|by Brian Yeager
It is shameful that many in the body of Christ place such an importance upon financial status. Yet, we can see that there are many whom do just that. It was not long ago that I heard this statement: "...we have had a wealthy family place membership here, and that should help us tremendously in the contribution. I just hope that we can keep them happy." We should not be examining the financial profits that a congregation can receive by having wealthy members. God feels that we should be looking at the righteousness of individuals and not their pocket books. (Leviticus 19:15) "Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour." The idea in our minds should not be the financial worth of an individual but rather the worth of that person's soul.
In the book of Luke and the twelfth chapter Christ warns us of worrying about worldly wealth. (Luke 12:15) "And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." Christ tells us that a man's life is not possessions. He goes on in this same chapter to state that the body is more than the clothing. (Luke 12:22-23) "And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment." When a congregation starts to place the status of a person(s) above the truth and they start to depend heavily upon the financial resources of a group or individuals they will start pleasing those individuals. The congregation will become dependent upon that resource. The leaders will follow. Then we become servants of man rather than the Lord. (Galatians 1:10) "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."
Often times we overlook the powerful lessons taught in James chapter two. Let's look at one of them. (James 2:1-3) "My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool."
God warns us not to allow ourselves to exalt the rich. We should not allow "special treatment" for anyone regardless of that person's wealth. We know that God does not have a special treatment policy. (Acts 10:34) "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons."
The simple truth is that the body (Church) is made up of ALL the members. There is no class division. (I Corinthians 12:12) "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ." The widow is just as important as the rich family. We need to sometimes review the fact that Christ died for all mankind! (John 3:16) "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." We need to keep in mind that it is not what someone can give that saves the soul, it is what Christ gave! He died for all. He became poor that we could be rich. (II Corinthians 8:9) "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich." We are told to preach the Gospel to all (Mark 16:15-16 and Matthew 28:19). We are all rich, because Christ died that we might live!!!
The problem with this doctrine is that it is obviously not of God. We know that things men want are not pleasing to God. Paul by inspiration stated that if he were a pleaser of men he could not be a pleaser of God. (Galatians 1:10) "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." It is obvious based on the Bible that this is a doctrine of men and not of God. Again, we must remember the words of Paul we cannot serve man and please God at the same time!
The last problem with this doctrine is that an adult would have to teach the children. The adult then would not be present in the worship to God, nor would he be listening as some have to in a nursery, but would be having a split assembly. This would violate God's law. (Hebrews 10:25) "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
Copyright © 2000 by Brian Yeager
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