Saturday, May 28, 2011

How is This Justifiable?

Thousands of people groups around the globe have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, and yet First Baptist Dallas is constructing a $123 million dollar church building.

$123 million dollars

$123 million dollars

$123 million dollars

I keep running that total around in my mind.  It is staggering.  It makes me literally feel sick to my stomach.

How many poor folks could be helped with that money?  How many missionaries could be supported with that money?  How much debt will FBC Dallas enter into in order to build its new palace?

I will say it simply: this building project should not happen.  It is wrong.  It is a monumental waste of resources.

This is another large example of what happens when the church ignores the model set forth for it in the bible.  

17 comments:

Jeremy Myers said...

I've been complaining about this for a while on my blog too.

When I was in Dallas, I went to visit their current facility.

You should see it. Marble floors. Stained glass. Oak trim. Polished brass.

I even talked with several of the people who go there. They are convinced that this will help them reach inner city Dallas for Jesus.

Beemoosie said...

I have had the same thoughts when my home church did the same thing 5 years ago, I just don't know the answers.

Eric said...

Jeremy,

I don't know why, but some Christians just cannot see what is wrong with buildings like this. It's difficult to know what to say to them. The idea that it will better reach the inner city is nonsense. What it will do is give the church folks greater comfort.

Eric said...

Beemoosie,

Thanks for the comment. It sure is a difficult situation when we see churches wasting money of things like this. Just think how many more missionaries could be taking the gospel to where it isn't if this money was used in a better way.

Arthur Sido said...

How do you justify it? This is America man, they can do whatever they want with their money! Sure, $123,000,000 would feed and house thousands and thousands of orphans in Haiti or feed hundreds of thousands of hungry people here in America but that isn't their problem.

Arthur Sido said...

fwiw, i wrote about this back in 2009.

http://thesidos.blogspot.com/2009/11/does-god-need-130-milllion-edifice-to.html

not feeling any less outraged by it. I also posted something the next day, wondering if what motivates FBD is much different than what motivates lots of other churches:

http://thesidos.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-is-first-baptist-dallas-different.html

Eric said...

Arthur,

The whole thing is disgusting. What bothers me the most is that so few Christians find any problem with it.

Arthur Sido said...

Eric, not only do they not see a problem with it, they get mad at you for daring to question it. How dare you judge them!

How dare we not?

Aussie John said...

Eric,

The same malady is affecting the churches here.

They are oblivious to, and if not, don't care about, the want around them.

I'm thankful that God knows those who are His, and they, with us "will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead".

Eric said...

John,

I suppose we need to just keep thinking and talking about these issues in the wilderness. Some will listen while most will not. I'm always encouraged when I meet those who want to talk about these things.

thematthewberry said...

Another issue with a $123 million sanctuary is that the church will likely need to go INTO DEBT in order to fund the building of the project. Time for another "faith promise" pledge.

Can you image what would happen if the church decided to raise $1-2 million and make homes for women trying to get out of sex trafficing? What about forming a fund that provides the church members with resources to reach out within their communities? You could apply for and receive up to $25,000 grants for local projects that would form relationships in the community.

So much potential.

Joel Zehring said...

I'm not convinced $123 million will be enough to effectively contain the Kingdom of God. I have a hunch the Kingdom will find it's way into downtown Dallas despite such an elaborate holding facility.

Eric said...

Matthew,

Thanks for the comment. I've heard that FBC Dallas may build it debt free. Regardless, you are right that money of that sort could be used in so many better ways. They have lost sight of what really matters.

Eric said...

Joel,

Thank God that you are absolutely right.

Tim A said...

"God does not dwell in buildings made with hands.." was worthy of stoning in Steven's day. This $123 mil is no different than $1 mil in 123 small churches or $500,000 in 246 even smaller churches. The ratio is the same. They system is the same. The assumptions are the same. The blindness to Christ's call is the same. The nullifying of God's commands is the same. The proof texts twisted to justify it all are the same. It's all the same in EVERY institutionalized church, whether renting or buying. It's all part of the whole complicated web of deceit that Satan has sown in the hearts of God's people and a lot of tears that are mixed in with them.

Tim A said...

Wait a minute!!
"...could the money not have been used to help the poor...?"

Since the poor we will always have with us, is this facility in some way an anointing of the body of Christ for His death and burial, which we do not always have with us?

We......ll, maybe not. I thought I might be on to a Biblical loop hole for these saints to move ahead by faith.

Eric said...

Tim,

I agree with you that many of the money rationalizations are the same regardless of amount. This is yet again another example of what happens when the church turns her eye from the pages of scripture to find her own way.