The average Christian (and non-Christian alike) seems to think that charity is finding a Salvation Army drop box and tossing some old clothes in it, putting money in the tithe plate at their church, or participating in a cancer awareness marathon. The world has its own interpretation of charity apart from Scripture. There is much more to charity than most Christians understand, yet the concept is so simple, it's surprising.
Based on my experienced in a number of church buildings, I can see much of the confusion comes from misunderstanding by blinded preachers who often preach from their new-age bible versions. For example, most people recognize this phrase from the NIV:
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But
the greatest of these is love."
-1Co 13:13, New International Version®, NIV®, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
However, that's not what the King James Bible says:
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
-1 Corinthians 13:13
(Read "False Doctrine: Learn to Love Yourself" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
-1 John 2:5
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
-1 John 5:3
For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
-1 Corinthians 8:1
And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
-1 Corinthians 8:2-3
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away... For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
-1 Corinthians 13:11-12
As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
-1 Corinthians 8:4-6
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
-2 Timothy 2:25
Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
-1 Corinthians 8:7
But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
-1 Corinthians 8:8
(Read "Bible Contradictions: Eat Idol Meat or Not?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
-1 Corinthians 8:9-11
But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
-1 Corinthians 8:12-13
And don't make the mistake of thinking that our knowledge can ONLY wound brethren, because we can wound unbelievers as well:
If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:
-1 Corinthians 10:27-28
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
|I grew up in the country, but for many years I lived in the city, and one of the major problems I ran into were people playing music too loud. I can recall many nights being kept awake (having to work early the next morning), even sometimes having to call the police to get a house party a city block away to turn down their music so I could sleep. The people blasting their music have no thoughts of charity, taking the time to consider how their actions are affecting others around them; taking no thought to examine themselves, weighing the needs of others over their own desires.|
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
-2 Corinthians 13:5
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
-1 Peter 3:4
And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
-1 Thessalonians 4:11
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness... drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Another common example are those "Christian" rockers out there, and church buildings that endorse their rock music, are adopting the things of the world. These people do not have a charitable mindset to consider the things they participate in and listen to are wounding the weak conscience of those around them, and in conversation with those people, I have only heard them make excuses for the worldly things they love because they are selfishly-minded.
(Read "What's Wrong With Christian Rock?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
We'll cover a variety of such examples in this article, but the main focus of charity is taking someone else's situation into consideration over our own personal wants and desires. The teachings of giving to others is quite common, well accepted, and well understood, but we need to understand also that we are ambassadors of Christ, taking on his name in the label "Christian," and when we lead others to believe that the habits of the world are acceptable with God, we falsely represent Christ and sin against Him.
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
-1 Corinthians 10:23
expedient (adj): fit or suitable for the purpose; proper under the circumstances
(See 'expedient', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved June 21, 2015 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD.
(Read "Christmas: The Rejection of Jesus" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
Leavened preacher Lenny Esposito of Come Reason Ministries gives us a perfect example of how a man claiming to be of Christ wounds the weak conscience of those around him, sinning against Christ, but then turns around and tries to justify it. Listen to him in his sermon designed to justify his pagan idolatry of Christmas:
Lenny Esposito: "I have recently moved... and the area is simply littered with |
He continues for the next 40 minutes of his presentation trying to justify his idolatry, and ignores the fact that he sins against Christ.
And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
(Read "Corruptions of Christianity: Jehovah's Witness" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
It doesn't matter how much that church building wants to laugh off what their pastor said, and it doesn't matter what impressions they might have of his character, the fact is that he is NOT a charitable man; rather, he is a selfish man whose pagan, happy, fun-time traditions are more important to him than the others around him who he wounds by his sin. It's too grevious (afflicting) for him to give up his favored traditions (also many would leave his church, or he would be ejected from his pastoral position if he spoke the truth, which would harm his paycheck), so instead of doing what's right, he would rather enjoy the pleasures of sin for a [holiday] season.
Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
A few chapters later, Paul continues:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
-1 Corinthians 13:1-3
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
-2 Timothy 4:3-5
Charity is not envious, which means charity is not uneasy or hateful or discontent at seeing someone else's accomplishments. Charity is being thankful and content with what we have, even if it is little.
Charity doesn't vaunt itself, or in other words, it doesn't brag and boast. Uncharitable people often build themselves up (puffed up) with words intended to give people an impression that they have the qualities of charity (i.e. being giving, kind, righteous living, etc), but in reality, they have a double heart because they don't actually do the things necessary to live up to those words.
For example, concerning the leavened preacher Lenny Espisito in the video above, if you were to listen to his whole sermon, it started out with him bragging about his position among "prominent theologians," his status, his travels, his new home, and my wife and I were both tired of listening to him after just a couple of minutes due to his vaunting (boasting). Then, watching this man rejoice in his idolatry, that was blocking unbelievers from hearing the truth of the Word of God, was sickening to hear, and further demonstrated his lack of charity.
Charity doesn't behave unseemly, which means people who dress inappropriately and speak with indecent words. For example, the "Christian" rock crowd in which men will grow long hair, get tattoos and piercings, and other such things are not charitable people because they do not consider anyone else besides themselves.
Charity doesn't rejoice in inquity (i.e. sin, unrighteousness). Charitable people don't rejoice for alcohol, witchcraft holidays, 501c3 corporate contracts, and an assortment of other sins because charity is not even supposed to think evil.
alms (n): any thing given gratuitously to relieve the poor, as money, food, or clothing
(See 'alms', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Sept 16, 2015 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
We see this all the time in America, a common example being the papers shaped like hot air balloons that are stapled on the wall in office buildings and restaurants. These are signed by someone who gives a donation to an organization so it can be hung for all to see, no different than the pew plaques.
These organizations are looking to give people incentive for their money, which is not Biblical Christian giving. We expect these things from the world, but Christians should not be like the world. The 501c3 corporate ministries do the same thing, luring people into giving them money with a tax write-off, which simply means they're seducing people into giving money by giving them something in return.
This is precisely how Robert Schuller in the Hour of Power, and the now bankrupt Crystal Cathedral, sought to make an unbiblical living. Growing up, I remember seeing him on TV asking people to send them money, and if you sent enough, they'd send you a porcelain bald eagle, or some other useless garbage, in the mail.
Schuller's son, Bobby, still does the same thing today:
"With your gift of $50 a month or one-time gift of $600 or more,
you will receive the beautiful Bible, the same NIV version used by Bobby every weekduring his message. If you are able to do more by becoming a Golden Eagles Partner with your gift of $100 a month, or one-time gift of $1,200, we will send you the beautiful Bible and a lovely four-ribbon brass eagle bookmark."
-Hour of Power, "Eagles Partner - Monthly Gift of $50," retrieved Sept 16, 2015, [cathedralgifts.com/20eapa1.html]
Last January (2015), I had a man send us a donation via paypal, and a few weeks later, I got an email of complaint that I had not sent him a thank you letter for his donation (typically what you get from 501c3 corporations). I proceeded to explain to him that if he was giving looking for recognition, it's not Biblical giving in charity (providing him all the Scripture to back it up), and that if he would like, we would send him his money back, to which he responded:
A gracious 'thank you'that you received my gift was all that I was after... In light of your lecture please just send the money back."
[We sent his money back as requested; Paypal also sends a notification to the sender automatically that the amount was received, so he already knew we got it; He just wanted to be praised for his 'generousity'.]
Most of the people in this world, and sadly even those claiming to be Christians, often do not have a charitable mindset. The reality is that people are incredibly selfish (seeking their own first), and focus more on convincing others they are good and charitable people, rather than looking to the Lord God for guidance in all matters of faith and practice.
Again, charity is a way of thinking after Christ, who changes our hearts, making us into people who cheerfully desire to fulfill the needs of others:
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
-2 Corinthians 9:7
(Read "Is Tithe a Christian Requirement?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
Many wicked preachers out there try to cherry pick 1Co 10:24 as a justification for people to give them lots of money:
Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.
Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play... Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
(Read "Halloween: Are Christians Lovers of Death?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
And also for the benefit of those around us:
But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:
You'll also notice that these verses in 1 Corinthians 13 never once refers to money. After a Christian has practiced a charitable mindset, cheerful giving with money will come naturally, but charity is primarily preached (in church buildings) as a direct connection to money because it's the world's first love.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
-1 Corinthians 13:8-13
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
-1 Corinthians 9:25
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
-1 Timothy 1:5
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
-1 Timohty 4:1-2
(Read "501c3: The Devil's Church" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
The Bible calls that respecting persons:
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
"Q. How do I request financial support from the ministry?
A. We can certainly understand your need for financial help. Unfortunately,
Hour of Power funds are limited. It takes everything that we have coming in each month just to pay for airtime. Therefore, we are sorry we have no funds available that we could send you."
-Hour of Power, "Hour of Power Questions And Answers," retrieved Sept 16, 2015, [hourofpower.org/contact/hop_tv.php]
I can tell you why they don't have the money to help you out: They're pocketing it to pay for their lavish lifestyles:
"Financial documents filed Wednesday in the Crystal Cathedral bankruptcy case show
generous compensation paid to insiders and family members of founding minister Robert H. Schuller in the year before the Garden Grove-based mega-church filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. During the same period, revenue plummeted, and church employees and vendors — from choral members to the livestock company that provided animals for its elaborate productions — were laid off or went without pay. The church paid out more than $1.8 million to 23 insiders and members of Schuller's family in the 12 months leading up to the Oct. 18 bankruptcy filing, according to the financial statements. That sum included $832,490 in tax-exempt housing allowances given to eight people and payments to all five of Schuller's children and their spouses.
Jim Coleman, the president of Crystal Cathedral Ministries, declined to comment. 'I don't have knowledge of the documents you mentioned,' he said. Other church representatives could not be reached. The church's financial records, which were kept private until the bankruptcy proceedings forced public disclosure, are
beginning to paint a picture of how the church conducted business and the extent to which Schuller family members and insiders were compensated."
-Abby Sewell & Nicole Santa Cruz, "Bankruptcy filings show generous pay for relatives of Crystal Cathedral founder," Los Angeles Times, Dec 3, 2010, retrieved Sept 16, 2015, [articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/03/local/la-me-crystal-cathedral-20101203]
And there's only one reason you have to file bankruptcy: if you're in unbiblical debt to begin with. They're more than happy to request funding in $50 monthly payments, but they're unable to lift a finger to help others. They took from the people giving them, and gave it to those with status and prestige on their board of directors, lied to their lenders by filing bankruptcy instead of paying what they owed, and exiting quietly so no one will catch on to their deceptive, devilish practices.
On a smaller scale, I see this political favoritism, both in status and finances, happening all the time in so-called "ministries." Even before I was saved and attending church buildings, I watched those with a status, or those related to others with status, or those who were close buddies with others whom have status, and were given favor over everyone else.
But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
(Read my testimony of what happened with the Creation Evidence Expo for more details.)
For example, a friend of ours worked with this organization, teaching the children in their events, getting there early and staying late to clean up. They put her in charge of all the child events, gave her no help at all, no organization or proper scheduling, did not stay in communication with her, and kept demanding more and more from her, yet, they gave her nothing while increasing her work load, only honoring and being charitable to those who were already highly esteemed, giving no consideration to her whatsoever.
I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
(Listen to "Preacher Kings (Abusive Pastors) - Truth Sharks Radio Show" for more details.)
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
This has been a topic that I have had difficulty writing about, primarily because I tend to look inward first, and see I need to be more charitable, or rather, I never feel like I'm being charitable enough. A lot of this is due to the fact that I typically criticize myself more than others criticize me. In discussions, my wife has to remind me that we give away all the materials in our ministry for free, and often I forget that is also a form of charity that we don't see much of in modern-day American so-called "ministries."
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
(See Brannon Howse, "Branson 2014 8-DVD Collection," Sale Price was $59.95 as of Sept 10, 2015, [worldviewweekend.com/products/package/branson-2014-8-dvd-collection])
Or better yet, if you want to learn about evangelists that were, quote "compromising the gospel," and "What does the Bible say about pride, pragmatism and the love of money?," then all you have to do is is pay him $14.99 and Howse will tell you all about it.
(See Brannon Howse, "Pride, Pragmatism, and Profit: The Three Snares That Have Compromised Evangelicalism," Sale Price was $14.99 as of Sept 10, 2015, [worldviewweekend.com/products/dvds/pride-pragmatism-and-profit-three-snares-have-compromised-evangelicalism])
And don't even think about sharing his materials because we made that mistake many years ago by filming on a home video camera his presentation in Indianapolis in 2012. There were no signs or notifications that we were not allowed to film and share the information, but soon after posting it on youtube, we received the following email directly from Brannon Howse, whom we had never spoken with before:
"I just saw that our video from Indy is on youtube. I don't know how this came to be recorded but
In further attempts to justify himself, he continued to say:
"We spend a large sum of our budget each year producing quality productions. Your DVD was very
poor qualityand thus a poor reflection on us."
If he had just asked me to take them down, I would have had no problem doing so, and I did take them down immediately upon request because I don't want to violate a law, but at that point, I had less motivation to take them down for the sake of brethren (back when I falsely believed he was brethren); I instead took them down because I didn't want to support or endorse a man who was more concerned about his profits than his prophesying. Brethren, please understand that the word "brethren" means family, and when one has offended another, our first act should not be threats of contacting lawyers and government prosecution, especially when one has no knowledge he's done anything wrong.
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?... But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
-1 Corinthians 6:1-8
Those of you who have seen many things we teach in this ministry know that we didn't go out and get a bunch of copyrights on our materials because we want Christians to copy and spread out this information as much as possible, but people like Brannon Howse care more for crediting themselves than edifying others. On his website, he may allow people to view 5-10 minutes of a video, but after that, you have to pay him money to watch the rest.
You can see this same type of selfish motivation in many ministries across the world; that they only want to teach when there's profit, fame, or status to be attained. Another example is Eric Hovind's Creation Today that has a six-part, three hour seminar teaching on creation/evolution, which Eric allows viewers to watch free for 30 minutes, and then you need to pay him $24.95 if you want to get the rest.
(See Eric Hovind, "Beginnings: Exploring Biblical Creation" The Creation Store, Sale Price was $24.95 as of Sept 10, 2015, [creationtoday.org/product/beginnings-exploring-biblical-creation]
And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
Could you see Paul going into Rome to preach, having some interested people gather around, and then stop after five minutes and tell everyone to put five and half silver coins in the basket to hear the rest? Yet, that is EXACTLY what these men are doing because in the end, there is no charity in their hearts.
I hope that, at the very least, Lorraine (my wife) and I have set a more Biblical example of how Christians should operate by offering all our materials free. (I'll let you to judge that matter for yourselves.) Although there are some things we sell if people want to support us, all the information in the materials we sell can also be downloaded for free, and I pray the Lord Jesus Christ would keep our eyes open so that we are not led astray by the leaven of this world and the love of money.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
-1 Timothy 6:10
Even though many of these preachers are wicked in their worldly way of thinking after the traditions of men, and the love of money, I have to admit that I can understand why they do it. The Bible does tell us that it is acceptable to make a living from the study and teaching of the Word of God:
If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?... Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
-1 Corinthians 9:11-14
I once had a man write me a gracious letter thanking me for all the hard work Lorraine and I were doing to provide all our materials free, because she and I both work jobs to provide for us and to support this ministry. He told me he had downloaded every audio teaching we offered, read all our articles, and thanked us for providing them. At the end of his letter, he told me he also liked another ministry (that I looked into and found out was yet another leavened 501c3 corporation), and that he had just purchased their entire DVD set, which after investigation, turned out to be $279 as listed on their website; he thanked me, and I never heard from him again.
Don't misunderstand, I'm glad this man got some truth out of the work we've done, and that's what we're doing it for, so the Lord Jesus Christ can get glory, since all that we write comes from His knowledge, not our own, but the subject of this article is charity, and we have to ask: Where was the charity? The point I'm making is that he didn't consider our situation, the blood, sweat, and tears we have suffered to give away everything we have today, and he turned to an already well-funded ministry that is a part of the Devil's 501c3 church to give to them instead (because they force him to do so through their sales), so he could get their leavened materials.
Folks, I'm not writing this to plead with people for money, please don't misunderstand; I'm writing this topic about charity, and how the charitable mindset has been mostly abandoned by those claiming to be Christians in America today. I don't know how to effectively get the point across without giving some personal examples. The average American Christian has come from such greedy, unbiblical, lackadasical, Laodecian teaching from hirelings, that most of them can't even imagine a church that operates solely on charity. (I'm not saying all churches are like that, but in America, about 99% of them are.)
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
The other side of this is people who give far too liberally to ministries and other such organizations without any consideration for what the money is actually being used for; not what they CLAIM the money is being used for, but where it actually goes. Notice that the Bible said they gave "as every man had need," not as every man had want.
To give an idea of what I mean, take for example someone homeless on the street begging for money. Most people will drop some money in their cup without ever stopping to consider their situation, thinking they were charitable by giving money, but the person they gave money to may take that to go purchase alcohol to continue in the sin that caused his homelessness in the first place.
I'm not saying all homeless are like that, as some honestly purchase their needs with the money, but the problem is that people walk by and often do NOT take the time to be charitable, understanding what specific needs that person has, and just throw money at them so they don't have to think about it. Taking some time to inquire what exactly they need, or even taking a moment to look them over to see if they need a coat or shoes, would be proper Biblical charity; however, very few people claiming to be Christians take the time to do this.
We Christians are not supposed to be like the world, giving in blindness to whatever the world labels as "charitable." As we covered in "The Cure For Cancer," many charity organizations in the U.S. give little or nothing to the causes for which they claim to be raising money.
The average American throws money at these organizations, and believe they're charitable people, when in reality, all they did was donate to corporate profit, getting a receipt in return so they can write it off on their taxes.
(Read "The Cure For Cancer: Cancerous Charities" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
To expand on that concept concerning Christian organizations, let's look at Voices of the Martyrs, a ministry started by Richard Wurmbrand, a dedicated, born-again Christian strong in faith and charity, who raised money to help the poor, needy, and persecuted Christians around the world giving their lives for Christ. Although Wurmbrand had some issues of his own (like idolatry with holidays), he was traveling and working to help persecuted Christians around the world.
Then, just a few weeks after he died, the vultures in his organization leaped into the IRS's arms, incorporating VotM under 501c3, and a man by the name of Tom White took over, until 2012:
Christians around the world gave money to VotM, which provided for Tom White's salary, which means ultimately, Christians were supporting a man while he was fornicating with a 10-year-old girl. The problem here is not the willingness to give, the problem is the lack of discernment because Christians ought not to yoke up and support 501c3 ministries of any kind, and if we would sanctify ourselves from them and their leaven, we also will not be leavened, giving our time and money over to organizations that are run by the Devil.
(Read "501c3: The Devil's Church" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
No one is saying you should not give to those who are being persecuted for the Christian faith in other countries, but if you do give, give to those who are apostles that are physically going to those countries to do the work. Let's use our discernment, sanctify ourselves, and stop giving to provide extra comforts for wicked men who enjoy the pleasures of sin for a seaon and corrupt good ministries.
When I started this ministry, I told God that I wasn't going to go around writing letters and making phone calls to beg people for money because I wanted to operate with those born-again in Christ who would give charitably to help us via the conviction each received from the Holy Spirit. There are some of you out there that operate by conviction of the Holy Spirit, so please, those of you who do have that charitable way of thinking in your hearts, don't take this as a rebuke, but on the other hand, EVERYONE claiming to be a Christians says that they listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, though in reality, those people are far and few between, because the Holy Spirit (if we were following Him) would convict us to charity, something I (and many who write us) see very little of in church buildings today.
There are so many examples I could give, I actually had a rare case of "writer's block" when I was working on this article because I didn't know where to begin. I talked it over with Lorraine, and she suggested to tell the stories of the church buildings we've been to in giving presentations, and the men and women who came up to us afterwards and lied straight to our faces, giving their word they were going to start "sowing into your ministry" to help us, and we never heard from them again. Or I could tell you of the pastors who have come to us claiming that "the Holy Spirit brought us together," only to have them lie and rail against us a few weeks later. Just the lies alone would take a full afternoon to talk about, and these people don't have the smallest of charitable mindsets to stop and consider how bad they have hurt us; how many nights Lorraine and I have been in tears together over what we've seen and heard out of our supposed "brethren."
Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil... Be not rash with thy mouth... Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?
A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
-1 John 3:15
(Read "God Does Not Justify Lies" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
-1 Thessalonians 5:15
Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
-1 Peter 3:9
The first step in learning charity is to, as they say, put yourself in someone else's shoes, and then seek to do what a Christian ought to do. We need to do what's right over what's convenient.