These Crumbs from the Reading posts highlight articles and essays for the interested reader. Hopefully, these short reads are encouraging and concise for those who have a busy schedule but want to learn.

The Myth of Christian Ministry

This article by Ian Hodge covers a topic that Christianity doesn’t want to talk about in the modern climate. You might call this article an expose. It takes a critical look at the economics behind organizations that bear the title ”Christian Ministry.”

It highlights a few things.

  • It means an implicit belief in their right to subsidies. They can be from donors, employees, or anyone outside of the brass.
  • Below-market average salaries, except for founders and their successors.
  • The presence of organizational mismanaging of funds and inefficient business structure, which only solidifies the above reality.
  • Flagrant shifting of financial ”risks” from the organization to the employees. An example given by Hodge is requiring travel to, and attendance at, events by employees, but they have to foot the bill. A certain someone, God, might call this theft (coercive purchasing).

If you are looking into joining a ”Christian Ministry,” read it and figure out questions to ask before getting trapped. If you are thinking about starting a ”Christian Ministry,” learn to be a ”servant of all,” including your employees.

A Moral Checkup for Your Mouth

First off, I am, frankly speaking, not a proponent of ”morbid introspection” or ”navel-gazing” Christianity. That is just another form of self-centered pietism. Secondly, after saying that, I must remember to check that the baby is still in the bath. We must see our sin, confess it to God, and move forward with the hope that God will grant you the power to quit the sin and walk obediently. Bahnsen introduces the article by writing,

The outworking of the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work is not as vague or mystical as many well-meaning Christians imagine. It can be seen in very definite ways in our conduct—particularly in the way we use our mouths. About our linguistic habits God tells us: “All of us stumble in many ways, but if anyone is never at fault in what he says, then he is mature, able to control his whole body” (James 3:2).

Reforming the way we use our words, then, is a key to sanctification. The mouth is so troublesome and sinful that, if it can be made more holy, so can other areas of our conduct. For that reason, the following “oral check-up” has been devised, summarizing much of what the Bible teaches us about the way we should speak. If Christian morality were more evident here, God would surely receive greater glory—not only among us, but also through us before the world.

The 20 questions highlighted by Bahnsen will be sure to challenge your speech to uphold the standards for communication in God’s world.

See you next time!