Pastor's Corner

19 Dec
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Mid-Week Challenge

Six days until Christmas and I hope you have your shopping finished!  If not, I know where you might get a great deal on a gently used Lamborghini SUV.  John Gray, pastor at Relentless Church in South Carolina, is seen in an Instagram video posted December 8 leading his wife to a bow-wrapped car and handing her the keys while saying “Lamborghini Urus.” The car is reported to be worth $200,000.  Pastor Gray was brought on to lead the 22,000 member mega church in May.  “God helped me to make my wife’s dream come true,” he wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday night. “Why not? She’s made mine come true!”  Apparently only he and his wife were happy with his gift to her.  By Thursday, he was on Facebook Live, tearing up at times as he defended his decision and said the sport utility vehicle was bought with “not a nickel, not a penny” of his salary from the church or other church money.  “My wife has pushed for my dreams and my vision, and she has toiled with a man who is still trying to find himself,” Gray said. “That carries a weight. I wanted to honor her for how she’s covered me.” 

What began as a typical Christmas dream scene (new car in the driveway with a big red bow, is turning into a nightmare) seemingly all because May is a pastor.  The main criticism from outsiders is that most of the people who live in his town don’t make enough to afford anything close to the value of the gift.  Gray tried to defend against the critics in his explanation by mentioning money earned from the sale of his book and a show he does for Oprah.  Still that was not enough for some who insist he must be using money from the church.   

Wow, can’t we just be happy for someone?  Unfortunately for most, the answer is no.  There is nothing wrong with what Pastor Gray did for his wife.  How they spend their money is their business and the rest need to leave them alone.  The problem is that when it comes to ministers and high-profile Christians, criticism comes with the job.  The Bible warns all of us about the image we give off and how it can hinder or help our witness.  People in ministry have long fought this unfair standard placed upon them.  In some parts of the world owning a home, having more than one meal a day or two sets of shoes can seem extravagant. Ministers have always brought criticism when they appeared to enjoy life. Paul had to address this very thing in Acts 20 and 1 Corinthians 4 when people were accusing him of seeking to profit from preaching.  Paul also saw the potential damage of bringing attention to ourselves in how we dress and spend our money. (1 Timothy 2:9).  Even Peter warned his readers of this danger. (1Peter 3:3)    

The best thing to do when these feelings or thoughts come to us about another is remember the words of Jesus when He said to take care of the log in our own eye before helping another with the speck in their eye.  And if it bothers you that much, don’t go around them, but don’t paint your criticism with such a broad brush.  Not all rich people are greedy and not all poor people are saints. Focus on what you have and how you might be a blessing to others.  God will take care of the rest.  

“Let each one examine his own work. Then he can take pride in himself and not compare himself with someone else.”  Galatians 6:4

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan


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