It disturbs me that when churches need money they so quickly turn to non-Christians to get it.
Stereotypically, the roof needs fixing, so we have a church fair, or something like that where we flog off all our unwanted second hand goods, and bake cakes, and sell sausages, or whatever our particular ethnic equivalent is.
And we ask everyone who passes by to give us a few dollars so we can fix our roof.
Of course sometimes the cause is more noble than fixing a roof. But the principle is the same.
We say that we worship the one and only God. Creator of the universe. Saviour of people’s souls. The God of all power.
But our actions show that we do not believe that this all powerful God is able to get us the money we need to fix our roof - so we are coming to you non-Christians to try to get it instead.
Can you imagine Yeshua doing that?
Or the apostle Paulus? Petros? Anyone from the Bible?
In Acts we read that there was a famine in Jerusalem. And the Corinthians collected money to send to the Christians there who were suffering.
Do you think they had a church fair? Do you think they sold souvlaki or second hand urns?
Do you think they asked the non-Christians in Corinth for donations?
That’s not how it reads in the Bible is it. They had a collection. In the church. From Christians.
If you wanted to give, you put money in the box. Then they collected the money and delivered it to the Christians in Jerusalem.
And on a practical level these kind of church fairs don’t usually raise much money anyway. They take a LOT of work. Usually for a few hundred dollars. I feel certain that some of the wealthier Christians in the church could have donated that much themselves without any problem at all.
Of course it’s good that everyone wants to pitch in and help, and to do their bit. But if you really want to do something like that, then do it in the church. Don’t go begging from non-Christians.
We represent God. Are we saying that God is a bit short this week, so could you please give us a few bucks?
You should read the biographies of people like George Mueller, Hudson Taylor, Francis Schaeffer... These guys lived their lives with the principle that if God wants something done, then he will fund it. If he doesn’t fund it, then he doesn’t want it done.
These three in particular never asked non-Christians for money, and I even seem to remember one case where they specifically refused money from a non-Christian.
In fact, if they believed that they needed money for something, then they didn’t even ask other Christians for it, they just prayed for it.
And it always came.