Here’s an article from the news herald of a church in Panama City that built a 21 million dollar facility to hold their congregation for Sundays. Here are some quotes from the article and from the video, which is below.
“The reason we built the new facility was basically out of need,”
I had a recent email come to me that basically criticized me for my critical attitude towards church buildings. Basically, they said he can see the problems church buildings pose, but the same argument can be used for personal homes and other so-called private property as well.
Well, I couldn’t agree more. The problem is that if I improve or expand my home, it is scrutinized as something selfish, but if I do that for a church building, then it’s Godly. My house and a church both have the same reasoning. For instance I could use these reasonings here for either a church building or my home: I need a roof over my head . . . my children need to be comfortable . . . God needs to be glorified in it’s beauty . . . It is a light in a dark area . . . strangers are welcome here . . . I train my children here . . . etc. . . and so on . . . and so on.
Can you start to see the moral dilemma we’ve gotten ourselves into? On one hand these reasons are Godly, on the other these reasons are humanistic? Which is it?
“The construction and renovation has cost the church $21 million total, with funding coming from church members’ tithing”
Ah, Yes! The old tithing trick. Figure out something that I want to do; convince them it’s from God; and then naturally, they are required to fund my endeavors. There’s nothing like providing God’s people without a choice. I mean who can actually prove that this building is what God wants? Would you withhold your tithe and risk getting cursed, and becoming destitute because you were not sure about tithing toward the new building?
Get on the ball people, that’s why freewill, spirit-led giving should be responsible to fund supposed spirit-led missions. This is so some nut case doesn’t come along and do something crazy call it spirit-led, and then obligate scared tithers into paying for it.
“The easiest thing for us to have done would have been for us to move out of downtown Panama City and purchase property and just start over,” Conner said. “But we stayed down here because we feel like we have a very vital ministry to the downtown area.”
Hey knuckleheads, why not do the easy thing, and move out and still minister downtown. No, you probably didn’t do that because it would be TOO HARD for you!
For those who balk at the hefty price tag, Conner said the church is fulfilling its goal as creating a pulpit to spread the Christian word.
ROFL – LOL! They haven’t created a new pulpit. It’s still the same pastor. the same staff. They didn’t even plant a new Church. My goodness, as long as i am spreading the Christian word, then the ends justify the means? I mean where’s the line? Does anyone ever think of planting a new church fellowship anymore? Should we not think about price as long as the pulpit is still there?
“Our primary responsibility as a church is not to feed the hungry,” Conner said. “We have a very, very active benevolence ministry … that opens feeds people, that clothes people. But our priority is the preaching of the gospel.”
You need money to feed people, you don’t need money to preach the gospel. The gospel is free, food is not. Maybe that will help put things in perspective. Let’s get back to building God’s kingdom 1 brick soul at a time.
Oh yeah, in case you are wondering the news article states that it took 408,000 bricks to build, if only they represented souls.
I love this site
Stumbled across your blog…really like it. Such a vital topic to all believers. I will have to send you some pictures and video of the church my wife and I left about a year ago…they only spent a 11 million dollars though…but they are not done yet.
Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
Your, Raiul Baztepo
Timothy A. Jumonville says
I live in an area where there are little hole-in-the-wall churches seemingly on every corner. I have wondered why all these little churches exist when there is quite sufficient space in the numerous large churches in town. It occurred to me that a person senses a “call from God” and along with this call they perceive some sort of “vision”. Then, for some reason, they apparently come to the conclusion that the only way they can make their vision come to fruition is to launch out on their own, find some other people willing to submit themselves to their vision and, voila, he’s got a ministry!
I’ve read the bible and I found that the Church in Ephesus, for example, consisted of all the Christians in Ephesus. How simple is that? Then you read Church history and you find there were very few “Christian church” biuldings before the 3rd-4th century. When Constantine came along and suddenly there were all kinds of Church buildings. Never mind that they once were pagan temples. We won’t talk about that. Hush!
I currently attend a church that around 3-4 years ago moved into a building that was previously occupied by another church that itself had moved to a large vacant store in a shopping mall. The church I attend bought the building for 3.2 million. Previous to this they were in a building they owned, and had over $500,000.00 in the bank. But they considered the building too small. They took up the phrase “We can do it! We can take the land!” from the passage about the 12 spies from the children of Israel.
Now, they are losing people and the church is in serious money trouble; it’s taken until just this past month to sell their previous property and they did not get near what they thought they would get. They used that to make a dent in the current mortgage. Most of the pastoral staff is unpaid, and with property values what they are today, they are now upside down on their loan – the property is nowhere near worth now what they have borrowed for it.
My point is this: If you have a bldg., in my opinion, it needs to be used every day for the Kingdom. There needs to be meetings of every type of ministry there. Cell groups, prayer groups, other ministries should be able to use your bldg. This only makes sense to me.
Philippians 1:18 needs to come alive in the Christian world.
Otherwise the money would be better spent helping the poor, the widow, and the fatherless.
Instead we have money spent on making our particular ministry empire larger.
Hi, thanks for your blog about tithe. I have better understanding about what tithing is for, it’s not for the church. It’s for God’s s storehouse. I will continue to read the scriptures about it. Thanks
Joe Manluco says
Tithing was an old testament law, and any observance of the (old) law obligate one to obey all the law. Truth can only come through choices and freedom. Coercion is not truth which tithing was, God uses the law (coercion) because men were spiritually dead at that time. When Jesus died on the cross our spirit were resurrected giving us again the ability to chose God. It is up to us to use that to choices, whether life or death. Everything we will do for the Lord is voluntary, our choices, not forced upon, and that constitute to truth. Sacrificing when we could not. Simple logic.