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Showing posts from July, 2009

Where is the Money of the Church Going? - Part 1

Did you ever think about how the early churches had spent their finance? When I asked this question to a vice-principle of a Bible College, he said, “I never thought about it; I don’t know.” I appreciate the honest confession of this man, for it is not easy to be in such a position and admit, “I don’t know.”

I wonder how many believers and leaders truly thought about this matter. And if they thought about this issue and know the answer then I wonder how many are serious enough to follow the example of the early church.

Incidentally, it is obvious in the early churches of the New Testament that they didn’t practice the concept of tithing, for they were not under the finite system of law but in the infinite freedom of grace. The renowned bible teacher, Ray C. Stedman wrote, “Nowhere in the New Testament do you find tithing taught or laid upon Christians.”[1] Does this mean they didn’t practice giving at all?

Certainly not!

The fact is that the early church gave more than a tithe. They…

Who Planted the Church of Antioch - Ordinary Believers or Unique Apostles?

The city of Antioch was placed in the north of Syria. Needless to say, great movements occurred here. The church of Antioch is known to be one of the remarkable churches in the history of Christianity. It was in Antioch that the followers of Christ were first called as Christians (Acts 11:26).

When I ask the question who planted the church of Antioch, the general response from people would be, "Paul" or "Barnabas" or "Peter." But is it what the Scripture says? Many suppose church planting in the early church was done only by the apostles. But is it true?

One major mistake people commit in their study of the Holy Bible is this - instead of reading and interpreting the Scripture in the light of historical context they read and interpret the text in the light of contemporary church practice. Consequently, many miss the insight of how the whole people of God were involved in building God's community.

Acts 8
Let's come back to our question, "W…

Word to the Leaders

Great leaders are great givers.
– said John Maxwell

Living in India, I always used to wonder by looking at palm readers and soothsayers. I heard them emphatically telling people about their future prosperity and I thought, “When they tell others about prosperity, why they themselves are not prosperous?”

Keeping this aside, when I see some leaders motivating believers to give so that they would become prosperous, I cannot help but ask, “When believers can give and prosper why can’t leaders also give and see prosperity? Why do they want to prosper by taking from others rather than by giving to them?” Doesn’t the principle, “Give and it shall be given to you and blessed are those who give than who receive” primarily apply to leaders?

We come to know through the Holy Scriptures that one of the primary qualifications of a leader is to be hospitable (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8). However, can we imagine hospitality without being generous? Reflecting on the life and ministry of Paul—an apostle…