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December 01, 2006


This has to be a joke.

It's not a joke. This is straight off of Benny Hinn's website. Pretty disgusting...

Pretty sad. Hope people see through his fraudulence--

How is this any different from Campus Crusaders asking for an extra donation so that they can buy a digital camcorder or the latest technology cell phone/blackberry "for the ministry"? Or the missionaries who ask for money for "extra travel" expenses to rather exotic locations, such as London, Paris, China, the Philippines, Russia, Peru, Bali....?

I think such matters are grey because the discussion of such matters (in my experience) seems inevitably to run to the phrase, "Where do you draw the line?" You probably know from your experience that drawing the line is impossible to do if one is trying to draw a dichotmous, black vs. white, right vs. wrong line.

So that I understand your position, are you advocating condemning CCC staffers for soliciting funds for blackberries, camcorders and mission trips to overseas locations?

I'll leave the blackberry/camcorder issue aside for the moment but I will return to it later. The following are a series of questions so that I can understand your thinking on this matter better.

1a. Do you think ALL mission trips overseas are inappropriate?
1b. Or does the inappropriate-ness of trips pertain only to locations you consider "rather exotic"?

2. Is your princiople that it is only appropriate to send missionaries on trips to non-exotic locations?

3a. What other factors pertain in your consideration of what makes for a legitimate location for missionary activity?
3b. Does the number of lost people in a city, region or nation have any bearing on your calculus?

4. Does it matter to you that London or Paris are considered post-Christian urban areas with relatively little evangelical presence in each?

5. Does it matter to you that China, while having an estimated 100 M believers (more than the US), has an unreached population of 1 B?

I'd love to understand your ethic about when and where and under what conditions it is acceptable for Christians to solicit donations to serve in mission trips.

Sarah- Great issue to bring up and I appreciate your questions. First off, nice art...I enjoyed your site. Second, Blackberry's are silly. Other than replacing a laptop, I couldn't see why someone in ministry would NEED one.

All in all, "Dove One" is an issue of stewardship. I worked in a regional office for CCC and on occasion did A/V stuff. It was a constant balancing act with using our regional funds and our collective talents in a manner that reflected quality, yet fiscal responsibility. We certainly had funds to go for the Hollywood cameras, but did not need to and desired to be wise and prayerful with our purchases.

I think the intent of the criticism given by Glenn is to question 1) why in the world would someone need a $30 million plus aircraft in order to "keep up" with the technologies of the time?!? and 2) to point out the deceptive manner in which the request was written.

1) I am sorry, but a cell phone, as much as I am repulsed by it, is crucial to effectively communicate these days. But I see your point. However, I will certainly say that there are missionaries who live a bit above maybe what they should, "should" and "need" seems to be rather subjective though. Out in the field it is subjective too.

For many it is quite easy to fly under the radar if you are supported by a CO-OP. I know from experience that being overseas there is a general ribbing of certain co-op org's in which their missionaries live above and beyond well. When one would move the support-raising m's would usually scramble to get what they weren't taking with them...kind of funny :) Unfortunately a lot of it comes across as "we don't have to raise it, therefore lets spend it". I do recognize that some people from my own organization raise a substantial amount of money, maybe too much at times. However I will say that the staff turnover is very low, even in the eyes of a Forbes list. So this brings up another question of "how is a body to take care of their workers?" What do you say, Glenn?

Sarah, I think your question brings up a great point in light of the Dove One. What is excessive as opposed to efficient and wise? The Church, along with every person in it is required to ask themselves this. It should not only be on the shoulders of people who raise support to question whether or not they are being good stewards of the money they are blessed with. In fact, raising support wouldn't be such a challenge if 10% of the "Christian" nation of America set out to be wise and obedient with their funds. Sorry for the short rant.

Oh, and while I appreciated your question, the "rather exotic locations" intimation was poorly put. If you have ever lived in China or Western Europe you would know what I am talking about. London, Paris, Western China, Toyko all sound sexy, but they are some of the darkest, hardest place to minister. When I tell people about my heart for Rome and Western Europe they seem to think I am seeking a cushy living situation...if they only knew...*sigh*

Now about the travel: 1) missions is a large, large job, especially when trying to do it thousands of miles away. At times it takes big logistics to get the mechanism in place in order to do ministry well. In total, I went on two trips to Liverpool in order to lay some foundation for there being a thriving ministry. One could look at those trips as meaningless and nothing more than something "extra", but it was crucial to ensure there being a successful, sustainable ministry that has seen the Gospel shared with thousands of Scousers. We didn't sit in the office inventing opportunities to go see Les Miserables at the Shaftesbury...we had a big heart for doing things well, but being wise with how we spent the best hours of our day and the monies given. When I was in the office I wanted to use my talents and the resources we were blessed with to do things well, not second rate. However, the danger in that is feeling that you have to break the bank to do that...in my opinion, you don't. $30 million, in my humble opinion, is breaking the bank.

So while I am positive that missionaries have been guilty of abuses, if I were you I would really question where your money is going and desire to get a solid explanation behind the heart of some trips. Part of keeping missionaries in the field is making them feel supported and cared for. I am a HUGE believer in this and felt cared for while overseas. So, maybe some of these trips look frivolous in the short-term, long term they could greatly contribute to an m's effectiveness in the field. Though only 25, I have already known so many people who have burned out of overseas missions due to being an island unto themselves...albeit involuntarily.

Tell me what you think Sarah or Glenn...or anyone! I know there were a lot of broad strokes in what I wrote, however I think stewardship is the issue with buying one of the nicest personal jets that one could buy.

I hope I sowed my seed with this post ;)

No offense to Campus Crusade, and no offense to those who "go into all the world and preach the gospel."

My comment was directed toward those of us who are quick to judge a ministry we disagree with doctrinally. That's really what's happening here, right? We don't agree with how Benny Hinn is spending "the Lord's" money? I'm just saying that evangelicals and the missionaries we support sometimes have questionable spending with regard to the Lord's money as well.

God knows that we (myself and my husband) aren't the best stewards of all that God provides for us. Please don't shine a light on our poor spending practices. We are really no better than Benny Hinn, though we aren't asking fellow believers for a cool 30 million.

Hmmm....what would I do with 30 million dollars? Or better yet, what would God do through me?

Sarah- Thank you for your comments...sorry that I haven't replied in a while, been busy.

I think you are COMPLETELY correct in saying that missionaries, at times, can spend money in questionable ways. And I do think we, as people in the Church, are in a position to ask questions. When that stops absolute power creeps in...and we are all familiar with Acton on this one.

I really do think that the way in which the ask was phrased is just plain deceptive. Not only do I disagree with his ministry, but I disagree in buying a plane like that. I also disagree in the way the ask was done also. To be honest, I think their would be a furor if Piper, Begg, MacArthur, Ortlund Jr, A. Stanley and Ryken all decided to go in on a $30 million jet together...and those are all men that I greatly respect. I would think that they would have the experience and knowledge to KNOW that the money could go towards many, many better things.

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