Church and Money

Unfortunately money has become a taboo word in church.  It is associated with images of people in jets, mansions, and taking advantage of the poor as eternal life is dangled in front of them like a carrot.  It makes my heart sad.  As a result money is something we just don’t talk about in church.  It is personal.  You can talk to people about the Bible, their marriage, and even parenting, but don’t talk about money because that is crossing the line.

Scripture teaches us money is something we shouldn’t avoid talking about, but really it something that should become more common within the church.  Specifically there is a church in Modern Day Greece that is such an example that throughout the New Testament their giving is referenced as a picture of God’s grace.  Can you imagine money being something that is a picture of God’s grace?  We recently talked about money at North Village Church in the hopes that we can continue to grow in the direction of our church being a picture of God’s grace.

In our culture today we don’t see money as a picture of God’s grace, but more so the means by which we pursue security or pleasure. When we pursue security it means we like to save money and the more money we save the more secure we feel.  We love things like savings accounts, 401K’s, and Roth IRA’s, because it makes us feel secure.  If anything dreadful should happen in life, don’t worry, money will come to our rescue.  Sometimes it makes us feel so secure we will judge other people for not being more responsible with money. We will think to ourselves, “Didn’t they know better?” or  “Didn’t they have any self-control!”

For some of us money doesn’t point to security, but money points to pleasure.  We love having money because it means we get to have fun.  These people are great friends.  They love to go out to eat, go on vacations, go shopping and they love spending money.  For them the credit card was the greatest invention.  Sometimes money will bring us so much pleasure they will look down on people for not living in the moment and having a good time, because after all you only live once!

Now what is really fun is when these two people get married.  One is pursuing security and one is pursuing pleasure, and they both get frustrated.  However, Scripture teaches us that money doesn’t point to security or pleasure, but to a picture of God’s grace.

What do you think of when you think of God’s grace?  Is it not His love when we deserve wrath?  Is it not forgiveness when we deserve judgment?  Is it not based on His character and not our merit?  It is at the cross that we see the clearest picture of His grace when a people who were created to be in eternal relationship with Him respond by rejecting Him and He responds by dying for offense at the cross.  Does He respond in grace because we were wise, responsible, kind, appreciative, fun loving…no.  We were just the opposite and yet He is immeasurably gracious.  It is that same grace that moved the Macedonian church to be gracious and it is that same grace that moves us to be gracious today.

The church isn’t the place that elevates pastors to luxury homes and jets to speak around the world, but it is the very avenue by which the life transforming truth is communicated to the world.  It simply is the place when the world is looking to God and asking, “Why isn’t anyone doing anything to help the people in world?” and God is looking to His church to be put on display and be a tangible picture of His grace.