Free Free Free!

After recently receiving a request to post money-making ads on my site to publicise another Christian site, I would just like to remind everyone about my stance regarding money-making on this blog. In short, Tosin’s Bible Blog is strictly, strictly non-commercial.  I will not participate in any activities for the sake of generating money or funds – even where the ads are for other Christian sites, even where the funds could be used for legitimate Christian means like growing this site.
Many thanks, Tosin 13th January 2013
(Original blog post written 5th October 2011)
This is a blog post that I probably should have written a long while ago.  There are lots of issues contained within it which I would like to cover in detail, so by rights it should probably be quite a long blog post, or even a series of blog posts.

However, I’ll just start with this blog post for now, then build the topic up as necessary.

The basic point of this post is that all the content that is produced on this blog, including blog posts and Open Bible translations and commentaries, are COMPLETELY FREE for you to use, to read etc.  Any other content that I will ever produce about God, about God’s Kingdom, about God’s word, by God’s grace, will always remain TOTALLY AND UTTERLY FREE.  This is a commitment that I have made to myself. I WILL NOT ACCEPT DONATIONS, and I will definitely not request them. Please do not embarrass yourself and me also by offering them.
No-one will ever have to pay a penny for the sake of supporting this work.  If you want to “sow” financially to express your appreciation of this work, then please give to (legitimate) Christian charities.  If you want to sow into my life, then please pray for me.

I am so fed up of the concept of “the Christian Industry”.  It seems that in much of Christendom the focus has shifted from Christ and the work He has called us to do to building “Christian-flavoured” businesses, and working out viable business models.  It upsets me when I go into Christian bookshops and I see row upon row upon row of items of  “Christian merchandise” – books, and CDs and a million Bible editions (not different translations, but the same translations repackaged a million times for different “markets”) and T-shirts and jewellery – all slickly produced (usually in the Far East), with glossy packaging.

I keep thinking that if our priority were TRULY to win the world for Christ, as He has called us to do, then we would do things differently.  It seems that our true goal of selfless world evangelism has been lost in the desire to live comfortable lives off “ministering the Gospel”.  The idea of Christian “lifestyle” products irritates me deeply.  As Christians we have let our faith become just another expression of our consumerist society.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the glorious gospel where an all-powerful God sacrificed the only thing that would cost Him, His only son, for the sake of rescuing His creation.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ promises to absolutely anyone who would accept it,  radical life and restoration to a holy, perfect God, and peace, and freedom from guilt, and a new start, and an eternal hope.  And look how we have cheapened this glorious Gospel that we have been entrusted with, by trying to make money off it, making it look tacky and weak to those outside.

By God’s grace, it is not going to be so with me.  Christ says “…You have received freely, so freely give” – Matthew 10v8.  God has given me everything so freely, so I’m determined by His grace to give freely for the sake of others.  I don’t want my true focus on winning the world, and challenging the church, to be clouded by financial motives.  I know that if I were to start charging money then almost invariably, my focus would shift to the amount of money coming in.  Then the temptation would arise to amend what I am saying to what people would most like to hear, for the sake of encouraging them to give more money.

I know that many legitimate Christian organisations feel called to accept donations, even where they are not charging for their work.  I don’t think that there is anything wrong in that.  However, my anger and frustration  are unspeakably strong at the never-ending  appeals to “give” in various churches and in television ministries, and at the fact that whole ministries seem to have sprung up just for the sake of persuading people to give money, for the sake of building perishable earthly empires rather than the true, eternal Kingdom of God.  Because of this, and because I want to distance myself completely from these types of “ministers”, I’ve made up my mind to not “even” ask for donations, and to refuse them where they are offered.  I don’t want this Bible Blog to be about me, to be about my ministry, or achieving wealth or glory for myself in the name of doing the work of Christ.  Rather, I want this to be about doing God’s work God’s way, and as it is, even without the money aspect, I have to constantly correct my heart to keep the focus on God.

So yes, I had not said it explicitly until now,  but now I hope I am making this abundantly clear.  This is not my job, in that this is not, and will never be how I support myself financially. Rather all the resources in this blog are made freely available for anyone who needs or wants them.  And as you have been freely given, I also encourage you to freely give.

God bless always, Tosin 🙂

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