The Glory Has Departed
Understanding Luther's Galatians, in progress.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Jimmy James has left a new comment on your post "LutherQueasies, As Seen by Bored":
Glad to answer your question. I do seminars about the dangers of churches being united in fellowship with Thrivent.
My reference invokes the following information directly from the Thrivent website:
click the term "fraternal benefit society" in blue and read that Thrivent compares itself to a lodge.
Fraternal Benefit Society
A not-for-profit organization that provides insurance to its members and operates for social, intellectual, educational, charitable, benevolent, moral, fraternal, patriotic or religious purposes for the benefit of its members and the public. These organizations operate under the lodge system, which means a member of the society is a member of a local chapter of the society. Fraternal benefit societies have representative governments, and members share a religious, ethnic, vocational or other common bond.
Now go to "K of C" and note that they consider themselves to be a fraternal benefit society....
Since our founding in 1882, the primary mission of the Knights of Columbus has been to protect families from the financial ruin caused by the death of the breadwinner.
In the beginning, Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney and his fellow Knights “passed the hat” to benefit widows and orphans.
From that humble start, the Order has grown to include top-rated life insurance, long-term care insurance and retirement products.
GJ - There are three main categories of life insurance companies - stock (for profit), mutual (which are very much like stock companies), and lodge or mutual benefit companies.
Thrivent and the Knights of Columbus are in the same category - mutual benefit insurance. The government gives them tax breaks in return for them offering benefits to members. They become members by virtue of buying a product.
Old Jake Preus (father of Bob and JAO, also governor of Minnesota) was involved in founding Lutheran Brotherhood, which was the ALC/LCA side of Lutheran insurance.
Lutheran Brotherhood and AAL (which was more Missouri and WELS) merged a few years back. They used to compete in giving money to the same synodical events. Now they manage to funnel a lot of money outside of the Lutheran Church.
The most troubling aspect of Thrivent is the way they turn the Lutheran groups into their marketing tools. They hand out money however they want in return for membership lists, thank you notes in bulletins, and their logo on a lot of cheap items, displayed at church events. They encourage members and pastors to buy their products because some money will be returned to the congregation or synod. That makes as much sense as using a Discover Card for the cash-back feature.
I have noticed several Lutheran journalists questioning this, until they received their own grants. Lutheran Forum was the first one. Christian News was the second one.