Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Not The Church's Business
Sounds like I came up with more negatives than positives…For the uninitiated the CVN is described as:
Christian Values Network is a free service that allows members to shop online at nearly 900 popular internet retailers who in turn pay a referral fee for every purchase made by a CVN member. A portion of the referral fee is given to the ministry of choice indicated by the CVN member.There is a bunch in here that I could choose to justify the skin-crawling distaste that I feel for this effort, my utter distaste for Huckabee branded politics and that little word "portion" jump to mind quite quickly. But I want to focus on a single issue in this post.
Where is the charitable impulse in this project? Where is the call to sacrifice? In what way does this scheme call us to "...regard one another as more important than himself;" (Phil 2:3)?
I can see this deal being sold to the participants and investors - it was described, undoubtedly as a "win/win." Now win/win deals are a big deal in business, but are they the Christian ideal?
There is nothing wrong with prosperity, but there is something wrong with an appeal to prosperity (for Christ promises no such thing) and there is something very wrong if we are not called to sacrifice from our prosperity.
It seems to be that in economically tough times we have an opportunity to teach people about genuine charity - About sacrifice in scarcity as well as plenty, about truly worrying about the other more than yourself.
That is the church's business.