My wife once told me I'm one of those people who can see a flood in raindrop, an avalanche in a snowflake, or a mudslide in a speck of dirt. I think what she meant, is that it doesn't take much to get my wheels spinning, and just seeing a flash of something in my peripheral vision gets me thinking.
I was in the local supermarket last night, doing some grocery shopping, and to the gentleman who joked about the bullet proof vest and bodyguards in his comment, no I do not have a personal shopper, and yes, I do buy my own groceries, I noticed a big display wherein you could win a brand new car if you wrote your name and address on a slip of paper, and put it in the box they provided for you. In passing, I noticed there was actually a line, and that got me thinking.
Most people in this world want something for nothing, or at the very least, a substantial return on a somewhat insignificant investment. Entire cities are built on the vain hope of easy money, entire industries thrive because of it, and now, many churches are flourishing because of the same ideals and worldly principles.
The math, simple as it may seem is eerily reminiscent of the pyramid schemes of old. Give God a dollar, and he'll give you ten, ten will get you a hundred, and if you have a spare thousand laying around, you get to go to the big show, the mega winner circle, and get a whopping two thousand percent return.
Some years ago an innovative wolf in sheep's clothing realized that greed sells better than righteousness, that preaching avarice and excess draws a bigger crowd than preaching humility and holiness, and a new industry was spawned. Yes, the cult of greed and easy money is drawing big crowds, but at what cost to spirituality? Mega churches are filled to capacity, but at what cost to the individual preparation of the soul for the years of famine that are about to descend?
Giving, whatever it may be, whether you time, or your money, is no longer a sweet smelling sacrifice on the altar of God, but an investment in your financial future, with the expectation of unrealistic returns.
Much of the church has become nothing more than a well run pyramid scheme, wherein the top tier is reaping the rewards, getting rich, and living like superstars, while the bottom tier is still waiting for the much lauded, and promised financial breakthrough.
I have nothing against giving, in fact I give until it hurts, because I realize there are millions of people worse off than myself in this world, who are literally starving and hoping for a crust of bread, but when I give, I give because it's the right thing to do, because I have been called to be my Master's hands in this world, not because I am excepting a thousand percent return on the ten dollar meal I just bought the homeless man begging on the street corner.
God knows the intent of the heart, and though one may give millions with the wrong intent, and his sacrifice will not be received, another may give a glass of water to a thirsty soul, his sacrifice will be received, and remembered for all eternity.
There are no tickets for sale to heaven, they are by special invitation only, and the sooner the sheep realize that only by surrendering their hearts will they be invited into their eternal rest, the sooner we will be able to put an end to the madness, and stop the wolves from taking advantage of their weakness, and abusing their trust.
God's money is to be used for God's work, not for one or two individuals to live lavish lifestyles, and if the reason you open your heart, and give to the ministry isn't to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, and to spread the gospel, but rather because the man in the shiny suit and pearly white teeth on the television set promised you a winning lotto ticket, it's all for naught.
The few, will always play on the greed and desires of the many, but as children of God, the only thing we should be greedy for is more of Christ, and the Word, and the only thing we should desire is eternity with Him.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.