It’s “cool” to be a liberal and travel to far off lands and help the starving sick millions. It’s like having a tattoo or drinking the latest martini.
If I express any reservations or conditions on supporting the masses of the third world, I’m an “evil Republican”.
Young guys and girls (and aging hippies, commies, etc.) think it is the coolest thing for “the rich”, i.e., other people who have substantial means, to give.
One can donate to the starving North Koreans. Kimbo Il would send his thanks for feeding his people. And happily continue oppressing them.
International charity creates and props up dysfunctional and tryannical governments. It creates dependency on said charity. That’s not charity it’s slavery. Because Kimbo will never ever do anything to raise the standard of living of his people, provide Bibles to them, provide education for them that is not indoctrination, etc. In his own mind, perhaps he is a great ruler, but in reality, he is in way over his head. Yet he refuses to relinquish power. And he sits on a small stockpile of nuclear weapons. The more economically broke NK is, the less ability the nation has to wage war. The more the nation of NK is helped, the more bold the leader becomes, thinking that he is “winning”.
In short, the nations of the world with lower per-capita wealth and income are awash in complex problems that naive people can not solve. In fact, most efforts, even large loans by the IMF, etc., usually make things worse, as powerful thugs with armies and gangs wind up taking whatever things of value there are and running roughshod over the “little people”.
The Bible exclusively refers to charity of providing for earthly needs via two conduits: tithing to your congregation and directly to people you come across - directly - who have dire needs and are not simply tricking you out of money, but they have real needs. The Bible never speaks of responding to letters from far off places telling of some great need. There is no mention of one nation being responsible for another nation’s poor. There is no mention of being required to pay money to a charitable organization other than the church. I am reminded of the case of poor Stanley Thornton, the man who likes to play baby. He is capable of managing a website promoting his twisted thoughts, but unable to get a job. He adamantly maintains that he requires government charity and threatens to commit suicide if it is cut off.
Non-Christians and many professing Christians who are simply naive will prod others to donate to their “charities” and employ subtle twisting of Scriptural meanings to separate people from their money.
Often, people think about it for a second, wondering if the cause is legitimate, then realize that it would take far too much time and effort to really, truthfully know, and they simply click off their mind and give a little, consoling themselves in their own mind “at least I tried, I gave”. That’s the dark logical pit one can fall into - since such acts DO ABOSOLUTELY NOTHING TOWARDS GAINING SALVATION. The false charity has succeeded in playing on the person’s guilt and uncertainty of Scripture to snooker them out of some spare change. If a charity does that enough times, there is plenty of money for full-time Executive Directors and staff members - who can make a living and lull themselves to sleep at night feeling good about their self-righteousness.
The answer for the Christian who feels guilty from time to time - tithe 10% of ones gross earnings to one’s congregation. And anyone that you happen across who is in desperate need of help, help them. Perhaps it might not be money, maybe they need a car. Maybe they need job skills. A second chance start in life. But the Christian with a desire to give must learn to not become prey for people who are dangerous or destructive and remember that the first priority is bringing the Gospel to them. If a Christian spends some time walking around an inner city this issue confronts them as they need to learn who is trying to rob them, who’s looking for drug money and who is hungry.
Certainly legitimate churches have overseas missions that one can support either with effort or money. Those missions that are best, IMHO, are those that focus first on the Gospel and emergency items of mercy, as well as those that go on to try to uplift people and work towards real goals of lasting change, including political change towards civil government that embraces Christianity and rules wisely and justly, as well as promoting ingenuity and hard work. In order to support such efforts best, one should search them out instead of waiting for them to come along. Then one can fully and rightly discern what the mission is all about and confidently support it.
Then when the “thing on the internet” pops up and someone starts exhorting one go “give, give”, “what kind of Christian are you!!!”, one can politely, with no guilt whatsoever, let them know that one has already given.
The Scriptures do establish both the individual giving outside one’s community to another individual in need (See the Parable of the Good Samaritan) and churches giving to other churches outside their communities. (1 Corinthians 16:3).
I don’t think a single believer will ever apologize to Christ for giving too much when they see Him face to face. I do think believers will apologize for giving too little.