Saturday, February 2, 2013

No Reason to Fear What’s Truly Important

Doug Hibbard, a regular contributor on SBC Voices, discusses the possibility that the government could remove the tax-exempt status for churches in his article, A Post of Personal Paranoia. For churches who struggle to pay the bills, such a proposition is a source of fear for them. Given that many church members don’t tithe and that many contributions are in part motivated by tax deduction for donating to charitable organizations. So not only would churches have to pay taxes, but it’s reasonable to expect donations to decline. That’s the fear.

Commenter Christiane wrote this:

Our Lord left us with His Peace.
Why do we worry ?

I responded:

I think what you say here is at the heart of the matter, not just for our churchly organizations, but for how we feel about the things we’ve been given to steward in other areas of our lives. Part of the problem is that we shouldn’t even draw such sharp distinctions between family and church, family budget and tithe, etc. But when we center our focus on the Church, we stop being the Church. We can only be the Church when we center our focus on Christ. I think God gives us the gift of hard times so that we can remember that buildings and budgets come and go, but Jesus is ours forever.

Commenter cb scott further added:

“Buildings and budgets” and a lot of other things, I reckon.

I think you are right, Jim Pemberton. The realization that you are right about the “gifts of hard times” does not always bring me immediate comfort. However, looking back, it has been during the hardest of times that God has directed my journey in the straightest path.

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