Interesting thought from a book written by Craig L. Blomberg on “A Christian View Of Possessions”, an academic, his expertise and fields of research are Economics and Hebrew he writes “More than a billion people out of the earth’s seven billion inhabitants live in desperate poverty. Natural disasters, war, corrupt governments, lack of education, human greed, disease, unfair trade laws, false religions all play their part in creating this situation. Conservatively, at least 200 million (1/5th) of these poor are Bible-believinng, born-again Christians”.
In taking on board his comments we today as Bible-beliveing Christians worldwide, heralding the coming of the Kingdom of God cannot see it as someone else’s responsibility be the answer, we must be part of the answer. The Kingdom of God is not only miracles and healing, if this is our only focus we will be distracted from the fuller gospel of the Kingdom.
He goes on to say that just in America, let alone the remaining world “…over the last 30 years Christians have changed their spending patterns…the amount of money spent on non-essentials as sports and recreation, lawn care, video and computer games, home entertainment centres, pets and dieting has skyrocketed. At the same time Christians per capital giving to causes of all kinds has steadily declined in the last 40 years from just under 4% of their total annual income to barely above 2%”.
He then delivers a punch with “…trend watchers have made two staggering calculations…firstly if every USA Christian simply tithed, the additional amount of money that would be raised above and beyond current giving levels would be enough to eradicate world poverty in our lifetime. Secondly the average age of major donors is now, for the first time ever, well over sixty-five. Current Christian work is being funded largely by retired people. Unless we change, in less than a generation the majority of ministries and good works will close their doors in reaching the poor.”
I write this with these thoughts, if we all saw the biblical, not tradition instruction on money, seeing the tithe as an answer not something to fight against, along with the biblical necessity of financial stewardship as part of a working answer perhaps a difference would dawn in our world. If the whole church tithed worldwide, not just Europe or the West, but the whole church, we could eradicate world debt in less than 15/20 years. What a powerful argument, of course we would need to agree to stop investing further in internal building programs, adding to men and women’s egos, running bigger and better and getting more cut of the Christian market share. We would need to distance our selves from the annual $7 billion Christian market but taking up the Apostolic & Biblical direction “never to forget the poor”. Truly this would be the Isaiah 2:2, 3 “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. 3 Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” It will not be governments of politic or polices but the people of God that will have dealt with world poverty, this is truly the Kingdom of God coming to earth!
Before you get the wrong idea I am certainly not against buildings or exiting programs as we reach our world far from it. However we are told that only 4/6% of the church worldwide actually tithes, and we all would admit the church downs amazing on that alone but the thought is not to affect existing budgets or support at all but just to apply the other 96/94% increase of giving and see what we can change?
Let us join and become the Kingdom heralding, called out people of God bring a world answer! Its time to truly study the scriptures and discover the real answers that has been outline there in about financial stewardship.