Paul's Passing Thoughts

Support Your Local Pizza Guy

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on May 3, 2016

This is a great story. I am truly happy for this young man and the love he was shown. This is the sort of thing that we as believers are supposed to do.

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” ~ James 1:27

The first century assemblies were characterized by spontaneous benevolence towards those in their assemblies who were in great need. Chief among those were widows and orphans (Acts 6). But consider what was the cost of being a follower of “the way”. For many, it most likely cost them their jobs, their livelihood, their families. Recognizing this great need, other believers, both rich and poor, gladly sold what they had so that the needs of others were met.

“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” ~ Acts 2:44-45

“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common…Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.” ~ Acts 4:32-35

This is exactly how a Body functions; when one member hurts, the rest of the Body suffers with it and immediately reacts to enable healing to take place.

Even the Gentile believers across Asia Minor and Greece recognized their oneness with Jewish believers back in Jerusalem. The assemblies in Macedonia took up a special offering in order to send relief to those believers when they learned of the tremendous persecution they were enduring.

How is “giving” characterized in the church these days? All revenue collected in the offering place goes to support huge church budgets; churches who have several paid “elders” (associate pastors) on staff, pastors’ benefits, expense accounts, building programs, building maintenance, utility expenses and other operating costs, Christian schools and teachers’ salaries, missionaries, church planting, youth programs, and outreach “ministries”. With all of this infrastructure to maintain, there is very little left, if anything, to help those in need. And the sad part is that even those who are truly in need are expected to hand over their share to support this monstrosity. Yet this is what people willingly pay for their salvation.  After all, it’s one of the “means of grace”, right?

With regard to this pizza guy, I can’t help but think that this particular “church” that helped him out has a half-million dollar budget or more, and $700 is a drop in the bucket, all things considered.  Even then they probably took a special offering that day just for the purpose of helping this guy.  This hardly qualifies as “spontaneous” benevolence.  It would have had to be planned ahead of time.  In which case, this whole incident ends up being nothing more than a publicity stunt.

Just think how many “pizza guys”, both inside the church and outside, believers could help out if their giving wasn’t tied up in supporting “infrastructural worship”!

Andy

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