We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man. 2 Corinthians 8:20-21
“Some people are very reluctant to speak of “structural sin,” arguing that only people can sin. Sin is a personal choice made by free moral persons. Structures cannot sin in that sense. With that I agree. However, no human being is born into or makes his or her moral choices in the context of a clean sheet.
We all live within social frameworks that we did not create. They were there before we arrived and will remain after we are gone, even if individually or as a whole generation we may engineer significant change in them.
And those frameworks are the result of other people’s choices and actions over time—all of them riddled with sin. So although structures may not sin in the personal sense, structures embody myriad personal choices, many of them sinful, that we have come to accept within our cultural patterns. . .
It is not that by living within such structures our sin becomes justifiable or inevitable. We are still responsible persons before God. It does mean that sinful ways of life become normalized, rationalized, rendered plausible and acceptable by reference to the structures and conventions we have created.”
Christopher J.H. Wright as cited by Brian Fikkert and Kelly M. Kapic in Becoming Whole: Why the Opposite of Poverty isn’t the American Dream (Chicago: Moody, 2019) 177-178.
Jenni and I had a great week. Thanks for your prayers. We made special memories, read some books, had sweet time, and are shocked by the temperature shift. Went from 83°F / 28°C and sun to 10°F / -12°C this morning with snow.
Part of my work globally aims to set up structures to build trust so local giving flows to God’s work. The importance of such structures rooted in biblical standards cannot be understated.
In many countries, corruption linked to handling money has become “normalized, rationalized, rendered plausible and acceptable.” Sadly this exists both in business and ministry settings. It creates many problems, including a lack of trust.
This lack of trust becomes a leading hindrance to generous giving.
Wright helps us see that we can’t point fingers at others. Instead, God’s workers everywhere must acknowledge the sin in our own cultural settings, and make personal choices to act differently and distinctly Christianly.
This goes against the flow. But once a person stands up makes such a choice, others follow. It’s beautiful to watch. Let me illustrate this from my experience at GTP.
A peer accountability group is a locally formed legal entity that helps ministries in a country follow biblically faithful, globally consistent, and locally contextualized standards for faithful administration.
To join, individuals serving in ministries a personal decision to chart a new course. When ministries get accredited for following the standards they put a seal on their website. The seal builds trust and gives people confidence to give.
Peer accountability honors God and reverses the pattern of passive conformity to structural sin. This opens the door for local giving to flow which follows God’s design for ministry sustainability.Read more