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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.

Now to my thoughts, which I hope will achieve the above.  🙂

I don’t like asking for money.  Never have.  Never will.  I like to earn my money.  When I earn the money, no one else has a claim on it.  I can use it according to my own best judgment.  ‘Given’ money comes with obligations, even when it doesn’t.  The difficulty when applied to a congregation is that, in point of fact, the people who receive their ‘given money’ have actually earned it.  And rightfully so:

“the worker deserves his wages.” Jesus, in Luke 10:7

We aren’t talking about pan handlers begging for money, here.   It isn’t merely ‘asking for money.’   People have a right to their ‘wage.’

This theme is picked up again in 1 Timothy 5, where the apostle Paul quotes Jesus, but I would like to direct your attention to 1 Corinthians 9, where Paul discourses on the same principle, saying, “In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”

Indeed, this principle is not unique to the ministry.  In Romans 13, in a passage often cited to justify submission to even the most tyrannical of taxation, we read:  “This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.”  You see, even the governing authority deserves is wages from those being served.  It’s a proper, God ordained (and therefore to be obeyed) principled, associating the service/occupation with its just rewards.

I found this principle neatly bundled in another passage, Galatians 6:6:

One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.

In other words, he who is built up spiritually should respond materially- to the specific person that built him up.

I think it is unfortunate that our congregations have switched to a corporate model.  This one to one correlation is obscured when all the money goes into a ‘general fund.’   It’s hard to get excited about giving when its impact is perceived only in the abstract.  If, say, a staff member were specifically funded by 40 families, then those families would have an intimate understanding of how their giving goes directly towards another person’s welfare.  (Just an idea to illustrate the principle).

Here’s my point in all of this.  It is a thoroughly scriptural principle that one ought to support materially those who labor spiritually.   No leadership staff wants to charge for their services.  That just seems weird.  And yet, if they ask to be paid for their services, people think they are acting like mercenaries.  They think that because they don’t know their Scriptures.  However, if the leadership knew (or applied) their Scriptures, they would not be embarrassed to draw the connection for people.

As I said, I hate asking for money in general.   However, I am no longer really embarrassed to do so.   Why not?  Because in the first place I understand that I am entitled, like the ox (1 Tim 5:18), to have a material benefit from the hard work I carry out.  In the second place- and this is important– I have come to realize that my invitations to donate to this ministry represent an opportunity.

This post is not meant to be a glorified donation pitch.  🙂  It is just that in the course of carrying out this ministry I have come to see the wisdom in what the Scriptures say on this matter.   Do you remember the passage I began with?  Where one’s treasure is, there also is their heart.

It is simple enough to understand when one sits down to understand it.  Obviously, we devote our money, time, talents, and resources to the things we value.   If the only place one could spend their money was at the local mall, adding even more stuff to the stuff we already had, then we would have no choice but to store up our treasures on earth.

My accepting donations provides a tangible opportunity for people to consider where they invest their resources.  Likewise, churches, charities, and foundations, etc.   Moreover, it allows people to extend their values beyond their own sphere of existence.

For example, you may value having tribesmen in Ghana being able to read and write.  You could pack up your things and head out there to teach literacy yourself, I suppose, but what if you also valued inner city economic development?  You can’t very well do both things at the same time, now can you!

Investing your resources in the things that you value kills three birds with one stone:  1., you allow someone to earn their just reward for their labors, 2., you have a tangible way to ‘store up treasures in heaven’, 3., you are able to participate in activities and ministries that would otherwise be practically impossible for you to do so.

To me, seeing things in these terms, I have come to relish the deployment of my ‘time, talent, and treasure.’   This is in part because most of my giving is to specific individuals and causes where the results are easy to see.  This illustrates a reality that I think is true of all humans, and is one reason why I don’t like using the government to do charity.  It reduces love to a bureaucracy and none of us ever are able to see what our ‘giving’ actually, specifically achieves.  But that is a topic I’ve already hashed out often enough on this blog.  🙂

Now, there are thousands of small organizations out there that rely on donations, as well as the thousands of churches.  You are not obliged in any way to donate to them all.  🙂  However, I would urge you to consider which ones are active in your own life.  If you are served by them, or support their efforts, then you should find a way to demonstrate this tangibly.   (Especially if you are served by them, as Scripturally speaking, there is an obligation there).

This blog is an apologetics blog, so I expect that I’ll get a lot of folks interested in apologetics ministries in particular.  In the course of my own apologetics activities I have come across a number of small organizations that could use your support.

Do you follow what I’m saying here?  If you think the church needs more solid apologetics, then the existence of these organizations represents an opportunity for you to kill the three birds previously mentioned.  I have been following these ministries for some time and can vouch for their commitment and competency.  If you are looking for a way to support an apologetics ministry this year, and haven’t any idea where to start, then let me suggest the following ministries which I know could use your donations:

Confident Christianity.  Roger and MaryJo Sharp are doing some really good work with Muslims and hard core skeptics.

Apologetics315. Brian Auten has been plugging away at creating a clearinghouse of valuable materials for some time.  He facilitates the work of other apologists, and does a good job at it.

True Free Thinker. The volume of output by Mariano Grinbank is astounding.  He tackles (literally, I think) the hard core atheists, and with his Jewish background, has unique insights on the theism ‘debate.’

Midwest Christian Outreach.  Don Veinot has been managing this ministry for as long as I’ve been interested in apologetics.   I distinctly remember quizzing him and Bob and Gretchin Passantino on just how one makes a living doing apologetics back in the mid nineties.  (They all laughed.   It’s still funny today).   Anyway, MCO is a tremendously effective counter-cult ministry.

(Sorry for those I’ve left out… maybe I can get you in another post)

By all means, you shouldn’t just take my word on them.  Research them and check out what they’re doing over a period of time.  There are other ways to invest in ministries and organizations than just giving money, too.  The point, though, my friends, is their very existence represents an opportunity for you.  They, and thousands of ministries big and small, represent tangible ways you can devote your treasure to someone other than yourself.

If the organizations I just plugged aren’t your cup of tea, you can be sure that somewhere out there is an organization promoting your values.  Find them and support them… and don’t forget the people in your local area or in your own life and the people who are already serving you in some way.  Galatians 6:6, baby.

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    • rachel on December 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Eh… This is a mentality I hate. Giving money is not enough, ever. Working for about four nonprofits as a volunteer, I can tell you that bodies are always more valuable than green paper. So if you’re going to give to a charity, don’t stop at tossing coins at them. Go over to your local chapter for whatever nonprofit you are near and sign up some of your time. Even thirty minutes a week can make a world of difference.

    • Anthony on December 24, 2010 at 6:02 pm
      Author

    Thanks for your comment, Rachel, but I think you missed the point. To make it more clearer, note that the title does not say, “Why Christians should donate to charities.”

    A donation to a charity and a donation to the types of organizations I’m referring to is a different sort of donation. A charity has no claim to your donation. These other organizations do.

    You may wish to revisit the post with that important distinction in mind.

    Also, please note how many times I said, “time, talents, and treasure.” Much more than money is in view of this post, even if it was only ‘money’ that was mentioned in the title.

  1. 1. Wow! Your info was great. I think internet is the best way to make others know about how to help people who are in distress all over this world. Internet is the latest, safest, fastest way to donate to a cause. And there are many sites who are offering this facility. Donate to charity, Help a cause

    • Stathei on December 30, 2010 at 12:15 am

    SJ, do you really, truly, in your deepest, most secret heart believe that donating to these insignificant hacks will do The Lord’s Will better than Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Locks of Love, Make-A-Wish Foundation or March of Dimes? Or would these risible asses, in fact, better do Your Will? Think about it, for once. Think.

    • Anthony on December 30, 2010 at 8:14 am
      Author

    lol there is great humor in Stathei telling anyone to think. The man calls me to think, yet look at the thinking he has just done! Was there anything in the post that said that the organizations you just mentioned would not ‘do the Lord’s will’ better than the organizations I’m referring to? Uh, that’s a big fat “not at all.” Yet, somehow that is what you managed to gather. Just for once, actually read that which you’re responding to. Then we can start working on your ability to interpret it. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by. I think. 🙂

    • Stathei on December 30, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I guess my point is that you and your chums should consider giving your cash to people who actually need help, rather than to fringe loons like yourself to waste on attempting to gather more fringe loons. But then, you knew that.

    • End Bringer on December 30, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Well I’m willing to admit your English teacher and therapist would be good causes to give donations, since you obviously need the help Stathei. 😉

    • Anthony on December 30, 2010 at 12:57 pm
      Author

    Your point is poorly made and completely out of place. The purpose of the post was to point out to Christians that their local congregations especially and the various ministries that they benefit from ARE NOT CHARITIES at all. A charity has no just claim on someone’s funds. A local congregation does. Many Christians don’t know that, hence the post.

    As for your remarks about funding ‘fringe loons’ I can’t imagine that you didn’t realize that the comment would be completely dismissed and would achieve nothing. Do you think that because you have characterized me as a ‘fringe loon’ that I’m suddenly going to throw my hands to my mouth and cry out, “Dear God, I’m a fringe loon!” and become someone….. er…. searching for the word…. well, best not use that one… someone like you? Of course not. Nobody will be moved by your statement. That’s fine; I’m used to that out of you. But don’t you get tired of wasting your own time?

    If you want to participate, why not find a way constructively to do so?

    Do you object to the premise of the post, which is that you have a duty to compensate others for the services you use from them?

    If so, why?

    It will not do to dismiss the giving of cash to churches because you find them ridiculous. I find a great many services and organizations ridiculous, and obviously do not donate to them, especially if I do not actually use their services. Still, the premise stands: if I did use their services, I shouldn’t take it as a freebie. Normally, there are checks and balances to keep that from happening (the service provider sets a fee, the one who uses it decides if the fee is reasonable and worth it). Not so for the organizations I was describing, even though nonetheless services are rendered.

    Now, the idea that churches and ministries don’t actually help anyone really shows that you are hopelessly out of touch with reality. Setting aside the fact that Christianity is actually true, and for this reason alone deserves to be embraced (obviously you dispute- no need to state it), it is a continuing discovery among moderns that tending to people’s spiritual needs is a vital help, indeed. The various chaplaincy corps are a case in point and in the hospitals that I frequent it is taken as a simple medical fact that good, effective, quick healing is helped along by tending to one’s spiritual needs. Surely you know this? Don’t you?

    That means that the hundreds of thousands of churches out there serve a vital need- quite apart from the veracity of their message. And if you were served by one of them, I would challenge you to remember that they did so out of the goodness of their heart without an eye toward their bottom line. And you have a duty to support them in kind, as you are able, when you are able.

    Unless you think everyone should do everything they do for free. It would not surprise me if you thought that very thing.

    • Stathei on December 30, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    @End Bringer – I need an English teacher? Here’s one of your very own posts, Wordsworth:

    “If anything if more people used their brains to distinguish when violence is appropriate and when it is not, people would actually be encouraged to use peacible methods to address the abortion issue. Because we have sadly seen cases where violence was used and it ended up hurting the pro-life movement more than helping.”

    This was just the first post I looked at, so do let me know if you would like a few more examples of your perfect grammar and spelling.

    As for who needs a therapist…

    Can’t @SJ until I stop laughing @ EB Yeats.

    • End Bringer on December 31, 2010 at 8:14 am

    HA! Wasn’t your spelling and grammer I was refering to Stathei. It was your ability to read and comprehend something that’s written. As you just prove further. Too rich.

    • Stathei on December 31, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    EB, not bothering to read every word ol’ Windbag writes is not a sign of inability to read English, but, perhaps, is a sign of good sense.

    SJ, I am all for churches and ministries doing good for those in need, but, as you say yourself, this is not so for the organizations you were describing. Here are your own descriptions, once again:

    “Confident Christianity. Roger and MaryJo Sharp are doing some really good work with Muslims and hard core skeptics.

    Apologetics315. Brian Auten has been plugging away at creating a clearinghouse of valuable materials for some time. He facilitates the work of other apologists, and does a good job at it.

    True Free Thinker. The volume of output by Mariano Grinbank is astounding. He tackles (literally, I think) the hard core atheists, and with his Jewish background, has unique insights on the theism ‘debate.’

    Midwest Christian Outreach. Don Veinot has been managing this ministry for as long as I’ve been interested in apologetics. I distinctly remember quizzing him and Bob and Gretchin Passantino on just how one makes a living doing apologetics back in the mid nineties. (They all laughed. It’s still funny today). Anyway, MCO is a tremendously effective counter-cult ministry.”

    I don’t see a single word about ministering to the sick or any charitable deeds these people may do. All I see, and I stick by my original statement, are fringe loons looking for more fringe loons. If I am wrong and there is some good that these people do beyond their own little worlds please, let us all know. Otherwise my original point is actually well made, and your dollars would be better spent on an organization which helps others instead of helping only itself.

    • Anthony on December 31, 2010 at 4:11 pm
      Author

    Stathei, lame. It goes without saying that a hard boiled atheist like yourself wouldn’t find any value in what apologetics organizations do. So why do you waste your time, and mine, in saying what we’d already know? I have no interest in justifying myself, or these organizations, or local congregations to the likes of you, and I won’t. If you had even the smallest rational bone in your body, you wouldn’t expect me to. It would be if Dan Barker posted something on his website pointing out that atheists who benefited from his efforts ought to consider the fact that he can only perform those efforts if people pitch in to make it possible, and then I come along with my Stathei-mindset and begin ranting about how ridiculous and misguided his efforts are and so those dollars would be a waste of money.

    Now, Stathei, doesn’t it go without saying that I would find such investment to be a poor use of dollars? It certainly would be. However, I am not an idiot. I would never waste time posting such a comment, because given my perspective, its obvious I feel the way I do, and my posting of such a comment would never persuade a hard boiled atheist to donate their funds elsewhere. Indeed, since I’m not an idiot, and don’t go around merely trying to get a rise out of people, if I were to post anything, I would actually post something in agreement with the principle: if you receive an actual BENEFIT from something then you should consider whether or not you have a duty to help support it.

    On a whim, I cruised over to Barker’s site: http://www.ffrf.org/get-involved/donate/other-ways-to-give/ where I found this remark: “your donation goes to work for our laudable and vital two purposes!”

    Now, if I were Stathei, I’d send an email mocking the notion that their purposes are vital or laudable. But that would be stupid, and would reveal me to be a moron, so I would never do that. It simply goes without saying that someone with perspective would feel that way about his purposes. So, I wouldn’t say it. Get it?

    That’s really the end of the matter. Stop wasting my time.

    • End Bringer on December 31, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    “EB, not bothering to read every word ol’ Windbag writes is not a sign of inability to read English, but, perhaps, is a sign of good sense.”

    It’s a sign of willful ignorance at the least is what it is. Though still it’s debatable if you won’t or truly can’t at this point.

    But you already got your ‘xristians r stoopid. your stoopid.’ rant out of your system and SJ has already answered you with more aplomb and patience than you deserve. So I’d quit before you embarrass yourself even further.

    • Stathei on December 31, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    EB said, “It’s a sign of willful ignorance at the least is what it is. Though still it’s debatable if you won’t or truly can’t at this point.” Umm, sorry?

    Anyway – my point, and I will give up trying to get through the knee jerk static of SJ Batman and EB Robin here, was simply that I would have thought that your spare dollars would be better spent on organizations (Christian or otherwise) who help people in need – and not helping people bent only on helping themselves.

    • Anthony on December 31, 2010 at 9:21 pm
      Author

    It is only your view as a cynical hard boiled atheist that the organizations I listed are bent only on helping themselves, and it is only your view as a cynical hard boiled atheist that they actually do only help themselves. It is pretty dang obvious that what you would dismiss as the ‘lunatic fringe’ is considered a great help to many, many, many, many Christians. As such, these Christians ought to consider supporting them. If indeed an organization only helps themselves, one may suppose that they help no one else, and thus no one else has any kind of moral duty to support them.

    Duh.

    Your point is childish and immature and is nothing but a (very lame) attempt to try to bash those who actually try to persuade others that Christianity is actually true, and help others engage in that same persuasion- or buttress their own confidence in the veracity Christianity. As someone on the other side of the issue, your view of such a ‘help’ is obvious. And doesn’t need to be said at all. The fact that you feel compelled to say it again and again anyway makes you out as a (very lame and very ineffective) bully.

    I’m glad you read my stuff, Stathei. I just wish that you’d contribute to the conversations in a more meaningful, more grown up way.

    • Anthony on December 31, 2010 at 9:54 pm
      Author

    I just re-read my post. The only explanation that I can come up for why you have chosen to fixate on things the way you have is that you want to personally slam and insult me. (assuming you actually read it, which is admittedly something I doubt) Though my post was explicitly written to Christians, time and time again I pointed out that the principle extends widely, from the person working in the government to the guy who goes to Africa to teach literacy to the organization that reaches into the inner city- and also to the Christian ministry- the point and principle was clearly stated:

    If the organizations I just plugged aren’t your cup of tea, you can be sure that somewhere out there is an organization promoting your values. Find them and support them… and don’t forget the people in your local area or in your own life and the people who are already serving you in some way.

    I think it would be clear to any fair reader that my point was that we should not think of only ourselves with our money but should think about how we can support those who share our values- and I leave it wide open for supporting organizations that even you yourself would support, and even organizations we would mutually agree are worthy. The point is that not every donation is a charitable donation. When an organization is one that benefits us, we have a moral duty. It isn’t charity anymore. That was the point.

    For you to drone on and on on your silly and childish bent makes me think you really just wanted to insult me personally, for obviously if the organizations I cite are only ‘helping themselves’ and my organization is among the ‘lunatic fringe’ just like them, then you are saying that I’m with them on being some sort of greedy fleecer. To what extent you actually intended to communicate that, I don’t know. It seems pretty rude at any rate. Really rude, actually.

    Or, you actually didn’t read the post before commenting on it.

    Which is rude, too, by the way.

    • Stathei on January 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Wow, SJ, you really have forgotten what it’s like to be disagreed with, haven’t you? Let me ask you a simple question, which I am certain that you will not answer – do you think that Confident Christianity is more worthy of our money than March of Dimes?

    Let me point out at this stage that I think anybody who would donate to an Atheist organization which simply promotes Atheism is an utter fool, and that I have happily donated to Christian organizations whose mission is to help people in need. I’m not sure why you are calling me “hardboiled” (and indeed it is laughable that someone in your position would call anybody hardboiled in their views on religion), but it certainly can’t be applied to my attitude to charitable giving.

    As for droning on, a quick word count will show that you are, by far, the most verbose in any of our many “discussions”. Droning on is what you do, SJ.

    Finally, we come to accusations of silliness and childishness – followed by calling me “rude” and a “bully”. Somewhere in the middle of it you accuse me of wanting to insult you personally! Who is insulting whom, SJ? If you were offended by being referred to as a fringe loon, I am sorry. Truth hurts 🙂 .

    • Anthony on January 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm
      Author

    I said I wasn’t going to justify these organizations to you, and I’m not going to. As for the rest, this is just typical Stathei: he’s lost the argument, he knows he lost the argument, he then repeats the argument. This time, the argument is just an insult in thin disguise. I note that you have magically, once again, failed to determine- from what I actually said- I perceived the insult to be. Typical Stathei.

    • End Bringer on January 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    “This time, the argument is just an insult in thin disguise.”

    When was it ever not?

    • Stathei on January 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I’ll ask again – do you think that Confident Christianity is more worthy of our money than March of Dimes? I am not asking you to justify anything, I am not insulting you, I am just asking a simple question.

    • Anthony on January 6, 2011 at 9:31 am
      Author

    Your question is irrelevant to the post; hence the charge that you are illiterate. The post is not about charitable giving.

    Again:

    The post is not about charitable giving.

    Let me try again:

    The post is not about giving to charities.

    Once more:

    Under discussion is not the donating of funds to charities.

    In very small words, very slowly:

    The…… post….. is ….. not ….. a-bout …. char-i-ty.

    Until you can comprehend that, you cannot comprehend any answer I might supply. In fact, I have already answered it, and you did not comprehend it.

    • Anthony on January 6, 2011 at 10:34 am
      Author

    While you are letting that soak in, let me refine your thinking further with my own simple question:

    If you walk into a coffee shop and are served coffee, do you think you should pay for it?

    Getting it yet?

    While you are pondering why I might ask such a question, you may wish to consider why your own simple question is therefore out of place. If I were thinking along your lines still at this point, I would say, “What? Are you saying that paying for your coffee is more important than giving to the March of Dimes? Absurd!”

    And that would be an absurd thing to say, as I bet you can plainly see. You pay for your coffee because it is right and appropriate to pay for benefits you receive. Full stop. There is no getting from here to donating to charities. THAT discussion, if it is to happen at all, comes earlier, where one might ask: “Given one’s finite resources and the importance of endeavor X, should I forgo buying coffee today in order to support endeavor X?” This question comes before the service has been rendered for the coffee and therefore before the duty to pay for it emerges.

    This post presumed Christians being the readers, and therefore people receiving benefits and services from their local congregations and perhaps a variety of other organizations, too. They should not see their giving as ‘charitable donations’ to those organizations. They should recognize that there is a moral duty to support the orgs that they receive benefits from. A church is different than a business, even if the moral duty to compensate for benefits received still exists. A coffee shop will say, “$5 for a cup of coffee,” and the force of law will step in to make sure that you fulfill your moral duty in that case. A church does not say, “$20 for a sermon,” or “$60 for a hospital visit” or “$100 for marital counseling.” Nor do laws exist to make sure you fulfill your moral duty to the church to support it.

    Do you see? Do you see the difference?

    The reason why I mentioned the apologetics organizations is because I expected Christian readers interested in apologetics topics to be a large proportion of the readers to the topic. Someone who values apologetics ought to support those who engage in them. Those who perceive that they receive a benefit from the work of those organizations should consider whether or not they have some kind of obligation to support them. Just as I might not need a hospital visit but wish to make sure that there is a pastor to provide them to others (and maybe some day myself, I suppose), I will subsidize the work of that pastor; so too, a Christian who already values apologetics might perceive that the benefit they receive from their work, though not necessarily direct, is still important, and helps bridge the gap between what a person is able to do themselves and what they value.

    That is, as I said in the post, one might value inner city service and also literacy operations in Africa. Even if one values both, they cannot physically do both at the same time. However, they are able to deploy their resources to both so that others can carry out what they themselves might not be able to do. This might be because they are volunteering for another organization that they also value.

    At any rate, apologetics organizations got explicitly mentioned for the simple reason that I expected people who already valued apologetics, and who likely saw them as providing a valuable service, and who might have already received some benefit to them (or might in the future, like MCO’s counter-cult exit counseling), to be among those reading this post. It goes without saying that YOU would not be such a person.

    I don’t know if I can be much clearer than this.

    • Stathei on January 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Oh, but it IS about charity, SJ. Every dollar given to an apologetics organization (or an Atheist organization, for that matter) is a dollar not given to charity.

    Try this – I have a spare $100 burning a hole in my pocket. Should I give it to Confident Christianity or March of Dimes? Which do you should it should be given to, SJ?

    This is not a rhetorical question – I will give $100 to the organization of YOUR choice, on your behalf (and send you the receipt). If you fail to make a choice, or engage in your usual smokescreen of blahblahblah instead, I will take my wife out for a nice dinner instead. Up to you entirely.

    PS In case you need help, your reply should be “Confident Christianity” or “March of Dimes”.

    • Anthony on January 7, 2011 at 7:29 pm
      Author

    lol, man you are dense.

    I actually think you should take your wife out for dinner. I assume that you have not purchased something or directly benefited from either CC or MoD, but chances are that your wife has been waiting for you to show her a good time for quite a while. 🙂

    Tell her this one is on me.

    • Stathei on January 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Lol, you’re right. But I think I’ll give it to March of Dimes anyway – I know the answer to the question even if you pretend you don’t.

    • Anthony on January 8, 2011 at 6:03 pm
      Author

    Your ability to read people’s minds to discern their REAL views is well known. I must give you props: your ability to conceal your omniscience by pretending as though you haven’t actually read what was actually written (or regarding what was actually written as not what was really meant) must require huge amounts of intellectual energy. I honestly didn’t realize you had it in you. 😉

    • Sab on January 9, 2011 at 7:43 am

    In summary, if you have *already* received a service from an organisation, you have a moral obligation to repay them in some way.

    If you have the choice beforehand between a charity and a different organisation, yes, it is probably better to donate to the charity.

    However, it would not be right to take a book from an acquaintance, then go and spend your money on something else, instead of paying for the book. You have the *obligation* to pay for what you have received.

    • Stathei on January 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Sab, I agree with all that you say.

    My point all along is that the SPECIFIC websites listed above that SJ was shilling for don’t actually do anything at all, other than serve their own narrow interest.

    As you can see above, I asked Anthony to tell us what good acts they do and received no answer – because the reality is that all these websites are doing is trying to recruit people to share their views. Given that, I strongly suggested that spare cash would be better spent on helping someone truly in need instead.

    You will also see that I did not single out Fundamental Christian websites, I included their Atheist equivalents – I consider them equally unworthy of cash even though their mission might be to further my views.

    Anthony clearly and undeniably puts propagation of his own, specific views above helping those in need. Faced with this reality he can only resort to insults, name calling and sarcasm. I don’t blame him – it’s all he has to argue with.

    • Sab on January 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Fair enough, but I suppose if you look at it that way, why should anybody pay authors or poets or musicians? All they do is demonstrate their own point of view; they don’t actually directly aid anybody’s survival.

    • Stathei on January 11, 2011 at 7:10 am

    I don’t think that is the same thing at all, Sab.

    • Anthony on January 11, 2011 at 8:36 am
      Author

    It’s pretty close, Stathei. THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT CHARITY. You are attempting to debate an issue that is not in view of the post. Your ‘simple question’ is your attempt to change what I actually did talk about into what you imagined I talked about. Sab seems to have picked it up ok. Maybe you should revisit the post and this time actually read it, taking very seriously what I actually DID say.

    • Stathei on January 11, 2011 at 10:18 am

    YES IT IS. It is about donations – giving money voluntarily. There isn’t much donation money to go round, but you want it for your own little cause rather than for more worthy, wider causes.

    • Anthony on January 11, 2011 at 10:59 am
      Author

    NO IT ISN’T. It’s about obligations owed.

    Answer this simple question: if one gets a coffee from a coffee shop, should they pay for it?

    • Stathei on January 11, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Of course – what product is Confident Christianity selling?

    • Anthony on January 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm
      Author

    What did you buy from them?

    • Dan on April 20, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Christians only donate money to curry favor from onlookers. They bolster their identity in the eyes of Others who witness their large donations. What is being purchased, is social and symbolic capital, which can be rendered at any time due to reciprocol exchange. By virtue of witnessing a large donation, the prestige of the individual donating increases substantially amongst the onlookers, and their identity is reinforced as one who does ‘good deeds.’ However, what is really taking place, is that the donater is purchasing the prestige from the onlookers, to enhance their social identity, while the simpletons stand by and are oblivious to what is actually happening.

    • End Bringer on April 21, 2011 at 1:09 am

    It IS amazing to see Stathei is not alone in the god-like power (heh) to peer into other peoples minds to know what’s REALLY going on. The alternative would mean it’s the act of closed-minded prejudiced people attempting (poorly) to smear other people they’ve never met.

    And that could never be, right? 😉

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