Another day, another scandal involving a self-proclaimed man of God. This time, financial impropriety, using God's money as his own personal piggy bank, another black eye to what is an already hurting church.
Is it possible for a ministry to have success, and still remain above reproach? I believe that it is, as long as those in leadership remember one important fact. It is not their money, it is God's money!
I was twelve years old when I translated my grandfather's book Through the Fire, and after the first year the book had already sold over 100,000 copies. Since we self published, there was no percentage going to publishing houses, agents or publicists, all the proceeds went into the ministry account.
By any standard, my grandfather was within his rights to keep the money for himself, it was his life story, he had authored the book, but instead of keeping the money for himself, he decided to build an orphanage in Romania.
For as long as I knew him, my grandfather even refused to take a salary from the ministry, or a percentage of the proceeds from his books. We lived in a two bedroom apartment in Southern California, in a less than desirable neighborhood, for thirteen years, and whenever people would visit, and ask why we hadn't moved to a house, there were seven of us living there at the time, the answer was always, 'because we can make do with where we are.'
Other than the seven people living in that apartment, it also served as the headquarters of the hand of help ministry. Yes, it was tight, especially when we took in an elderly couple that had just emigrated from Romania, who lived with us for over a year, but each time we sat down as a family and discussed moving to a bigger place, we would always consider the good that could be accomplished with the extra money.
People were hungry, naked, homeless, in need of church buildings, and we realized that our self sacrifice, would go a long way to helping countless others.
Whether large or small, a ministry does not belong to an individual, it belongs to God. If it is blessed, it is our responsibility as faithful stewards to pass on the blessing, to be the hands, and feet, and heart of Christ.
When men forget the simple fact that it is God's money, and that they are simply stewards, they take liberties they should not take. It is a downward spiral, at first a little, and then a little more. Thus the reason for zero tolerance when it comes to compromising core principles that helped a ministry succeed in the first place.
It has been twenty years since hand of help was started, the orphanage is complete, and has been housing children for over ten years, over sixty churches have been built throughout Romania and Moldova, and countless souls were able to see the goodness of God, through the obedience of this ministry.
Our principles remain the same as when it first started, it is God's money, and thus it's supposed to go to God's work.
Because they have chosen compromise, and reward in this present life, many men will go down in infamy as those who stole from God. I know it sounds extreme, but it is the truth.
People are still starving, homeless, naked, cold, and in need of help, and if we have chosen a life of ministry, we have chosen to live not for ourselves but for others. Selflessness is a necessary virtue for pastors, preachers, and evangelists alike, and anyone that gives in to the flesh, anyone who resorts to selfishness, and profit by way of the Word, is culpable, and guilty before God.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.