Saturday, July 15, 2006

EYES TO SEE, EARS TO HEAR?

I've updated the website with a load of new goodies to read and to listen to.

First: MOMENTUM 06 PODCASTS- Now linked off this site, at the lower left, are all of the sessions from MOMENTUM '06 Conference featuring excellent messages by DAVID RUIS ("Mustard Seed") and TODD HUNTER ("Emerging Evangelism") and several by MIKE PILAVACHI.

Go and listen!

Second: PDF Article Update- Nearly a year ago, I came across a document that set my life on its current course. It was a scholarly, historical examination of the early church entitled "EMBEZZLEMENT: THE CORPORATE SIN OF CHRISTIANITY" by a man named RAY MAYHEW. I've linked the pdf to the lower left also under "READ THIS!" (so you can't miss it).


  • READ THIS!- Mayhew: "Embezzlement" Paper


  • Essentially, the article looks at how the early church viewed the tithe as belonging to the poor. I challenge you to read this and to make comments here on this site.

    It was because of this article that Wendy and I decided to launch our house church, "The Mission" because we wanted to be part of a church where 100% of the tithe could go to the poor, and not to pastoral staff, facilities, or video projectors, etc.

    ENJOY!

    **
    kg

    2 comments:

    Laura said...

    Thank you!! I have been looking for this article for almost a year! I read it about 18 or so months ago and it completely changed (or helped further transform) how I've been feeling about my responsibility to the poor and others in need and how to manage that with how the church (in general) views those in need and their priorities with tithe and programs. It is for this reason that we are not involved in any church at this time. In order to be involved, one must become a member. In order to become a member, one must commit to being an active participant in the monthly tithe. In order (for me) to be an active participant in any church's tithe, I feel the church's giving practices and priorities should line up Biblically and be used with spiritual wisdom. Since I can't find a church that isn't wrapped up inside their 4 walls (or wrapped up in obtaining 4 walls and a cross to go on the outside), we've chosen to stay home for a time. It's been really rough to be home, but even harder to be in church and reminded to tithe so they can pay for the air conditioning bill that keeps us nice and cool. (No joke, this is the last thing I heard in the last church service I attended. During a summer where over 100 homeless people died from the heat and over 130 illegal immigrants died from the heat. And I'm sitting comfy in our church because I pay my tithe. I walked out the moment he said that - it hadn't been the first time and in fact was said each Sunday at the close of service as "a joke" - and we haven't been back. We've prayed about it, visited a few more churches, but the focus is all the same. Inward. If I am to live a life that looks outside of me, then I want to participate with a church family that collectively looks the same way - out.

    Anyway, I can't remember how I first read this article (maybe from a link of yours back then) but it solidified for me our priorities as a family and as a part of the church. I understand that I could argue theology on a number of issues and find disagreement with how any one church does this or that, but I'm not willing to concede on this simply because I think it is what Jesus spoke of - sacrificing me to love others. If the church isn't doing that (financially and in ministry priorities - where the "worship ministry" takes top billing and priority over any "missions" or "outreach" ministry), then it's a no go for us. House church, mega church, doesn't matter.

    Thank you for linking to this article!

    Keith Giles said...

    Laura- thank you for your comments!
    It's comments like this that keep me writing and posting here.

    I'm so encouraged to hear how this Mayhew article has inspired you too. This is the reason my wife and I left our traditional church to start a house church (because the only way to live this out is to "be the church" without spending money on yourself, or your church structures).

    I'm curious how you heard about my site and where you live? If you're currently not worshipping or gathering with other Christians I'd encourage you to find a local house church where you might feel more at home.

    Shoot me an email at:
    "keith(at)soulsurvivor(dot)net" - remove the quotes, and substitute the "at" for @ and the "dot" for "." , etc.

    Blessings to you for stepping out to live out your convictions. I pray that God would shower you with His Grace and lead you to a more holistic expression of your faith day by day.

    Peace,
    keith