I also believe in the stewardship of our bodies, and if we can travel in a way that helps us be stronger and fitter for the work of the gospel, so be it.
Smith Wigglesworth was once asked why he traveled first class on trains and he answered, "I'm not saving the Lord's money. I'm saving the Lord's servant."
Yet Wigglesworth never got rich off the gospel (may I ask what Creflo Dollar's salary and benefits are?) and he donated all royalties for his sermon books to missions.
The issue of financial stewardship is shouting to us right now.
Because of my height and some sleep issues, when I travel overseas to countries like India (which is quite often), we do our best to find ways to upgrade to business class, using miles or other perks or finding discounted tickets. And there are large congregations that gladly cover a business class fare when they invite you overseas, and that's a great help when traveling so far.
But I've sat in the back of the plane hundreds of times (stateside and internationally), and I'm still alive and well, while the ministry times in each location have always been blessed.
In 2 Corinthians 6:4-5 Paul wrote, "But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger," and, he added, "by flying commercial rather than private jet." (Sorry. I just made that part up. He never said that.)
You might say to me, "Maybe you can manage without a private jet, but some people cannot do without them."
Again, that's between them and God, and to say it once more, I begrudge no one God's blessing.
But there are ways to share planes with others (a rich business executive told me that's all he would ever do, and he felt it was outrageous that people had to have their own jets) or to get safe and functional planes for a tiny fraction of the cost.
But my goal in writing this is to be redemptive.
Every year since 1993, I've worked with a ministry in India that has planted more than 7,000 churches in unreached tribal regions (hint: you can't get anywhere near these villages with any kind of jet), along with building hospitals, schools, orphanages, homes for the aged and mentally ill, not to mention feeding the hungry day and night.
For $50 per month, you can support one of these devoted tribal pastors and his family—and I mean full-time support. (Some of them have been beaten for the faith; at least one was killed. They are sacrificial servants of the Lord.)
For $25 per month, you can support one of the precious children in the children's home—and that means food, clothes, shelter, and a terrific godly education. (A couple of years back they got their first beds after years of sleeping on the concrete floor, but even before then, their smiles were precious and their love for Jesus contagious.)
And so, while I sincerely pray for God's very best plan for Creflo Dollar and his ministry team, whatever that plan is, I'm going to sow my money where it really counts.
Will you join me?
Michael Brown is the author of 25 books, including Can You Be Gay and Christian? and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show "The Line of Fire." He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience.
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