Summary: Our tendency to institutionalize everything has crept into the church as well. With this the idea of limited liability has also crept into the Church. But Jesus' message is not of limited liability.
We are meditating on the topic of Fellowship this month. All of you know that we are called the Bangalore Bible Fellowship. How many of us know what we stand for, what BBF stands for? What is our purpose? I want to start with that today.
The Purpose Statement of Bangalore Bible Fellowship reads like this. “We are a body of believers, making a difference, as light and salt, at the workplace, and in the community, under the Lordship of Christ.” The three key aspects of the Purpose statement are Body of believers, light and salt and Lordship of Jesus Christ. We will dwell on each of them briefly before we close. But to begin with let us focus on the word Fellowship that differentiates us from other congregations. What is so great about a Christian Fellowship? What does Fellowship really mean in the context of the body of Christ and His Lordship?
But let us start by looking outside of the church first. What do you think is common between Vijay Mallya, Subrato Roy and Ramalinga Raju? They are all discredited business men, who got into the wrong side of the law. But if you really look at what they did and what punishment they got, you might still wonder at the proportionality of the punishment. Mallya is actually still roaming free with all his personal finances intact. Subrato Roy is still enjoying all the benefits of his personal finances. Satyam Raju though he is in Jail, still has a lot of wealth to his name and that cannot be taken away. Employees of Kingfisher airlines who do nto get their salaries. Or depositors in the Sahara ventures who lost their hard earned money etc cannot get any refunds from the personal wealth of a Mallya or a Subrato Roy. Do you know why is this so? Let us look at their companies. Let us look at the companies where our congregation members work. Kalai works for IBM. If you really look into the legal status of IBM in India, it would be known as IBM India Pvt Ltd. Same is the case with Oracle India Pvt Ltd. Or Mercedes-Benz India Pvt Ltd. What do you see common among them? The three letters Ltd. The same is the case with Mallya’s companies, whether it is Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, or United Breweries Ltd. Same with Subroto Roy’s companies; Sahara India Life Insurance Company Ltd, Sahara Next Pvt Ltd. Etc etc.
You see those crucial three letters Ltd coming at the end of every name of the organisations. What does that really mean? The Ltd stands for Limited. What does Limited really mean when it comes in the name of an institution? American Companies make it very clear. The company that Neville works for is Laureate Global LLC. LLC is the US equivalent of Indian Ltd. LLC stands for Limited Liability Company. The variations of that are Limited Liability Partnerships, or Limited Liability corporations. So that is what the LLC or the Ltd stands for. It stands for the limited liability that the owners/ shareholders have in case something goes wrong. The owners of the company have only limited liability to the extent of the nominal value of the shares that they hold in a particular company. Their personal wealth is protected, and cannot be touched just because the company went bankrupt or smaller shareholders lost their life savings due the mismanagement of the owners.