Principles for Looking After People Who Perform Their Duty Full-time
The house of God provides special care and support for families of those who perform their duties so that all brothers and sisters who truly believe in God and seek salvation may lead a normal life in the church and be free from the anxieties of financial difficulties. The church ought to provide support for families of brothers and sisters who truly believe in God and pursue the truth in times of actual difficulties or when they have no means to make a living. Those who are being pursued and cannot return home must be taken care of. For family members of brothers and sisters who are in prison, care and support must be provided when they face actual difficulties according to the particular needs of each case. In cases where some brothers and sisters would rather totally subject themselves to suffering than share their difficulties with the house of God or ask others for help despite how severe they may be, special inquiries must be conducted and then followed up by providing them with assistance. The goal of taking such measures is to help all those who truly believe in God and are willing to pursue the truth embark upon the right track of faith in God within one or two years. This will lay a solid foundation for their ultimate salvation. In order to accomplish this, the house of God has outlined some principles of care and support for different categories of individuals, targeting mainly those who truly believe in God, earnestly pursue the truth and spend for God but have difficulties making a living. Main targets also include staff of the house of God and full-time staff who are carrying out their duties as well as individuals who live under exceptional circumstances. Details are as follows:
I. Principles of Financial Support for Full-time Staff Who Are Carrying Out Their Duties With Respect to Their Living Costs
1. For full-time church leaders, evangelists, and administrative staff who are carrying out their duties (accumulative monthly average of more than 20 days), a monthly stipend for living costs of 50 to 70 RMB is to be given.
2. For those who are carrying out their duties for 10 days to 20 days per month, the monthly stipend for living costs is 30 to 50 RMB.
3. For those who are carrying out their duties for more than 10 days per month, medical expenses will be covered in times of illness. If an individual contracts an acute disease or needs urgent medical attention because of an accident, amounts of 1,000 to 2,000 RMB will be given, depending on the situation. In areas with particularly high costs of living, amounts of 2,000 to 3,000 RMB will be given.
4. Exceptional situations must be reported, and regional leaders will take charge.
II. Principles of Financial Support for Relieving Difficult Household Situations for Those Who Are Carrying Out Their Duties and Whose Family Members Are Also Believers
1. Those who have no food to eat must be provided with six months’ worth of provisions.
2. Rural families are to be given 50 to 100 RMB per month, whereas urban families will receive 100 to 200 RMB per month. In areas with particularly high costs of living, amounts of 200 to 300 RMB will be given per month.
3. Costs of education for children (only to the elementary school level) must be covered.
4. Homes without adequate protection from the elements must be repaired.
5. Sick family members who need medication are eligible for support. In cases of more serious illness, a share of the costs must be provided to cover the higher expenses they may incur.
III. Principles of Financial Support for Family Members of Brothers and Sisters Who Are Imprisoned
If the prisoner is the breadwinner of the family, the church must provide support since the family might otherwise have no means to make a living due to their imprisonment.
1. Rural families are to be given 50 to 100 RMB per month, whereas urban families are to be given 100 to 200 RMB per month. In areas with particularly high costs of living, amounts of 200 to 300 RMB will be given per month.
2. Those who have no food to eat must be provided with six months’ worth of provisions.
3. The church will cover travel expenses for family members to visit their loved ones in prison.
IV. Principles of Financial Support for Brothers and Sisters Who Are Being Pursued and Cannot Return Home
The church must make arrangements to provide accommodations for those who are being pursued, cannot return home and are unable to perform their usual duties. For those without pocket money, the church will provide monthly pocket money of 20 to 30 RMB for individuals who live in the rural areas and 30 to 50 RMB for those who live in areas with particularly high costs of living. For those who are in need of clothing, our brothers and sisters should help them out.
V. Principles of Financial Support for Hosting Families That Are Struggling to Survive
1. The church will cover the total expenditures incurred for the long-term hosting of families that are struggling to survive. Food must be supplied by the church, with a minimum of six months’ worth of provisions.
2. The church will cover the total expenditures incurred for sponsoring meetings of families with difficulties.
3. The church is responsible for resolving difficulties occurring in host families.
VI. For anyone who truly believes in God, pursues the truth and effectively performs their duties, brothers and sisters in the church must wholeheartedly help them out following a disaster or accident that affects their livelihood. A household where all the members are believers will be given a minimum of six months’ worth of provisions, to ensure their survival.
The house of God looks after the living difficulties of those who fulfill their duty and their families in order to guarantee that brothers and sisters who truly believe in God, seek the truth more, and can fulfill their duty as a creature of God, are all able to achieve salvation. The church should bear the responsibility for helping these brothers and sisters. If there is a church with people who seek the truth more, but they go to work because they really don’t have a way out in life, thus affecting their church life—this is something that should not happen. All brothers and sisters should help those who can loyally fulfill their duty to resolve family difficulties. This is also the logistics work of the church, the purpose of which is to guarantee that all those brothers and sisters who truly believe in God and pursue the truth will at least have food to eat, clothes to wear, and be able to fulfill their duty as normal and without constraint. The house of God has no responsibility to look after believers who have the ability to fulfill their duty but don’t, even if they encounter certain difficulties in life. Moreover, the house of God especially bears no responsibility to look after those who tricked their way into the house of God to do all kinds of evil and are there just to make up the numbers, and who ought to be dismissed or expelled. The house of God is not a charity. All the work it does is to fulfill God’s will. In other words, all the work of the house of God is to guarantee that all those who truly believe in God and seek the truth can attain God’s salvation. The house of God has no obligation to do anything unrelated to this. All the work that has to be done by the house of God has meaning. As long as you are a person who loyally fulfills their duty and are a person who is especially helpful to the life progression of brothers and sisters, or you are a genuine believer who seeks the truth, the house of God must look after you if you run into any particular difficulties and ensure that you have food and clothing. This is the true love that all brothers and sisters should possess. A loving heart must have principles. Isn’t exercising love toward people who belong to Satan, that is, those who don’t seek the truth and don’t fulfill their duty at all, too foolish and absurd? Only those who truly seek the truth and can loyally fulfill their duty are true brothers and sisters. This is a point that should be firmly kept in mind. The care of the house of God can only resolve living difficulties so that people can have clothes to wear and food to eat. Other problems will still require the mutual assistance of brothers and sisters to resolve.
Church leaders at all levels should be clear that the house of God’s principle in practicing looking after people is primarily targeted at those who can attain salvation and seek to be perfected. The house of God has no responsibility to look after evil people and those who have the ability to perform their duty but don’t. The house of God does not exercise love without principle. This is a principle that church leaders at all levels must grasp. The house of God prohibits anyone to use its interests to engage in transactions and please people. All brothers and sisters have a responsibility to restrict such God-betraying despicable behavior.
As the disasters become more severe by the day, all kinds of people are gradually being revealed for what they truly are. The work of the house of God will soon conclude. What people can do has already been done, and now is the time for us to experience greater trials. When facing disasters and trials, if we do not have the faith of Job or the knowledge of God of Peter, we will be unlikely to remain standing at the end. No one will be able to help anyone else when the time comes. At this moment, what the house of God should do has already been accomplished. God’s word and a variety of books have been distributed to us. The life of the church is on the right track. The truth which we need to focus on has pretty much been communicated. As to whether or not we will survive the great catastrophes and all sorts of trials, and be saved and remain, it is up to how each individual pursues the truth.
Note: Regions with especially high costs are to be managed flexibly by local leaders.
March 1, 2007