Friday, March 5, 2010

#68 Using Stewardship as an Excuse to be Cheap

For many white Christians, giving a tenth of their income guarantees their status as good stewards. Others insist that everything belongs God and feel the need to be good stewards of all they have. You might think this would involve sacrificial giving of their finances and time, but stewardship is more commonly used by white Christians as an excuse for being cheap.

Being a good steward allows the white Christian to save money that otherwise would have been wasted on other people. It is much easier to justify purchasing the 99 cent sympathy card instead of the $3.99 card for a bereaved friend when it is seen as an opportunity to display stewardship. White Christians often feel the call of stewardship when dining out - not while selecting the restaurant, mind you, but when calculating the tip to within a penny of 15%.

Good stewardship isn't limited to the individual, but is an aspiration for all Christian organizations. White Christian churches model stewardship for the congregation by purchasing paper thin (and paper tasting) wafers for communion instead of real bread which would be very costly, possibly approaching pennies per person.


Terry Lee said...

some churches (my childhood baptist church, for example) had the deacons' wives take turns making the wafers/crackers/bread and purchasing the grape juice (god-forbid they use wine!) ... therefore eliminating the "lord's supper" expense from the church budget all together.

now that, dear brothers and sisters, is stewardship. which leaves more for pastor salaries and the like.

cynical, much?

TaiPod said...

My personal favorite is the spare change + tract that looks like 100$ bill. After all, the Gospel is the greatest tip of all. Never mind that, to a waitress, you have just screamed, "I'm so cheap!"

Adam said...

Isn't communion supposed to be unleavened bread? If we were doing things right (admittedly my church uses white grape juice) we'd use matzo bread. I like that better anyway because it's striped from the manufacturing and cooking process and broken when eaten.

ChuckEastNashville said...

At my previous Catholic parish had to scrimp and save. What we thought was stingy tithing not meeting our budgeted expenses ended up discovering an embezzling parish business manager.

Bob said...

I was at a brethern church once that washed out and re-used the communion cups. They said that they were trying to be a steward of all resources.