Friday, December 19, 2008
Morning meditation - Money or the mission?
Their major concern appears to be hoarding their plummeting stock portfolio and so their values are perverted. I have been though this before with organziations who struggle with the dilemna of "the mission or the money", and usually the money people make a smart ass remark like, "without the money there is no mission" which just turns the participants in the organization into whores whose behavior is based strictly on the money and not other values.
For someone from my background and theological training this is one definition of sin when one's ethical compass gets perverted, diverted by mammon. It of course, is a form of idolatry and so the church has a Golden Calf, but the children of god have been marginalized and are left hungry and freezing out in the cold.
I don't know if it is true that money is the root of all evil but Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to pass through th eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven.
And I have been in organizations who have fallen on hard times and the people who hold the purse strings come to be at odds with the people who are providing the services accusing them of being fuzzy headed do gooders and not practical and realistic enough. The money then becomes the primary consideration and it becomes worshipped as the primary consideration in the whole organizatonal enterprise. This does not bode will for the future because the mission and values which have driven the organization now become distorted, perverted and the service provision becomes prostituted on the altar of Mammon.
A mercenary attitude and value system is more acceptable in business and profit making enterprises but becomes a serious problem in human services where people, including staff, begin to be treated as objects and no longer as human beings worthy of dignity and respect.
At this point when the money becomes more important than the mission, whether it be health care, education, human service, and/or churches, these institutions and the people who are decision makers in them, enter into the realm of sin.
I have known many good people who have fallen into this trap and who have had their basic good sense and values corrupted by financial concerns. Jesus has plenty to say about this and most Christians ignore it focusing instead on sexual sins which Jesus says very little about.
Jesus drove the money changers from the temple and the curse of relgious institutions is their becoming overly enthralled with money. Good stewardship requires an accountability and good management but money is power and when it is hoarded and greedily misused, and people are hurt, ignored or abused, sin occurs.
My church is sadly in need of salvation because its values have become seriously distorted to the point where the mission has not only been distorted, it has been killed.
You can't take it with you so use it wisely while you are here. As Jesus points out in his parables tonight you may die and of what use will all your money be then?
Madonna, Material Girl, video lasts 4:44.