I will begin with the subject of mega churches and their income and assets. They have become commonplace in jesus christ gospel of love church buildings, costing from $10 million to $100 million each, have arisen throughout our nation. Today’s Christian Church in America has become a gigantic commercial enterprise. Recent statistics from “The Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches” and “The National Center for Charitable Statistics“, reveal that Christian churches and ministries in America have an annual income of about $80 billion.
The amount of the Church’s income is not the concern, but rather how the funds are being spent. As mentioned, huge and extravagant church facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and luxurious furnishings are arising everywhere. More and more ministries are operating in expensive new buildings. Many of these ministries boast of flying to their meetings in their own private jets. And, all of this is happening at a time when there is so much need in our nation, and even more so in other parts of the world.
The number of homeless and hungry Americans is rapidly increasing. Furthermore, more than nine million people die from starvation annually throughout the world. At such a time as this, when there is so much need all around us, wouldn’t it be a powerful witness for Christ if American Christian churches and ministries were willing and able to minister to these needs in a substantial way, by spending a “significant portion” of their massive income and assets to help those in need? However, their vast expenditures on luxurious mega churches, large salaries, worldly investments and expensive toys are hogging most of their income and assets, while, by comparison, only a minimal percentage is spent on real ministry. This is shameful, and it is not “what Jesus would do”!
Of course, those in the Church who are spending their donated funds on all of these “material things” are quick to justify their actions. They remind us that the Jewish temple in the Old Testament also was an extremely expensive and luxurious building. Unfortunately, their comparison and reasoning are both quite faulty. If they really want to compare their modern churches to the temple, the first thing they should do is to close down all of their coffee shops, bookstores, arcade rooms and restaurants that they have included in their expensive church facilities.
Why? Because the Bible states that Jesus cast the “sellers” and “money changers” out of the temple, and He said that we are not to make His Father’s house, a “house of merchandise” (John 2:16; Matthew 21:12). In other words, do not turn the temple into a shopping mall. Therefore, if today’s church leaders want to compare their buildings with the temple, then their profitable bookstores, restaurants and amusement rooms need to be eliminated. However, it is highly unlikely that you will be seeing this occur anytime soon. You see, the contemporary Church does not want to conduct itself like the Old Testament temple when it comes to reverence and sanctity, but only when it comes to expensive and luxurious adornment.