Category Archives: Finances

A Note to the Purchaser

Neckless SalesmanRight now in life I am a salesman. Some people have myriad allergic reactions to the word “salesman.” Some of this is rightly deserved. But have you ever taken a moment to consider whether you are just as allergy-causing to the salesman.

This is by no means a gripe session. Rather, it is a call for Christians to be christianly in their purchasing habits. Day in day out I interact with people from so many backgrounds your head would spin. Some people come in my door thinking that I am wicked – this is before they have spoken a word. Their demeanor says everything. Others open up and tell me about how they are getting ready to divorce for infidelity.

To the one who hates the salesman: Consider that this salesman is performing a valid service to your community. In a world where cyberspace has crowded out human interaction. In a world where people are not challenged to buy something they thought they wanted. The salesman provides some kind of sanity in the consumer’s overly righteous, yet uninformed, way. The salesman provides flesh and blood instead of keys and buttons.

To the one who lays it out: even though it can be over the top, but perhaps this is society’s plea for humanity. Like the hemorrhaging woman who reached out in despair, so to the consumer who has had enough of automated prompts and pixelated faces reaches out to their closest friend – a human.

To the Christian: make sure you are purchasing in a way you would if your salesman was Jesus. Don’t say you’ll come back. Don’t ask for a card when you have no intention of calling the salesman. Have some backbone. Don’t be like the boy who wanted to bury his father, spouting lines to get any kind of decision on his part postponed. Realize that the person attempting to sell you a phone or a car or a television needs to feed his family. He is not a shark (always).

Enjoy interacting with humans. Pay the extra $20 in order to feed your neighbors kids. On-line is cheap, but so is the experience and the loving of neighbor. It requires no backbone on your part – read people-pleasing. It requires no sympathy, empathy, or any other emotion than just getting what you want.

Challenge yourself to buy as you would from Jesus. [Matt 25.40, 45; Heb 13.2)

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Jesus Helps Me Trick People

Purgatorio has a helpful summary of the Prosperity Gospel, which is no gospel at all! In case you’re wondering what I think of Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, etc. See the picture below:

trickpeople.jpg

And he quotes some of these folks:

Paula White “God has spoken to you and right now I want you to obey that God is speaking to send in a sacrificial seed. He’s telling you an instruction of the Lord, an illogical instruction. Well, Paula you don’t understand. I’m telling you, I need to be obedient to the Lord. Cause God even spoke to people, their vacation money, savings, CD’s, and investments and you looked at it and said, ‘But God, this is it.’ And God spoke to you and He told you to sow that into the kingdom of God. And when you obey, that which God has promised to you shall come to pass.”

Creflo Dollar “…First of all, we don’t have two Rolls-Royces. And secondly, the one Rolls-Royce that was purchased was purchased by the donors, or the members of the church, and it was a surprise to me.”

Kenneth CopelandKenneth Copeland speaks in front of his jet he told his ministry would not be used for anything “not becoming to you Lord Jesus.”

Benny Hinn “I place a curse on every man and every woman that would stretch his hand against this anointing; I curse that man who dares to speak a word against this ministry… ”

The Usual Suspects

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Nutshell Against Gambling

Las Vegas

This issue of The Towers had a helpful bit on a debate that Dr York had with former Governor of Kentucky, Brereton Jones. Here’s my favorite and puts the argument against legalized gambling in a bite-size chunk:

York drew attention to the negative effects of gambling, calling it “addictive behavior” and asserting that “it preys on the weakest people in society.” According to the most conservative estimates, approximately 25 percent of those who enter a casino have an annual household income of $30,000 or less, York noted.

“That is economic disaster,” he said. “That is money that’s not getting spent sometimes on necessities. What we’re doing is we’re saying that as government all we want is a piece of the money they’re losing. Our concern is simply that we get our piece of the cut, not what it does to those families, not what it does to their children.”

But Jones said the state’s main concern should be using people’s lost money to fund government projects.

Beggar“The money that’s being lost is Kentucky money,”
Jones said. “And if they’re going to lose it anyway, they need to lose it here as opposed to somewhere else.”

York called Jones’ argument as immoral and illogical.

“Governor, I find that morally reprehensible,” York responded. “To me, we might as well get into whorehouse business, we might as well get into drug business because those are vices too that people are going
to do anyway.”

In the end, Christians must realize that gambling is popular because it appeals to humans’ sinful greed, York said. He noted that the remedy for gambling is for believers in Jesus Christ to follow the admonition to love their neighbors.

“Let me say something to those people who call themselves Christians—and I know that’s not everyone,” he said. “But frankly, Jesus told us and the command is ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ You cannot claim that you love your neighbor as yourself and [that] you want to take his money from him. Gambling is based on getting somebody else’s money.”

“York squares off against former Ky. governor in televised gambling debate”

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Does Poverty in the USA Eliminate Action Elsewhere?

One more thing to add:

Someone may protest that we dare not go somewhere to stop a tyrannical ruler when thousands of people are starving here in the USA. I’m not so sure I buy this logic. Should we only take part in universal campaigns against wrong when the house is in order? When would that be? We better lock up our ports and hold off on international travel, then, so that we can focus our attention to our problems here.

Thoughts? Rebuttals? Rebukes?

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Giving and Manna

2 Cor 8.13 I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

        Before I mention anything, the first thing that must be secured in any church is the fact that devotion to Jesus is what giving is the result of. Verse 5 says that the Macedonians gave themselves first to the Lord, and then they gave their possessions to the brothers. Notice, they gave themselves and then their possessions. Themselves and then possessions. We must not start a sermon series on giving by saying that it is our Christian duty. NO! We must begin by urging people to be reconciled to God. To give themselves to God, first. Then, as they see what God sees, they will desire to make a difference.
        What is fascinating about this passage is that Paul equates giving to the needs of the Body to a miracle. Indeed, it is a miracle if we see people give anything! But notice the parallel between the one who abounds and the one who lacks to the manna in the wilderness. People were not sharing the manna with each other in the wilderness. They were commanded to gather only what was needed for their household. What is the connection that Paul sees?
        First, it is the fact that needs are met. There is no doubt about that that. Verse 14: so that their abundance may supply your need. When someone has and someone does not, there is a knee-jerk reaction in the heart of the believer. James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good* is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
        Second, the way which the need is met is incredible. Manna fell from heaven. It was given by the very hands of God. The need for food was met. In the Macedonian church, the need for food was met by the person who had food to give. This is not to draw a line between gifts given by God and those given by men. James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift is from above. Therefore, even the gift from a brother is from God. However, the mode by which it is met is astounding. Your hand is able to be the means God uses to meet another’ need – and vice-versa. Instead, of the man going out and gathering food off the grass (manna), your hand extends to his and he gathers from it!
        Oh! If the Church would believe this. We give ourselves first to God and then we give our stuff to others. This is true religion.

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