Sometime in the coming weeks a Facebook firestorm will ensue when a well known minister purchases a new home, is seen driving an expensive car or starts asking for financial help from their partners to fund a big project.
As a matter of fact, we haven’t had one of these in a couple of months so we are probably due one any day now. Before it arrives, I want to go on record…
I don’t care.
Let me rephrase that. It doesn’t move the needle for me when a person in ministry has wealth or has very nice things. It doesn’t cause me to want to teach whatever they are teaching so I can benefit the same, nor does it cause me to rise up in indignation. That person, and what they do, has absolutely no bearing on my life.
I remember when Steven Furtick’s house was scrutinized…Joel Osteen’s…Creflo’s jet…I’ve even seen one of our local Assembly of God churches be ridiculed because they have incredible facilities that “costs too much”.
The retorts, and faux rage are always the same…
“That is a bad reflection on the church.”
I hear what you are saying, but I think cannibalizing one another on social media is a bad look too. Not to mention the fact that it is Jesus’ Church, and He is more than capable of handling issues of greed as He sees fit.
“That money could have been used to feed the hungry and bless the poor.”
To that I would respond, how do you know that they aren’t lavish in their generosity in feeding the hungry? An even better follow-up question…what percentage of your income do YOU give to feeding the hungry? Why are the wealthy held to a higher standard than the average? What do we actually know about their finances that isn’t based on assumption and the oh so accurate internet? Why do we presume the person ignores the needs of others?
Personally, when I start sensing a critical attitude rising up toward those with much, I generally try to consider that my context matters. The same scriptural tone about money that applies to “them”, applies to me. The context of “their” finances may be different than mine, but the expectations and heart of scripture does not change with the amount of money owned.
I am fascinated by Christians who are capitalists when it comes to financial policies in our government, but then we become socialists when it comes to the wealthy in the church. The idea of others “living off us” because the government “takes our money” is offensive to many. Many of those offended in that instance, turn around and demand that a wealthy minister should give all their money away to help others. (Ouch…Did I really just type that?)
In case you would take that last paragraph and jump to an inaccurate conclusion, let me be clear…I’m not advocating for socialism. I simply want to point out how often we are quick to rush to a strong judgment without considering where we fit in the narrative.
What is my point in all of this?
- Don’t make assumptions about people’s motives and actions. It’s unbecoming of a person who lives in a land called grace.
- Don’t get so caught up in what other people have, and what they are doing with what they have. It really doesn’t concern us. This isn’t just applicable to wealthy ministers. It’s also applicable to all the people who own nicer cars than ours in the pick-up line at our kids’ school.
- Before jumping in with a strong opinion, we would be wise to make sure our opinion does not contradict some part of our life. If you look in society, most of the “world’s” beef with Christians is not that we have an opinion…it’s that there are other parts of our life, and other ideas we have, that are incongruent with the opinion.
- I genuinely pray the Lord brings abundant provision to your life. You having much doesn’t diminish me…and it certainly isn’t capable of diminishing the Gospel.