This week at Cerulean Sanctum, I’ll be gathering polling info for a look at how American Christians view money issues, both personal and in the Church. Most polls will run for about six days. So please vote. After the polls close, I’ll offer the results and my commentary on the issues and answers related to the poll questions and results.
Thanks for participating!
(Note to those reading by RSS: to participate in this week’s polls, you’ll need to come to the site to vote. Thanks!)
Why do we Christians believe what we do about money and possessions? The Bible is our source of truth, but we tend to have our own biases toward its many passages on riches, poverty, prosperity, giving, and the state of our souls in relation to our attitudes on wealth.
To vote on the nine questions, simply log your responses. This poll runs through 6:00 PM, Tuesday, March 4, 2008. A day or so after, I’ll tally the votes and post them with my commentary.
The first three poll questions depend on the following well-known verses used widely in the Church when discussing money and material blessing:
Deuteronomy 28:13 – “And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them….”
Psalms 1:1-3 – Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Proverbs 21:13 – Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.
Malachi 3:10 – “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
Matthew 6:31-33 – “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Mark 11:23-24 – “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Luke 18:24-25 – Jesus, seeing that [the rich young ruler] had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
Acts 2:44-45 – And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 – The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
1 Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Thank you for your answers!
If you’ve not voted already, please vote on the following polls:
The Tithing Poll – Open until 6:00 PM, Sunday, March 2, 2008
The Church Finances Poll – Open until 6:00 PM, Monday, March 3, 2008
6 thoughts on “Banking on God: The Theology Poll”
Ooh, it’s really tough to choose on some of these!
Quick question on the first poll here (my church’s views): in cases where the two may differ, do you mean what they say their views are, or what I observe them to be? (I assumed the latter, but maybe that was wrong.)
Well, Travis, you stumped me on one of my own questions! I didn’t think that the teaching of the message and the practice of it would be that much different, but I guess it’s possible. On this issue of giving, I would suspect that fewer churches differ on teaching/practice than on any other topic because of the united front most churches must show to get people to give.
So to answer your question, I don’t immediately know. I would like to know what they teach, period, but if their verbal teaching and their action teaching don’t line up, that’s a poser, as the British say!
Well, okay – here’s what made me wonder (in case my confusion is itself confusing):
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 – Sowing and cheerful giving
I’ve been with many churches who say this is what they teach, but in practice they actually use the verse itself as a form of compulsion (in other words, “we’ll treat you as ungodly unless you sow [to us] bountifully—as WE define the word”).
Most of the members I’ve spoken with in such congregations remain convinced that they’re being taught to give freely vs. under compulsion, while in the very next breath a reminder is given that “you’re under a curse if you don’t bring the full tithe.”
That’s why I asked. 🙂
Sort of a “You better freely give or else!” kind of thing, right?
I’ve seen that at some companies when it comes to things like United Way donations. I’ve known Christians who were pressured to give to the United Way (which supports many immoral and downright anti-Christian groups) for fear of losing their jobs, even though their company said, “This is voluntary.”
Hey, we all know there’s voluntary and then there’s VOLUNTARY.
“The Bible teaches that God is the one responsible for making a person rich or poor.”
An interesting question… And I’m not sure I know the answer. Certainly, God is capable of making one rich or poor… But does He? (at least, any more than He is responsible for making one short or tall, English or African)
Check your e-mail. I responded in private.