As most people know, Feed the Children is an organization started by Larry Jones Ministries. Larry's organization is famous, because his wife and he run 30-minute spots on TV showing the plight of hungry children and asking for donations of money and food goods. The Jones's ask for corporate sponsorships, and they get them. The last time we checked, Feed the Children was taking in approximately one billion dollars a year and millions of pounds in food and goods. Larry, his wife, and his daughter were being compensated about $400,000 a year.
Larry has his critics. Some complain of nepotism. Others, such as charitywatch.org, complain that the organization spends way too much on advertising (60% of cash budget in 2005) and that there have been proven financial scandals within, and on and on. Cash budget concerns operating expenses and not total donations. Apparently, Feed the Children deals much more in medical (66%) than food (14%). These figures or percentages vary from year to year.
We aren't against a ministry having blood-family members. In fact, it's ridiculous to expect otherwise. A Christian wants his or her blood family to be in and of the Christian ministry. The Real Liberal Christian Church avoids this issue though anyway by holding all things in common. As for spending too much on advertising, unfortunately people don't respond to calls to give on such a huge scale without hearing the call and the powers that be don't give such time for free. Could their detractors do better?
We are tiny and have almost nothing but detractors. Jesus too had his detractors, but he didn't deserve any.
Jones For War
The Jones's though did take the "Support our Troops" position, meaning support the wars being waged by the Bush administration and its neocons for oil and Greater Israel and against strict Islam, etc.
Why do huge corporations support Larry's cause? Is it just out of the pure goodness of their hearts in all cases? Well, Larry takes food stuffs from those corporations. He does nothing to upset the system. The donors and corporations get their write offs. The corporations also get their bragging rights for public relations purposes. The corporations also, and most importantly to them, face no competition in supplying food ultimately for-profit for the whole of society.
Cooperation: The Christian Commons
What does the Real Liberal Christian Church do via the Christian Commons by contrast? The Christian Commons takes poor Christians from wherever they are and gives them a home (debt-free where possible, free of usury slavery) they own together where they can collectively raise the food they need for free, make clothing, build housing and schools, etc., and do all the other things in ways that respect, and aid in the healing of, the Earth given by God to provide for all freely. They then, in turn, spread their bounty by feeding others and clothing them and doing all the other things called for by Jesus to the extent they are capable and aided. The unselfish, softhearted people in earning positions support this effort to the degree they choose, knowing it is the right thing to do and knowing even they will always have a place to turn if it comes to that. They too can eat from the Commons and donate as they are moved to do so. It will be that bountiful.
Stop Enriching Prosperity Preachers and Televangelists
Are we saying to people to stop helping Larry Jones? No, we aren't saying that. We are saying to people stop feeding into the prosperity preachers and others who live in excess and don't bring forth much at all. Larry is far from hurting with his salary and whatever other perquisites and benefits he may receive (and his family members get theirs too), but he is no prosperity preacher living as a Hollywood star that we know of.
What Do We Want For Self
Do we want a six figure income? When a six figure income is required to live as we are living (due to inflation) then we'll think about it. By then, a six figure income will be below the poverty line. It would be better that the Christian Commons would have made such an income moot.
Living as the Flock, of the Flock
Unlike the prosperity preachers, we don't want to live above the Christian souls who work and live on the Christian Commons. We don't want to live better than the flock. We want the whole flock to live better. We want to practice what Jesus preached that is serving as the younger was expected by the non-Christians to serve in Jesus's time. We want to see all Christians and all people really living in that spirit so that there truly will be a huge leveling upwards, where everyone's quality of life goes up, including the now riches of the rich.
Rich Don't Understand
That's what the rich don't understand. They think they are living better because of the dog-eat-dog world where they are just more aggressive and selfish. They don't understand that they too would be vastly better off in Heaven on Earth.
Closer to the Kingdom
The more we do according to the kingdom of Jesus's and our God in Heaven, the closer we will be to the kingdom, the more the Earth will come to resemble it. If we do exactly according to the kingdom of God in Heaven, the Earth will be that kingdom. It will come.
If absolutely no one does on Earth according to the kingdom of God in Heaven, it won't come, ever. The spirit must be poured out onto receptive souls. If all souls remain unreceptive, that spirit will not be received. It will not be given. The prophecy is for that spirit to come. Therefore, souls on Earth will do according to the kingdom of God in Heaven. That's what we want. That's what we're calling for.
Collective, Not Individualists
To be clear and as we've written before, it isn't done by individualists. That's not the spirit. It's done collectively, as a flock. That's the meaning of the term "flock" or "fold." The Christian Commons is a collective and not a bunch of individualists. That is not saying each soul is not singularly unique. Each is.
Christians Don't Sacrifice Others
That's part of why each soul is priceless to the flock, just as the whole flock is priceless. That's why the flock doesn't sacrifice its members but rather its members sacrifice themselves. It's diametrically opposed to the wide path where the leaders sacrifice others for the sake of the leaders and the leaders' estates. It wasn't the Christians who sacrificed Jesus. It was the evil leadership and Jesus himself. The evil ones sacrificed him for the sake of the evil ones. Jesus sacrificed himself for the sake of the flock.
Prosperity Preachers, et al.
We are saying to give to those things that truly bring forth by shifting from giving to those things that do not. Many organizations are receiving that don't bring forth anything but more evil. Think about all the spending you do on whatever. Ask yourself whether that particular spending is toward bringing forth abundance in the Christian sense. We aren't saying cut back until you live in poverty necessarily, although many people could do that to see vastly more of their earnings funneled into what will break the stranglehold of the beastly empire of greedy capitalism, corporatism, and mercantilism, etc., that brings us the wars and the pollution and all the rest.
Many people own how many changes of clothes? Some people have their closets enlarged to hold all the shoes they never even wear, many hundreds of pairs of shoes. Why do they have hundreds of pairs of shoes? Do they have hundreds of feet? Practical shoes, fitting the job are fine. There are people though who think a pair of shoes is too old even before their broken in. People are spending thousands of dollars to get their eye brows plucked one time. What for? Are they cleaner on the inside? People get carried away with this stuff. Jesus said wash, but his way didn't include hundreds of changes of raiment. Even Joseph at the height of his power only gave his younger brother five changes of raiment.
Also, by changing the name to "Feed the Children" and dropping "Ministries," Larry is deemphasizing the Christian aspect of the organization. The Feed the Children ads avoid political controversies, thereby avoiding providing proscriptions other than the status quo corporate/capital method of charity. Once in a while, Christianity comes in, but it's handled in a way that is very low key so that it will be just enough to stimulate Christians and fence sitters and to also allow overt non-Christians to give without thinking they are giving to an evangelizing body. Is it sinister? The motive is not upsetting the particular corporate-donor system.
The Real Liberal Christian Church by comparison, is about evangelizing while also coming up with a system to feed the children and all the hungry in a way never done before in the history of human kind. It is a new device built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. We aren't reinventing the wheel or laying a new foundation.
Overturn the Tables: Commerce Out, Giving and Sharing In
Larry's way feeds children who would otherwise not eat. It isn't the solution though. Larry would no doubt say that if everyone would just be of the spirit to feed everyone else that would do it and he'd be right to say that. Larry's way is far better than the utterly sinful way of the prosperity preachers. However, Larry's way is a stopgap measure that doesn't overturn the tables in the temple. We are for overturning the tables in the temple. Of course the temple is in the heart now, and we are for peaceful transition. Jesus overturned the tables physically as an analogous sign of what was to come, but they didn't heed. That turning over of the tables is still relevant today. Money in hearts still needs to be put in its proper place, which is commerce out and freely giving and sharing in. We need to transition. The Christian Commons Project does that. We need to start and to build up momentum.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)