Wealth & the Church

One of the claims against Christians, and especially the church as a whole, is that they fail to heed Jesus’ instructions to the rick young ruler in the gospels.

“One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

It seems that modern Americans bypass this instruction based on it’s contextual differences. The person who was instructed to do this was quite wealthy. He was in a high position of authority. It is implied that he loves his riches, and we are none of the above. Or at least it seems…..

But whether or not we personally feel like we need to sell our wealth, does this or other NT principles apply to the church? After all, if the church is supposed to embody the kingdom message. That kingdom message, without a doubt, includes giving of itself. (Isaiah 1:17, Matt 6:19 etc.)

The riches of the Vatican are often cited as one example. The gold encrusted monstrances, tabernacle backdrops, cups, bowls, staffs, and other items all display the wealth of the Catholic church. But what about the protestants? Do we need to build giant mega churches? Pay pastors $200,000/year salaries to manage the herd? Is it proper use to money to build Christian empires in the name of Jesus? Or should that money go to help those in need?

 

Biblical Languages VS English

One of the topics that seems to have disappeared from seminary conversations is the need to study the original languages. This is more true of pastors than those training for PhD programs.

However, I do not believe the discussion should be a dead one just yet. I would like to know exactly what percentage of pastors who actually learned the original languages still use them in sermon preparations, and also what percentage of pastors learned them at all!

I personally have not gone to a church where the original languages are studied (excepting myself) and I am not sure I can even think of one in my area.

What are your thoughts?