Thursday, April 02, 2009

Maybe I Should Let It Go

I hope this doesn't come across as a rant, because it is actually more of a bone I have been chewing for a lot of years as I am sure many Christians do. Money is hard to ignore as one forms their worldview and harder still if you are seated week after week in a local church. I don't know about you, but we are reminded every single Sunday for about five minutes before the plate (or in our case the planter.....seriously) is passed around. I assume that this is done just in case we have forgotten. Pretty hard to do when we are faced with its reality every day of our lives.
My thoughts on money have stomped around my head for a long while now and I found out how close they are getting to the surface when somebody poked that particular area of my "thought-o-sphere" yesterday. We were listening to a podcast from a church down in Simi Valley California and this guy was talking all about our finances and the kingdom in a way that I had never heard from a pulpit before. I actually cried as I listened because it was like hearing of a victory in a long fought battle that has raged to and fro for many years. VM day, so to speak. (Victory Money, right) If you want to listen to it you can download it at iTunes. Just go to the store and under podcasts do a search for Cornerstone Simi Valley, the message is the latest on and it is called "Living to Display the Gospel" by Francis Chan. My buddy at work said that he disagreed with most of what Francis was saying and that was all it took to get me going. I won't go into everything I said, because I am writing this before I head off to work, but the gist of it was that I am so tired of hearing us ask "How much is it OK for me to have?" instead of "How little is it OK for me to have?". Now you may say that the one word is just semantics, but is it really? That one word changes everything, doesn't it?
Please don't get me wrong here. I am not talking about tossing your wallet in a plate, or planter, every Sunday and walking out with a smile. I say that because, now I am going into the public confessional, I don't tithe. I haven't for years. If you want all the reasons why I don't, just comment on this and ask for an answer, I'll email it to you. I have come to believe that the Lord doesn't want my little 10% nod, He wants it all. What that means for me is probably different than what that means for you, but that is what I believe and in the end it is far more dangerous a belief than the old 10% rule. This has radically changed the whole direction of our lives and set our eyes firmly on heaven rather than a cosy retirement here. Besides, don't we tip 15% for servers? What do they do that my Father doesn't do??
Anyway the basic meat of this post is the difference between those two questions up there. Let them knock around your head and see what happens. Who knows, life might just get a whole lot more exciting!


Wendy said...

Brad, once again you have caused my brain to tilt. I'm going to listen to the sermon you mentioned, and I'd like to read your reasons for not tithing. You've posed the very questions we've been asking ourselves for years. You're right - God wants it all. And the "what does that look like" part is being revealed to us as we know Him more. I am so thankful He hasn't given up on me!

Amrita said...

Thank you for this soul stirring exhortation brother. I agree tithing can sometimes restrain a person. I agree with you. We go beyond the 10%. You can tithe you time, hospitality, resources etc.

I have read Francis Chan 's Crazy Love, its a great book. Have you read it?

Brad the Dad said...

Hey Amrita, I haven't read it yet, but I downloaded 200 of the podcasts from his church. Very good preaching and a very obvious commitment to lifestyle.
Hey Wendy, I'll have to get back to you in a bit with that email. I'm in the middle of a research paper and my final module of the TESL course I am taking. Thanks for the comment and the interest.