When reading the scriptures, there’s a tendency to see our self as the good guy in the story and mock the bad guy for his stupidity. But I don’t think that’s why the Lord gives us scripture. He doesn’t want us to ignore the warning and see it as the defect of someone else.
I’ve been thinking about what it means to care for each other and care for the poor. I’ve been asking God questions about a few of the scriptures I’m reading, “They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries.” 2 Nephi 28:13 Who is He talking about? Is he talking to me?
It doesn’t look like He excludes anyone from this chastisement, so we can’t say, “Well, he might be talking about all those other churches, but he isn’t talking about the church I attend,” but He says, “Yea, they have all gone out of the way; they have become corrupted.” 2 Nephi 28:11
Where did Christ teach one of his greatest sermons? “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them . . .” Matthew 5-7 Is the setting of the Sermon on the Mount an important part of the lessons taught on the Mount?
I looked on the Internet for some pictures of churches. There are a lot of beautiful church buildings. There are even some mega churches that seat thousands of people.
Although I’ve never attended a church service in a mega church, I’ve watched their services on TV. When I was exercising at the gym, I found it helpful to watch something on TV rather than think about how tired my body was getting. I found a few good Christian TV shows that I really liked. They had an entertaining way of bringing the Bible to life. Although I didn’t agree with everything they said, I found a lot of truth in what they said.
These Mega churches can do a lot of good, but back to fine sanctuaries robbing the poor. What’s that all about?
Here are a few excerpts from articles on mega churches:
- “These churches are reaching out to rich suburbia and playing into the entertainment-crazed culture we live in. Rather than reaching out to the lowest of lows like Christ and trying to make them feel comfortable . . .
Christians are giving loads of money to these mega-churches and I think that is good too. So my first question asks if these large institutions are honoring God with their money as best as they can? They have obviously been blessed more than most churches and therefore have a greater responsibility. I would say that less money should be spent on flashing lights into my eyes and video cameras and more should be spent on giving clean water to African communities . . .
- The question I always ask myself when going to a new area and finding a new community of believers to get plugged in with is, “where would Jesus go to church if he lived in ______”. I just always get this feeling that He would want it to just be simple.” Oh the Mega Church
“You may have heard last year that Bill Hybels, pastor of one of the nation’s biggest churches in Chicago, announced that after receiving market research on it’s congregation (which is crazy that a church is paying thousands of dollars for market research…), most people were not becoming devoted followers of Christ . . .
What happens when we have this “excellence” in churches? It becomes a 55 minute Jesus-show rather than a time of coming together to serve and learn about Christ . . .
So how do these mega-churches respond to this criticism? They rely entirely on small groups. And they run these small groups very well. They use solid content and use creative means. I mean heck, if you can invest $73 million in a building that is the largest theater in the nation, you can find some people to make some good, freakin’ small groups.Photo Source
They use their Sunday mornings as “outreach”, mainly focusing on sharing the Gospel, but talking about different things too. Wednesday is for your actual “going deeper” time – in depth Bible studies and actual songs that are directly to God . . . If you have kids, they probably meet on a different night, and then you have your small group night. That ends up being 4 gatherings at church per week, and that is if you are not volunteering for some other ministry! That’s a heck of a lot of a time commitment.
Rather than giving your money towards a huge, new, and beautiful facility, what if you gave towards a greater need in the world? What if rather than spending 4 nights a week at every gathering offered by the church, you actually made a weekly visit to the local homeless ministry or went every Wednesday night to a nursing home and developed relationships with the elderly?” The Manifestation of “Excellence” in Churches
God has asked us to pay tithes and offerings, and most Christians give some kind of offering to the church they attend. Malachi 3:8-10 So how does the Lord want us to spend the money?