Saturday, October 22, 2011

David Platt, James MacDonald, and Mark Driscoll : Prosperity vs. Poverty

I believe David Platt is a prophetic voice to the western Church. My family and I have visited The Church at Brook Hills many times, having heard his messages either in person or through his podcast. I think his 'Radical' teaching is desperately needed in the western Church. He is not preaching that we (Americans) should live in poverty, but that we should bring the message of Christ, and share our abundant resources with a hungry and lost world. All I can say is, I need to hear it. - Bobby

(The notes below were taken by Jake Johnson.)

Elephant Room Conversation #6: Prosperity vs. Poverty

There are massive needs for the gospel around the world and for physical needs. We look in the word and there are 2,300 plus verses that deal with money. All the major passages on money: God is the owner, as followers of Christ we don’t have the right to determine the direction of our money, therefor if he calls anyone to sell all they have—and not everyone is—we must. - David Platt

Wealth and money are not inherently sinful, but it’s dangerous in the hands of sinful man. - David Platt

Asceticism is wrong and so is materialism. - David Platt

Christ has called us to a radical abandonment, and that looks different for each person. - David Platt

When Christ transforms us spiritually he also transforms us materially. - David Platt

We give because of the urgency of eternity. We’re here for a short time. We need to invest in eternity. - David Platt

I live in a context and community of major self-indulgence. We have to wrestle with these things. - David Platt

I tell people to make a lot of money, but in their making money, just because salary increases doesn’t mean that their standard of living needs to increase as well. God gives enough for us and gives excess for others. - David Platt

What can happen with younger leaders, they’re not thinking a wise man lives an inheritance to his children. - Mark Driscoll

I don’t disagree with Christ lordship. I don’t disagree with using our resources. The issue comes with the people like you and Francis Chan reading and attaching a spiritual value to poverty. - James MacDonald

It’s kids in their 20’s not doing anything reading John Piper and attaching value to poverty. - James MacDonald

They’re empowered to live without ambition by a distortion of what you’re preaching. - James MacDonald

I have a couple checks about radical distribution of resources. We are desperately in need of a more fully orbed theology of joy in the church today. - James MacDonald

We need to extend our theology of joy in God down to a theology of joy in the good gifts God gave us. - James MacDonald

It’s not wrong to have. It’s wrong when things have you. - James MacDonald

The problem comes when everyone else sees poverty as normative and attaches spiritual value to it. - James MacDonald

Generosity breaks bondage to wealth. Not poverty. - James MacDonald

I think we don’t realize how much things have our hearts. - David Platt

Your heart follows your money. - David Platt

When we pour our resources into bigger, better things, our hearts follow there. When you give in generosity your heart follows there. - David Platt

It’s not either/or, like so many things. What I’m objecting to is an impoverished, can’t-make-ends meet living that is seen as spiritual. Poverty is not spiritual living. - James MacDonald

The way we’re using poor and poverty is really irresponsible because we’re not poor. - David Platt

I understand destitute poverty, but there’s also working-class poverty. I can tell you being the son of a dry-waller who snapped his back, times are hard. Making ends meet is hard. - Mark Driscoll

It isn’t that more equals a problem and less doesn’t. - James MacDonald

We see money as the answer to so many things. - James MacDonald

Here’s what’s getting lost here. David and John at the end of the day aren’t saying let’s take our money and give it to the guy in the hut so they can get DirectTV. They’re saying there are thousands of people groups who have never heard the gospel. What’s our responsibility financially to give the gospel globally. - Matt Chandler

Missions is so broken, it’s just flat out broken. Why do we have to keep hearing about 1,000 people groups who haven’t heard the gospel? We’ve given enough over the years that that should be addressed by now. - James MacDonald

I think we need to do [missions] right but it’s worth making major sacrifice in order to make and support it right. - David Platt

We looked at our budget, and our staff cut 83% of our budget, including snacks for the kids, in order to recommit to missions. - David Platt

I think that’s sucktastic. *sarcasm* - Mark Driscoll

The tenderness in your heart for lost people is exemplary. But you pastor a church. But I’ve seen what it looks like for kids to grow up in poverty theology. I really fear the stingy, cheap—the wives have to work because the church doesn’t pay the pastors enough—it’s pathetic that you cut Cheez-its from kids. The people in your congregation have enough to provide snacks and missions. - James MacDonald

You went cheap on the church side and your congregation swiped the residual. - James MacDonald

If you took crackers from my kids, I’d be doing prison ministry from the inside. - Mark Driscoll *sarcasm*

Be careful making what you do normative for all churches. - Mark Driscoll

It’s the cheap mentality. None of Jesus parables were about giving. It was about stewarding. The people who write about money who don’t understand money should stop. - James MacDonald

You’re not supposed to divest your money. You’re supposed to multiply it. - James MacDonald

There’s eternal multiplication that can happen as well. - David Platt

The idea of immediate divesting of money is not healthy. It’s not money that is evil. It’s the love of money that is. - James MacDonald

We’re supposed to multiply and enjoy money. There is a theology of joy that isn’t fully developed yet. - James MacDonald

I think we live in a culture where we have sought our joy in more and more things. The reason I’m passionate about this is because it’s as much for others as it is for us. - David Platt

I agree. I’m just calling out and saying there is a real danger in cheap, on the half, do it for less, make the pastor poor…there is alot in that that is crushing people in ministry. We’re swinging too far the other way. - James MacDonald

I want Mark’s kids to know that blessing flows to fruitfulness. - James MacDonald

Our budget is $500,000 per week, but that doesn’t even closely resemble the resources in our church. I don’t want to beat down the budget. I want our people to give more. - James MacDonald

There’s a way to love kids besides giving them crackers. - David Platt

At our church, it’s just that. Only crackers. They have to eat their way out of the room. - James MacDonald *humor*

How long have you been in ministry? Mark Driscoll to David Platt. Answer: Five years.

You don’t yet understand the toll that ministry takes on your family. I want you to understand that some of the abundance that comes from writing a best-selling book, don’t cut your kids off from the rewards that come from faithful ministry. Don’t feel guilty about giving your family some joy and enjoying the abundance God gives you. - James MacDonald to David Platt.


Greene Street Letters said...

I am in a most unusual place in my life. 14 years ago when I went into full time ministry. I chose the church, they didn't choose me. They told me that they could not pay me but if I wanted to minister it was o.k. The reason I say this, during our prayer time before my wife and I went full time, God spoke as clear as I have ever understood him before. He told me.."You can have my blessings....or you can have me." Choose which portion you want. We chose Him. He has sustained us over the years because we look to him. I agree that churches skimp sometimes on the pastor's pay...but the pastor works for God..he is a servant to the people.
I have no problem with a pastor being paid what some would view as an extravagent salary. God deals with each of us on terms and ways that He can work through us. I don't think I can look at another man's ministry and make comment on it. I do believe that church budgets should be in line where outward focus and giving is as much as the support of the church structure. Again, I am in a unique situation in that we give away everything we take in. We are able to feed people...we sent a young girl to Uganda last year (and will do so again in January) to work with an orphanage. We have supported others who are working on the mission field. Yet, our offerings are very meager compared to some. Let God take what you have and mulitply it for the Kingdom.
Sorry for rambling so much...

Bobby said...

Well said! I've heard people complain because the American Church spends about 98% of it money on itself. Brook Hills was able to radically cut it's spending on self-centered programs to free up money for those that really need it.