Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Folly of the Boycott

"And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home."

One of the most commonly used weapons in church politics is the threat to withhold money.  Whether it is the guy in the congregation who doesn't get his way and stops giving, or the congregation that wants to "learn the district" a lesson - that seems to be the solution.  Cut off the money.  That will show them.

It's been the conservative way - at least in my life time.  The way of the boycott.  I remember in the 80s, I as a kid couldn't keep track of which store we were supposed to boycott and not use because they did something or other.  And you know what happened?  The stores adapted, moved on, and cared less about us.

Seriously - if you don't shop at a store - why should they CARE what you think?  The boycott, the removal of funds is the nuclear option - it is useful not to persuade or shift opinion, it is only useful to destroy (and then only useful if there are enough of you to actually destroy it).

Now, consider.  Let's say you are part of the Conservative group in the LCMS - and you don't like the district... so you get mad, and get your congregation to give less and less to the district.  You know what you have done - you've made yourself irrelevant.  You've cut off your influence. If you get mad, so what?

It ain't shrewd.

Conservative guys - you want to start influencing the districts?  Double what you  give to district.  Triple it.  Make it to where 75% of the funds in the district come from Conservative congregations... make the district your friend by mammon -- because it's an organization, it runs on mammon.  Then your words will carry weight - 75% of the weight.  Enough weight to where if the "libs" decide to take their ball and go home -- don't worry, do what is right, what you need to, we have your back DP.

But, alas, the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

Of course, a lot of this is because we would rather crush our enemies than love them, care for them, pray for them, and with patience and endurance and care turn them to friends.  Oh well.

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

I never thought about it that way.

I think you are absolutely right!

We give almost nothing to the ELCA. As much as you are right in your example, I think the ELCA us too far gone to try and influence with money, one way or the other.

Better luck with the LCMS.