Thembu Royals Magazine - - The Inside Scoop -

Then you will pros­per if you are care­ful to ob­serve the statutes and the or­di­nances which the Lord com­manded Moses con­cern­ing Is­rael. Be strong and coura­geous, do not fear nor be dis­mayed...[ 1st Chron­i­cles 22: 13]

Ev­ery work which he be­gan in the ser­vice of the House of God in law and com­mand­ment, seek­ing his God, he did with all his heart and pros­pered…[ 2nd Chron­i­cles 31: 21]

Poor is he who works with a neg­li­gent hand, But the hand of the dili­gent is made rich…

[ Proverbs 10: 4]

O’ daugh­ters of Is­rael, weep over Saul, who clothed you lux­u­ri­ously in scar­let, Who put or­na­ments of gold on your ap­parel…[ 2nd Sa­muel 1: 24]

Let them shout for joy and re­joice, who fa­vor my vindication; And let them say con­tin­u­ally, “The Lord be mag­ni­fied, Who de­lights in the pros­per­ity of His ser­vant” [ Psalm 35: 27]

Beloved, I pray that in all re­spects you may pros­per and be in good health, just as your soul pros­pers…[ 3rd John 1: 2]

“O’ Lord, I be­seech You, may Your ear be at­ten­tive to the prayer of Your ser­vant and the prayer of Your ser­vants who de­light to re­vere Your name, and make your ser­vant suc­cess­ful to­day and grant him com­pas­sion be­fore this man” Now I was the cup­bearer to the king…[ Ne­hemiah 1: 11] From the afore­said verses, a rea­son­able in­fer­ence can be eas­ily drawn that Lord God de­sires His chil­dren to pros­per. As stated in the list of Bible verses of this na­ture is al­most count­less.

Not­with­stand­ing the po­si­tion of Lord God as stated above, but with­out dero­gat­ing there­from, it is nec­es­sary to clar­ify a grave mis­con­cep­tion that has af­fected, in­fected and in­fested the world over re­gard­ing the po­si­tion of Lord God and wealth or wealthy per­sons… This mis­con­cep­tion is, to a greater ex­tent re­spon­si­ble for poverty in var­i­ous parts of the world as it has been in­grained in the minds of hu­man­ity for sev­eral cen­turies. The mis­con­cep­tion arises from the mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the state­ment that was once is­sued by Lord Je­sus Christ thus… Then Je­sus said to his dis­ci­ples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for some­one who is rich to en­ter the king­dom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is eas­ier for a camel to go through the eye of a nee­dle than for some­one who is rich to en­ter the king­dom of God…” [ Matthew 19: 23- 24]

The first prob­lem is that this state­ment is gen­er­ally taken out of con­text. The sec­ond prob­lem is that a lit­eral in­ter­pre­ta­tion( mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion) is usu­ally adopted.

The con­text of the state­ment was sim­ply as fol­lows:

A rich man had ap­proached Lord Je­sus and asked Lord Je­sus…”Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eter­nal life?”

Lord Je­sus told the rich man to keep the com­mand­ments… “You shall not mur­der, you shall not com­mit adul­tery, you shall not steal…” “All these I have kept…what do I still lack?” Lord Je­sus replied… “If you want to be per­fect, go sell your pos­ses­sions and give to the poor, and you will have trea­sure in heaven. Then fol­low me.”.

Lord Je­sus by is­su­ing that state­ment wanted to test the rich man’s faith in Lord God as the rich man had claimed to have obeyed Lord God from child­hood. This test­ing of faith had oc­curred to many peo­ple in the Holy Bible. Abra­ham, among the rest, was once tested when Lord God in­structed Abra­ham to of­fer Isaac, Abra­ham’s only son as a sac­ri­fice to Lord God thus… “Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the moun­tains of which I tell you [Ge­n­e­sis 22:1-2.]. It is pub­lic knowl­edge that Abra­ham passed the test and took Isaac to the moun­tains as Lord God had in­structed. It is also pub­lic knowl­edge that Lord God pro­vided Abra­ham with a lamb for the sac­ri­fice and not Isaac. The rich man failed the test. If in­deed the rich man had strong faith in Lord God the rich man would not have had dif­fi­culty in sell­ing his pos­ses­sions be­cause Lord God owns all the riches in the uni­verse as such Lord God had the abil­ity to re­plen­ish all the riches that the rich man would have sold, and given to the poor with­out any dif­fi­culty.

A proper mean­ing of the state­ment is to be found if one adopts a pur­pose­ful system of in­ter­pre­ta­tion, that is, what was the pur­pose be­hind that state­ment. The pur­pose be­hind that state­ment was cau­tion­ary to the rich peo­ple to warn the rich that the rich must not be blinded by their riches to the ex­tent that the rich as­sume that the rich are Lord God them­selves. The rich must also con­tinue to obey Lord God even in view of their riches. It is pub­lic knowl­edge that there are rich peo­ple who tend to as­sume that due to their riches, they them­selves had be­come Lord God them­selves. The his­tory from the stone age is lit­tered with such colour­ful char­ac­ters. It is com­mon knowl­edge that Lord God would not be giv­ing bless­ings ( or cre­at­ing bil­lion­aires to put it straight) if Lord God then planned that once some­one had be­come a bil­lion­aire, one will be sent fly­ing to hell purely be­cause one had be­come rich. Such a mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion is fur­ther­more con­trary to var­i­ous bib­li­cal verses where Lord God clearly shows that Lord God em­braces wealth, pros­per­ity, and progress. In pass­ing it is nec­es­sary to give a warn­ing that lit­eral in­ter­pre­ta­tion to bib­li­cal verses is dan­ger­ous mainly be­cause the cur­rent bible (for ex­am­ple English Bible or other) had been trans­lated from dif­fer­ent lan­guages over cen­turies as such a pos­si­bil­ity that the pre­cise words, mean­ing, and con­text of the orig­i­nal bible may have been al­tered in the course of his­tory and evo­lu­tion is not far-fetched.

A church is an agency of heav­ens that per­forms the work of Lord God on earth. To this ex­tent for a church to carry out its man­date, a church must have the nec­es­sary fi­nan­cial re­sources to do so fail­ing which the church will fail in its du­ties. If then the church fails to do Lord God’s work due to lack of re­sources, then the Lord God is prej­u­diced, the pub­lic is also prej­u­diced, and the Devil wins. To this ex­tent, a church must be self­sus­tain­able, be able to gen­er­ate its own rev­enues in­stead of re­ly­ing on do­na­tions from the third par­ties. It must, how­ever, be em­pha­sized from the on­set that all such (rev­enue) op­er­a­tions must be done in strict com­pli­ance with the pre­scrip­tions as set out in the Holy Bible. It is there­fore not a sin for a church to be able to gen­er­ate its own fi­nances by law­ful means.

In our next fea­ture, fur­ther is­sues that re­late to the topic at hand will be dis­cussed.

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