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When a dollar
When a dollar can look big…
Ted Rudow III, MA, Palo Alto, CA
Today, younger pastors are less willing to try to finance multimillion-dollar churches with debt. After the recession, there was a surge in church foreclosures, reaching record highs in 2010 and 2011. Since 2008, more than 300 church properties have been sold after defaulting on their loans, according to the Co-Star Group, a real estate information firm.
There is an interesting story which has come down from medieval times: The great scholar, Thomas Aquinas, came to the City of Rome to pay his respects to the one who was then pope. In the course of his visit, the pope proudly showed him all the wonders of the papal palace, and took him to his treasury and showed him chests of silver and gold received from every part of the world. With something of a smile on his face he said, "You see, Thomas, we cannot say with Peter, 'Silver and gold have I none.'" Looking the pope in the eyes, Thomas Aquinas fearlessly replied, "No, and neither can we say, 'In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.'" Riches had come, but power had gone! Peter and the apostles had poverty and power. When the church ceases to be in touch with another world, it is no longer in touch with this world. It's funny how a dollar can look so big when you take it to church and so small when you take it to the supermarket.