I guess it's good that few people read this blog, because I think this post would make people angry.
I have a lot of personal heroes in the faith from history. Jesus gave up all He had in Heaven to give His life to this fallen human race so He could love us and bring us to God. Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave up a wealthy lifestyle to help lead the underground church in Nazi Germany. Mother Teresa gave up her life to help people who were at the bottom of the barrel of life's sufferings.
Jesus told the rich man who wanted to go to Heaven to sell all he had, but the guy just went away depressed because he owned so much. Then Jesus said it was extremely difficult for rich people to make it into the Kingdom. Which, looking at the standard of wealth at that time is nothing in comparison to the standard of wealth in the States.
And then I walk into most church buildings today in America. I think I'm judgmental... I have a big problem with it. I can't walk into expensive church buildings with fountains, expensive decorations, coffee shops, cool logos and lightshows without thinking about how many missionaries all that money could support. Or how many poor families could use that money to help pay rent, mortgages, and taxes. I wish I looked at my own money and thought, "I wonder how much I can save so I can help other people?"
Today someone was talking to me about expensive church buildings he saw, and a look of disgust grew on my face as he was speaking. He got pretty firm with me and told me I shouldn't judge, because those people have good hearts and they want to use it all for ministry and honoring God. He's probably right. I think most Christians have good hearts, and I have no place to ever question that.
But it still bothers me. I still don't get it. Reading the Bible and looking at Jesus' life, it's hard for me to look up and find a connection to what I see in megachurches and the Bible. I'm not saying big churches are evil, but I can't help wondering if we have our priorities a little mixed up.
I remember looking at the flashy (and gorgeous) Catholic church buildings in Mexico City and just being so confused. A gold cross? The cross was a wooden torture stick used for the worst punishment imaginable, and now we wear it as jewelry. Seems to me like it's kind of like having a tattoo of an electric chair on your arm or something.
Maybe someone needs to explain it to me better. It's just hard for me to imagine Jesus attending a big Church seeing all "God's money" spent on so much flash. It makes me sick to even think about...
I wonder how much money is spent on something that happens one hour a week.
It's not like I'm much better. Any time I get shocked by something, I always have to look inwardly. How do I spend my money? Because it's God's money, too. I really want an iPhone, but I know I shouldn't spend my money on it. Not because it's evil... but because I don't need it. I can help people with that money, but instead I want to feed ME. Yuck. I wish I could really be like Jesus... not judging others yet still pouring my life out to others asking nothing in return. One step at a time, I suppose. God help me.
5 days ago