Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Embezzlement: The Corporate Sin of Contemporary Christianity

This short booklet, written by pastor and theologian Ray Mayhew, was largely instrumental in leading my wife and I start a house church two years ago which would give away 100% of the offering and tithe to the poor in our community.

The online link to this article has disappeared for some reason, and there has been a resurgence in this conversation about the money people give to the Church and the proper use of this money, both here and over at theOoze.com so I'm offering this PDF article free to anyone who wants it.

For your free PDF of this inspiring and thought-provoking article, please email me at "elysiansky" (at) hotmail (dot com) with the subject "Emblezzlement" and I will email you a copy of this, free of charge.

If you do read this article, please post your reactions or comments here, or reply back to me via email and let me know what your thoughts are. I'd love to know.



abraham's bosom said...

thank you for sending the mayhew article along. you are a faithful man. though i am still a young christian, there have always been things that puzzled me about the routine and function of church. the tithe is one that has constantly flumoued me.
to me it seemed a part of the covenant with israel that passed away with the fulfillment of the law brought about by christ's crucifixion. a strange form of fiscal circumcision. christ never commands us to whack off a specific chunk of cash, and then accuse us of being unfaithful if the chunk is an iota shy. rather he tells us to give generously. to feed the poor. to take care of the unfortunate.
his challenge was to send us out into the world to spread wealth and knowledge, not to build edifices to
hoard and hide them in.
i think mayhew does a spot on job of giving the historical and moral history of the tithe, and does so in a way that seeks to empower, not exploit.
when i read articles such as this, i am given hope that we can still liberate christ from the bizarre legalism that has been foisted upon the world from churches more interested in growing fat than growing.
peace and grace, keef baby.
keep making with the sweet words and the prophetic insight. every article is a hammer blow for freedom.

ps- shane does some interesting writing on the relational tithe...

Parke said...

Thanks for sharing the text, guy. I appreciate it. One reason I've continued to read this blog and your writing is that I know you have a solid heart for people. I'm sure this writer does as well.

I do appreciate the heart and goal here. In recent months I've been trying to help my community move forward in serving the poor and so I resonate with the call to give generously in ways that really meet people where they are and not in a way that simply makes us feel good.

Perhaps soon you'd like to post other resources you've found that speak to similar needs to give in generous and difficult ways. The end of this article is perhaps partially persuasive to a cold audience, but I'm going to guess some of my established friends will need a different voice that starts off with a clearer respect for the challenge this is to enact.