The taxes I pay as a part of my responsibility of being a citizen are never spent in exactly the way I would like them to be. Neither are yours. In a representative democracy spending priorities and practices result from a wild combination of political decision making on multiple levels. The only way to move toward different spending priorities is by participation in the political process. And I can’t whine about it unless I do.
Likewise, in any religious community, the body never places its spending priorities in such a way that all people are pleased by them or all of them. Even as a pastor, I’m never totally in agreement with the way the church spends its money – and I, as a leader of the community, more often than not end up defending the ways in which the church spends its money. I’m still never completely satisfied. But I still make an offering to God, even without total happiness, because I know that it’s about more than what I happen to think is important at the moment. There are other voices, perspectives and values at work. Maturity helps us accept this … to a degree.
There are those times when spending by government, church or our silly nephew, Arnold, who squanders the money we gave him, becomes so egregious, that we must protest. That’s understandable and at times necessary. But so is our willingness to live in community and accept the differences that exist among diverse people and perspectives.
God bless us as we figure it out. I’m still trying to.