Posts Tagged by charity

First Fruit Giving not Hand Me Down Left Overs

It all boils down to the same kind of thinking: those who labor in spiritual fields are merely charity cases who should be happy with whatever they get, even if they be scraps. Your local United Way offers you no service or benefit. That’s a charity. Your ‘spiritual worker’ is by your side through thick or thin and has taken the time to educate himself so he can be there in a meaningful way. That’s a benefit you receive, a service rendered to you. You have an obligation to render to the worker his wage.

There is much more to be said on the issue and certainly there are a lot of generous people out there. However, I wonder how the dynamic would change if many of those generous people, instead of thinking that the organization was obligated to them, because they were generous with them, understood that they were obligated to the organization. I just wonder.

The next time you hear that your church or favorite ministry needs a new printer don’t eye your old piece of crap. Go buy them a ‘first fruit’ printer. 😉 You know, one that works. And tells them that you value what they’re doing for far less than they rightly deserve.

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Why Christians Should Donate Money

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth… But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:19-21)

How many times have you heard someone complain that their congregation talks about money way too much? You may have said the same. Your complaint may very well be valid, and yet the congregation’s need is probably genuine. Probably, in most churches, the leadership would much rather not lodge any requests at all. Ideally, people would be ‘Gospel motivated.’ When it becomes difficult- or impossible- to meet the payroll or pay building expenses, the leadership has to bite the bullet and issue the plea(s).

What is really going on is a lack of familiarity with what the Scriptures say about money and a lack of courage or foresight within the leadership to teach about money. Actually, a lot of it is that some folks don’t even care what the Scriptures say on the issue. Their views on money, like so many other views, are born of one’s own ‘natural reasoning.’ This post is not about them. This post is about folks who do care. Let me share some of my experiences leading a ministry that relies a great deal on donations. But first, let me state plainly what I hope this post will accomplish:

The reader will open up their Bibles for themselves and study what it has to say about money (time, talent, and treasure) from beginning to end.

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Why don’t Christians care about people who need health care?

The Christian Church has a PR problem.

In the first place, any regular reader of this blog knows that I take the Church to task like the best of them. The Church could, and should, do much more. But let’s be honest: they actually are doing quite a lot.

Historically, it has been the Church at the forefront in doing good works. For example, Julian the Apostate in the fourth century realized that if he didn’t enact government programs to take care of the poor he’d never be able to make the claim that Christians were pernicious. Slavery was ended by Christians standing up against other Christians. Institutions of higher learning like Harvard and Yale (and hordes of others) were all founded by Christians. Hospitals and medical clinics were founded first by Christians with Christian charity in mind. What tends to happen, though, is all of the good things that Christians have done end up getting secularized. You cannot call Harvard and Yale ‘Christian,’ any more. Nor can you call the local Lutheran-in-the-name hospital in my area, ‘Lutheran.’

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Planned Parenthood And Their Hypocritical Concern for Haiti

So what? They are sick. Who cares? Well, while it probably turns the stomach of the average American to think that what Haiti really needs now is abortion technology and won’t pay a dime to support Planned Parenthood’s operations, in fact the average American is already responsible for doing just that: they elected Barack Obama, who, in one of his first acts as new president, restored United States funding of the UNFPA. Moreover, our tax dollars support Planned Parenthood.

It is a bizarre irony that generous Americans are working so hard to help the people of Haiti and suffering people all over the globe while at the same time the American government is working hard to fund organizations that believe that it is better for us all if there were fewer of these people to begin with.

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Five Things Killing Christianity: Is the End of Christianity At Hand?

The number one thing killing Christianity in America today:

Lovelessness.

All the rest of the things on the list tie back to this. The Christian Church exhibits constant lovelessness in much of what it does. Many readers will jump to the idea that Christians are very loving, and to an extent, I agree. Many readers will find the assertion nauseous because they think of ‘love’ as some wishy washy sentiment. Both sets of readers misunderstand me. One of my contentions is that Love itself is misunderstood, because unlike other doctrines, this one has not been systematically explored from the Scriptures. We all act as though we intuitively know what ‘love’ is. In fact, we have culturally driven notions that are derived from hundreds of years of romanticism. The Bible- the New Testament in particular- portrays a love that is much different. It is earth shattering, and embodied in the activities of the early Christian Church.

None of this should be construed (though it will be, to my chagrin) as a repudiation of all the things we currently do to ‘show’ we love God. It isn’t. If we were doing those things AND loving our fellow Christians… to the death… there would be no problem.

But, I contend, we aren’t doing that. God tells us that if we love him, we’ll love the brothers. We have it stuck in our head that if we love him, we’ll love him.

But that’s not what he said, and that is why outsiders, ultimately, do not find Christianity credible. Indeed, it is why Christians themselves are dubious, and in fact, sometimes falling away altogether.

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Generous with other people’s money

My challenge is this: on what basis can we possibly justify taking money from other people by taxation (ie, through coercion, threat of punishment, etc), to achieve that which we think is a worthy charitable end? [More…]

If you see a beggar on the street, it is perfectly right and proper to want to help him. If you proceed to go over and help him, you’ve done what pleases God. If instead you go across the street, stick a gun in a rich man’s rib, and take the rich man’s money and go over and help the beggar, I am not so sure that is what God had in mind.

Using the government to do our good deeds is essentially being generous with someone else’s money.

I see no basis in the Scriptures for Christians to condone or participate in such a methodology.

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Health Care Solutions from a Conservative

As you shall see shortly, that does not mean that I am advocating that we leave the Health Care Insurance Corporations in charge of our health, guided as they are by the profit motive. (Still, the profit motive is better than the Government’s ‘sincere motives’ in my book).

The chief problem in the health care situation in this country is not health care insurance coverage. It is health care costs, period.

Naturally, how many of us can afford to pay for a surgery that runs into the tens of thousands of dollars? Not many; hence, insurance. But if that same surgery cost only $1,000? Or less? Now we’re getting somewhere.

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Christians Should Not Use the Government to Do THEIR Good Deeds

Who needs the Gospel when you have the Government? And why should you believe the Gospel when all the Christians you know seem to be stingy and just as worldly as anyone else? It isn’t like Christians are paying more taxes then anyone else, right?

It seems like the very opposite of compassion, but Christians need to extract themselves from this vicious cycle of using the Government as the tool to ostensibly carry out the duties that belong to them. This is not a call for being dismissive regarding social issues. It is a call to meet them on our own terms.

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On Embryos and Babies and Octuplets

My blog is racking up some nice numbers lately and much of that can be credited to a recent post about the California Octuplets. I’d like to make some clarifications.

In the first place, I stand by my general assessment that as Christians and pro-lifers, since we believe embryos are real persons, the Octuplet outcome is much better than the alternative, which of course is death.

While it is true that the mother in this case probably doesn’t deserve charity, again, as pro-lifers our concern isn’t exclusively for the mother, but also for the children. It is difficult to understand why they don’t deserve charity. They are in this world and so we should care for them. Let the secularists say, “They cost the state 1.3 million dollars, so screw them!” That option is not available to us.

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The Economy and the Christian- reflections on a limited government and the Church and abortion

I haven’t posted much on the current economic crisis.  A friend asked me what I thought.  I told him that I was unconcerned about the ‘cost’ to the taxpayers since the truth is that the government will just be printing the money anyway… the dirty little secret is that the government hasn’t needed taxpayer dollars […]

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The Christian and Social Action

You may discuss this post at the corresponding discussion forum thread. In the midst of my various activities lately (finishing my own book, finishing books for review, etc) I have been contemplating and discussing what the proper attitude and conduct should be among Christians towards things like oppressed workers in China and things of that […]

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Extreme Make Over: Home Addition, Christianity shown up by Capitalists

I posted a long time ago on this and I was thinking of it again while watching the show tonight.   I came in late, so I didn’t get the full context.  It seemed as though there was a single father, a Christian, taking care of his sons on his own.  As usual, his house was […]

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