I was watching something on the internet based on a television ministry and it had some really heart, soul, and spirit moving things, and then the speaker was talking about the three conversions that Martin Luther had mentioned, that of the “mind, heart and” …….”the wallet”. I don’t know the whole story about why Martin Luther said that or what he meant, but to have a really spirit inspiring message and then trying to put the emphasis on getting a seed from the audience left a bad taste in my mouth, and I am not a stingy tither. I know what he was trying to do. He was trying to compel people like Paul did in these verses:
“5That is why I thought it necessary to urge these brethren to go to you before I do and make arrangements in advance for this bountiful, promised gift of yours, so that it may be ready, not as an extortion [wrung out of you] but as a generous and willing gift.
6[Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [[a]that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings.
7Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He [b]takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving]” [Amplified]
In GOD’s Word Translation I found “You shouldn’t be sorry that you gave or feel forced to give, since God loves a cheerful giver.”
It is good that God wants us to give, but that giving should come from the heart and go to the poor, and not to people who already have the means and resource of making money. These days you can’t watch a Christian television program without a request for money. People are not stingy to give as you might think. They would give willingly if they feel God has led them to support your ministry. But the thing is that it is God or the Holy Spirit that compels them to give and if you have true sheep in your church or watching your ministry on television, they will give. It just seems wrong to me that Television Ministries are asking for money all the time. Didn’t the church in ACTS sell all their possessions and spread the Word?
It is interesting that in Jesus’ ministry, He never asked for money, and I think it was Judas that was handling the finances. What was more important was to be intimate with Jesus, and not so concerned about money and what to do with it because Jesus said, “The poor you will have with you always, but I am here only a little while longer” or something to that effect. So the more important thing that the Churches should do is to spread the intimacy of the Holy Spirit to to His believers.
In Revelation Jesus talks about the Laodicean Church, which is the Church of the Last Days:
17For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.(F)
18Therefore I counsel you to purchase from Me gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be [truly] wealthy, and white clothes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nudity from being seen, and salve to put on your eyes, that you may see.
In verse 8, it says that we should purchase our riches from The Lord, and what he means is the relationship that we have with Him. That is what is more important. I know that Television Evangelists need seeds to grow, but for that they can depend on The Lord and really Trust Him. We need to see relationship and intimacy first and then money. Wasn’t it Jesus who tore down all the things that the vendors were selling in front of the Temple? He also said, “You cannot serve both God and mammon.”
According to what this preacher was saying, He said that you have to come to one more dilemma to see the victory. But that may apply to his ministry as well. He may have to sell all he has and minister to people on the streets and work with people who literally have nothing to give to see what the True Spirit of God is.
How else are we going to see revival if all that is on the mind of pastors, is how am I going to support this church and ministry? Also another thing you probably didn’t think about is that non-believers are going to be turned away – I don’t know if you’ve seen it or not, but there is a music video on You Tube making mockery of Christian Churches saying that all they do is ask for money.
At our church, my pastor never forces us to give money, and says give what is in your heart and if you can’t give it’s ok and you’d be surprise with so few people we have how much has been given. Even when I give, I am more willing to give because I am not forced to give or feel condemned if I don’t give, but instead I give because of the mighty work of the Holy Spirit within the Church.
If we want to reach out to non-believers, which is the ultimate goal of the Television Evangelist ministries then our primary objective is to spread the news about Jesus and not how much money we can get or otherwise we’re no better than politicians who take money campaigning to further themselves without regard to the people.
I hope this compels you to be a little more respectful to the hearts of the people. We’re going through hard times, and there are other ways to get finances than trying to force people to do it. The Lord is always more impressed with you living your life as a living sacrifice then just a financial sacrifice.