Extract from chapter 8 of my book “Christianity in Simple English”
I hope you are finding this useful
When I was in my mid-twenties, newly married and in a new church, I saw something that made my blood boil. The church I attended was the largest church in the country and had grown from a few people in someone’s lounge, progressing to a cinema and finally to a massive auditorium in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs. The church grew fast and became a high profile church with a high profile pastor. People on the outside looked at all this; especially at the massive building that had gone up, and many were not happy. In fact, many other churches were highly critical of the success of this church.
I would often read in the national newspapers about how the church locked the doors when the collection bags were passed out, and that if you did not put money into the collection, someone would stop you on the way out and ask you for your watch or your ring. Yes, this is what I read about my church in the newspapers, on more than a couple of occasions! Since I attended services at the church for more than ten years (and I sat in many hundreds of services), I was completely baffled at how anyone could come to that conclusion; let alone write about it. To set the record straight, every word that was written was a lie. On no occasion did anyone ever prevent people from leaving the service at any time. I sat near the very back quite often and had a clear view of all the doors. People could come and go freely, any time they wanted. At no time did I ever see anyone get stopped and questioned about whether or not they had given into the offering. The conclusion I came to was that Satan was unhappy with what was happening in our church and he used the topic that would get everyone hot under the collar to attack it – money!
I am sure that like me, you have heard sceptics who say “the church is only after your money.” Money is highly valuable in the world system and people will do and say almost anything to get their hands on some of it. Governments seem to be corrupt in most countries, and many ministers seize the opportunity to enrich themselves and influence decisions and contracts. Charities are often the target of unscrupulous criminals and it is not uncommon for pensioners and old people who are easy victims to be targeted for their money. So I could not write this book without addressing the problem of money in the church.
Let’s start with the question “Does God want your money?” ….