A post on Facebook showed pictures of large and elaborate churches and a starving man with the comment: "We just can't afford to feed this man" I am not quite sure what the purpose of the post was. It seems to imply that an opulent Church cares nothing for the poor and hungry. As in so many generalisations, there is some truth in this. Of course Christians should do more. As long as there are starving people in this world, we should be out there feeding them. I know that I for one am not doing as much as I could. Jesus told us, "Give to those who ask you and don't turn from those who would borrow from you." I sometimes flatter myself that I try to do this, but then I ignore the beggar at my car window and forget to take my contribution to the Church Food Basket on Sunday. I am not supporting charities like School feeding schemes because I have been too lazy to arrange to do so. There are always good excuses for one's meanness. I give the example of a woman I knew who lived on the street and got a good meal every day at one or other church in her neighbourhood so she could spend her entire disability allowance on drink and I use this to justify not helping one of our parishioners to make sandwiches for the homeless people who hang around Muizenberg. Because one's giving may be abused, does not absolve one from giving.
But the picture of the Church as being opulent and luxurious is not very accurate. Some churches may be, but none of those I have ever been involved in. Church finances seem to teeter on the brink of bankruptcy and the clergy are expected to exist on incomes that most of us would consider quite inadequate. I don't know how they manage. We should be thanking God every day for their dedication and devotion.