For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. -- 1Timothy 6: 10 (ESV)
Perhaps there are not many things more disheartening than watching Christians, perhaps well intended, shaming other Christians because of the way the world operates. The above link is to a recent article entitled "Blowing the Lid Off This Spiritual Warfare Myth." I remember clicking with excitement wondering if we were going to get into the false teachings of prophetic prayer, or touch not my anointed. Disappointingly, it was about many Christian leaders' favorite topic -- money. It is why I chose the key verse today. We live in a country of excess and pastors want in on the benefits. The problem is simple. The majority of churchgoers today are unsaved, unrepentant goats who have been falsely converted through the Purpose Driven and Seeker Friendly church growth schemes of the past 30 years. They are in fact the very people who will say Lord Lord in Matthew 7. As such, the things of God remain foolishness to them, including giving to the work of the kingdom. They are however transactional as the world is accustomed to be. They hear good music and an uplifting message and they are more than happy to throw a couple dollars in the bucket when it passes. The problem is that is not enough to fund the purpose driven dreams of the leadership. Invariably, many leaders will fall back to unbiblical practices like a forced tithing program but still only about 10 percent will comply with that. Some will get downright vile like Robert Morris of Gateway Church who teaches that God curses all of your money if you do not tithe the first ten percent to him! Forget paying that medical bill or delinquent electric bill! Pay me first! While these are subjects that can fill a book, and I have, the above link deals with a different financial topic, debt. Let us reason together through this short article and see what God really has to say:
"In the ministry over the years I have heard people say things pertaining to their lack of giving to church like, "I am experiencing severe spiritual warfare over my finances ... I can't give to the ministry because the devil is attacking my money..." And I remember someone telling me that their credit card debt was a spiritual attack! Most debt is not spiritual warfare. Unless your money was stolen or unlawfully seized or there was a personal emergency, debt is being unwise with the resources God provided. Debt is the result of bad spending habits. Debt would not be incurred if we budgeted, using self-discipline and delayed gratification." -- Jared Laskey
Gee, I wonder where they could get the idea that everything is related to some super spiritual realm? People do not wake up one day and start blaming the devil -- they are taught this by Christian leadership. To make matters worse, many in leadership pick and choose what to over spiritualize and what not to based on carnal needs. I remember once at my old church the new senior pastor refused to admit the slightest spiritual involvement in the recent suicide of a church employee when asked by a congregant and friend. Yet the following week he led the congregation in prayer because the devil was causing his friend to be unable to sell his house, which would free him up to move and work on his staff. So the devil is in real estate apparently but not involved at all with what the world refers to as mental illness. Right.
Now, while I agree with Laskey that the over-spiritualization of debt is probably a poor excuse but it reveals the heart of Laskey. This is what he leads with. Why can't you give to my church/ministry? He also seems to gloss over the "personal emergency" aspect of debt. A recent study concluded that 75% of people with debt indicated medical expenses as being a part of their problem. A different study revealed that 62% of all bankruptcies are due to medical expenses. The rest of this paragraph is just filled with poor and downright mean assumptions:
Debt is being unwise with the resources God has provided
Debt is the result of bad spending habits