Yesterday I came across another Christian blog of which I do not know the author. Rather than leave a comment and possibly cause him irritation, I decided to make my own post with regards to the subject this blogger was discussing.
The author of the blog (a guy who happens to be in ministry in his local Christian church) was asking the opinion of his readers about an article he had read on the Internet. Here’s what he says, “I found this article online and I wanted to see what people think about it. This church in Houston is raising money to build two 200 foot crosses right off I-45… I want to hear your thoughts but I’ll give you mine first since its my blog. I think it is a colossal waste of money. The pastor that wants to build it talked about how it would be marking a city for Jesus. There are so many things that could be done with that money and so many lives that could be changed. Maybe a few people have gotten ministered to by seeing a giant cross on the side of the road, but I’m pretty sure they are few and far between. In my opinion, this is one of the reasons why non-Christians don’t like Christians. Instead of doing something in the community to bless it and serve the under privileged or at least plant some churches or do something overseas, we build giant crosses.”
Okay, first of all, I Googled the article so I could verify this guy’s take on the article. After reading the account myself I felt like he misrepresented the intent of the pastor for the cross structures. I won’t take the time to list out the discrepancies—the article can be found here.
So here’s my beef: Whenever I hear Christians using their time to judge/determine what other churches/other Christians/other ministries “should” be doing with their money it makes me think of a few things but always I remember the story of Jesus and the woman in Bethany who used up all that rare and costly perfume to anoint Him while at dinner. (Mk 14, Jn 12, Matt 26).
Did that ever get the dander up of some of Jesus’ own disciples in the house that day! Moved with indignation they were sounding off about how the ointment “could have been sold” and what they “could have done with the money”! Here’s where they talk about how it “could have been given to the poor.” Only wait… Jesus shuts them down telling them to leave her alone. And further He says in a sort of “oh, and by the way” manner, “what she’s done will be remembered wherever the gospel is preached.”
So to me this indicates complete approval for her part in history which happened to “waste” expensive perfume on the Lord before His burial. But here’s the part I want to notice. Isn't it interesting the way people tend to all of a sudden get all mushy about the poor when it comes to judging how someone else spends their money. Jesus included this statement to them just in case they didn't fully understand, “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them.”
Okay, so my point is this… who are we to assume we have the right to read an article like this where fellow believers are making decisions with their own money (I mean no one had to give their money to that project if they didn’t agree with it) and determine if we think it is right or wrong?
Don’t we have better things to do, as fellow Christians, than pick on each other?
Jesus made it clear we would always have the poor AND we can do them good anytime we wish. That says to me we are to help the poor no matter how else we are spending our money. So we need to do both. We need to help the poor but it is also okay to build symbols of Christianity if that is what God tells us to do. I am not saying God told this pastor to do this but if He did, who are we to judge it? Who are we to judge if God did or didn’t tell him to build this structure? Every man will answer to God for everything we've done... or not done.
Why can’t we all mind our own business, do what we know WE are supposed to be doing for the kingdom and most importantly, if you don’t have something encouraging to say about fellow Christians, don’t say anything! Don’t Christians get enough ridicule from the media and the outside world without having to deal with our own brothers and sisters deciding from a distance whether a church in Houston is spending its (own) money like they should?