Thursday, April 23, 2009

Christian Exploitation

Here's something to think about...
Not to condemn, but for us to really look at Jesus and understand His love for us and change for the better...

I've heard of numerous stories of Christians who exploit other Christians and recently I had a similar experience.

As you know, I'm a freelance writer.
Yesterday a lady called me up for a writeup job for a Christian Organisation.
Apparently this Christian Organisation sends out 500+ CD materials on a monthly basis to Christian women so that they may find their comfort from their marital, relationship and grief.

This organisation (whose name was not given to me) also claims to conduct seminars all over Thailand, HK, Australia and other parts of the world. They also apparently hold a worship/study group every tuesdays at their ministry centre.

The article was supposed to be a donation drive to ask from members/public for donation for their organisation.

She wanted to press my fees (which I made it plain to her was already below industry rates by 40%). Looking at the raw article she sent me, I said, I'll further press my fees by 50%, provided if a fellow sister in christ that I know could be roped into the mailing list and be encouraged. (this dear sister in christ has been going through many broken relationships, and I thought it would be good for her to receive such encouraging materials)

Instead, of accepting that (in total) 70% discount off my fees (which i intended to give away anyway) and the opportunity to minister to another dear sister in christ, this lady from the organisation rejected the offer because she doesn't want to pay me in cash - then hung up.
[I asked for cash on delivery of work because of bad experiences in the freelance business]

As I think about the matter, I recalled a similar incident a fellow lawyer brother encountered.
After the completion of a legal case and won, he was not paid by his fellow brother in christ and had to absorb the cost on his own (even for the legal cost on behalf of this brother)

Another sister shared to me that she was humiliated in public and coerced to purchase charity dinner tickets by a fellow brother who was selling these on behalf of the church. Simply, she was guilt-tripped into handing over her money.

She said (paraphrased) - He made me feel that if I did not support the cause, I was a bad Christian. And he was loud, and everyone was looking.

It got me thinking about how we should be aware of such things.
Do we have an attitude that "because I'm also a Christian", I am entitled to demand certain things from other Christians?

That I should EXPECT discounts, special treatment, waivers, and 'Charity' from other Christians?
God Forbid we practise such things!

But if we do receive such grace, it comes from God's favour & grace, not men!
For Abraham said - that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, 'I made Abram rich.'
Genesis 14:23

If we begin to understand where our wealth comes from, we will become cheerful givers.

Pleading for support/grace and demanding for it are 2 different things.
Grace demanded is not grace!

Worst off, is for us to feel dejected about not receiving such 'demanded grace' that we defame one another!
Some even calls these 'unsupportive' brothers/sisters - 'astray', 'far from God', 'greedy', 'worldly', 'lovers of self', etc

In the end, God will judge all things rightly.
Who are we to make demands and label (judge) one another?

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