Wise as Serpents#3. “Robbing Churches.”

Wise as Serpents#3. “Robbing Churches.”

I was standing on the church building steps when an eight-year-old girl came up the drive and asked if I could come and speak to her Father. He was sitting in his car when I met him, and he looked so sad that my heart immediately went out to him. If that wasn’t hard enough to bear, he bowed his head and said, “Sorry to disturb you pastor, but my missus died, and I don’t have enough petrol to get to her funeral.” I expressed my sincere condolences and gave him twenty dollars.

I would like to say that I can spot a conman for a mile, but sadly not so! This guy had his act so well-rehearsed it was flawless. But it was the daughter who was the star. After all, who could refuse a motherless maiden the right to bury her mum? However, lest you think that I have since regretted the departure of my twenty dollars and am giving a widower a bad name in absentia, I must inform you that my unhappiness is well-founded. For he came back again, with the same story, not once, but four times.

This story is shameful for several reasons, and the least being the loss of my money. Firstly, this man obviously went from church-to-church preying on the goodwill of people of faith. Secondly, he involved an innocent child in his deception. By now she would be 30 years old, and one must wonder what impact her father’s public thievery has had on her. Finally, it hurts those who are genuinely needy.

Though Christians and churches “must never grow weary in doing good” the conmen make Churches more cautious than they might otherwise be. Needy people have gone without because of a build-up of distrust amongst otherwise generous churches.

Generosity is a mark of a Christians and congregations; we bless others because God has blessed us. It is highly likely that your church will be ripped off by opportunists. Sometimes, despite your hesitancy, you may just have to take someone’s word that they have a genuine need.You must not let the devil win. God’s kindness has been shown to us in a million different ways—We will share!

BUT, if you know for certain that the devil’s children are trying to extort God’s money, then you must be “as wise as serpents” and thwart their efforts.

John Staiger

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