Local Church Forbids Pastoral Staff and Believers From Direct Engagement in Pyramid Selling, Shandong

Shandong Linzi Church held the thanksgiving worship of Dedication for 10th anniversary on Oct. 27 to 28, 2015
Shandong Linzi Church held the thanksgiving worship of Dedication for 10th anniversary on Oct. 27 to 28, 2015 (photo: Linzi Church )
By Ruth WangJuly 13th, 2016

Anqiu CCC issued a resolution that bans all pastoral staff and believers from joining direct or pyramid selling no matter if it is legal or not, July 1, 2016 in Shandong.

The resolution includes the background of the local church that the believers who engage in direct selling are included and stressed that these believers don't want to worship God but they continue to love recommending products, which severely damages the healthy development of churches.

Following this clause, it also conveys the original intention and the grounded verses in which these practices should be prevented (Matthew 6:24, Ephesians 4:28b).

The resolution also rules that no one shall organize the congregation to listen or teach direct or pyramid selling courses in the church or propagate it to draw new members in it.

If anyone who disregards the resolution and doesn't follow the advises listed, he or she can leave the church willingly and will be forbidden in any ministry.

The whole congregation should monitor each other and boycott pyramiding practices. A local pastoral staff tells CCD that it's worth paying attention that the atmosphere of direct or pyramid selling has resulted to this change as it highlighted the problems in the ministry. Even some of the church co-workers are involved in pyramiding.

During the past decade, the selling mode of pyramiding has stricken all the classes and fields of society so much so that the church has suffered from it.

In the previous years, Chinese pastors have shared the phenomenon of direct or pyramid selling the churches went through and stated that some pastors, preachers and co-workers were tempted to promote various health food among believers. Even some church leaders led believers to sell products, enticing members with money or profits then claiming that the whole church would be the group of the product.

A pastor said, "This made the church of God a 'den of robbers'." Another preacher also pointed the impacts of these two selling methods and said that "Actually, their incomes are built on others' pain and losses."

Faced with the phenomena and implications of pyramiding, some pastors and preachers suggest that a majority of the church's leading pastors and preachers should be innocent and integrated to help believers keep their hearts each other.

A pastor from Shanghai once told Christian Times the reason why the direct sellers like to use the church as its sharing ground. He said that the direct selling model resembles the church development pattern and it's easier to develop relationships because the believers are more trusting if they meet pyramiding members in church. Taking advantage of this point, they begin to promote products and develop the multilevel relationships.

Therefore, those who have faith should be aware of where they focus. Is it money or God? 

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