Why Does the Church Want My Money?

FeaturedWhy Does the Church Want My Money?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Why Does the Church want my money?
Our Money Isn’t Ours
People who take the attitude that the church just wants their money are missing a fundamental truth: It isn’t their money. It’s God’s money!
So when a pastor stands before the congregation and tells about a financial need for the church or an individual, he is actually appealing to you as stewards of God’s Money. God, being generous allows us to earn ‘xxx’ amount of dollars perhaps as a wage, royalty, or some other manner. We didn’t really earn it. God gave us the ability and opportunity to earn that money; it is part of His care for us.
On top of that He only commands us to give back 10% or, to state it another way, He allows us to keep 90%!
The Church is a Storehouse to be Used for God’s Purposes
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
The primary purpose of the Church is to promulgate the gospel. This may touch on several different fronts:

  • A church building to worship within
  • An evangelistic outreach program
  • Church planting
  • Missions
  • Care of the Needy

Every one of these requires money. To object to a church seeking funds from its members to take care of its needs and commitments is outright foolish. Usually the ones who complain aren’t even Christians, which is both tragic and funny. Most pastors are careful to address the church’s needs to the congregation, but even so a visitor will quite readily get upset and say, “I knew it. All they want is our money!”
The problem with that is that the church doesn’t really want your money. They want you to be reached with the gospel and get saved. Then as a steward of God’s money respond as He leads you.
Does God Really Care?
Yes. God wants us to grow, to become mature Christians in all areas of our lives. He wants us to have a discerning spirit whereby we see and are burdened for a need, pray seeking His guidance, and respond to His tender leading.
It is through His people that God answers prayer. Sure, He may use non-Christians in the furtherance of His work, but primarily he uses Christians.
God Delights in Giving Us the Ability to Give Back
Isn’t that amazing! God owns all the resources of the world no matter what humans believe. He owns it and can do anything He wants with it. But the truth is He takes pleasure in using those resources to bless us! He then delights in using us in such a way that we help others! And when you explore it out you discover that the money you gave is multiplied many times over so that the church as well as others have their needs met.
We’ve all heard testimonies of people having a dire need and God providing the solution. It touches our hearts and makes us want to give more.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Advertisements

Finding a Church

FeaturedFinding a Church

Today I am writing about Finding a Church.
Before I begin let me provide this snippet: Finding a good church involves a great many things but I am including only those I’m interested in.

  • Perhaps you just moved into a new area and need a church.
  • Perhaps you plan on moving into a new area and need a church.
  • Perhaps you just received Christ as your Savior (born again) and need a good church.
  • Perhaps you’re leaving your current church and need a good church.

There are myriads of reasons for leaving a church, but I am only looking at a few.
How Should I Look for a New Church?
Let’s look at the last item: leaving your church. There are a number of reasons for leaving a church, but the Biblical reason would be doctrine. And that requires soul searching. Why did you leave? What doctrinal issue was involved? If not a doctrinal issue then maybe you should reevaluate.
For the purposes of this blog I am making some assumptions. Namely, that you are a born again believer, that you either are or want to be a fundamentalist, that you want to grow.
What is a Fundamentalist?
A fundamentalist is a person who believes in the fundamentals or basics of Scripture. The following list covers most, if not all, of the fundamentals.
With those in mind here are some ideas: The Church should:

  • Believe the Bible to be the revealed Word of God, fully and verbally inspired of God.
  • Believe the Scriptures to be the inerrant, infallible Word of God, as found within the 66 books from Genesis to Revelation.
  • Believe God not only inspired every word, but also preserved them through the ages.
  • Believe the King James Version is the preserved Word of God for the English speaking people (Psalm 12:6-7; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
  • Believe in one God, who is eternal, self-existent, infinite, and immutable.
  • Believe He has one nature, one essence, and one substance, yet manifests Himself to man in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Timothy 1:17; James 1:17; 1 John 4:4).
  • Believe Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to be the one and only Saviour of mankind.
  • Believe Jesus Christ to be eternally God and to possess all the attributes of Deity.
  • Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born, that He was God incarnate, and that the purposes of the incarnation were to reveal God, to redeem men, and to rule over God’s Kingdom.
  • Believe He lived a perfect, sinless life, at the end of which He was offered for all mankind as a substitutionary sacrifice for man’s sin. This sacrifice was a just payment to God for the forgiveness of sin. It was activated by His death through the shedding of His blood on the cross and was accepted by God upon His resurrection.
  • Believe He ascended into Heaven after His resurrection to be seated at the right hand of the Father, waiting for the time of receiving His church at the Rapture, and returning seven years later to earth to rule and reign as King for 1,000 years (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 43:11; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:25; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1, 1:3, 14, 18, 29; Romans 3:19-25, 5:6-15; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 2:5, 3:16; Titus 2:10-15; Hebrews 7:26, 9:24-28; 1 Peter 1:19, 2:2; 1 John 1:3; Revelation 20:1-6).Believe the Holy Spirit of God is a person who has personality and all the attributes of Deity.
  • Believe all men were born with an inherited sin nature received from our common ancestor, Adam.
  • Believe that because of this nature, man is a sinner by choice, and he is totally incapable of reforming himself or ceasing from his sin by his own power.
  • Believe the only hope of deliverance for man is turning to Jesus Christ as the only Saviour.
  • Believe that only through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross can a man be delivered from his sin.
  • Believe that all those who reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour are already condemned to an eternity in the Lake of Fire (Genesis 5:1-5; Acts 4:19, 16:31; Romans 3:10-23, 5:6-12, 6:23, 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; Revelation 20:11-14).
  • Believe the local church is composed of members who have been saved and baptized according to the command of Christ, and have voluntarily united together for the purpose of worship, fellowship, service, and the Lord’s Table.
  • Believe all true believers will be taken up at the Rapture, just prior to the Tribulation (Matthew 16:16-18; Acts 1:15, 2:41-43, 11:15, 20:28; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Ephesians 1:12-14, 5:25-30; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 3:4-15).
  • Believe in the literal interpretation of the Scriptures in their grammatical and historical context.
  • Believe in the pre-tribulation Rapture of the church saints, followed by the seven-year Tribulation.
  • Believe in the pre-millennial return of Christ to the earth and His literal rule for one thousand years. Following this one thousand years is a Great White Throne judgment and then the New Heaven and new earth (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-9; Revelation 19-22).

This is by no means considered to be an exhaustive list, but it does cover the fundamentals. You may disagree with some of these, which is your right. I have included Scripture references to support the items.
You mention the KJV Bible. Why?
Contrary to a lot of intellectual nonsense the King James Version is the only Bible today that is based on the Texus Receptus. The argument against the KJV is that there are “older” versions that are better. Since there are no originals in existence anymore it is impossible to tell which is older. That said, the King James Version is based on copies that can be traced right back to New Testament times. This is not true of many modern versions which can only be traced back to when they were found (at least one in a trash can).
How do I find out what a church believes?
Here are some ideas for that:

  • Church website – many, if not most, churches have a website where you can see their Statement of Faith
  • Tract Rack – When I visit a church I look at their tract rack, it is very revealing
  • Mission Board – another revealing source I check on when visiting a church
  • Friends – if your friends have visited the church they might be able to help
  • Sunday School teaching – you’ll learn a lot about the church’s beliefs and practices
  • Sermons – the preaching of God’s Word will always be revealing.

How often should I attend a church before making a decision?

  • I recommend at least three times. Sometimes it may take weeks to get a true picture.
  • A safe answer would be to attend as long as necessary to form a correct opinion.

What about Music?
Music can make or break a church. There are different views on the subject. One rule I would follow would be to stay away from churches which try to please everyone. These usually have Traditional and Contemporary music or services. A good question to ask is does the music honor God and lift up the name of Jesus. Does the music prepare the heart for the preaching?
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

My Ultimate Service

My Ultimate Service

Those of you who’ve followed me for awhile know that I serve God through a variety of means including writing, serving in the church, and as vice president of T&R Independent Books. But what is my ultimate service?

Introducing TR Ministry

TR Ministry is a service or ministry of T&R Independent Books. It is a ministry that focuses on the local church, worldwide missions, and evangelism. In my last blog I indicated that God had shown me the direction He wanted me to go. This is it: T&R Independent Books exists to promote TR Ministry through the sale of our books.

Going forward this is a ministry that Teresa and I believe God has given us that is above, beyond, and includes our church. It is a ministry that will benefit from book sales and any other financial support we provide.

Does this mean we’ll be asking for your support? No!

Ultimately the support will come from royalties from the sale of our books. So the only way you can support this ministry is the purchase of a book by me or, in the near future, my wife (Tress Riddle).

Will we benefit from our books? Of course we will. But the primary beneficiary is TR Ministry. Will we have the ministry on our website? At this writing that is doubtful, since the ministry will be strictly ours involving no one else.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Serving thru Missions Conference

Last week I wrote about serving in the church. I specifically mentioned our Missions Conference which was to start on Wednesday.  This is my follow-up.

The conference, which involved five independent Baptist churches, began Wednesday night. Each night of the conference would involve a different missionary. Here is a breakdown:

Wednesday: Michael Payton, missionary to Nicaragua. He gave an excellent presentation which included a video showing in burden for the people of Nicaragua. He also preached

Thursday: Sam Quinn, missionary to India. We enjoyed his presentation with video showing the need of India for the gospel. He preached on battles and giants we all face as Christians.

Friday: Pablo Ramirez, missionary to Japan. I was able prior to service talk to him about Japan (I served there during Vietnam War) and found the country had modernized since I had been there. His presentation was good and included a video showing the need the Japanese people have to hear the gospel. He preached on missions.

Saturday: Missionary Banquet (see below).

Sunday AM: Aaron Hiltibidal, missionary to Romania. Unfortunately he suffered an accident during the week which injured his eye. He was able to only give his presentation which was quite good. We had a substitute preacher for the actual preaching.

Sunday PM: Jesse Turpin, missionary to Indonesia. In his video presentation he pointed out that Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world. His preaching was strong on missions and why we are left behind on earth rather than going to heaven immediately upon salvation – to proclaim the gospel.

This may have been the best missions conference we have ever had. All the missionaries were good preachers with a sound and timely message.

As mentioned above we had a banquet on Saturday night. A number of people hosted tables. Each table could represent a different country. Teresa and I took the Bronx, New York. While not a country our church supports a missionary to the Bronx, Ken Baker. Likewise, another couple took Hawaii where a missionary serves. The rest of the tables took actual countries from around the world.

We all participated in a contest to pick the best table representation of a country. The judge was looking for an attractive display, native food, and, in particular, details about the people, the land, and the need including information about any missionary serving there. The judge liked our table so much that we were high on the list, but the table representing Guyana won.

All in all it was a great banquet that afforded all of us the opportunity serve by hosting a table and to learn more about the mission field. The entire conference was a success raising funds to be divided among the five missionaries. Our church alone raised a large amount ensuring that each missionary would get a very generous offering. (Our funds were sent to another church which acted as a hub. They collected monies from all five churches and divided it among the missionaries. It is always a great offering!)

Teresa and I enjoyed hosting the table and learned a lot about New York City, especially the Bronx. This is an example of serving in the church. It doesn’t always have to be work, sometimes it can be fun!

This also emphasizes the principle that everyone can serve. We can serve with our prayers, our gifts, and our time. Perhaps you have a story of how you and/or your church served as it relates to missions. If you do, why not share it?

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

A NEW DIRECTION

A NEW DIRECTION

You may have noticed that I have not been blogging since last January. The reason is simple: I broke my wrist.

The good news is I was doing something important: playing Table Tennis. How it happened is another story that I may relate some day in the future, but for now let it suffice that I was sidelined. All writing came to a stop for awhile (it is hard to type with only one hand).

While sidelined I have had the opportunity to re-evaluate this blog and, indeed, my writing career. Up to now I have been blogging about writing, publishing and marketing. In fact, my blog’s theme was: So You Want To Write? As you may have noticed that has now changed to: So You Want To Serve!

Although I love writing I have learned it is not my true passion. As I look back on my life there is one theme that continually surfaces: promoting the Gospel. Whether it be personal soul winning, church outreach, missionary outreach, or evangelism, I have been involved in some manner.

I want people to know the Creator God Who Died, Rose Again, and gave me eternal life! If you take a look at all my past blogging there has been that undercurrent. With my being sidelined the Lord was able to get my attention and point out what now seems obvious: I have an evangelistic passion.

Don’t get me wrong. The Lord has not called me to be a preacher. Rather, He has called me to fully use my talents for His service. Just as my books are Christian fiction based on the truth of the Bible, He wants me to use this blog in His service. That does not mean sermons, but rather a Biblical point of view of different Christian outreaches with the idea of provoking you to thought and action.

I hope you enjoy this new direction.

With that in mind I am writing today about our church’s Missions Conference. In cooperation with four other churches we have five missionaries coming in to present their individual burdens. Beginning Wednesday night at 7:00pm each missionary will visit one of the five churches. They will rotate each day through Sunday.

I’ll probably write more on this later, but right now I want to tell you about a special night, this Saturday. Saturday night starting at 5pm our church will be having a Missions Banquet. Different people within the church will have a table set up dedicated to some missionary field. Teresa and I have chosen the Bronx, New York.

My wife has been working hard on ideas for food, garb, and overall table presentation. Each table, I don’t know how many, will set up their table to represent the missionary of their choice. Our table will represent Ken Baker who pastor’s Victory Baptist Church in the Bronx.

This is our first year doing the Bronx. As it was with our previous table, the Arctic North, there is much research required. But in the end we will have a table with up to eight people dressed appropriately and dining on food representative of New York. It will be a fun time.

But not only is it a fun time it is educational for us (of course), those sitting at our table and everyone else in the Fellowship Hall. It is an excellent way of educating people about the many diverse missionary fields out there. It helps each of us understand and appreciate the missionaries we support. And of course, we will also have a missionary there to present his field.

All the monies collected are split equally among the five missionaries which historically has been very good for each missionary. As mentioned each of the five churches invites a missionary. Each church is then responsible for any travel and housing expenses that occur. The whole conference is a much looked forward to event plus one that truly benefits the missionaries. It is even possible that they might get one or more of the churches to support their work.

One of the great benefits for those of us participating is the acquiring of knowledge plus a real appreciation for missions work itself. It is often a moving experience felt by all.

Does your church do anything like this? If so, why not share?

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.