9 Comments

Quotes (839)

We look back on slave-owning churchgoers of 150 years ago and ask, “How could they have treated their fellow human beings that way?” I wonder if followers of Christ 150 years from now will look back at Christians in America today and ask, “How could they live in such big houses? How could they drive such nice cars and wear such nice clothes? How could they live in such affluence while thousands of children were dying because they didn’t have food and water? How could they go on with their lives as though the billions of poor didn’t exist?”

- David Platt

9 comments on “Quotes (839)

  1. I understand the basis of his reasoning. Are there Christians who waste what God has provided on their own fleshly lusts? Are there those who could give money or provision to the poor and don’t? Are there megachurches who sink millions in entertaining their “flocks”, yet throw a mere bone to the needy? Absolutely! But I have a problem with those who judge individuals by appearances, looking down on others if they have more than they do, then condemning them as being somehow “wasteful”, “ungodly”, worldly or fleshly.

    For instance: I know a wonderful couple who were given a brand new Toyota Prius. They needed a new car too, since they never could afford more than an old junker that wasn’t trustworthy enough to make it out of town (and at times wouldn’t even start). Yet coming to church on Sundays was met with sneers and gossip because of their new “opulent toy” (“people are starving in Africa, and they drive a brand new Prius”). They were all but expected to sell their new car, buy a cheaper used car, and give the balance to the church. What was a blessing to them from the Lord was turned into a loathsome experience by the church.

    Yes, we need to use all that the Lord has given us for His kingdom. But in the process, let us be more concerned about doing what the Lord would have us individually do according to His will, than judging other individuals by appearances for what we THINK they are not doing.

    “When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” Jn.21:21-22

  2. I sit here wondering why it is that every time an issue like this comes up, the immediate knee-jerk reaction is “yeah but!”?

    Of course we all know there are exceptions, of course we all know that not everybody can do or give what others can do or give in a myriad of various situations. But instead of being so quick to point out the exceptions to what most of us should be doing, why not chew on the admonition, ponder if this is something God is revealing to us, and respond accordingly?

    I am not trying to bite your head off DavidW (please don’t read it that way) but it seems impossible to ever mention anything about a topic such as this without there always being a plea to be careful not too take it too far or to suggest excuses for why this isn’t for everyone. And usually the argument relies on taking the smallest example and holding it up as if it is the case with the majority.

    Additionally, your comment implies that I or David Platt (or both) are judging people. I take issue with that. Those in your church (regarding the Toyota) who you know were judging are in your sphere of knowledge, but I can assure you I’m not judging, I’m merely trying to direct people’s attention from themselves to the needs around them (in an affluent country such as ours we tend to lose focus easily and often). And after reading Platt’s book, I do not believe in any way shape or form that he is judging anyone either. You may not have meant for your comment to come across the way it did, but I cannot draw any other conclusion.

    My frustration isn’t isolated to this one topic, though. The same thing happens when you start talking about missions. Try it sometime. Bring up the subject about missions in a group of people at your local church and watch how fast someone brings up, “Yeah but not everyone’s called to go to Mexico.” Again, most reasonable mission-minded people understand this already, and that’s why we get so frustrated when this “excuses” roll off the lips so quickly like we need to be schooled and brought back down to reality by having our hand slapped for being so “radical.” (I often wonder who they’re trying to convince . . . me or themselves?)

    1). A social gospel can never replace the true gospel.
    2). We are all called to “go make disciples of all nations” but not everyone physically can.

    I understand these two axioms and I hope I’ve presented that clearly throughout my many posts over the years. Furthermore I know that I can’t force or guilt anyone into doing anything they’re not willing to do, I just hope to plant seeds and persuade them to consider others by presenting the facts and my opinions. (Isn’t that why we all write?)

    But I grow weary of being hit with stones every time I try to discuss such issues. I just get frustrated when I try to awaken those slumbering around me only to always have someone yelling over my shoulder with reasons and excuses for those sleeping to be careful not to to wake up too much.

    I apologize if I’ve come across as abrasive, but I’m beginning to wonder if I just need to just keep these burdens to myself.
    – Pilgrim

  3. “…but I’m beginning to wonder if I just need to just keep these burdens to myself.”

    Pilgrim,

    Please don’t take this any further than just wondering! If we do not continue to cry out for workers, then who will? The problem is not with the messenger but with the message that requires all to fulfill the Great Commission. In the end, I would much rather face the Lord saying that I have done all I could for His name’s sake, then to be able to parade my “bucket list” and how I accomplished the great American dream!

    In Christian love and grace,

    TDP

  4. Pilgrim:

    I’m sorry for how I come across, and how I word things. I did not mean to imply you (nor Mr. Platt) are judging people. I just know people who are quick to judge by appearance, have had it happen a lot to me, and who have hurt those I love in their judgments. And perhaps this was the wrong thread to voice that. Please forgive my insensitivities. Please don’t stop sounding the call for Christians to get off the couch and do what we are commanded to do. And PLEASE don’t keep these burdens for the needy and lost to yourself. You are not abrasive. I am immature, and unlearned.
    _________________________________________________
    Pilgrim:

    You have, and continue to be, a shining light in this increasingly darkening world, which has seduced the churches into compromise, worldliness, and false christs. If not for DefCon, one of the VERY FEW precious sites out there standing against the forces of darkness and shining the light, individual Christians would have little to no support in following Christ on the straight and narrow way. You are uniquely and wonderfully gifted for this task, brother. And so are your contributors (brother Michael, Fourpointer, Lyn, Coram Deo, Desert Pastor, and Bill). May the Lord Jesus Christ richly bless all of you for your perseverance in defending the Truth and contending for the Faith once delivered unto the saints.

  5. Pilgrim,
    thank you VERY MUCH for bringing up something I feel very strongly about. I am convinced far too many who belong to Him have nestled down in this world as though it were their permanent home. We seem to forget we are sojourners here: Peter warns us to conduct ourselves with fear during our brief time on this earth [1 Peter 1:17]. The more we pamper ourselves with material possessions, the greater the risk of falling into a ‘stupor’. We then make excuses for living way too comfortable, forgetting the teachings found in Acts 2:45, ‘and they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need’.
    It would seem early Christians didn’t spend excessively on their own desires and pleasures, they sold off the excess and distributed it among the brethren. We’ve shunned this principle of giving in this present day, much to our shame.
    Bless you for boldly, lovingly exposing this in our day.

    lyn

  6. Hi Pilgrim,
    First I must say that I have the utmost admiration and respect for the selflessness that you demonstrate in your life choices. I merely want to offer this as a cautionary measure to guard against missing the Lord in a matter. I am reminded of the instance in the Bible where Mary pours the expensive oil on Jesus feet and the ensuing protests that the money could have been spent on the poor. Jesus response, which I’m sure you know, was that “the poor you have with you always.” What I would like to offer is that we ought not to be looking around at others, at the needs of others, as you say above, but we need to always have our eyes on the Lord to see what His hand is doing, so that we would never presume to know otherwise what He would have us do with our resources. Keeping our eyes on Him alone is the mandate, that all we do would result in glory to His name alone. Thanks for the post, I have great affection for you and your wife, and please have a blessed weekend!
    Lyn: spot on, as usual. Thanks!
    _______________________________________
    Pilgrim,
    One more thing I am reminded of is that the Lord frequently points out to me that I am, at heart, a “Martha.” And so my words here and above are for those who are like me, and who are very quick to get on board the train “for a cause” and exhaust one’s self with the work that cries out to be done, and the serving that presents itself. I think we can all fall into the trap of running to and fro lending a hand, giving our this, giving our that, when the Lord says the better part is to sit at His feet and listen to Him. At one time, I sensed the Lord affectionately, but with rebuke, calling me His “little soldier.” I want to never go off zealously pursuing a cause to the end that I forget my first love.

  7. kaydee,
    you’ve made some valid points, the Lord did say the poor would always be among us. My question is, who was He referring to? A closer look at the text tells us He was talking about the overall population, not His bride. I am not saying all who are in Christ are rich by the world’s standards, I’m saying the needs of God’s people are to be met, in part, by God’s people. The Lord also tells us He will provide for us if we seek first His kingdom: one way He does this is through His people.

    This is not a ’cause’ we are talking about, this is the teaching found in scripture [Eph. 4:28; Acts 20:35; 2 Cor. 8:14-15; Acts 4:34; Romans 15:27; Matthew 25:34-40].

    lyn

  8. Lyn,
    Oh I am not implying that you are talking about a cause. I mean that it is in my own personal nature to run after a cause and forget my first love. People like me can be quick to make so many things into “causes.” And as for the passage about the poor, I was offering that the lesson to be learned is that the focus of our giving needs to be the Lord Himself. So whether to God’s people or to the lost, all our service becomes like a noisy gong if it is not out of love for the Lord first of all. That is the clear teaching of scripture to my eyes. Jesus was always at odds with the religious leadership, not because they were zealous for righteousness, but because their first love was the law. Their outward actions were made void due to lack of love for God first.

  9. kaydee, thank you for clarifying: I agree love must be what drives and motivates us!

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