I thought about responding in the comments to these thoughts, but I know not everyone goes back and reads the comments. Melody brought up some good food for thought. And I’ve had to think hard about her comment. Iron sharpening iron–gotta love it!
First I want to say that I appreciate the loving spirit with which Melody expressed her thoughts. If all believers handled their differences this way, there would be little to no dissention in the church 🙂
3. Okay, here is where I have some questions. First of all, the Bible does not say anything about asking someone for help, but it DOES say to not go into debt. You just said you’d rather go into debt than “beg”. That sounds unbiblical to me. Well I personally would not do a “$1 adoption”, I do not think it is wrong. I think it is a matter of how God is leading your particular family. Remember, God askes a lot of people to give (and maybe never adopt) and $1 adoption is a way for them to do so conveniently and privately. Of course, ideally the body of Christ should be so tightly knit this wouldn’t be an issue, but we are not living in an ideal world.
I totally agree!!! In an ideal world, not marred by sin, this wouldn’t even be an issue. But it is. And, among other things, adoptions are outrageously expensive in most cases.
I have to disagree with you that the Bible says debt is wrong. I do believe that it does strongly discourage debt. (if you have a specific verse in mind, I’d be interested).
The Bible talks in Proverbs and Isaiah about the borrower being a slave to the lender. Proverbs 37 also says that the “wicked borrow but do not pay back.” So Scripture does imply that debt is a bad idea. Also, if I remember right, that is what Jubilee was, at least partly, about–the forgiving of debt. Why would this be discussed if debt was sinful?
However, the Scriptures do say that if a man shall not work, he shall not eat. (implying that one should not beg). The author of the 37th psalm also says that he has never seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging bread. I guess the question would be, are the $1 adoptions begging?
On a side note, if we had not gone into debt, Sweet Cheeks would not have been able to come home when she did. We prayed God would provide the money without borrowing. We applied for grants (and would have received at least one of them, but they were out of money). But He did provide a home equity loan when we refinanced our house a couple of years ago, we did not ask for it and that the lender said she had never seen it happen before. 🙂
Melodie comments further:
Which leads me to my final point: What are missionaries supposed to do if the can’t raise support (“beg”). Perhaps you believe that a missionary’s home church should support them entirely, and that would make sense. But do you really believe it is wrong for a believer to request financial assistance in all situations? I can totally understand the motive of your question. Being that your family has been in missions for so long. Let me say that raising support is not begging. A missionary is working! And works harder than many people realize. Many missionaries give up so much of their lives and themselves to work exclusively for the Kingdom, not just being salt and light, but purposefully reaching out to unbelievers in countries many of us don’t even want to visit. I believe the Bible addresses this:
In 1 Timothy 5 Paul tells Timothy that elders who work in preaching and teaching should receive double honor. (I don’t know for sure that Paul is talking of monetary “honor” but it certainly would fit). Then in 1 Corinthians 9:13 -14 says: “Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. “
This tells me that the church should support our missionaries. There is one more situation I am thinking of but can’t find it and I’ve looked all the logical places I can think of. Paul is talking about how although he could have asked for support from this church, he was glad that he didn’t from this particular group. (I’m thinking it’s also in Corinthians, but I cannot find it).
Working as missionary, or pastor is so very different than asking people to “donate” $1 to adopt a child or anything else for that matter. (just for the record, I get frustrated at ministry’s that ask for a “suggested donation” a suggested donation does not seem to be a donation at all– just my thought 🙂 .
I guess the $1 adoptions just remind me of a chain letter, or a homeless person begging on the side of the road. And I personally think that it takes away from the testimony of what God can do.
2nd Comment, much shorter answer 🙂
Melanie wrote that she was going to take a copy of “10 stupid things women do to mess up their lives” to the flea market. This is NOT what I am saying at all. I think Dr. Laura has some great insight (as well as some others) but I just don’t think it belongs in a church for “Bible study” 🙂