To: Pastors, Elders and Church Board Members
From: The Gulf Field
Date: June 10, 2015
Recently it was brought to the attention of the Gulf Field that members are using the church as a platform to promote networking and pyramiding businesses for personal gain.
As a Field we would like to see every member succeed in his work place or business venture. Nevertheless, there is a time and place for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1a). There is a time to be with family, friends and fellow believers. There is also a time to be at work, at home and church.
While we cannot stop members from investing their personal finances into any business or investment plan, we would like to be clear that our church facilities and church gatherings must not be used for advocating networking, pyramiding or personal business schemes for three reasons:
a. Church as a place of prayer: In addressing the moneychangers at the temple who had turned the house of God into a place of bargaining, business, and personal profit, Jesus said, “My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:12). God’s house is to be a place of worship, prayer and Christian fellowship.
b. Challenges keeping the Lord’s Day: During Nehemiah’s time the children of Israel violated the Lord’s Day by carrying out their business during Sabbath hours. This exasperated Nehemiah; consequently, leading Nehemiah to take drastic measures in order to stop the children of Israel from their labor on the Lord’s Day (Nehemiah 13:15-22). The Lord’s Day is a time to focus on Him as the sustainer and giver of all blessings.
c. Unity in the church: The Disciples did not entirely understand what Jesus and His ministry was about. We read about James and John approaching Jesus, asking Him to place them on His right and left hand side when He established His kingdom. In short, the disciples were asking for authority and power over everyone else. Scripture goes on to say, “When the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John” (Mark 10: 41). To preserve the unity of the church, the seeking of money, power, and authority needs to be set aside and the advancement of God’s kingdom must take priority.
On behalf of the Gulf Field I am going to urge all pastors, lay pastors, Bible workers, elders and church board members to take immediate necessary Christ like measures to ensure that we do not fuse
church and business. We need to safeguard the church; help it move forward with its mission, and empower her people to be men and women of integrity in the society in which they live.
We hope that this issue may be resolved in our churches in a manner that will bring glory and honor to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Church.
Steven G. Manoukian
President of the Gulf Field
of the Seventh-day Adventist Church