Brothers, We Are Not White Collar Criminals (Series: 3 of 5)

3. Intellectual Property Theft- Intellectual property is defined as a work or invention that is the result of creativity. To steal someone else’s effort or creativity without giving them credit is known as intellectual property theft.

Missions has no copyrights and for good reason. We want every creative idea to be available to everyone and to be utilized to its maximum potential everywhere. But when you get an idea from someone else give them full credit as an ethical standard. Why? Because honor is something that you can give out in unlimited quantities and the act of giving it multiplies it.

Here is North Africa we stand on the shoulders of 120 years of missions history. We also stand arm in arm with other gospel proclaiming missionaries and organizations. To somehow act as if we are doing this on our own is dishonest and damaging to the work.

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Brothers, We Are Not White Collar Criminals (Series: 2 of 5)

2. Price Gouging- It is unethical to raise prices on a product far above what is necessary just because you can. Remember Martin Shkreli who raised the price on the life saving pill Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 just because it wasn’t illegal? Just because he could?

The second temptation that raises its head toward the middle of the finance raising effort is to claim that the set up cost or the monthly cost of living on the field is astronomically higher than what it really is.

At the end of the day you have to live with your conscience and your supporters need to have confidence in your judgement. For my part, I don’t want to meet everyone’s lowest standard of living or I would be living in a fixer-upper forever. At the same time I have to guard against the temptation to raise my living standards to a level higher than what is appropriate. This is a subjective standard that every man must seek God on and live according to what will best advance the gospel.

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Brothers, We Are Not White Collar Criminals (Series: 1 of 5)

Missions is an area with relatively very little oversight. We as missionaries can raise funds and spend funds with very few people, if any, having access to that information. The lack of transparency in these matters is sometimes frightful. When this lack of oversight is abused it is often very damaging to the mission. Givers get disillusioned, national believers get taken advantage of, and the enemies of the cross have amo freely supplied for their constant onslaught of the front-line soldiers who are “holding forth the Word of Truth.”
            The great majority of missionaries are good men and women who have left their home and comforts for the foreign field for the sake of His name. In an effort to encourage these good men and women I want to briefly outline some common temptations that go along with a lack of oversight when coupled with sinful sons of Adam. If some of the business practices that pass in missions were to happen in the business world they would be considered white collar crimes. Since we are not criminals, but sent-ones of the church, here are a list of unethical practices to watch out for.
  1. Lemon Law Violation– It is illegal to sell a car with defects that you knew about yet did not fully disclose to the buyer.
            The first temptation comes when a missionary first starts deputation. He needs to get supporters for his cause so he is tempted to conform himself to the doctrines or preferences of the church that is looking to support him. The problem is that he contorts his image in opposite spectrums from one church to the next. Do you have public policy and private policy the way Hillary Clinton famously stated behind closed doors during the election? Remember how she took support from environmentalist groups on one hand while receiving large speaking engagement fees from Wall Street and Oil Companies on the other hand?
             So what exactly do you believe? What are your real plans and strategy on the field? Of course you should not be divisive but you should be transparent.
            Temptation #2 tomorrow.

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