Imagine if next week the IMB-SBC were to receive notification that our Korean brothers and sisters in Christ had felt led of the Lord to donate to their USA brothers $47-million to help cover current missions giving short-falls, and to help finance the sending of dozens of new missionaries to the field.
Added to this imaginary scenario, our Chinese, African, Indian and South American brothers committed to jointly raising another $10-million/month for at least the next five years, and send this directly to the IMB as well. On top of this, Christians all over the USA got wind of what their global brothers were doing and, themselves, started sending their tithes and offerings directly to missionaries and ministries they know and trust...funds that up until that time went exclusively to their local church. I know all of this is ludicrous, but stay with me a bit longer...
Would we not humbly and gratefully accept these expressions of love and solidarity in our joint global missions task of making disciples of the nations? Or would we view this as an unhealthy dependency issue? "Thanks, but no thanks. We don't want to become dependent upon these monies coming in that are unsustainable over the long haul. After all, if we begin to accept your money now, we will start depending upon it, and the day you guys decide to not send us the funds any more we are back to where we find ourselves now."
I may be wrong, but I think most of us would prayerfully and humbly accept the gifts and put them to good use.
My point is, ALL RESOURCES BELONG TO GOD, not to us as individuals, or churches, or denominations, or missions/ministry organizations. If the Head of the Church, Jesus, wants to move resources from China to the USA, what is wrong with that? He is Lord. He owns all the cattle on a thousand hills. Can he not appropriate from one hill in his Kingdom and move that over to another hill?
In theory, we say, "of course He can", but in practice, "that would be creating a dependency issue and we don't want to go there..."
One of the paradigms I would like to see disappear is the one where we think we have to be the ones to control the purse strings of God's Kingdom. We are terrified to think what might happen if we just allowed King Jesus to run the financial side of Kingdom business rather than ourselves! The bottom line seems to me to be, we trust the Lord for grace, salvation, etc. but not when it comes to money and the way money is handled. We have created all kinds of extra-biblical rules, guidelines, and policies for handling Kingdom finances.
But do we find these kinds of things in Acts, or Paul's Epistles? In Acts all money was laid at the feet of the apostles (scary thing, but that's what they did!) Today we have so many rules, regulations and forms to fill out for money matters my head swims.
So what am I actually proposing?
Kingdom money needs to flow at the discretion of the King. "Seek first the Kingdom of God..." includes our wallet! At first it might seem we are opening up ourselves to mass chaos, but chaos has a way of ordering itself (I am actually reading a book on this subject right now!)
If we believe Jesus is truly King, we have to believe He will make sure money flows to where it needs to go. Can this be any more chaotic or unbiblical than the current accepted way we handle money issues where churches/denominations, etc. keep 95%+ for themselves and send their left-over change for Kingdom causes outside their jurisdiction? Is it God's money we are talking about, or our money?
I await your flaming arrows. Bring them on!