Drinking Deeply

Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 11:55 PM

Cheap Christians

Some of you may have noticed that when I post links to books that I review, I often post a link not to Amazon but rather to monergism (which just got a new site upgrade, check it out!). The prices are slightly higher in cases, but I do believe that monergism is well worth the investment, especially in light of all the services it has provided in mining the internet for articles that are informative, encouraging, and convicting. I have to say that without monergism, it would have been nearly impossible for me to be where I am right now, as my spiritual growth would be stunted, my defense of the Gospel flimsy, and my taste of Christ superficial.

Let me make one additional point on a related note. As someone who does not come from a particularly wealthy family, I have not had the liberty to afford many of the things that I wanted. Growing up in a Chinese (immigrant) household, I also picked up an inclination to be stingy with my money. When I became a Christian, that habit did not change. I still haven't actually gone shopping for a new wardrobe in a long time. I currently have enough clothing to last me exactly one week and a day (and that's if I wear everything that I own, and repeat a few pairs of pants) and then I need to do laundry. I have one pair of tennis shoes. My cleats are hand-me-ups from my brother. If you search through my drawers, you'll find them mostly empty. For the most part, the only time I get new things (backpack and flip flops come to mind) is when someone gives them to me. That's how I've always lived and I'm fine with that.

The instinct for me has always been to look at books and see where I can get them for the cheapest price. For the most part, that means Amazon.com, though there's also an excellent book search site called addall. But when it comes to buying Christian books I buy them from monergism.

Why?

1) Because part of seeking first God's Kingdom (Matthew 6:33) is that we encourage and support (financially as needed) those who are doing the same. (Philippians 4:10-19)

2) Because if I put "saving money" at the top priority of my list, I sit dangerously close to finding evil close at hand. (1 Timothy 6:10)

3) Wealth is not ultimate, God is. We can use worldly wealth to obtain eternal friends (Luke 16:1-9)

4) Workers deserve their wages. (1 Corinthians 9:7-12) See also my series on tithing.

Let's be shrewd with all that God has given us. Let's not waste money, tossing it about carelessly as if it didn't matter. There is a grain of wisdom in Solomon's words about money being the answer to everything (Ecclesiastes 10:19). Money is what has allowed me to be here at Stanford and money is what allowed me to go to Resolved.

But let's not consider money (and saving it) the highest priority. We save it for a reason. And that reason is God and His Kingdom.

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Anonymous Mike said...

Hadn't even thought about that. Good idea.

I actually bought a bunch of books from monergism once because they were cheaper than amazon... =P

But now I'll be more conscious of supporting Christian ministries with my book-buying. Thanks.  

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Blogger ts said...

You probably aren't blogging for this reason, but posts like this will garner you more readership--guaranteed. This was a great, personable view into mxu!  

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