ I attend:

Miracles are ended because Jesus is perfect and he has already come. 1 Corinthians 13:10. This is misinterpretation and contrary to James 5:14-15 that tells us God will do miracles in the Church if you follow his word with performance.

I believe perfection of a man occurs only in Christ. He can provide the strength to help us be sinless. Philippians 4:13 Yet, a member did not believe Christ could help us walk perfectly.  I say believe. His intent in dying was to show us how to live.

When discussing the gift of wisdom, one member said God grants it through study not miraculously. I do not say do not study, but the Bible says in James 1:5 the Lord giveth wisdom to those that ask. Therefore ask and believe.

The preacher once said of God when he said he hardened Pharaoh’s heart it doesn’t actually mean God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, but rather Pharaoh set his mind against the Lord. Why do you doubt scripture? Why argue against the Lord? If the Holy Bible speaks, listen. Your own interpretation is not better. If you cannot believe God has the power to harden a man’s heart and to heal, do you really truly believe God has the power to Save? Or sadly are you just going through the motions? Does your church have the form of godliness, but not truly believe in God’s power?

I say again to you and to me Believe!

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Christian, Inspirational

Hurdles

I have had a few conversations recently that disturbed me. One was that all Catholics are going to Hell. The other was that unless you’re Church of Christ you’re unrighteous.

My viewpoint is that God’s chosen, Christ’s Bride will be taken from among various denominations. These chosen are people that learn the Word and follow it. Nonetheless there are people attending certain denominations which have greater hurdles to overcome to be among those going to Heaven.

Catholics – The greatest challenge is proper baptism. Sprinkling water on babies or baptizing children with no understanding does nothing. Children must be able to understand who Jesus is. Repenting of their sins requires knowledge of sin. Proper baptism is confession of Jesus as Christ, repentance of sin, and being completely immersed in water, or baptized, by another in the name of Jesus or in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Another concern is praying to Saints and Angels instead of Jesus only. Confession is appropriate, but penance in the form of repeating prayers is not scriptural.

Church of Christ – Believing in the power of God and discerning the law of Jesus. They misinterpret 1 Corinthians 13:10 to mean an end of miracles. They cannot read New Testament commands such as those found in Corinthians. Additionally, they do not understand the Lord’s Prayer, nor can they see that all the Ten Commandments are still to be followed.

Baptist – Again baptism is an issue. From my understanding they consider it a public profession of Christ. It is more than that. It is being baptized into the family of Christ and being forgiven of previous sins by his blood. They also do not offer the Lord’s Supper every Sunday.

Mormon – I am convinced there are decent Mormons, but they face a large hurdle. They follow a false prophet and a false book. I think to obtain salvation their best course would be to leave the Mormon Church.

I realize there are many more denominations, but one of the hurdles listed above probably applies.  It bothers me greatly that one denomination or preacher should say to all others – we are going to Heaven and everyone else is going to Hell. Take a good long look in the mirror. To those that have shall be given more. To those that have not, even what they think they have shall be taken away.

I do not know if people with partial deafness can make it to Heaven. Remember 1 John 1:9. It is the only opportunity for forgiveness after receiving water baptism. When you find the strength correct others with the Word. Hearing comes by the Word of God. If they do not listen, you did your part and yet remains James 5:20!

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Christian, Inspirational

Stumblingblock

1 Corinthians 1:22-23 KJV For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: [23] But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

Why is Christ a stumblingblock unto the Jew?

The Jews largely do not believe Jesus is the Messiah, they do not believe he is the only begotten Son of God. They believe in their hubris they can approach God the Father without the Son.

The good news: Romans 11:26 KJV And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

I think soon Israel will realize their error and come to Jesus in mass. The only questions left are who will lead them to the truth and when will it occur?

Acts 4:10-12 KJV Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. [11] This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. [12] Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

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Christian, Inspirational

Brotherhood

What is Brotherhood? Is it really about DNA?

I watch a lot of TBN as most of my readers probably already know. One preacher is asking for money to build a retirement home for Haulocaust survivors in Israel another is doing DNA tests to verify Jewish ancestry of tribes in Africa. Are Jews really are brothers and sisters? If you are a Christian they are – if they are likewise followers of Jesus.

Paul said in Romans 9:6 KJV … For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel… .

He also said in 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 KJV For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. [13] For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Frankly I think supporting family and fellow Christians in the U.S.A. would be more appropriate than helping non-believers. I also think Jews only allowing Jews to immigrate to Israel and seeking fellow Jews out by DNA is bigotry and discrimination.

Brotherhood – the brotherhood that matters – the eternal brotherhood is only found in Christ.


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