I believe

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I believe

Postby goldhunter470 » Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:19 pm

December 22, 1998. My wife and I get the some of the worst news any new parent can get. One of the tests came back abnormal and more test would need to be run. The doctor said it was a pretty good chance my first son would be born with spinal bifida. I was 21 at the time and can still remeber the fear I had at that moment. How were two 21 year old kids going to raise a special needs child? How would I pay for it? Why couldn't my son be born just like every other healthy baby? Why me?

I had to sit on this for a week over Christmas because none of the lab people would be around for a week. At this point in my life I was questioning the existance of God. I grew up with an agnostic father and had pretty much felt the same. If there was a God why would he let this happen? I hadn't done anything.

On Chrismas Eve, my mother asked my wife and I to go to Midnight Mass. (She had grown up Catholic, never went to church, but still had the faith.) The last place I wanted to be on a very, very cold December night was in a church of a faith I don't follow, but I was looking for anything to ease my mind, so we went.

The service went on as usual until the preist said it was time to pray. I got down on my knees and asked God, "Why?" Why me, why us, why now? What happened next I will never be able to explain. It was as if someone had wrapped me in a warm blanket. This wasn't just something I was imagining. It was physical. I could feel my angst and frustration leave my body, literally. It was as if God had taken my hand and told me everything was going to be ok. Sick or not we would make it. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. I will never forget.

Ok, this brings me to my delema. I absolutely believe in God. I also believe in Jesus Christ. What I have a real hard time with is organized religion. I look at the Vatican and I see beautiful buildings and elaborate decorations. I guess not just the Vatican, but many churches that I see. Many organized religions want you to tithe 10% of your income. The Catholic Church is the single largest private land owner on the planet. Why does organized religion need this much? Wouldn't the money be better spent feeding the poor or clothing the homeless?

I don't mean to just pick on Catholics. It is just what I, personally, have been witness to. I'm also not trying to pick a fight. I have no problem with people doing whatever gets them through life. Just looking for a little insight because I do listen to everyones opinion even though I may disagree with it.

God bless you all!
Last edited by goldhunter470 on Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby goldhunter470 » Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:23 pm

By the way... my son came out perfect. He is six going on seven in June. Two more years and he may be able to take me!!! Very big boy! :thumbsup:
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Postby La. Hunter » Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:22 am

Although I am Southern Baptist, I generally feel the same way as you do. It gets me when there are numerous families in my area that could use a little extra help and my church is sending tons of money oversees. I believe that you take care of your own 1st, then if you have any thing left, you send it to other countries. On the other hand, others complained when our church first started discussing the building of a several million dollar gym and recreation building. They thought that this money should be spent on missions instead. In my opinion, this new gym has brought more new people to our church than any revival or local mission work in the past ten years. Kids start getting involved with the recreational activities with our church and before long them and their parents are sitting in worship services every Sunday morning.
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Postby AK Ducks » Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:03 pm

its important to give a tithe of 5% - 10% at the start while I tithe when I make money (college student now) but everyone I talk to says that you'll be suprised how even when you think you can't tithe you still can. God has given us eternal life the least we can do is give 5% of our paychecks.
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Postby goldhunter470 » Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:36 pm

I'm just not able to wrap my head around having to pay to worship. I know the money goes to good causes most times, but I see a lot of waste. Also why is it based on a percentage. A person should contribute what they feel they can afford not what the church says you can afford. And why is this done at mass when everyone can see who has contributed? At the church I used to attend we were supposed to put our tithing in an envelope with our name on it. Why not annonymous donations?
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Postby 870 » Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:47 pm

We as Christians are commanded to give a tenth of our income to the storehouse ( church ) that belongs to God, it’s His money. My family and I have been living off of the 90% for years. We are doing fine, we also live off of one income. We just budget our living around the 90% and trust God to meet all our needs like the Word says He will. Granted its hard at first walking in that kind of faith, but after you see Him meet your needs a few times it become easier. Now we don’t even think about it, we just do it, by no means are we rich, not even close. You’re not to be concerned with what your pastor or priest does with the money because it’s not your money, its Gods, let Him deal with them. You’re to be faithful to His Word.

Now if you see needs in your community, go and meet those needs, cloth the naked, feed the hungry, house the homeless etc. The money to do this isn’t to come out of your tithe, that’s above your tithe, that’s called an offering. He tells us to do so as well.

Some give so God will bless them, that’s a wrong motive for giving. I give because of what He has already given me. His Word says that He knew me before the foundation of this world. It also says He loved me as He knitted me together in my mothers womb. He also knew I was going to need a savior so He gave me His best. His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus. He gave His Son’s life for my sin’s, so for me to give 10 cense of every dollar is nothing. You can’t out give God. :yes:
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Postby duckdog » Sat Mar 25, 2006 11:31 pm

Goldhunter 470, I am glad to hear your son is doing well, and is'nt it awesome to feel gods presence. I have had a few times when I was in needing times, and God has came through, you could just tell, it felt like he took a timeout from the rest of the world for a few seconds and focused just on my family. Its an overwhelming feeling.

As for the financial point of the church, I used to think on the same lines as you are. Why should we have to pay to worship. God put everything on the earth that we would ever need, and I always thought the church should be the same way. But I am not heating my home with firewood, neither is my church and it does cost quite a bit to keep it going.

The only reason I know this is that now I am on the church council, and see first hand what it takes to keep everything going so we have a place to worship our lord.

I live in a community of roughly 700 people and there is 4 churches. If you take the monthly bills we have at home, take them and multiply them about 4 times you get just what they pay for utilities, then donations to needy groups, people in the community that need help, upkeep on the church, and parish, etc. The church surrvives by the weekly offering.

Now God does'nt by no means need money, but the place where we worship him does need it, so we can continue to do so. The reason they have the place for names on the offering envelopes is for tax purposes so we can write it off for a deduction on our personal taxes.

I try to keep up to the 5 to 10 percent of income standard, and by no means do I look down on anyone that offers nothing. God loves us either way.

Hope I don't come on the wrong way, just trying to offer some info from a different point of view. God Bless
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Postby goldhunter470 » Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:34 am

I really appreciate the great responses you guys have posted. It, in no way, comes across as preachy. That turns me off more than anything.

I do understand the church needs money for day to day operation. The more I think about tithing it really makes sense to me. The church I used to attend was a pretty simple place that needed what little I could give to get by. I lost my way in my mid 20's- drinking, womanizing, divorce- all that fun stuff and left that church. Maybe I should go back.
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Postby 870 » Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:38 pm

Not wanting to sound preachy again LOL. I would like to encourage you to come on back to church. Soon after my conversion I fell back into the drinking, drugs scene and found I didn’t belong there, it didn’t seem the place to be. So to make a long and ugly story short, I showed up one Sunday back in church. To my surprise they didn’t look down on me, but loved and restored me into the fellowship. I new I wasn’t perfect. They showed they and the church wasn’t perfect either, but by coming, we all could worship the one who was. So come on back bro, you won’t regret it.
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Shared Concern

Postby Jay Jolicoeur » Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:04 pm

First I want to say I am glad to here you son is healthy.

I share a lot of you thoughts and concerns. I was in the fulltime ministry for 3 years. I resigned in August because I saw a lot of things that were not biblical. It is a shame that we all get caught up in money. Both on a ministry level and a personal level.

I see that in the old testament the Bible tells us to give a 10th of our money and a 1/7th of our time. When we look at the new testament we are asked to lay it all down. Luke 9:23-27 says "23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,[a] and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.".

I would encourage you to look at what the Word of God says instead of what people do regardless of organization.
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Postby kiwismakebetterhunters » Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:21 am

I dont think that God would really care how elaborate looking a church is.
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Postby NV Guide » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:12 pm

I believe that "church" is two or more people discussing the Lord and his word. It is way more important what God thinks of what we are doing than what any of the rest of us think. Live your life as if God were sitting right next to you, because, he is.



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