Torch, Winter 1979

Dr. Paul Dixon, President $PIRITUAL $PENDING "I:' .C-ifteen percent interest and fifteen percent inflation," shouts the morning headline! Can you believe it? And we thought things were bad twelve months ago. How are you as a Christian coping with this? I know you are thinking about it. A recent article claims that you and I spend fifty percent of our waking hours with money on the mind. Even if that projection be somewhat high, it is surely a priority item in our lives. That isn't all wrong, either. God places a great deal of emphasis upon money. Out of 38 parables in the New Testament, twelve concern money. It has been stated that with every six verses in Matthew, Mark and Luke, one of those verses speaks about money. We all love the beautiful merger of doctrine and practice in I Corinthians 15 and 16:1. After these truths on the resurrection, Paul says, "Now concerning the collection ...." You can't separate spirituality and the stewardship of our finances. How we handle our money is an exact spiritual thermometer. When I was converted as a senior in high school, I started praying for and witnessing to my friends. Some were converted that year. Others did not respond so readily. Years later I received a call from Chuck Excitedly this very close classmate told me of his salvation. I shall never forget this classic comment: "If you question the truth of my testimony, I just want you to know Iam now a tither.And for me to let go of a dollar, God had to perform a miracle!" We smile-but oh, how true for all of us. The way we handle finances speaks volumes. The Bible has much to say about how we get our money, how we spend it, howwe invest it, and howwe give it. The major issue appears to me to be the latter. With the pressure on the pocketbook, what shall we sacrifice? I trust it is not the Lord's work. Personal and family needs may be great, but how seriouslywe err if we neglect our systematic giving each Lord's day to the local church. Please note that I said "to the local church." Our needs at Cedarville College, just like other Christain institutions, are great. And, yes, we are an arm of the local church. But our first responsibility is to give to that church where we attend. This issue of the TORCH is designed to help the Christian with his finances. May it be a blessing to you and your family at the beginning of this new year and the decade of the 80's. 3