It’s story time, kids!
A poor man needed some help covering his bills, so he asked a friend for $50. The friend lent him the money and the man promised to pay him back.
On his way home, the poor man passed a homeless man and gave the man the$50 he had just received.The next day, the friend came by and asked for the money back.
“I don’t have your money,” said the poor man. “I gave it to a homeless man. Can you forget about the money I owe you? After all, it went toward a good cause, right?”
That’s the simplified version of what is going on now with Family Christian Stores, who recently filed for bankruptcy in order to cut their debts and reorganize as a tax-exempt ministry, giving their profits (after business expenses) to their ministry arm.
Family Christian Stores owes $75 million dollars to its creditors. You can read about recent courtroom proceedings here.
In a recent video about the bankruptcy, Family’s CEO promised that no stores would close and no employees would be laid off.
There are a number of things that I don’t understand about the case:
- Why would any of the suppliers who are having their debt written off continue to do business with Family Christian?
- How do they hope to do any better than their current situation without making any changes to their stores or staff?
- And, perhaps most perplexing, how is it responsible to cheat creditors out of millions in the name of giving to the needy?
This whole case leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I really hope that non-Christians won’t judge the Christian bookstore industry by the actions of Family Christian Stores. This is not ministry. This is shady business trying to be covered by a church robe.