It is no longer news that there is an economic recession going on. Loads of people including Christians are losing their jobs and homes at such an alarming rate. Many even face bankruptcy and churches have not been exempt either.
A local assembly is only as rich as its members. So if members are forced to scale back on their spending this will doubtlessly affect the church. A trend many preachers have become quite unhappy with. And thus resort to drastic measures to reverse this trend.
One weapon of choice is guilt! A lot of these preachers mount the pulpit and berate their congregation for reducing their giving and failing to tithe. They claim this has resulted in the recession. They go on further to claim that this would be the best time to give sacrificially as that shows to God you really love Him and he will have no option than to bless you. Really?
Others have decided to use another ploy; brute force! They forcibly ask for access to the bank accounts of their faithfuls so that they can collect the monies unhindered. After I studied the bible, I discovered that those on both sides of this divide are crooks! They are hirelings who are only after their own interests and not that of the sheep. You might say this is a very strong statement to make but let’s see what the scriptures has to say about this.
In Genesis 41, Pharaoh had a dream which Joseph gave the interpretation. In the dream, they were going to witness seven years of abundance which would be followed by another seven years of famine. And Joseph’s solution to this dilemma was that savings should be made during the years of abundance so that sustenance could be available during the famine years. Joseph was set apart because of his ability to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and provide a solution. This was an economic recession to which Joseph had prior knowledge by God’s Spirit and adequate preparation was made to cushion its effects.
In the New Testament, a similar event occurred and here was what was done
27 During this time some prophets travelled from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up in one of the meetings and predicted by the Spirit that a great famine was coming upon the entire Roman world. (This was fulfilled during the reign of Claudius.) 29 So the believers in Antioch decided to send relief to the brothers and sisters in Judea, everyone giving as much as they could. 30 This they did, entrusting their gifts to Barnabas and Saul to take to the elders of the church in Jerusalem. Acts 11
Again we see that men by the Spirit were able to properly predict the impending “recession” and the believers took steps to alleviate the sufferings of those who were going to be affected. When the prophecy came, did any of the apostles blame those affected that it was due to their lack of giving? Did they guilt trip them into “sowing sacrificially” to ward away the impending recession?
In today’s church it is a completely different story. With so many hirelings running amok, none could hear from God and warn of this impending recession. It has hit and has hit big. And instead of doing the honourable thing and find out from the Lord what we can do, they resort to all sorts of tactics to make sure money keeps flowing in for them. They are not the least bit interested in the welfare of the sheep or the furtherance of God’s kingdom for that matter.
Famines happen and have been happening since biblical times but God always revealed to the people through His prophets what should be done.
The question now is why couldn’t any of these preachers hear from God with regards to this recession and warn all accordingly? Well your guess is as good as mine!