No Hidden Spots
Now about finances. If everybody is involved in everybody’s life every day, then there are no secrets. There’s total transparency (I loved that word that you used) and you’ve got to be able to see right through me. I don’t have hidden spots in my time. I don’t have hidden spots in my bank account. You guys probably have more money in your savings account right now than I do. Everybody knows I don’t have any money!
However, in our economy, we are more able to generate money than you are because our unemployment rate is not so high. We have more industry, so we’re able to generate income, and that’s why we can share with you. But none of us has a lot of money. We have a lot of debt. I have zero dollars in my bank account. So what? “He feeds the sparrows and the lilies…” and we can generate more to share with you and to be able to eat. So we’re not afraid.
But the point is I don’t have any secret bank account. I don’t have secret times where I go to secret places. My life is intertwined with hundreds of other people and I’m not above that. None of us is ever going to be above that because we need each other.
So the financial things, the sin issues, so much of that begins to just solve itself without any big plan, if we’re committed to daily life instead of committed to the “icing” of meetings. If having exciting meetings is our main goal then we’re just going to get sick of that icing. If all that we are eating is icing, then we’re going to get sick. And consequently there’s been a great deal of sickness in Africa because it’s very hard. This is true in all the countries, by the way, this isn’t true just in Africa.
We’ve all been brain-dirtied. Are you familiar with the term brain-washed? Well, I wish we were all brain-washed—washed by the Living water of the Word of God. But the fact is we’ve been brain-dirtied by the traditions of men and our own flesh which is afraid and selfish.
We tend to do things the way man has taught us to do them instead of the way Jesus did them and the way the Bible teaches. And consequently all these other problems are just self-inflicted wounds. We shoot ourselves in the arm and wonder why we’re bleeding. We shoot ourselves in the foot, and then wonder why we are limping. If you build wrong, there will be self-inflicted wounds. These things that have happened here are self-inflicted wounds caused by continuing to drag along the dead corpse of the traditions of men, the hierarchies of men, and rituals of men. We’ve just drug this stuff around so long that it’s getting really heavy.
If you hang around with a corpse very long, you get sick. Right? If you hang around a dead body very long with all the flies and disease, pretty soon you will catch the disease. We’ve drug around the traditions of men and a misunderstanding of so many scriptures. We’ve just assumed it was a certain way and then we look more carefully.
Why is Paul never called a pastor? Why is Peter never called a pastor? Titus, Silas, Timothy, Apollos, why are they never, ever once in the 60 years of the New Testament called Pastor Paul, Pastor Epaphras, Pastor Timothy? They are never called by titles. And so you think, “Hmm, I didn’t know that. I guess I better stop doing that. I’ve been taught my whole life—I’ve been brain-dirtied—that this is what you do in church. But I’m sorry, that’s not in the Bible.”
If Paul, Silas, and Timothy were better men than I am, and they were, and they never expected any titles, why would I? Nobody called them by titles. It’s not in the Bible that anyone ever called them Pastor So-and-So. So if they’re better than I am, why would I take a title and they wouldn’t? Plus Jesus forbid using titles in Matthew 23 and that ought to be a good enough reason all by itself not to use titles.