by D. E. Stribling
Church Buildings More Important Than People
The rule of life
When self-needs consume a person, or a church body, they are blocked from knowing what God is doing.
Our Relationship With Others -- Christ Has Enabled Us To Love Them As He Loves Us.
the early days of the New Testament church, people of means sold lands
and houses and gave the money to leaders to disperse to the poor.
Today people and churches are building bigger "barns". .
. See Luke 12:16-21
Many people who have a drastic reduction, or loss of income, call In His Name Ministries for help or advice. Some are the elderly poor, accident victims, the disabled, or abandoned wives. Since 1983, we have talked to as many at 2,500 people per year. Most churches are friendly with their neighbors, but is rather common that many others turn away from the suffering of it's neighbors -- even it's own members. We know, because those who were turned down often tell us so.
Several times over the years, when we have talked with churches, the building fund is one reason there is no money to help. Recently one church who had budgeted money for the poor removed that item from the budget when they started building a large suburban church facility.
God's money is spent on a new annex, a new wedding chapel, a gymnasium, a bowling alley, new carpeting, or in the case of one church, a luxuriously appointed new facility that includes a water falls within. We obviously need a building in which to worship God, but only by continually dying to self-interests can we begin to know what God's priorities are. When self-needs consume a person, or a church body, they are hindered from knowing what God is doing.
We know that He wants the poor to be loved. Sharing church money (creatively and as the spirit may lead) is a good thing to do . But somehow we have gotten ourselves into a tradition to believe otherwise. Buildings are more important than people. This phrase will never be seen on the church marquee, but the end results show that it is true in many cases.