Sunday, October 19, 2014

'Tis Not a Gift

Typically, this time of year people's thoughts turn to church budgets and stewardship campaigns, and appropriately today's Gospel reading was about money.

The Pharisees went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?" But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax." And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose title?" They answered, "The emperor's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's." When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away. Matthew 22:15-22,
All too often people are presented with the idea that "giving to God the things that are God's" means giving money to the church. There is a whole lot more to giving than that, and in fact giving to the church that has strayed from God is definitely not giving to God. Giving money to a church that supports abortion, giving money to a church that has given up on divorce, and giving money to a church that has given up on sex is not giving to God the things that are God's.

The fact that people continue to render these gifts leaves me amazed.

I think 'tis not a gift, but instead 'tis enabling.

7 comments:

  1. "The fact that people continue to render these gifts leaves me amazed."

    As usual, I agree 100%. Well said, my friend.

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  2. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Again.... the question would be.... why do you continue to participate in a religious organization that you obviously have so little regard for?

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    1. Anonymous, at some point one must stand his ground and battle evil. It's tragic that we must scratch, tumble, wrestle, and defeat evil within the walls of our own house. If not us, who?

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  3. Anonymous12:20 PM

    It is not for us to Judge - it is for God to judge. There are many many examples of God's judgment in the Bible. If things are so bad in the Episcopal Church then God will judge. We should not.

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    1. Human judgment is a natural result of what Episcopalians claim to be part of their three legged stool, "reason". Let's call it discernment instead. We have to stay and discern as part of ministry to the sick, the poor, and the needy. Besides, Jesus says that we are to visit those in prison, to ensure that they are not lost from human contact.

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