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Vantage point


Big bucks

For years I have grieved over “big-bucks religion” — ministries that spend a disproportionate amount of time talking about money. I’m no prophet, but I have had remarkable accuracy predicting that certain TV preachers wouldn’t go too long into a broadcast before getting around to asking for money. I always wondered about those ministries that claimed a guaranteed kickback on “investments” in their ministry — but also claimed they were in danger of closing down if viewers didn’t give. If they followed their own advice, the real answer would not be to plead for help but to give to other ministries.

In one church I pastored, there was a man who had sold his home to give everything to his previous church. His pastor guaranteed him a minimum tenfold return. He lost everything, including the support of his church. When he came to us, he was broken and disillusioned.

Some of these ministries prey on older saints. I have had elderly parishioners who felt guilty if they didn’t give to every “critical” request they received in the mail, yet they had so little for themselves.

On the other hand, there have been many outstanding ministries with extensive financial needs that refused to beg or make money focal. George Müller, the 19th-century evangelist/philanthropist, built and managed orphanages with hundreds of children. Yet he never once revealed a financial need, preferring instead to pray for the supply. And God always came through. Most ministries aren’t called to be like Müller. But his heroic faith is something we can learn from. If a ministry is of God, He won’t let it fail.

The Bible does teach that all Christians receive if they give, and that God blesses them even for tithing, which is required.

I believe you should be wary of any ministry that spends a large portion of its time asking for money. I believe you should support ministries who let their needs be known in a humble and godly manner, and have proven they are good stewards of donated funds.

Be generous and let the Holy Spirit direct your giving beyond the tithe. Your finances will be on solid ground.

— Ken Horn

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