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Saturday, March 31, 2007 

Holy Math?

The following little gem was in my mailbox as part of a weekly newsletter from a district in the haut south.

An Act of Faithfulness
This past week, I had an opportunity to speak with a young couple trying to decide if this was the time to buy a house. Filled with the anxiety that such a major step brings, I had the opportunity to remind them the ways in which God is blessing them and their response of faithfulness through their stewardship. This holy math that God calls us to be about certainly does not make earthly sense, yet time and again I have witnessed his surprises – just enough to pay the bills, an unexpected gift, the ability to say ‘no’ and wait, the opportunity to respond to a need of another…and all because of putting him first.

Ablaze! is much like this. We are being called to be stewards of all of the creation. To speak with those who have no relationship with the Savior, to join in a concerted prayer effort for the work of the Gospel in this place, and to be generous givers in the partnership of congregational transformation and Kingdom growth. We are being called to put God first, to be generous on every occasion, giving thanks for what God is already about and what he will do.

Xxxxx Xxxxxx, Mission & Ministry Exec,

Holy math? You aren’t kidding are you? Gosh, I missed the part of scripture that says our reward on this side of eternity is a big fat bank account. Maybe I need pull Eugene Patterson’s The Message down from it's spot next to the Book of Mormon and review his paraphrase to get these scales to fall from my eyes.

The only thing I changed was the name of the mission and “ministry” executive. But “X” really needs to be warned that the whole “holy math” concept has been trademarked and is the intellectual property of Joel Osteen. Osteen wrote the definitive book on God blessing us with prosperity, great wealth, success, or good fortune in his book Your Best Life Now. I am deeply concerned that “X” will soon be hearing from Lakewood Church lawyers who I’m sure are looking forward to having their best case now. So, a word to the wise, don't try to mess with Joel's mojo! With all the unpleasantness of lawsuits in our beloved synod, do we really need go this route?

For those of you who don’t know who Joel Osteen is…I don’t even know how that is possible, he is the pastor of one of the largest megachurchs in the country. His little country church seats 16000 people on a Sunday. For those of you who are bad with math, his church is 13 times bigger and therefore more dynamic than your paltry 1200 person congregation. Just so you know...

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The second paragraph in that little blurb just about made sense. But what in the world was supposed to be the point of the first part? Was he saying that they should or shouldn't buy a house? Where does the "holy math" idea even come in to that couple's situation?

Ech, "holy math" creeping its way into the synod...

Ech, blech, and ick, indeed! "Holy math"... sounds like something Robin would say to Batman. Go get 'em, Ablaze Firefighter!

Kelly, the only way to put any kind of good construction on the email was to ignore the first paragraph and skip to the second, that's why I feft it in. But the first paragraph is the real point: if we give faithfully then God will reward us. Nowhere in scripture does it say that we will be rewarded with earthly treasures but rather on the other side of eternity, we are rewarded with eternal heavenly treasures by the grace of God. But you already know that and I'm just rambling on.
Thank you Kelly and Mouse both for your comments and continued visits here. You guys are awesome!

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
  • Confessional Lutheran
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