ONEIDA, Tenn. (BNC) by John T. Polk II — Question: “There are so many asking for donations, how can I know where to give my money?”
REPLY: ‘Tis the season for mis-giving. The idea of gift-giving is so widespread, that it is easy to make wrong decisions. Consider this information before making donations to:
(1) Charitable Organizations: On average per $1 raised, non-profits spend $0.37 for overhead, and advertising alone can cost $0.67.
In 2018, Americans gave $410 billion to charities, 41% for natural disasters. In 2016, 31% of all donations ($127.37 billion) went to religious institutions, much to local places of worship; 80% who gave had 0 credit debt; each Protestant averaged $17 weekly. “Christian” giving is about 2.5% of personal income, but during the Great Depression, it was about 3.3%! (rd.com, charities.org).
(2) Disguised Religion. No one should question the good works that may be done by some groups whose appeal is “Lord, Lord,” but Jesus made a necessity of what God has actually authorized:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
“That Day,” the Day of Judgment, will expose those who have assumed their good works were “in the name of the Lord,” but who never completed their obedience to, nor preaching of, Jesus’ gospel!
Christians are warned:
“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11).
Christians must not support religious causes that support churches which do not preach “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), which includes:
- baptizing those who had been baptized for the wrong reason (Acts 19:1-7);
- leaving the Law of Moses for Christ (Ephesians 2:11-22);
- accepting the limiting doctrine of unity (Ephesians 4:1-6);
- re-ordering their lives as Christians (Ephesians 4:17-5:10).
Those who follow the “pattern of good works” should also be “in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility” (Titus 2:7).
The Salvation Army and Goodwill are extensions of the Methodist Doctrine; Samaritan’s Purse is an extension of the Baptist Church; and, Operational Blessing is an extension of the “Holiness” Church.
(3) Jesus taught that a charitable deed should not be so public that it is attention-getting (Matthew 6:1-4), and He exemplified the Samaritan who individually met one person’s dire needs (Luke 10:30-35). Paul, later, emphasized that benevolence is “as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10), and not as a general program of work. Christians must meet specific needs in their benevolence.
(4) However, Christians should know that, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men” (Titus 3:8).
This article was published in the Dec. 8 issue of “Oneida Opportunities” and used with permission.
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