Dream word – HUMBLE
“And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.” NKJV.
The bones of the elephant man
Someone commented regarding God, that “The invisible God is sat on a cloud somewhere, looking at people who break His ten commandments and then on their sad demise, will throw them into a molten and ever burning hell forever and forever for doing so! But He loves you! Yes He loves you and He needs your money. He always needs money! He is all powerful and all perfect and all knowing and all wise, but somehow, He can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars every year and they pay no taxes and yet, they always need a little more.” This, many people have commented, “Is nothing but male bovine manure” and frankly, I would agree.
I do not want to deal with the gross contextual inaccuracies of the first part of that statement, as it simply points out the two glaring facts of the twentieth century, those being, that postmodern man does not know the God of the Bible and most Christians find the full revelation of God in the Bible to be rather troubling, so much so, they don’t really like Him either and much prefer the watered down version presented by pale and slick preachers, sliding them slippery-elm like words, from behind not so pure, Perspex pulpits. No, it is the latter part of that opening statement that I would like to look at tonight, which says that “God needs money”.
Religion has always been a multi-million dollar industry and even when the leaders are not stealing all the cream, then churches of the day always present their folks with a vision budget, the top three line items reflecting the Old Testament Temple requirements (in this order usually) of monies for personnel, monies for premises and monies for programmes. Local churches meeting in buildings with paid staff and programs to get and keep the pew punters in there, will always be asking for money. So what do you do? What do you have to do? Well, ask! That’s what I say! Lay out your plans and get the funding, ask! But please, stop telling people it’s God that needs the money! That’s just male bovine manure.
I have been to too many vision casting meetings, building drive meetings, dream casting meetings, end of year, beginning of year meetings all which in the end have focused on money and frankly I have to tell you friends that the most important item of local mission, foreign missions and money for them, have never been on the top three line items. Mission giving is there mind you, it makes an appearance, kind of, maybe, sometimes, but hey, charity begins at home and most of us have very costly local home churches.
Today I returned from the residing place of the bones of the elephant man, the Royal London Hospital. A light set in the continued dark area of Whitechapel area of continual immigrant turn over. Throughout the years it has seen French Heugenots, Irish and then Jewish immigrants and now Bengali Muslims. Indeed, the 4000 seated East London Mosque also now resides in this area. There is no connection to this, but even Jack the ripper did his dirty work around these prostitute ridden and continually Gospel darkened streets. I was visiting my brother who has a ministry right there amongst the sick of every kind. It seemed every can carrying junkie with the saddest story in the world to tell you, seemed to know him and to respect him. One of his many friends was an old Jamaican Christian lady, who, armed only with an old collapsible table upon which she laid out her old second hand Bibles, for several years now had been preaching the word to Muslims. She has had her table over turned many times and had indeed, feared for her life on more than one occasion. Still she continues, right there in London’s Yashmacaddam streets. Welcome to England.
The only monies these two ministries have are what the two good servants bring to it. They ask for none, but simply in the most spiritually hardest and darkest places of this old girl of a city, spread what goodness and light they can. Frankly, I am not sure you could pay me enough to do either ministry! Yet, these two ministries are more intriguing than even the bones of the elephant man, still kept in the Royal London Hospital, who by the way, because the great size of his head, crushed and closed his own wind pipe, when he laid himself down to a suicidal sleep aged just twenty eight years.
As long as the church continues to serve itself, and in doing so perpetually prattles on about money, money, money, in both the name and need of God, it shall always lay itself open to such terrible criticisms like those contained in my opening paragraph. As long as my brother, my black warrior sister and people of their like, shall walk the streets of Whitechapel in both simple truth and unpaid goodness, such criticism will always be confounded!
I have no idea of specific times but friends, the grotesque largess of our Laodicean church diseased head, laced with the grey lice of all creeping compromise, has been finally laid down on the bed of doomed destiny. Unless we are revived, then I reckon we too have but 28 years before our crushed windpipe shall remove the life totally from the lungs of our lost land.
Listen: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” - 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 NKJV
Pray: Lord forgive us for acting as Your bankers and so using Your name in vain. Lord for Your many people, just doing what they can where they can, please encourage their hearts and give them enough faith and enough stuff to get the job done. Now O Lord, what can we say to You concerning our nation except that our fathers, we ourselves and our children have sinned against You. Turn Your face to us once more, send the Holy Spirit across this land to do as You said, to convict us of sin, of righteousness and of judgement to come and revive us again once more, for the weight of our large and rotted, most arrogant of heads has just about finished us of.
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