“During these down times, the demands and needs are great for families and ministries alike,” Huckabee said. “In many cases, families are turning to churches for assistance with food, clothing and other basics. Yet churches have to deal with less resources to meet those needs.”
The former Southern Baptist preacher and denominational leader warned that the troubled economy might have a detrimental effect on the work of churches and ministries if funds cannot be generated in new and creative ways.
Huckabee, an official spokesperson for Christian Values Network, will introduce the organization as a new way to help generate funds for churches and faith-based charities worldwide.
Christian Values Network is a free service that allows members to shop online at nearly 900 popular internet retailers who in turn pay a referral fee for every purchase made by a CVN member. A portion of the referral fee is given to the ministry of choice indicated by the CVN member.
“I believe God has established Christian Values Network for this unique time and place to help ministries in lean times,” said Huckabee, who serves as an advisor to Christian Values Network. “They are providing a very simple and practical solution: using people’s everyday Internet purchases to support their chosen organization.”
This strikes me as the old Huckster taking advantage of the current economic downturn to turn a paycheck, and trying to dress it up as “the Christian thing to do.” Many questions arise from something like this. Does this help or hurt his 2012 aspirations? (Does he really have them?) Actions like this are highly controversial in the creedal Christian community for theological reasons I will not go into here. How about the Mormon community?
Can I set aside my now natural and ingrained cynicism about all things Huckster and comment on this without expletive or vomit? Probably without vomit, but maybe not expletive, which is why we seek reader reaction. Have at it.
Lowell chimes in: In Mormonism the type of referral scheme in which Huckabee has gotten involved does not necessarily raise doctrinal issues; it is just not the way we do things. Our church’s financial and welfare system is large and complex, but based on simple principles: personal sacrifice (through tithing); reliance on family first, then the church; volunteer labor to produce goods and services for the needy; no dole, but a “hand up, instead of a hand out;” and no overhead costs for assistance to the poor. Huckabee’s plan looks more like mutual back-scratching among members of a faith community. I am not sure that is a good idea, especially on an organized basis, but it doesn’t bother me theologically. Economically it looks a little like a scam because nothing of value is being created, simply referral fees. What it doesn’t look like is something “God has established.”