Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ligonier Ministries needs $15,600,000

Apparently they have an urgent need for over $15 million. What is this pressing need going to fund?

- A new "Reformation" academy to teach people the right way

- Upgrades to Ligonier's headquarters building

- A new library building

- Paying off existing debt incurred for, you guessed it, property

Good news, they have already raised $6,000,000! I guess that is good news.

I love me some Reformed theology and I own a bunch of Sproul's books but when I look at the webpage asking for money to pay for what they are doing, I have to ask a question. Is that the most pressing need in the world for the church to address with limited resources? How many Bibles would $15 million buy? How many missionaries would it support? How many orphans could be adopted? If an adoption costs $20,000 then the money Ligonier is raising for a building would pay for 780 orphans to be adopted and raised in Christian homes. Isn't that a more pressing need than yet another set of expensive church buildings? 780 children taken out of orphanages and given a chance at a home and a family. Those kids might have kids some day and perhaps raise them in Christian homes. How many lives would be touched and changed in a real way by that kind of money? That is a proper monument to Christ, not yet another Bible school and ministry headquarter.

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Anonymous said...

I try to be careful with this line of thinking, because I don't know where the line is between acceptable and extravagant. Even the $2 I spent on a shirt at the thrift store the other day could have gone toward charity. Or what about buying books at all? Should I really ever buy anything at all that I don't absolutely, positively need? I'm not trying to criticize you--I think you probably know what I'm saying. When does it become too much? At what point? It's hard to say.

That being said, I would definitely say it is unwise to raise money to purchase/build more property, while at the same time, needing that money to pay for the property you already have. Whether it's a new building, a private jet, or the occasional trip to Starbucks, I think we would all do well to do some soul-searching from time to time regarding needs vs. wants.

Arthur Sido said...

My big issue is that this is described as a ministry need, when the bigger needs in the church have nothing to do with Bible academies and libraries. It is part of a disturbing trend when you look at Sproul's home church building an extravagant new building (I blogged about that as well). A lot of what they seem to be raising money for is man-centered and prideful.

I am trying hard to reevaluate everything I spend money on. I don't buy books until I get enough debit card reward points, and even that is probably wasteful because I could use it on a gift card for food. Almost all of my non-food spending is on stuff that I could do without.