"Our" Program

Larry Ray Hafley
Plano, Illinois


Ministers of the gospel of Christ often realize the need for more finances. Members of the church are urged to give more to sup port "our program." "We need to pay off our building loan, keep our radio program, and purchase new song books, so dig down in to your pockets and give!" Well, that kind of appeal may obtain the necessary funds, but it ought not. Since when did it become obsolete to tell people that unless they give as prospered they can't go to heaven? Why not encourage Christians to give as God has demanded? If that sounds old-fashioned or like hellfire preaching, then blame Paul because that's the approach he used. (I Cor. 16:1, 2; 2 Cor. 9:7). Let's not conduct a "charity drive" to get people to give faithfully. We need to abandon "our" programs and get busy doing the Lord's work. If churches would operate "decently and in order," they would not have to be worried about trying to squeeze money out of people. Begging for money to install air-conditioning or expand the nursery to attract crowds is to lose sight of scriptural purpose. Next thing you know some church will advertise hairdryers to encourage more women to be baptized! Or has it already happened somewhere?

July 1969