Are the Pulpits Silent Now?

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In late July of this year, I asked the following economic questions, and this is how you answered:

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I would be interested in knowing if those figures still hold true.

The even greater question is whether or not your church has discussed the economy. I’m suspecting now that they have.

Rather than open up a new set of polls, I’d simply like to ask you all to leave a comment on the following questions:

Has your church leadership addressed the financial meltdown? If so, what did they say or do?

Has your church leadership taken any steps to initiate a new program/benevolence to address financial issues among the congregants within the church? Outside the church?

Do people in your church think this meltdown is The Beginning of the End?

Thank you for being a reader and for contributing your comments.

18 thoughts on “Are the Pulpits Silent Now?

  1. Don Fields

    We have not addressed the economic meltdown per se, but everyone is talking about it. We have taken a much more aggressive approach to our Deacon’s Fund and have started a food ministry.

    • Don,

      A friend told me his church (one I was a part of for more than a decade) canned the teaching series they were going to do to talk about the economy.

      Good for you for ramping up that ministry. I think more people are going to need it.

  2. keith

    Our pastor has spoken from the pulpit regarding greed and corruption on Wall Street and the general economic malaise. However, I am aware of very few pastors who ever preach on the 10th commandment as it relates to believers.

    We have taken a more proactive approach with our “caring ministry”.

    Some in our fellowship think this is the beginning of the end, but most think it is yet another of many birth pangs.

    • Keith,

      Yeah, it always seems to be the other guy’s sin that causes us problems, not our own.

      What does your church’s caring ministry offer?

      I think the eschatological talk is all over the map. You’ve got a large number of people thinking a certain presidential candidate is the antichrist, so the economic issues are only reinforcing The End talk.

      • keith

        Dan,

        Our caring ministry offers a variety of things – need based. We’ve made individual rent and mortgage payments (i.e.individual = a single month – not ongoing) utility payments, groceries, etc. The church has done this for years prior to the current slump, obviously our needs are jumping now.

        Your comments about antichrist speculation are interesting. At my age (58) I’ve heard many guesses over the years – Henry Kissinger, Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates – you name it. That’s one topic that always seems to generate much creative thinking.

        I could be off base theologically here, but it seems to me we are some ways off from hearing 1 Thess 5:3 claims of “peace”.
        My general end times theology is weak – I don’t know enough to say whether I am “pre” or “post” or some hybrid.

        Thank you for this most timely topic.

        Keith

  3. My mother’s pastor brought up the fourth scenario he would like to have seen in the parable of the talents: the one in which the man with the one talent trades in the market and loses everything. What would the master say about that?

    • David

      Risking all for the kingdom is never>/em> a losing proposition from an eternal perspective. Like someone with a retirement plan, one must have a “long view” regarding an investment strategy. The Christian perspective should be eternal. The only risky strategy is doing nothing.

  4. Darrell

    Our church has spoken on issues of fear and anxiety, from the pulpit, regarding the current economic climate – but it’s always within the scope of a larger context.

    There have been no direct messages, that I’m aware of, on various economic issues (and any moral/ethical implications as it goes for Christians as well). I gather from friends –that hail from differing churches, if not theological orientation– that the economy has been more directly addressed from the pulpit.

    I’m not aware of any benevolence funds recently established in my church just for the current economic conditions. But my ignorance doesn’t negate their possible existence either (??).

    I’m still formulating my eschatological position and so I don’t have a nuanced view on the current state of affairs being the “beginning of the end”. But my instinct (I’ve read a bit of history, I guess) is that it’s not. I think we may be in for dark and difficult days but I’m not convinced this will necessarily usher in the last days. Again, just my sense of it.

    Hope this helps?

  5. Bob Aarhus

    I think it ironic that Christians are singled out and murdered in modern-day Africa and we hear nothing; Christians get persecuted in China and we hear little; Christians are opposed and mocked in Europe and we hear some more; but when Christians in America have to start cutting back on Starbucks, there is suddenly talk of “The End” in churches.

    Are our priorities screwed up, or what?

    • Bob,

      Very astute comment.

      I think part of the problem is the fact that God never intended people to shoulder the worries of the world, yet our media outlets can bring the world’s misery right to our doorstep. (No wonder so many are on psychoactive drugs.) For that reason, we have become numb to misery unless it is our own. Too many of us have burned out our emotional capacity for anyone outside the four walls of our house.

      I’m not attempting to condone it, only understand the reaction you lament.

  6. Link

    My pastor has been preaching about the economy for literally the past 20 years or so, and has written several books on the subject. He has mentioned the real estate bubble time and time again and has repeatedly warned the congregation not to fall for its trappings. I find it ironic that I would get better financial advice from my pastor than I do from the experts on Wall Street.

    Here is a link to one of his latest books, which is an update of his book, “The Vision.”

    http://www.tscpulpitseries.org/lastcall.html

  7. Normandie

    We’re out in the field, so church comes as we make it happen, but I find the US church’s surprise at the financial events fascinating. This was bound to happen. I admit, it’s all come about more quickly than I imagined, but things couldn’t continue as they had been. Students of history should certainly have expected a falling out at some point. Why not now?

    And yes I think things are lining up in new ways: the Middle East/Iran/Moslem threat that is making itself felt and accepted may portend disasters such as we only imagine. Godlessness reigns in developed nations. The only gospel power I read about happens in third-world countries. So maybe we need a real change so we can go back to having to trust completely in the Lord. How many of us know how to live that way? Perhaps this winnowing will help the church become what God intended for her to be; instead of a gathering place in which to pat each other on the back and show off our affluence, we can be about the Kingdom business of spreading the Word and ministering to one another and to the lost..

    • Normandie,

      I live in the Midwest, which has been an economic disaster for years as it never really recovered from the dot com bubble of 1999-2005. Just a simple review of salary figures will show you that the only people doing well in this country are those making over $300,000 a year. That’s like the top 2 percent in incomes. Everyone else has been stagnant or worse, and even that stagnation is generous, seeing that it does not take into account real buying power.

      I’m not sure that the repentance will come. I think people have become so enamored of nanny state-ism that they’ll look to the government and not the the Lord for their help.

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