Honestly, Thrivent… What I See Happening

ImageHonestly Thrivent, I am disappointed in this news that no longer will great organizations will be eligible to receive funds. The LCMS response was pretty basic and simple, and while I agree it is not much other than this, expressing concern and disappointment. The numbers are pretty staggering as to how much good work of mercy towards the unborn and their families is now cut from Thrivent funding. But in the end, it won’t change Thrivent. (Though a petition is available here and I encourage you to sign, especially if you are a Thrivent member)

One friend has some good suggestions and thoughts on what he is going to do and I would suggest those able to do likewise. I have Thrivent policies, as do my wife and children. My wife and I were blessed with policies from our parents begun when we were each less than a year old back with AAL. After finishing seminary and being called to serve at Bethlehem in Carson City we started a small retirement IRA just to get things going and did so with Thrivent. We did so simply because Thrivent has done many great things for the church over the years in support of work of the church. We did so since as AAL and Lutheran Brotherhood and merged as Thrivent they have been pretty good financially as well.

Truth be told though, this was seen coming. I don’t recall the discussions when they merged but I’ve heard there were concerns then. But last year I was among those who wondered what kind of ramifications would come with the dropping of “for Lutherans” with Thrivent’s fraternal membership. I envisioned something like funding Planned Parenthood and other problems to come, though I’ve prayed they wouldn’t come. It has turned out that didn’t matter so much. It’s happened with Lutherans involved. And while I’d like to blame it all on the ELCA, it’s probably some Missouri members and even WELS and ELS members.

Here what I honestly see happening:

* People such myself may pull some products from Thrivent. My retirement and savings have been rolled over to Lutheran Church Extension Fund. It was easy since my kid’s accounts were already there and my info is in their system.

* Some may even pull everything from Thrivent, but most will not. But getting the rates of having long-term policies will be hard to replace. So my life insurance remains there at this time. I suspect many will have the same.

* After some months I bet this dies down. It’s like everyone in uproar over the LCMS Pastoral CRM situation, largely haven’t heard much concern about after 3-10A was passed this summer.

I think Thrivent will see a small hit in the coming months. I also suspect they will make it back. They will vigorously pursue new customers under the new fraternal arrangement of simply being a “Christian.” They will make their money back. They will grow financially. In doing so, they will do just as the world does at those who have faithful concern of mercy for the unborn and their families and laugh at the situation all the way to the bank. They will remain “neutral” which is really only a harm to those whom they define as pro-life that had previously received funding. Many LCMS (WELS and ELS) congregations, schools, and organizations will still receive Choice Dollars and other Thrivent chapter funds and many will forget the whole situation. Even if another organization is started, too many are far into Thrivent to sever ties and Thrivent will save face with all the support they provide and people will applaud.

So what’s a Christian to do in standing up for life? Keep doing so. Proclaim faithfully the life that is given in shed body and blood of Christ. Proclaim the gifts of life given as people are buried in Christ and raised with Him in Holy Baptism. Continue to love your neighbor, especially the least of these in the womb, their mothers, and their families. Continue to proclaim and defend all life as our Lord gives.

With your money and accounts, I don’t have the answer. No one really does. Secular companies have their problems too. Pray. Rest secure in the life given in Christ.

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7 Responses to Honestly, Thrivent… What I See Happening

  1. Ed says:

    “Secular companies have their problems too.” But here’s the main difference between a secular company and Thrivent: they don’t proclaim to be Lutheran or Christian. The fact that a “Lutheran” or “Christian” organization thinks that it can be neutral on the topic of abortion (as in whether it should support pro-life ministries) is outrageous. The only reason they’re doing that is so that they do not offend the ELCA or the other pro-abortion denominations they wish to attract.

  2. Rev. Glenn Niemann says:

    won’t ALL LCMS entities – incl. congregations – now be ineligible for Thriven’t funding per this policy, as they are all “pro life” acc. to the 5th Commandment?

  3. Heather says:

    Did I misunderstand that your reason for not moving your life insurance policies is that you can’t get the same rate? Think that over if that was really the deciding factor…
    Also, I don’t want my Lutheran churches and schools to receive any more money from this organization until they fix this problem. I doubt that Thrivent will change. I suspect they know full well that they will make more money overall by remaining “neutral”.

    • Christopher says:

      Yes, you have slightly misunderstood. I have not moved my life insurance simply because my family has not yet come to a decision on how to proceed with our resources. With the other accounts there was a clear option with LCEF.
      Sadly, I agree, Thrivent won’t change, though I pray they will.

  4. Christopher says:

    @Ed: absolutely correct. I agree completely which is why I have no issues moving to a secular company down the road.
    @Rev. Niemann: the writing is on the wall I fear

  5. Ryan says:

    I completely understand your concerns. However, as a Thrivent member who is Catholic, I have to question your comments here. I am strong in my faith, and believe every life is precious in the eyes of God. First, you must realize that Thrivent is not a church and cannot control the actions of over 2.5 million members (which is how PP got on the list). Second, Thrivent has done so much good to so many organizations in the past, I feel you are overlooking the good. We are all sinners and need forgiveness. Most of us have retirement plans that invest in secular companies that might go against our moral compass (pharmaceutical companies i.e. contraceptives and abortifacients). Yet most of us are not intentionally funding those companies, we are saving for our retirement. If you truly want to go so far as to blame Thrivent for not funding ANY organizations that have political ties, then we all should be examining every aspect of our OWN lives first before pointing fingers at an organization that has done so much good. Thrivent will still be a far better organization with similar values than your ordinary financial services organization. Hope this helps you see anotherpoint of view. God bless!

    • Mark Sochowski says:

      Ryan, I understand that most likely any other company may support pro-abortion entities, but, as mentioned in another post, Thrivent professes to be a Christian based organization. The problem is not about “political ties,” but theological.

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