|Saturday, November 14, 2020|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
ďThis know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.Ē 2 Tim 3: 1-7
read that someone in Kenya had attended a church for about ten years, relocated to another country for about another ten years and wrote back to the pastor in Kenya to refund the tithes and offerings he had donated to the church! I am sure to say the least it sounds amusing. That is what Paul calls ďEver learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.ĒIt means someone went to church for an entire decade and refused to understand what I call spiritual therapy -the purpose of the church. I am not a Christian apologist by title but by heart. It is unfortunate that we have so many people trooping in and out of church who never ask themselves what is the church about? Why am I in church? What do I gain from the church? Why all the investment in the church? In fact, why did God create the institution called church? I believe that the failure of the society in our time is due largely to this huge ignorance.
Philosophically speaking nothing exists without a purpose. In other words anything that exists has a name. If anything has a name it has a purpose. From minute things to great things, ants to human beings, chips to airplanes, huts to mansions, children to octogenarians. So the church is a major factor in human endeavor. In the Old Testament God spoke about tabernacles, altars and temples, they were worship centers, refuge centers, places where humanity communicates, interacts and synergizes with divinity, which in itself is a mystery because even though we do not see the invisible God we experience encounters with his visible handy work, yourself and myself. To emphasize the importance of church and spirituality in the New Testament, Jesus expressly stated Ė ďAnd I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.Ē Matt 16:18
What is spiritual? Relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. Relating to religion or religious belief.
What is therapy? Therapy is a scientifically proven process that teaches you how your mind works. It helps you navigate your feelings, build better behaviors, and relate to your thoughts differently so you can live the life you want. For example, psychotherapy, this is a type of therapy used to treat emotional problems and mental health conditions. Psychotherapists are mental health professionals who are trained to listen to a person's problems to try to find causes and help them find solutions. There are many types of therapies, among them is what I call spiritual therapy.
Therefore, spiritual therapy in my own coinage is the art or science of learning about how you use spiritual (bible, prayer, worship etc) means to solve human problems. As you have different centers to solve different problems so are spiritual centers established to solve spiritual problems. Hospitals are built to solve health problems, law firms for legal issues, schools from kindergarten to tertiary institutions are cognitive therapy centers for acquiring knowledge, restaurants for issues of hunger, the list is endless. The big one is that churches are for spiritual problems.
The follow up to that is that when you go to these centers, they provide the services that are required and people pay for those services. I am yet to hear that when people go to various hospitals they donít pay the fees in any way or manner and they are treated. In some places they pay heavy fees before they are admitted, because those who come to those hospitals know why they go there- their physical or mental health. They want to live; they donít want to die.
In the case of hospitals in particular even with all the treatment if the person doesnít get well they still pay, even if they die. Payment is made even for the death certificate! In Toronto the cost of sleeping one night in the hospital is upward of $2500 but because the government pays for it through the tax payers money, many donít feel it. Itís unheard of that people demand for a refund of the money they paid to the hospital after some years, or people writing to government to refund the money they paid as taxes when they came to live in their nation and relocated to another country. But someone is writing to the church that he attended for ten years to pay back the money he contributed as tithe! The question I will like to ask was did they charge him separately for the rent of that facility, the chairs he sat upon, the air condition/fan he enjoyed? That is on the low side, I will like to ask while he was there was he prayed for? Did he hear sermons, did he listen to the choir ministration, were they just clapping hands or did they have instruments? Can he quantify the healing therapy, mental, soul, social, moral training he had in that church? Can he quantify the spiritual blessings that God deposited in him that still makes him to be alive physically, spiritually and mentally?
I am saying this because many today do not know hence do not value the purpose of the church.
The question I ask is who forces such people to go to church? If they feel they are okay with their emotional, physical and financial lives and they donít need spiritual therapy why do they go to church?
A church that is worth its name never forces or coarse people to attend or to donate! But let it be clear that as you pay for other services where you needed services, you need to pay for services in the church as well. Salvation is free, spiritual therapy is not. Call it tithe, donation, offering, seed, first fruit, what matters is that spiritual therapies are offered in churches, God doesnít send physical money down he uses the donation of members. When they got to Gilgal Manna ceased! It is this lack of understanding that makes some people to complain about giving of tithes and offering in church. This tithe and offering is what God calls ďmeatĒ. Let there be meat in my house. Mal 3:10 For who ? for ministers. For the Levites and the priests, those that take care of the church. In the Old Testament days the expenses were different, today it is more complex, bills have to be paid.
Conclusion: It is naÔve to say the least for someone that has been ministered to in a church to request for their donations. The individual learnt nothing in that church, even the purpose of church. Paul calls it ever learning never coming to knowledge. Donít join that group of spiritual illiterates. Churches are spiritual centers to take care of your soul. There is no amount of money you can pay for such services.
It is also important to mention that this article is not to support abuse of church funds. It is also not in support of the argument that if you donít pay tithe or donate to church you will go to hell. It is simply to let you know that churches should not be measured in terms of your financial contribution, but your spiritual upliftment and fulfillment. Shalom