The Scriptures do establish both the individual giving outside ones 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).
Neither of those is talking about international aid schemes. The Good Samaritan refers to helping someone in spite of group prejudices or preconceived ideas about the group when one is confronted with a situation where an individual in the other group needs aid. For Americans, a good example is muslims. If in my travels I come across someone on the side of the road starving, sick and desperate, and they happen to be muslim, I should, in the name of Jesus Christ, give them help and make sure to mention that I am a believer in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Should I donate to a muslim charity ? Absolutely not, because islam teaches that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God, ergo, they deny Christ and they spread this heresy. As of that was not enough, there is no way for me to be sure that the money is not funding groups that seek to indiscriminately murder to scare people into believing this heresy, and given how those money flows go, it undoubtedly is, even though it may only be indirectly through enabling terrorist groups to gain acceptance by offering aid. My individual effort may result in a conversion, it may not, but that is one way that God works through believers, through acts of mercy and kindness. It's not mine to choose outcomes, just to do as Scripture commands. Interestingly, we keep in mind that our Lord said on numerous occasions that what is truly important is the soul, not the body. When I help that desperate muslim on the side of the road, his soul is in desperate need even more so than his body.
Churches giving to other churches has nothing to do with non-Christian secular or governmental aid groups. If the NAZI party or Communist party has a charity, I should not give to it, obviously. Not only that, giving to any secular 501(c)(3), etc., wins the already-tithing Christian nothing. If they only tithe and give to Christian charities they have carefully researched to make sure they can give to it in good conscience, i.e., the charity is not spreading false doctrine, they are doing nothing wrong. The already-tithing Christian does not have to give to every single charity who knocks on their door, advertises to them, etc.
The Bible commands tithing as well as help to those around us who are in immediate need - true - need. Giving is not recorded in a ledger, so giving very large amounts, more than asked for, does not help us attain salvation. Giving freely is different; that means giving without wincing, being a cheapskate. When we appear before the Lord, he will know our hearts. Many years ago a shared half of a sandwich with someone, who got rather emotional about it, saying no one had ever shared like that with them. I gave them a pat, said it's nothing, then changed the conversation and made sure they did not think I was anything special for doing the bare minimum of what is required in that situation. I had not yet experienced conversion, so of course any good acts I did then were not only due to the grace of God alone, but I was not even aware of that fact, the Lord simply blessed me with some amount of humility prior to my conversion.
Giving in and of itself does not merit salvation, it's the other way around, the saved soul will give freely when there is a true need. They realize however, that they are not a one-man mission to save the world, that the poor will always be with us and that every single Christian is not called to travel the world trying to give enough money to every poor person in the world so they won't be poor any more. A) they don't have enough (meaning they're really going to go around guilting other people into giving them money (OPM) which they will redistribute) and B) they would not be providing ongoing income, just a one-time payment, so they will not cure the poorness. There is only one thing that ends poorness, productivity. Those who physically or mentally can not be productive are those in true need of charity.
There is no mention in the Bible of apologies having any saving effect in our final Judgement.
Christians are urged by the Bible to be of good humor and to be bold and confident in the firmness of their faith by default. Having doubts about whether one has "given enough" shows that one has a ways to go in progressive sanctification. One should easily admit if in times past one should have tithed when one was successful. Admit it to God, ask for foregiveness, resolve to be a good servant in the future - repent. Going forward one must resolve oneself to tithe and help the poor and sick. Wonderful accomplishments have been done by those who boldly do instead of squeemishly trying to split hairs, by people who charged ahead and made money, worked, earned, saved, invested, while continuing to tithe. No matter how successful, we simply must remember that the Christian is a steward for what God has blessed them with, and at the end of the day their money and other wealth is a fleeting thing that is not really theirs, as they can't take it with them when they die.
posted on 10/22/2011 7:36:03 AM PDT
(We need to fix things ourselves)
The Parable of the Good Samaritan is told in answer to the question “who is my neighbor?” Answer? Anyone.
In 1 Corinthians 16:3 and Romans 15:26, we have established the practice of one church (two churches, in the latter text) providing needs of another church.
In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul explains that he praises the generosity of the Corinthians to the Macedonians and the Achaians. Because they gave greatly and gave willingly.
This has nothing to do with salvation or Muslims or any other attempt to change the subject.
This has to do with a believer’s attitude toward giving. If the attitude toward giving reflects Christ’s attitude toward giving, then the believer’s attitude is a healthy one. If the attitude toward giving does not reflect Christ’s attitude toward giving, then it is not healthy.
We follow the One Who Gave All, and the world should see us as being like Him.
Whatever we do reflects on Him. Does your attitude toward giving glorify Christ, or does it give the unbelievers a reason to disdain Him?
posted on 10/22/2011 11:15:30 AM PDT
(Reading Through the Bible in 90 Days)
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