Usually, I like to steer clear of controversial topics; however, I find that this one leaves me unsettled to the point I must blog about it.
It should be no secret that Pastor Creflo Dollar of World Changers Ministries has asked his congregation to provide an offering of $300 or more towards the purchase of a Gulfstream G650 jet. ( http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/16/opinions/posner-creflo-dollar-gulfstream/) There have been parties who oppose the idea while others support it. Here are my thoughts.
- The church (Body of Christ) are not “executors of estate” or a Ponzi Scheme for a pastor’s luxury item. We are called to exercise proper stewardship. That entails ensuring that your needs and that of your household are taken cared of FIRST. Paul gave Timothy various instructions and he stated, “…if any provide not for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Timothy 5:8) In other words, you are no better than one who does not believe the gospel.
- Pastors are servants, just like every member of the Body of Christ. They are not better than you nor do they hold some special kind of anointing because of the title pastor. They are your fellow servants, not God or Lord over the flock of God.
They are not Pentecostal celebrities of whom we should give undying, unwavering loyalty. In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John was about “to worship before the feet of the angel which showed [him certain things but the angel said to him], ‘See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.’ “(Revelation 22:8)
- The concept of provision is always unfolding in the bible and is in accordance to God’s sovereignty. We have Naomi returning back to Bethlehem for sustenance. (Ruth) Joseph being sent to Egypt in chains was released by Pharoah to rule over his people and provide for Israel in the time of famine. (Psalm 105: 17-23) God providing manna in the wilderness for over 650,000 men, excluding women and children. (Exodus) And the biblical list is endless.
In other words, if it is not within your means, there are no opportunities granting access, and the Lord doesn’t permit it, then it is not meant for you to have.
- This goes back to my first point. Your household comes first, not the church or anything related to the church. The church is God’s responsibility, not yours so never feel pressured to give any financial contribution under the “message of faith.” There are plenty of biblical examples of church members supporting the needs of others, and while we are supposed to do this, we cannot give out of what we do not have. The order is this: God, your household, and then if you are able, contribute to worthy causes of which minister to the needs of church members first and then the community. Never put your mortgage aside and give a “love offering” because the building fund needs a few more hundred dollars, and never compromise your family for ministering in the “name of the Lord.” Because if you do, you have lost respect from those who matter the most and your witness means absolutely nothing.
- Use discernment and good ole common sense. Many times in the faith community we over spiritualize and under analyze. When it comes to the “needs” of the pastor, we will reason, he/she is the “Man/Woman of God” doing the work of the ministry. In reality, he/she is one person(member) relying upon many members to minister to the needs of people. First, as a servant that is our reasonable service. That is what we are supposed to do. We get no gold star from Jesus for that. Second, God does not rely upon modes of transportation. It is the work of the Holy Spirit through the body of Christ that performs the work of the ministry to edify the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12) We are blessed and fortunate that he wants to use us to promote the gospel of the kingdom. Third, we are called to serve one another in love, not place those who hold administrative/pastoral positions to live like “big ballers and shot callers.”
Of which leads me to my point about under analyzing. To justify a $65 million jet, many have compared pastors to celebrities, i.e. rap artists. This is an unfair comparison. Not because of the nature of the work or service, but because God never compares his bride to a harlot. The two are different. God calls the church to himself, meaning she is sanctified and holy. A harlot is not set apart for God’s purposes. Besides, we are never to compare as it is an unwise practice.
Let us see this for what it really is. A rerun of another “minister of God” trying to build a kingdom on earth. Wake up church!