Also, according to Luke, the "poor" may fall under a spiritual category, referring to individuals who are committed and humble and depend solely on God (Bartholomew, Green and Thiselton).
Because Jesus ministry had no boundaries, Luke wrote that the church should also have no boundaries and should include the rich and the poor. One of Luke's greatest desires may have been for the church to include the rich and the poor. Bartholomew, Green and Thiselton (2005) assert that "Luke tells the story of Jesus to address this tension and to foster 'solidarity between rich, respected Christians and poor, despised Christians'" (246). Jesus also proclaimed a turnaround of the miserable outcome of those who were considered cast outs, the oppressed, and the unhealthy by asking the healthy and rich to share what they have with those who are victims of abuse, exploitation and heartbreaking circumstances. All throughout the book of Luke, the author asserts that the individuals who are respected and wealthy should be submissive to Jesus' message and the example He set for His disciples which includes economic justice, generosity, and unity between the rich and the poor.
Mega churches today, including Granger Community Church, are reaching out to both rich and poor individuals who may not have had the opportunity to hear the gospel of Christ. Some of these congregations may use popular music artist and performers to draw these individuals to hear the message of Jesus and how he died so that each person may possess eternal life. While Jesus lived on earth and preached throughout Israel, He associated with and preached to people in every social class, no matter their status. He did not discriminate against individuals because of their sins or social class. The senior pastor and staff as well as the congregation of Granger Community Church, even though a prime example of a mega church in the United States today, reach out to those in the community who need the salvation of Christ. The writer asserts that Jesus would not look down upon Granger Community Church for using popular music or reality television to drawn in individuals who typically would not venture into a traditional church. He would likely, instead, unless the church lost its love for him and began to love money encourage the church to continue its style of ministry.
The writer contends that Jesus would also likely affirm the ministry of St. Francis of Assisi. Both those who are rich and those who are poor would do well to remember what Jesus said regarding a Christian being rich: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:25 NKJV). The following words in Luke 18:27, nevertheless offer hope for those who are rich as well as the poor: "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." This reassurance as well as the reminder in the quote starting the paper proves critical to religious thought and life today. No one, not matter their wealth or lack of money can serve God and money (Luke 16:10). Like St. Francis of Assisi and the Granger Community Church, each person and church has to choose whom or what to serve.
Bartholomew, Craig, G., Joel B. Green and Anthony C. Thiselton. Reading Luke: Interpretation, reflection, formation. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2005. Print.
Granger Community Church "Popular culture helps put people in the pews." South Bend
Tribune, October 2004. Print.
Greenan, Julie the Gospel of Luke and Wealth (Sermon on St. Francis and Christian Poverty)
5 October 2003, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (edited slightly by Steven Brey).
Heuver, Gerald Dirk the teachings of Jesus concerning wealth. University of Chicago. Fleming H. Revell Company.1903. Print.
Hultgren, Arland J. The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary Grand Rapids MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans
Publishing, 2002. Print.
People fill the 650 seats in the Granger Community Church Granger, Indiana -- auditorium. Chatting among themselves, they wait for the clock to hit 5:30 P.M. On a Saturday. Instrumental music plays quietly. Advertisements for various ministries flash one after another on two video screens. At 5:30, the first of five weekend services will begin at, according to the Megachurch Research Center in Bolivar,1
"People don't know how much they matter to God." Beeson says his goal has always been to reach people who were not attending church. Even while growing up in Greenfield, Ind., he recalls, he was constantly inviting friends to his church youth group. "I have always been concerned that people don't know how much they matter to God," he says. "They don't know that they are…