This blog was written a year ago right before hurricane Ike wiped out the city of Galveston and other areas of Texas. To this day, there has never been even one tenth of the outpouring of assistance and compassionate aid for the victims of all the storms last year compared to Katrina four years ago. God help us if there was another Katrina type of catastrophe now for there would hardly be any help at all except by the government. I don't know why I was inspired to drag this blog out of the vault, but I did.
Blessings 2 You
Pardon me while I vent. Sometimes I just want to climb up on the roof and scream with every ounce of my strength. The frustration level reaches a point where I want to pull what remains of my hair out of my scalp. I simply cannot believe the insensitivity, the calloused indifference and flat out apathy which has hijacked Christianity and rendered it a useless religion void of compassion and any true expression of love.
Numerous attempts have been made by some of us to alert believers scattered around this nation to the ever increasing suffering being thrust upon our brothers and sisters through economic hard times and natural disasters. Instead of Christians rallying to help each other, there is more and more finger pointing and hiding taking place. This attitude must stop or the consequences will be dire.
Christianity if far more than dressing up in nice clothes on Sundays (or Saturday nights) and sitting in a building singing songs and listening to yet another hour long teaching. This is nothing but religion and flies in the face of what our Lord Jesus Christ taught regarding compassionately reaching out to others. Churches and groups who are only interested in themselves are guilty of selfishness and that self serving attitude will in due time render them a spiritual wasteland.
While very wealthy Christians seem to have enough money to buy yet more and more "things", they barely give enough to qualify as charitable giving. These same people will talk about how much they give to the United Way and other secular charities but then never consider giving anything to a small Christian charity trying to carry out the Lord's commands.
Christians think nothing of giving hundreds of dollars per week to their church, not having a clue where the money goes, yet will turn the other way when asked to help a Christian charity honestly helping people. Christians will drop a thousand dollar check in the building fund offering and a one dollar bill in the food drive offering.
Where is the love in all this? It seems to me that Christianity has turned into just another "look at me" religion instead of the "it's all about you" ministry it is supposed to be. Christians would rather sit around discussing theology than ever get out and lift a finger to help anyone in a desperate situation. The attitude of "let someone else do it" has infiltrated and taken hold among Christian groups to the point charitable giving is almost non-existent.
I have heard all the excuses about "being especially good to the household of faith" and how gifts and offerings are to go to pay the salaries of the leaders and the bills of the church etc. What happened to the heart of giving? What happened to the giving of alms? What happened to diverting some of the finances to something outside of the local needs of the church?
"Oh, but we give to worldwide missionary outreach". Do you have a clue where the money goes? "We give to a consortium of groups". Do you have a clue where the money goes? "We don't care where it goes, we are only responsible to give". Where does that fit with being good stewards and where is that in the Bible?
I think it is high time for Christians to wake up and realize that their personal giving is just that. GIVING, with no strings attached to whoever is doing the Lord's work and will. Christianity is more than just church services and meetings, and more meetings and everything else that drains the budgets of most groups. Unless Christian groups start giving outside of themselves to others in need, their group will stagnate and fail. The same holds true for individuals.
I simply cannot believe what I have heard, read and seen the past two weeks as I have attempted to find funds to help groups helping in disaster relief down south. NO ONE has any spare money to give. Every single person has every single penny spoken for already. The honest truth is no one wants to sacrifice one Coke per day or anything else to find the extra few dollars to help someone else. Funny how people always find the money to eat out at expensive restaurants, go to expensive movies or sporting events, buy new plasma televisions, go on vacations and million and one other things which feed the "its all about me" monster; yet cannot find a few dollars to help those helping people devastated by natural storms or personal disasters.
As I said at the beginning, I am ready to explode. I have worked my tail off the past two weeks doing research, communicating with associates and writing blogs all over the internet about the three hurricanes we have seen in September. I have just spent the past three days working with others trying to get the news out that Ike IS the storm of the century and to not underestimate it. We are all very frustrated because people don't want to hear about anything that isn't going to "bless them".
Hey, sometimes there are things that come up in this life that don't "bless us". The event we remembered yesterday that took place in 2001 was not a "blessing". Bad things happen to everyone sooner or later and when they do, everyone needs support and help to make it through. If Christians close up their wallets and shut up their bowels of compassion, then people are going to suffer and end up turning to the government or unbelievers for help. That is not how God wants things to be.
I am fully aware that people like me get under the skin of many Christians with my constant harping on the need to give to those who are suffering. I have been called the "hemorrhoid" on the Body of Christ among other things. I don't care what people call me, I only want to do whatever I can to reach out and help others in their time of need. That is what true Christianity is supposed to be about. Christianity was never supposed to be a selfish "Me, Me" religion. It is supposed to be all about "what can I do for you?" and "how can I help YOU".
Dear B-T-Y, I just had to get a copy of this blog. I think its and outstanding peice of work, worthy of study and admonition. The baal-bi-lonian religion that focuses on the self is alive and well and it's all for me and show. I couldn't add to much to what you've said, I just pray to God someone hears and heeds what you say. May God have everlasting dominion. Amen.
Far too often we lump tithes and offerings together in our minds. We [b]pay[/b] tithes and [b]give[/b] offerings. While some on this site seem to think to think that [i]all[/i] pastors are "fat, lazy cats" who are stealing money, I have to confess that has not been my experience. Far too often I've seen pastors doing most if not all of the work while the congregation cheers them on. These faithful ministers often have to take on an additional one or two jobs because congregations are tight-fisted and figure God will provide for these pastors somehow and that they don't merit our support. Shame on us!
We throw our dollar in the offering plate once a week and pat ourselves on the back in regards to our generosity. Then we head for our $500,000.00+ homes driving our $30,000.00 vehicles and settle down with our expensive "toys". We zoom off on expensive vacations, run up huge credit card debts and moan about how hard things are for us financially. If things weren't so tight, we'd give more. Shame on us!
God has blessed us abundantly and adopted us as his own dear children. We have access to all of his riches in glory and yet we prefer to cling to that which will pass away.
If you really want to [b]truly[/b] live a strong, joyous and victorious life, share what you have with other! You'll be glad you did.
Great blog, B2Y! Thanks for this important reminder.
My heart is with you on this one Brother - Amen and Amen !!!
I don't remember Jesus saying go and build a fancy house for just christains - I do remember him sayiny to feed the widowed and the homeless -and to give unto your neighbor and you know what else -he said give expecting nothing in return!! Wow what ever happend to those ideas??!!