An Open Letter to Thrivent CEO Brad Hewitt & the Thrivent Board of Directors

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Dear Mr. Hewitt and Board Members,

I’m publishing this open letter to you with the hope that many will bring it to your attention, and in so doing give you the courage to do what is right.

Thrivent Choice
Thrivent made a mistake in 2013. Due to a decision to make Thrivent Choice giving “neutral”, you allowed an affiliate of Planned Parenthood to be approved as a recipient of Choice dollars. Thankfully, when there was an outcry from the faithful Christians you have as Members, you removed that organization from the program. Unfortunately, you also temporarily suspended 53 (or so) pro-life organizations. In doing all this, you have so far failed to address the root of the problem: your insistence on being equitable in what sort of organizations are allowed in the Choice program. This equal-treatment ideology can only go so far. The world demands “neutrality” in toto, but God limits it to only those things which truly serve your neighbor. You are a Christian organization, after all, and ultimately “must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

Please restore pro-life organizations to Thrivent Choice. Please establish rules that disallow pro-abortion organizations that operate contrary to God’s Word. The world – and even some of your Members – will clamor that it’s not fair to let pro-life organizations receive Thrivent Choice dollars while pro-abortion organizations cannot. But you are Christians, so I urge you to do what Christians ought to do. Allow money to go to the organizations that are doing the mercy work of Christ – that is, pro-life organizations – and bravely take a stand against those pro-abortion organizations doing the work of the devil, who is “a murderer from the beginning.” (John 8:44) The 5th Commandment is not an open question, nor is it neutral. You may lose some Members, but you will be doing the right thing.

Gift Multiplier
Thrivent has been making some other mistakes since at least 2006. You have been matching donations given by your employees to pro-abortion organizations through your Gift Multiplier program. This has resulted in Thrivent providing matching funds to pro-abortion organizations in the amount of at least $8484, for a total of $16,968 when the original employee donations are included.

From the perspective of the entirety of Thrivent’s giving, this is a very small amount. In fact, by reviewing Thrivent’s 990PF forms from 2006 to 2012, I can confidently state that there are a very small number of Thrivent employees who have been requesting matching funds for their giving to these pro-abortion organizations. Also, based on my study I can assure you that a vastly larger number of your employees give to pro-life organizations and ask Thrivent to match those gifts. This one-sidedness in terms of employee numbers is reflected just as one-sidedly in total dollar amounts given. This is not to mention the very large amounts given to pro-life organizations such as crisis pregnancy centers through your various Chapters (I have the last three years of Group 990PF forms, so I’ve seen the numbers).

It may be painful, but nevertheless I urge you to do this: Please establish a rule in your Gift Multiplier program that disallows matching for organizations that operate contrary to God’s Word. You may anger a small minority of your employees; they may even quit. But again, you are a Christian organization and you all are likewise Christians. Take up this cross, embrace this opportunity to confess the value of life in both God’s eyes and your own, and rejoice that you have been deemed worthy by God to suffer in this way.

Thrivent’s Aid in Christ’s Mercy Work
Thrivent has been doing much good for Christ’s Gospel and mercy in the world. Thrivent has been doing much for mothers and children, both born and unborn, through your charitable giving programs. You can do even more by taking a clear and definitive stand for life.

I hope that you will listen and take this to heart. Please understand that I’m not alone in desiring these actions from you. I hope you will hear from many, many more concerned Christians. I will be praying for each of you by name, that you will do the right thing and support Christ’s work of mercy and reject supporting the devil’s work of murder and lies. Please, in your Choice and Gift Multiplier programs, as well as in all of your Chapters, allow for funding of pro-life organizations and disallow funding of pro-abortion organizations.

Thank you, in Christ.
Rev. Michael Schuermann