The current economic problems do not spare churches. Despite ambitious plans to develop God’s ministries, church collections do not meet the growing demands of churches.
This development has prompted church X in Blantyre City to conduct an auction and a raffle draw to raise funds for its projects.
The other Sunday morning, a pot-bellied church elder brought a cake to be auctioned so that the proceeds be used to pay utility bills for the church.
“We have a cake up for grab, buy as we contribute for the Lord,” he said, quoting verses from the Holy Bible to motivate the congregation.
In no time the congregation started the auction process. It was believed the cake worth K5 000 at the end attracted over K20 000.
But one of the backbenchers was not pleased with the initiative, believing the auction was one the one Jesus Christ condemned.
“This is not Godly. In Mark 11 Jesus condemn this,” said backbencher, adding that “ We are to conduct a raffle draw in the church.”
This made some of his fellows to fault the means.
But Centre for Religion and Public Affairs (Crapa) executive director Alex Business said tAhere was nothing wrong with the auction as long was meant to raise money for the church.
“In this century, no church can survive without finances. Churches has reached this extent because there is stiff competition, every church wants to have excellent infrastructures. People offer less than the budget.
“The context in which Jesus reacted in that temple [Mark 10 verse 17… But you have turned it into a hideout for thieves] is not related to this. The means should not justify the end,” said Business.
God’s Life ministries Bishop Mightwell Ngwira said the activities are tricky and need God’s direction.
“The activities look Godly but are not fair. If God revealed the activities to them [Church X] as a way to solicit funds then I do not have a problem. But means of giving should comply with the Bible. Christians give not that they want to eat the cake or the prizes,” he said.
Blantyre-based student Kissinger Longwe said churches have to be innovative to generate funds.
“People tend to give more at prophets ministries not at their churches. This makes well rooted churches like (X) to collect less than enough for developments. But to avoid what Jesus condemned, let the funds be for church business not individual,” he said.