Ep.1017: Who and What Should a Christian Support?
Establishing solid Christian principles for charitable giving
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Theme Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:6
Christian support. One of the hallmark characteristics of being a Christian is compassion. Jesus was the epitome of acting in a way that helped and cared for others, and we are called to walk in his footsteps. Simple enough – or is it? In our world there are a myriad of causes we can be kindhearted towards – the poor, the under-educated, the abused, the oppressed, the homeless, the disabled, the unborn. Then there is the wider scope of life – endangered species, abused and homeless animals and the environment. What about the social and political issues that rage across our media 24 hours a day, seven days a week? All of these and more can easily demand our attention, money and time! What do we do? What causes are support-worthy for a Christian? Where do we invest our time, effort and resources to be truly God-honoring followers of Jesus?
The first thing to realize is that God mentioned the poor way back in the Old Testament as He was setting up the Law for the nation of Israel. In His Law He made provisions for the average person to be aware, compassionate and responsible towards those who were having challenges. He also proclaimed that the poor would always be with them. He did not build a poverty elimination system into the Law, but He did build a poverty management system into it. God knew the free will of man would always leave room for bad choices. He also knew bad things would happen to good people. His instruction was to be generous and kind to the less fortunate, and His provisions gave those less fortunate opportunities to help themselves.
Jesus followed this philosophy as well. While he did encourage generosity towards the poor, he did not seek to eliminate poverty. What does all of this means to us? Biblical principles for Christians point to helping with - but not solving - poverty issues. This may sound harsh, but it is based on the reality of a sin-based world. For many of us this presents a true dilemma, because we are often taught it is our business to do everything we can to save the world from all evil. We want to help, fix and solve the problems of our fellow man. These are noble and appropriate desires. How do we do that?
Check out our April 16, 2018 podcast, “Who or What Should a Christian Support?” and put the whole matter of giving, saving and preserving in perspective. We DO have responsibility towards this world. Environmental conditions SHOULD be respected. We DO have responsibility of respect towards the animal kingdom as well, and we DO have responsibility towards the less fortunate. The key to this whole thing is how we choose to express that responsibility. The New Testament gives us clear cut guidance on what parts of that expression are most important for Christians. It teaches us how Christian support should be given and how to keep all of the mess of the world in perspective!