KICKED IN THE GUT

I love talking with young adults . . . they keep me on my toes! “T,” a college student, just got off the phone. He’s had it with church and religion and all the hypocrisy. His Mom called me last night and asked if I would be willing to talk with him. She really wanted me to “talk some sense into him” so he wouldn’t “throw his life away.” I said I would talk with her son but only if he called me.

I was surprised when he called. “T” was loaded for bear and unloaded all the hurt, confusion, frustration and anger he’s been harboring against the church. It was pretty messy. The phrase that seemed to be repeated over and over was, “just a bunch of hypocrites.” So I challenged him to give me one example of this hypocrisy that was bugging him so much.

This is the nicest way I can summarize: “When I was a kid, the pastor talked all the time about giving 10 percent. Ten percent of your money; ten percent of your time; and ten percent of your talents. Nobody did it – at least not my parents or my friends’ parents. I’ve seen the tax returns. More like three percent. Yet every Sunday they’d go to church and smile and make nice and pretend they were doing the ten percent thing.

“When I got to college I was introduced to Islam. One of the things you agree to do when you become a Muslim is bring all your money to Mohammed and then the leaders let you take some back. Now that’s commitment.” When he finished I felt like I’d been kicked in the gut.

The hypocrisy in the church is most evident when it comes to money.

In 1896 Judson W. Van DeVenter penned some words that Winfield S. Weeden put to music as a hymn we know as “I Surrender All.” History proves that these two men did indeed surrender everything to follow Jesus but we cannot sing this song honestly. Maybe we should re-write the lyrics to represent what we teach but what few of us do. Therefore, in order to make the song reflect reality, I propose the following version:

Ten percent to Jesus I surrender
Ten percent to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In his presence daily live.

I surrender ten percent, I surrender ten percent;
Ten percent to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender ten percent.

Ten percent to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
Take me Jesus, take me now.

I surrender ten percent, I surrender ten percent;
Ten percent to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender ten percent.

Is the “ten percent tithe” Biblical? It was in the Old Testament. But Jesus seems to hold up a higher standard when He asks us to “take up our cross and follow.” And when he teaches us that if we want to save our lives we have to lose them first. Paul continues the theme when he talks about being “living sacrifices.”

No wonder our young people are walking away from the church. We’ve made being a Christian way too easy.

Jim

4 thoughts on “KICKED IN THE GUT”

  1. Hey Jim… I read some of your articles… this whole excuse about hypocrisy is not very new. It has been around for a long time. And I like what the Apostle Paul taught..
    2 Cor. 8:1
    Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 Cor. 8:2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
    2 Cor. 8:5
    And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
    People who don’t want to commit their lives to the Lordship of Jesus The Christ can always find someone who doesn’t live up to what they profess.
    I suspect there is a “little” hypocrit in most if not all believers.
    Hey… Love in the Lord. <
    Oh… I had ankle replacement Tuesday… home Wednesday… seem to be doing OK. Trying to learn how to use Pastor Daniel’s crutches… HA!!

  2. “take up your cross daily and follow me” it all belongs to Him. We all belong to Him. If we aren’t all His, are we really His at all?

  3. The vast majority of people who call themselves Christian never give more than 2 hours a week (1.19%) to God. Probably they give about the same per centage of their money to God, also. If the music was good and the preacher did not get on them, they go home satisfied.

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