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Follow the Money

May 31, 2013 at 19:46
Category: Follow the Money!

 

Friends.  Some time ago in another context I stated "Western Christianity spends more money on conferences about mission than actually doing mission" and of course that statement was challenged as it should be.  Question everything!  A google search will yield several variations of that theme but just think about it for a moment.  In my experience of several streams of charismatic christianity and probably yours as well,  it is pretty clear that the monies spent on conferences went well beyond monies invested in mission.  If you add in leader's retreats and training events (often at very nice/expensive locations!)  we spend a lot more money on ourselves than we do on mission.  A short exercise?  Ask who is the primary beneficiary of the conference.

"If you want to know who the true christians are ask the poor, the imprisoned and oppressed.  They will tell you."  Gandhi.  Variations of that quote make the rounds on Face Book.  The world is watching.  They follow the money.  They want to know where our hearts are.  Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  

Yes, in some circles, charity has become big business.  None other than Franklin Graham was publicly outed as taking $500,000 salary for his leadership of Samaritan's Purse (which does excellent work) and also taking $500,000 from The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  When confronted with this he dropped the salary from Billy Graham.   

Because of the continuing abuse of charity and ministry for self gratifying conferences, excessive salaries (even for the good guys)  and administrative fees (did you know that the law in some western countries stipulates that to retain its status as a charity, the charity must contribute only 10% or sometimes even less to the cause?  Yes, over 90% of the funds raised can be consumed in salaries and expenses.)  we made a decision in 2011 to decline salary from Harvest Now and to supply our own living expenses.  We give away all funds that we receive and have done that for all of 2012 and will continue to do so.  

This past month your gifts helped drill a bore well in India so that village ladies can do something beyond walking 4 kilometres for water, supplied housing and food for women at risk in Tajikistan, put the go in the gospel for apostolic travel in Philippines, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan & Bulgaria.  You helped a brother in Armenia and our team leader in Tajikistan with  life saving medical procedures.    Your partnership in prayer and giving enabled Sergey to risk a fight with their pimps to pull two more girls out of sexual slavery in Dushanbe.  Your gifts and prayers were part of baptisms in Kazakhstan. 

Tired of all the talk, the meetings, the conferences?

Do something, Steve

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