Another guest post from a skonkworker:
Corporate wealth will always eventually end up as a snare and a stumbling block to the Church and ours will be no exception. How will we know when we are too rich? We seem so far from being the “Church of the poor” that we style ourselves as.
Do we really believe that “it is more blessed to give than to receive”? If we did we’d always be skirting debt and miraculous provision would become blessedly normal. I believe both God and the members of our church would be much happier to give generously to a generous church than to a selfish church, protecting its assets for a rainy day.
The answer to the dilemma of corporate wealth is to decentralize it, and to give the purse strings and the decision-making processes that go with it, to the elders of each regional Body.
Autonomous, decentralised governance (with patriarchal rather than dictatorial apostles) is much more scriptural and has much more scope for ownership by the members in that locality, with charitable giving from the surplus wealth going into people and projects on their own doorstep. When members of a congregation know how much or how little is in the pot, they will recognize the need for faith and will claim God’s provision.
The “bank in the temple court” which threw Jesus into a zealous frenzy will be totally turned around as the moneymaking temple courts become a place of emancipating equality and generous distribution.