It is interesting to note that some people seem to think that they can pay their way to heaven, sort of like "cheap grace" where the more they contribute, the better the chances for them to reach heaven. Also, some so called Christian pastors seem to be focused in ensuring that their faithful pay up every month, even to the point of checking on their pay slip or income status, and even publishing on the notice board, the names of so called "offenders" who have not been able to contribute, though there may be good and valid reasons why they may be unable to do so. Has our church and even some of us begun to have such thoughts and attitudes?
today's reading, St. Paul warns us: "This is what you are to
teach the brothers to believe and persuade them to do. Anyone who
teaches anything different, and does not keep to the sound teaching
which is that of our Lord Jesus Christ, the doctrine which is in
accordance with true religion, is simply ignorant and must be full of
self-conceit – with a craze for questioning everything and arguing about
words. All that can come of this is jealousy, contention, abuse and
wicked mistrust of one another; and unending disputes by people who are
neither rational nor informed and imagine that religion is a way of
making a profit. Religion, of course, does bring large profits, but only
to those who are content with what they have. We brought nothing into
the world, and we can take nothing out of it; but as long as we have
food and clothing, let us be content with that."
Are we a church only for the
money? In some churches, we seem to get the impression that the leadership is focusing only
for the money, where the rich, influential and wealthy are well treated,
but the poor, the marginalised, those who are not so well-off or even
those who are struggling to make ends meet are given little or minimal
attention. If our focus is only for the money, then why are we church in the first place? Are we followers of our own ego, pride and gratification, or are we truly and sincerely following Jesus and His teachings?