A very interesting article was recently posted on NYTimes.com about Mexican churches re-evaluating their donors. The church in the picture is in Pachuca, Mexico, and features a plaque thanking the donor who made its building possible, Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano. The catch is that Lazcano is also known as "The Executioner," and is the head of a "ruthless crime syndicate" called the Zetas. The question Mexican churches are asking is: "Should we be taking money from such people?" My good friend Jacob posted about this article on the popular (and recommended) Mockingbird blog, and it has sparked some mild blog-troversy...
"This long history of a cozy, "non-judgmental", relationships with the power elite, back to the conquistadors, is exactly why the RC church is so hated by a large segment of the population in Mexico and throughout Latin America."
"If money earned impurely is given to the Church as a form of atonement to do good, then I think this has merit. The money has to go somewhere after it leads the criminal's hand so it might do some good."
"A history professor of mine, who was from an aristocratic Southern family, told the story of a large group of KKK men coming into her church, in full white-robed regalia, during the offertory, and depositing a large sack of cash at the alter, then processing out. Her father, the warden, insisted that the church refuse the money and made it known why. I...think he was one hell of a Christian."
"My church was built by and has plaques dedicated to J.P. Morgan, John Noble Stern, etc. We call them bankers and buisnessmen, but the truth is one could just as equally call them criminals."
So what do you think? You can check out the entry and all the comments (including some from yours truly) HERE.
Matthew 27 reveals an examination of taking money that was gained for the price of Jesus life. The church then said they ought not to collect the coins and threw the coins into the potters field. Evidently, the question as to whether or not there is integrity with respect to taking money from sources that earn it from endangering or killing others is not a new one. Judas who offers the money back to the chief priests and elders after he received it for showing them the location of Jesus is described as being in v.3 afflicted in mind and troubled for his former folly; and] with remorse [with little more than a selfish dread of the consequences] Amplified Bible. This writing explains that the money is given as though it were offered as a penitent act and yet it did not purge Judas of feeling guilty for turning Jesus over to the authorities. Though he tried to unburden himself by offering the money, he wound up in his affliction, hanging himself instead. The church did not accept the money then, and elected to let it go to waste on ground that was used as a cemetery for the poor. In having considered this, I am not sure that I would approach the answer as to whether or not churches should receive money from those that engage in practices that destroy the lives of others, but my concern would be whether or not those who after destroying the lives of others believe that by giving aid to places such as charity or church, they have done something that brings correction to their actions against others. Clearly Judas indicates this is not the case.ReplyDelete