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The Richmond, Virginia-based Christian Children's Fund (CCF) has become the recent target of allegations of financial abuses and misrepresentation. Critics have called into question the organization's statements that 80 percent of its more than $100 million yearly income goes to benefit the 2 million children it claims to serve in more than 30 countries.

Paul Nelson, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, cautions that the process of distinguishing between generating income and overhead is "not an exact science." Nelson says, "There is disagreement even among professional accountants as to where you draw the lines. … It's not even always consistent within accounting firms."

To former CCF board member Thomas Naylor, however, the problems go deeper than questionable judgments regarding overhead versus program expenses. Naylor's wide-ranging critique begins with the organization's name. "There is no statement of theology or doctrine," Naylor says. "This organization has nothing to do with Christianity."

CCF board chairman Graham Spanier says the organization's mission statement "refers to the Christian ethic of helping thy neighbor, which our name is based on."

Naylor, who taught economics at Duke University for 30 years, served on CCF's board of directors from January 1992 until early this year, when he was voted off. He says no one in the organization would tell him the cost of an April 1993 trip to Warsaw, Poland, where he was part of a 35-member CCF-sponsored delegation staying a week at a posh hotel.

Naylor told CHRISTIANITY TODAY that a CCF internal auditor regularly presented reports at board meetings indicating financial mismanagement, incompetence, and possible corruption among Third ...

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In the Magazine

November 14, 1994

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