Friday, January 21, 2011

Money and Goofy Religion Part 2

For Part One, go here.

But even the guys that aren’t in love with money get goofy – like this guy.  

So goofy, that his main point is one that he doesn’t believe to be true.  (Or at least I don’t think he does…)

For those that don’t like to read links: Tim Smith’s church doesn’t pay writers for the material they use in church services; and he wants stuff his church develops to be free for others to use in their churches.

But then again, if his pastor writes a book, he wants his pastor to get paid for it.

So they’ve got a system – if it is used in worship, they don’t get paid; if it ends up in a book or cd, they do get paid.

Cool by me; pretty nifty, in fact.  There's a lot of really good stuff in that blog entry.

Where Tim gets goofy is when he tries to reverse engineer a theology to codify this method.

To do this, he puts creative endeavors into two categories.  First, things created for G-d’s glory:  “When we write songs for gathered worship, our primary purpose should be to glorify God and build his church.”  Those things should be free.

The rest of the stuff, like making music cd’s or writing books, by default should be stuff we primarily intend NOT to bring glory to G-d, and that stuff we should charge for.

I should point out that Tim gets paid to work at his church, and therefore acknowledges that nothing he does all day long builds Christ’s church.  And his pastor does write books, but since those books intentionally do not glorify the Lord, it’s cool that he gets paid to write them.

Of course I’m having a bit of fun at Tim’s expense: I don’t know for sure, but it seems from all I do know of him and his church, they wouldn’t dream of advising that 1 Peter 4:11 or 1 Corinthians 10:31 be ignored – especially when making a studio recording of praise songs or writing about, say, the New Testament.**

And there are a number of artists out there that don’t fit into Tim’s paradigm.  

Like my friend Chuck, who writes material for the church (and performs it for churches); he does this full time.  If he didn’t get paid for it, he would not be able to feed his wife and children.  So he often charges for the services he provides.

I think Tim would be fine with that; Tim might even encourage Chuck with a quote from Timothy or Nehemiah.

On the other hand, my friend Cory also writes for the church.  He doesn’t charge a tuppence; but then again he also has a full time job elsewhere.  I think Tim would also be fine with Cory, and might use words like “tentmaker” or cite from Thessalonians to encourage Cory.

Here’s the thing: both write to bring Glory to God, and both deliver material meant to build up the church.

So, this whole split in “make some things for G-d’s glory, and other things not so much” is not what Tim means, it’s just what he says.  So why get discombobulated and say such a thing?

Money and the need for legalism.  More on that later...

Just my thoughts,

**Let me reiterate that I don’t know this – maybe Tim does believe that anything that doesn’t happen on Sunday between 9 am and 11 am should be intentionally anti-glorious. I’m just assuming not.

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