Many Christians today hold their wallets out of the water (when they are baptized) so that they can continue in their own minds to maintain ownership over and control over their possessions and to accumulate more possessions.
Randy Frazee, The Connecting Church 2.0
We see it all the time
Businesses and people that give of their resources in a public relations move to give the appearance of caring for and building community, all the while seeking glory and a good reputation for themselves. But for some reason, we just don’t seem to see it in the same way as we do with the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. It’s probably because they were struck dead for pulling the same stunt (that’ll get some attention!). They were looking for some good PR; giving the false impression that they were giving to help others.
Something else we see all the time
Christians who baptize 10% of their income while the other 90% still falls under their ownership and control. If you understand the nature of kingdoms, you understand that everything in the kingdom is the kings. 100%. Not 10%.
True close-knit-Kingdom-biblical-organic-body-church-life community cannot be experienced among people who claim the resources they steward as their own and/or look to accumulate as much as possible. It can only happen when the members of the community “don’t claim that any of their possessions is their own, but share everything they have.” (Acts 4:32)
Why is that? Because true community is marked by interdependence, which can’t occur unless the members are freely and liberally stewarding their resources toward the needs and mission of the community as a whole. And this doesn’t just apply to currency, but to time and talents as well.
Let’s stop seeing this
Far too often, as is the norm, we see people in need (financially, emotionally, or whatever) helped by organizations instead of people. Or maybe they express their needs to people and get the common utterly non-Christian response of “I’ll certainly be praying that God provides.” Or worse yet, those in need don’t even express their needs because they don’t want to feel like a burden. OMG, how far off the mark we are!
Are you not a brother or a sister? Are you not part of the body of Christ on the Earth? Are you not the vessel through which God desires to do His work and spread His Kingdom in the here and now?
In healthy close-knit-Kingdom-biblical-organic-body-church-life community, the members see it as their duty to provide for the needs of their members. They see themselves as the vessels through which prayers are answered and Love is dispensed. God is not a fairy granting wishes, but a King living inside of kings through which His work is accomplished.
Those living out the Christian life in community take responsibility for each other, even to the point of sacrificing to deep levels where it hurts. The pocketbook – this is where you’re able to distinguish between community for the sake of one’s own needs and true Christian community.