Community, Social Justice, Giving and EvangelismLast time in part 8, I talked about "Bible Giving And The Widows Mite". This time I'd talking about how to keep such a church as I'm talking about honest and faithful.
There are many stories of revivalists in the USA that became very rich as a result of their popularity.
In fact this is still the case today. It is not unusual for corruption to follow these riches. This led to the preaching of the Gospel to become discredited. Even today the best way to discredit the preaching of the Gospel is to point to corruption within the church, particularly with regard to money.
It was Billy Graham who introduced the best way to overcome this corruption and therefore the discrediting of the Gospel: Proper Accounting. Opening the books to public examination.
In fact it is my understanding that much of modern evangelical church accounting is due to the success of the Billy Graham method of open book accounting.
If you expose everything the church does to the light, just as we are supposed to do, then the prospect of corruption is much less likely.
So if you want to setup a prosperous community of God; one that is based on everybody having enough and minimize the prospect of this leading to corruption, it is a matter of setting up everything you do so that it is open for examination at all times.
This is so simple really, I can't see that it should need any more explanation. Yet surprisingly Christians and Christian organizations world wide, still fall into the trap of keeping things under raps. Often sighting confidentiality as they reason. Yet when examined there was no good reason to. Just open everything up and most problems go away.
I recognize the need for some confidentiality but it should be the exception not the rule. Confidential meetings should be put to the test of "is this really necessary or are there other motives".
Obviously if you are looking after everybody so that they are so well off that they have no needs, you are then dealing with everybody's financial needs. You don't want everybody knowing the financial business of everybody else. But that is not a justification to not having all the books open to be audited by publicly authorized auditors.
Next time all talk about Prosperity Theology.