Monday, May 14, 2012

Marketplace ministry as a sin against the Church

I have been generally ambivalent towards the idea of marketplace ministries. I can see the need to be light and salt where one is at, and there is certainly nothing wrong with desiring to meet fellow believers and share one's faith. As such, I have been generally supportive, ... until now.

Today through Facebook feed, I saw this article on the Singapore Christian Post, where an insurance company has decided that its agents should take the place of pastors towards their clients. Reading it makes me wonder whether the people involved have even thought through the issues, and the whole thing is wrong on so many levels it is not funny.

First of all, who gave the director the authority to operate what is essentially a pseudo-church? Secondly, upon what basis have they decided that Mammon and God should mix, such that one flows easily into the other? What does it say about the whole idea of salvation being free if such "ministry" comes with the package deal of business dealings and contacts? And since such "shepherding" would make the person feel cared for, and thus more likely to pour more money and invest in insurances and investment products, how can one exonerate oneself from the charge that this type of "ministry" is using godliness for financial gain (1 Tim. 6:5)?

Who has ordained these insurance agents to be ministers of the Gospel, to be able to offer to "conduct a funeral service"? The director of this agency is a woman too. While I have nothing against women being directors of a secular company, they have no business being in spiritual leadership over men (cf 1 Tim. 2:11-15), nevermind being the de facto pastrix of her agents/"pastors."

This entire ministry is a violation of God's commands and rules regarding His Church. It matters little whether the pastor of the director agrees with what she is doing. Her entire "ministry" is a violation of God's Law, and with its confusion between the sacred and the secular, ministry and profit, brings the Gospel into disrepute.

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