Can Church Embezzlement
Be A Ministry?

Logic dictates that church embezzlement can only be a ministry for someone who has not defined ministry properly...according to Aristotle's ancient rule which is still used in modern science...for defining anything.

If you haven't read that rule...here's what results when you use it to give a definition of ministry...as we did on our homepage.

Now embezzlement means that someone in charge of funds not their own...stealthily converts those funds to their own personal use.

They steal the money.

So church embezzlement...the converting of church funds to someone's personal use is not ministry...no matter how good the person's intention was in taking the money.

People can commit sins and crimes with perfectly good intentions. The Robin Hood school of ministry...steal from the rich to give to the poor...is just another way of saying...the end justifies the means.

That's a morally risky ethical code.

Here's an example of church embezzlement done with the best intentions to help the poor.


Father Andy was pastor of a well to do city parish.

His friend and classmate...Father Eric...was pastor of a rural farm community parish in another diocese.

When they got together periodically...they often talked of parish matters. Whenever Father Eric made it known that someone in his parish was having financial hardships...Father Andy would send him a check to distribute to the needy people in his parish.


So what's wrong with this picture? Is anything wrong with it?

There are a number of boundary problems in this scenario.

  • First...The money Father Andy gave away belonged to his parish. The funds were not for his personal use...however well-intentioned his actions might be.
  • Second...by simply trespassing on the parish funds...Father Andy committed church embezzlement and...
  • Third...he violated the boundary of the Commandment "Thou shalt not steal" as well.

So his actions...well-intentioned no doubt...cannot be justified on the grounds that he only took the funds to help some poor people.

It is one thing to give the parish funds away to people outside the parish...

It's another thing for Father Andy to send out a plea to his parishioners for donations for less fortunate people in other parishes...or to ask his parishioners if he may use some of the parish funds for such charity work.

Taking property that does not belong to you...and giving it away at your discretion...is not christian charity. It is a form of socialism, often called Christian socialism, which is a contradiction in terms, and violates the Commandment against stealing.

You can go from church embezzlement to professional boundaries.

Or you can...



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