Worth it? I think so.

May 15, 2012

in None of the Above

Donations © Edward Bartel | Dreamstime.com

THANK YOU!!!

I’ve not mentioned donations in a while, so I’m going to devote a post to it.

Asking others to support you in ministry leads to a good deal of self-examination. Asking for support is saying what you are doing is worthy of other’s support; that your message should be heard farther and wider. I do feel that way about what Lori and I do with TGH and TGWThe Marriage Bed website, and Twitter. So I’m asking.

I’ve mentioned wanting a large number of monthly micro-donors, and we continue to seek that. We appreciate any amount, but could really use a couple dozen couples who could do $25 a month. I know for some that’s just not possible, but if it is for you please pray about it.

Donations can be made here. Razoo is the easiest way to make donations, and especially recurring donations. You can also use PayPal, bill pay or mail a check.

Thank you so much to all who have supported us, some of you for many years. Your help has allowed us to do so much, and with the help of others, we will do even more.

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13 comments
E
E

Well, conversation keeps being interesting, that's for sure. Doing good to people who are less fortunated shows the true heart that one has - and his own altruism coming from God Himself and the Gospel result in human heart. All the texts you mentioned, speak essentially about repentance (Zacchaeus) and doing good to others out of a heart that is no longer selfish and focused on itself but on others. And this new, unnatural but supernatural heart does so without looking for repayment (from humans or anyone else) but out of pure agape love (whose source is God). To say that these texts are really speaking about the COMMAND to serve the poors and extending this to mean it is the Church's responsibility is faulty. The contexts of all these texts speak volume about their true siginificance. And James is the one that says: the widows' families should help them so that the Church wouldn't be burden with taking care of them. Not strange to say that, if it is the church's responsibility to help the poor and needy? I believe you are very biased towards the Gospel as social justice in SUA and Canada - current trends and movements as far as I've heard lately. Blessings. Appreciate the dialog and hope and pray for you to study more in depth these things - from your own understanding on biblical texts (and not the meaning given by some current trends and movements in Christianity). Blessings.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

E - Yes, Jesus said we will always have the poor. Likewise, we know we will never become perfect in this life, but that is not a reason to not work at it! I see a number of verses that tell us to care about and for the poor, the hungry, the down-trodden. Jesus shows this in the parable of the good Samaritan - that the one who has the heart of God goes out of his way to help those who need help. Jesus told the rich young ruler that the one thing he needed to do was to sell what he had and FEED THE POOR. Jesus said "when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. " When Zacchaeus "saw the light" he said he would sell half of what he had and use it to feed the poor. It was then that Jesus said salvation has come to Zacchaeus. His salvation was shown by his works. Paul said that when James and Cephas and John came to him "they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do." James is especially strong on this. He tells us that faith without works is dead, and uses failing to feed or cloth those who we see in need of such things as an example of dead faith.

E
E

It's fine if you disagree - it seems we disagree on more than just that. Do you base your theology about church's ministry on one single verse? Feed the hungry, clothe the poor? What about "you will always have the poor with you"? About Jesus - why did he heal or save or "clothe" or "feed" only a few? Why did he not do all these things with ALL poor people? What did the apostles do? Did they focus on feed, clothe and do justice in their society? What was their primary focus and goal? I know there are so many prejudices and misconceptions and "christian trends and movements" in SUA and elsewhere, but let's return to Scripture and a sound balanced exegesis of texts to understand them correctly - and entirely from the Bible (no one verse theology). Blessings.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

E - I can not agree with you on what the church is called to do. Feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, and visiting those in jail are clearly commanded. In fact, Jesus says that He will say to those who did not do these things "Depart, I never knew you." For much of history, churches took care of these things. Over the last hundred years doing that has moved from the church to the government. The result has been disastrous for those served, and for the tax payers. Is it not by doing these things that we show the love Jesus called us to show? Is this not the way we show the world who we are, and in that who He is? Is not this how we are to win the lost? Blessings,

E
E

Thanks to you too for the same .... My primary focus on accountability is minister's CHARACTER and really knowing personally the people I support. That is done within the believing community, with its authority structures. Yes, it's true parachurches focus on things the church doesn't focus usually, but I don't see any organisation being called to do the ministry except God's universal redeemed church. So here comes another topic about why the church doesn't focus on some specific category (homeless for ex) and why these organisation keep asking for money from the church or individuals (and don't get the same approach as other non - Christians ONGs). I think the way God created the Church, it can function without any problem, for the church is not called to social justice and social massive aid. But when church is suppossed to do every kind and merciful act in society, than It is overwhelmed and cannot perform the task, and parachurch organisations came in. As for the board directors, they are not known by the ordinary people, and therefore are accountable only within their own organisation - which is similar to paying taxes and leaving the responsiblity (included the moral one) to the civil authorities. BUT in the case of ministers and Christian ministry, I think there should be an essential difference comparing to the State. We are a body (the one of Christ) not any other type of human organisation. Blessings.

E
E

Thanks again for your thoughts. When I meant the local community church - I referred especially to ACCOUNTABILITY and the minister being known by those who support him (the best reason to be supported by those who share his vision and know him personally). I did support parachurch org. but I do not anymore for this reason - I came to the conclusion it is the local church's primary responsibilities to support the missionaries they send or the ministers they approve to do any kind of Christian ministry. Yes, there is an universal church as Christ's body, and also there is a local church as Christ's body. And the relationships required within are possible only in the local church where people actually know wach other, exhort each other, serve each other, help one another financially (ex. widows) etc. And while there may be an exception from some brother we never met wanting by his own free choice to support our work when finding out about it, I still believe it is wrong to ask different people besides my brothers from local church to participate in it. It is like selling some ""product"""and asking the like-minded people to participate. AS for the verses you quoted, I think they simply imply that anyone who works is worthy of his payment or reward. again, when speaking about ministers in the context you quoted, Paul was exhorting the local community believers to ""pay"" their teachers (Paul was also one of them) and not asking people from the other continent to participate in their ministry. I think it is an essential difference in it. Blessings.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

E - When I look at verses that say not to muzzle the ox, and that he who teaches us worthy of double honour (usually seen as indicating both respect and money) I see the general principle is that we should support those who are teaching well. This is what I do in my life, giving to individuals and ministries around the world. I have supported people half a world away who I've never met in person. I support para-church ministries. I support independent missionaries, I support church planters who came out of my local church and those who did not. In short, I am living what I am asking others to do, and was doing it that way long before I was doing ministry myself. As to Paul, it looks to me like he choose not to take support from some for two reasons - he did not want them to be able to say he came to them to get money and he wanted to teach them to work hard rather than being lazy. As to "the church" I suspect we see it differently. I do not think in terms of individuals churches or denominations - I think in terms of the body of Christ and those who are not saved. I think the body of Christ is called to support those who are doing ministry. I think part of why we don't see what we should in terms of reaching the world is that many are not being funded as God would have them funded (I am speaking here more in terms of missionaries, but I would say the same applied to those who minster to the body itself). I know a lot of gifted people who are doing a fraction of what they could do because they are spending a great deal of their time in tent making. Sometimes tent making is an important part of ministry, but sometimes it's an impediment to ministry. When I look at a ministry, or individual, who is seeking funding, I do two things. First I ask myself if what they are doing, or what they propose to do, is something that should be supported by the body of Christ. If I think it is, then try to determine if God wants ME to be part of that support. That is all I am asking anyone to do with what Lori and I do. Blessings!

E
E

Thanks for your response. Developing more, please find Paul's motivation to accept partially some support - and then match our contemporan circumstances if they fit. The heart of service is altruism, to serve and give freely and ask God to take care of our needs. If asking money for what one gives/serves, it's the same as with the world, more or less. The biblical principle for financial support for evengelists (ministers) is different: they are appointed by their own local church and supported by their local church community for their ministry. tehy don't ask people around the whole wide world (who happen to read their blogs or online ministries) to contribute financially to their ministry. Even if it would be a matter of surviving, it would be ONLY the church responsible to support the minister (as it was the case with Paul and the communities of believers whom he served). All the way more....to not do this if it's not a problem of surviving and if you belong to a Christian church community who could support you financially if it shares your view on marriage ministry. Just some principial thoughts.....I know there are so many ministries and organisations which raise support the way you promote, but I don't find any biblical reason to do so. Thanks.

E
E

Is there really a basis from Gal 6:6 to ask for financial support for your sites? I think the context of that verse is another one. And if you do have an income (have a job), and you don't live out of the Gospel like some preachers do, look at the example of Paul: he received it free, he gave it free and he worked by making tents so that he would not burden the people he served. Why don't you follow Paul's example? Are you really facing a surviving-problem regarding income so you ask for support for your websites TGH, TGW?

Levi
Levi

"The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him." Gal 6:6 My wife and I have benefited immensely from TGW and TGH. Our marriage is healthier and we have been able to bless others and help their marriages as a result. I recommend that everyone prayerfully consider playing some part financially.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

E - as with any non-profit, we are accountable to a board of directors. We also are accountable to the American Association of Evangelicals, who ordained us and provide financial covering. As to para-church groups, I see them as filling a gap. Individual churches and denominations either are not doing what the para-church groups are doing, or can't because of structure and church politics. It's clear you have thought through this, and I respect that. My continuing dialog with you is not intended to change your mind, but rather an exercise in iron sharpening iron. Thanks for the calm and scriptural based arguments!

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

E - I did not offer Gal 6:6 to support my asking for help, but I think it's one of several verses that does suggest such a thing is acceptable if not expected. As to Paul, he did in fact receive support. In 2 Corinthians 11:7-12 Paul clearly says that churches in Macedonia supported him when he was in Corinth. In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul makes it clear that he has the right to support, and makes it clear that the other apostles receives such support. Paul made a choice based on his situation and those to whom he ministered. In part he was setting an example, and in part he did not want anyone to be able to say he was paid to share the gospel. But even in this, some saw his need and gave to support him. Am I facing being homeless if I don't raise support? No. I have several streams of income, and am working on others. At the moment our primary stream of income is flexible, but fairly time-consuming. We get by just fine, but we don't have as much time as we would like to do marriage ministry. We would like to do more on-line, put out a few books, and do more in person gatherings. If we had enough savings to live off of for a year, we could make the change and become supported by what we do. Since we don't have that kind of money, this is another way to the same end.

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