Close your eyes and imagine a luxury villa comfortably arranged on a large estate, which has valets, chefs, and staff at every opportunity. Its inhabitants seem to be tasked only with sitting and smelling. And yet, every day they take the effort and blessing of running a family business – the church.
Thus, every day a large Greenleaf family meets for breakfast together, says a prayer, and then everyone goes their own way; one to the male lover, the other to the female lover, yet another to do the results and financial profits in the above-mentioned family company, which is not lacking in professionalism; there is a worship section, service for women, children, and even hired security guards for larger events – larger than the usual Sunday meetings of 4,000 the faithful. But we’re talking about America – as you know, everything is bigger and bigger.
Christian life – by analogy.
I was looking for a Christian series – I found „the Greenleaf” and just as you may be disappointed in the story of the series, you may be disappointed in the church you enter.
I did not go into the descriptions of the film, I just started watching it and quickly realized that life under the guise of deep spirituality and their continuity
– God is good
– All the time!
is dispassionate. And no, it’s not about money at all, about the tinsel in which the pastor’s family plays. It’s about where their heart is.
”For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6, 21 NJKV)
Judging by the Greenleafs, it’s easy for the director’s message to go one way, each of them has something behind their ears, and the last one will be first. The director (or rather I think more executive producers – Oprah Winfrey) clearly suggests: look what is the difference between what’s inside and what’s outside.
Uploaded photos will also help. Particular attention is paid to the neck decorations of all the main movie female charcters – they are exaggerated. As if they were to focus all their attention and cover something inaccurate, instead of being a proud ornament about the social status and status of real estate.
Certainly many of us would agree that church wealth is a problem. Maybe first you see the Catholic Church; here, I see generally: the body of Christ, because it is the Church; people who want to imitate Christ. Exactly…. in this great body, every cell can have its targets.
Is money bad? Do they destroy people? Are they unnecessary in a church?
I think that the constant high financial tide in the Calvary’s church, which started from a total zero, was a blessing from God … which in time changed the hearts of those upon whom this responsibility fell – for every blessing is also a responsibility. And just as Lucifer became Satan, so money became for the Greenleaf mammon Jesus spoke of:
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else. he will hold to the one, and despise the other, Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew
Do you know that Jesus spoke a lot about money in the Bible? Read all the gospels, I encourage you.
He already knew, looking around, that money creates the appearance of power, and power and money are something that attracts man more than anything in the world. In the end … finally, he was sold for cash – and by his> own accountant <!
It’s easy to fall into this trap. I see, I saw it for people working for the church. It often looks like this: You have nothing to paint the walls for. You are praying for God’s help in this matter and suddenly bang! Miracle! The crew comes, they paint all the walls for you half-free. Or you don’t have a car and you need it – suddenly someone had a dream that he should give you 10 000 dollars. And you get them, buy a car and think: That’s what God’s leading looks like!
But let’s stop here for a moment. A few bad things can happen here:
First of all, you will think that you apparently are liked by God, that’s why He blessed you … and that everything you do, pleases him and He blesses you in everything. And that it will always be this way.
You don’t want to burden God so much with His church, so sometimes you help Him; for example, Pastor Greenleaf committed some tax ambiguities, certainly with the good of the community behind his head, which, however, ceased to be good and became a curse.
You think God gives you the funds and it’s up to you to have the idea of what to do with them. In a some way, yes, but God is always waiting for you to come and agree with him. Man gets a mind and free will, but if he wants to serve God’s heart, he must constantly examine his heart. (Psalm 139: 23)
To serve – this is an important word.
Where human power appears, it is difficult to serve people. Jesus is said to have reigned with the servant’s heart and served with the king’s heart. But he learned the perfection of the Father every day. It remains for us to do the same.
The primary role of the Christian church is to serve; real help, spiritual gifts, the w(W)ord. Without it, the church is only an institution, a club. And the more he earns and gives little – the more he annoys people. The Calvary Church provides regular entertainment and I believe that among these 4,000 souls, there are many who have found their way to God through this community.
However, there is one message:
“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16,23, KJV)
You don’t have a church? Hardly anyone has. But this truth applies to every man who has decided to follow God: there is no time to pretend to be a Christian, to constantly comfort himself with the words of the Pharisee (I refer to Lk 18, 9-14) to stay on a ship that is sinking, just clapping and dancing, for the pursuit of power and honors. And for a big deal, who is better, which church is worse, who has more.
When Jesus returns, there will be no divisions. Instead, he will ask everyone about his talent; whether he had one or ten. And it makes no sense to envy this with 10 talents – he will be settled ten times.
Let the external not be a problem for us among people crying „Jesus and He alone!” – everyone has something to do here. Everyone gets a chance from God, and usually more of them, but eventually the situation will come with Matthew 7: 22-23.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (KJV)
Jesus in the gospels taught the simple truth about righteousness or lack of it. Illegalness is lack of love. And everything that is done in God’s life is to be done for God’s glory, and for God’s glory you can only do things that result from true love (1 Corinthians 10:31).
And then there is no problem when the clergyman flies by private jet – he can be as much led by God as a poor cleric from a small parish reaching for God’s cause on a rickety bike.
For God, only the heart counts. And it should for us too. Let’s strive for it.
Of course, it’s easier to like the second one, because then you have less doubt about his calling – to live in such poverty, you really need to want to see a higher purpose. The clergyman, who covers a church of several thousand, already knows at the very beginning that he will not lack money for a comfortable life, he will be recognized, he may become an authority invited to television, and people will be grateful to him for running a church with a generous hand.
But for God, only the heart counts, and it should also for us.
How to deal with money and spiritual life at the same time?
I have a very simple but extremely effective advice: if we have a church, a clergyman who has money – look what he does with it and why. But first, get to know his heart. Focus your attention on this.
Second, get involved – if you support the church financially, get involved in activities funded by your money – and realize that you can do a lot.
There is such a famous text that I really like to discuss whenever this topic is mentioned:
What would you do with a big lottery win?
– Well, if I had (had) 40 million, I would improve all animal shelters in the country!
– And if you won only 10 million?
– Well, I would limit myself to those in my province.
„What if you only had two million?”
„I’d hire a full-time vet in each of them.”
– What if you only had a thousand dollars to win?
– Hmmmmmmm …
– You can still do something! For example, buy food for the shelter!
You don’t have to wait until you win millions to do good. All you have to do is share the resources you have today. As much as your heart will let you. After all, it is still the most important – regardless of whether you have 40 millions or a thousand dollars🙂
’Greenleaf’ is an interesting allegory for life in general – the whole family, including adult children and their families, has a similar, high standard of living; everyone draws from this source, which is the church – but it is real trials that will reveal the real winners, i.e. those who have not attached too much money and were able to suddenly change their standard of living. Young James is such an example.
By the way, various, dark matters of the family come to light – there is no clean person like that, but there are people of flesh and blood who do not give up, many of them cannot be dominated by sins; past or present. Well … of flesh and blood. For me, with a candle, look for a spirit reborn person. Maybe I’m exaggerating, maybe these people are just on the road, like all of us, and only the „tip” will polarize each of us.
The film also has that it shows us the hero in full, the man immediately begins the evaluation. I am aware that it is surface swimming.
Interestingly – I watched an interview with the performers of this series and one of the actresses said that each of them got a list of their character, which took 14 pages of print! How much more God knows about us!
Hypocrisy is bursting with 'Greenleafs’ when they try to hide various sins and dirt. The following days, weeks and years, however, show that what has been covered must be discovered. Just like in the Polish film „Clergy” or „Don’t Tell Anyone.” much will be demanded, and whoever has been entrusted with much will be required of it. „- Luke 12:48) So yes, church leaders should be expected to be an example and real support for all.
But the Greenleaf example is really a mirror for all of us; believers or not, but claiming to be Christians, all the more. I don’t want to use pompous words or instructions here – we are all on the road, we are all struggling with abandoning certain things. Let’s just examine our hearts, and if it belongs to God, let Him examine our hearts. Only with the diagnosed one can do something, and above all, live in this healthy harmony, truth – when what I think agrees with what I say and what I say agrees with what I do.
What do you think about it? What is expected of Christians? How can you assess a person’s life? And do you know the Greenleaf series?