Monday, August 30, 2004

Church and the World

Church finance is always a tricky thing for a pastor. There was a front page story in the L.A. Times today, August 30, written by Jason Finch, that caught my eye. The paper has been following the fate of a bogus high school diploma mill called California Alternative High School. They were handing out unaccredited bogus high school diplomas to many poor, helpless, and immigrant people. The article today disclosed that churches were accepting money from the school to operate and recruit students. the article seemed to indicate that some churches were duped but others were probably in on the racket. Although some churches thought they were providing a service, most were involved purely for money.

Sadly, churches have often turned their property over for "beneficial" uses for monetary gain. I am sensitive to the money pressure that churches face. However, a church should be "holy", i.e. it is set apart for the use of God. When we forget that a church is owned by God for God's use and pleasure, then we are open to exploitation by the evil in this world. Our churches are not just real estate, they are holy ground. I am not a believer in using churches for day care centers, non-biblical education, or places for secular political rallies--like the Bush campaign calling for church directories for their campaign use.

Let's cleanse, purify, and allow our churches to become holy again.

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