It’s the time of year when people are in a giving spirit. Whether they’re in pursuit of good karma, tax breaks, or just old fashioned goodwill toward men, folks are breaking out the check books and giving of their time. For the average fundamentalist, however, attempting to give to charity is a sticky situation. For to them, giving of one’s money is tantamount to an endorsement of everything that organization has ever done, said, or created in macramÃƒÂ©.
So what if there is not a fundamentalist organization working with the homeless in your town? Sorry, fellas! Until that homeless shelter gets right and stops using the NIV in its devotionals, you’ll get no soup from us!
Thinking about giving some time at the local pregnancy crisis center? You can’t do that because it’s run by Catholics! What those pregnant women really need is an old fashioned altar not some dress-wearing papist priest, amen?
Out of options for where to give? There is always the local church building fund…
24 thoughts on “Only Giving to Charities They Agree With 100%”
Together we grow…. 😉
The more I read this blog, the more I realize how screwed up I am. I struggle to help support an organization trying to find a cure to my daughter’s disease because it isn’t a Christian organization…see what they did to me??? I’m a crazy person!
Agreed with Dan…
Sad to say, but I think I kinda looked down on other Christians who gave to charities and such. Thought they were no good. And looking at that, I have no clue why I thought that. Although above said reasoning (blog) probably has a good deal to do with it. And to wonder why now I still have a hard time giving just a bit to some charity or good cause.
Fundy churches seem to have capitalistic influences.
Just as businesses under capitalism are independent, the fundy church is independent.
Just as businesses under capitalism are competitive, the fundy church is competitive.
Just as businesses under capitalism have a monetary focus, the fundy church has a monetary focus.
Just as businesses under capitalism are compassionate, the fundy church is compassionate.
To be honest, historically speaking (in recent history, say the last 50 years), I feel like fundamentalist churches have mostly been weak on helping the poor. It’s kind of been looked at as “watering down the Gospel” or “something the Catholics do.” I mean, give the homeless man a Gospel tract, invite him to evangelistic meetings, and move on. . .
I’ve personally heard fundamentalists question why they should ever help someone who wasn’t willing to attend their church.
On the other hand, I’ve seen my fundamentalist pastor father give his last dollar to a guy who needed medicine and couldn’t afford it.
It’s not necessarily personal generosity that I see lacking in fundy circles but rather a limiting of giving to only certain causes and ‘worthy’ organizations. Since there aren’t any fundamentalist cancer researchers or children’s hospitals that limits a person’s options quite a bit.
I think you nailed it there. It seems like the whole fundamentalist structure is geared ONLY toward evangelism, without much consideration of the physical or other needs of people. I too have seen great examples of generosity, but typically not on a church-wide level.
I have noticed an extreme lack of Fundamentalist charities (for food, clothing, shelters, pregnancy centers, etc.) or Fundamentalists supporting charities or anything besides missions, the local church, or specific things related to their church. I think it’s sad. Refusing to volunteer or support a charity because it might possibly support something you disagree with is as ridiculous as saying that you don’t shop at Wal-Mart because they sell beer and R-rated movies. Not everybody is going to agree with everything a person, organization, or family does.
I don’t shop at Walmart anyway, but it’s not because they sell beer and R-rated movies. 🙄
I knew a fundy church that wouldn’t shop at the local K-Mart because it had business ties to the liquor store next door.
This was in the pre-SuperWalmart days when some fundies still wouldn’t buy gas at a station that sold beer or go to any restaurant that did either. Those “standards” have largely gone away as times have changed.
In addition, many (if not most) Fundamental churches adhere to the unbiblical tithing practice, specifically ‘storehouse tithing’ where 10% of your gross income absolutely better be in the church’s collection plate next Sunday. On top of that, many churches also practice ‘faith promise’ missions giving which is ‘above and beyond’ the tithe. So when it comes to giving to a charity or ministry outside the local church there ain’t nothing left to give!
“mean, give the homeless man a Gospel tract, invite him to evangelistic meetings, and move on. . .”
I’ve had a number of discussions about Fundamentalism versus Catholicism along these lines lately. The fundy way of thinking seems to be that conversion will cure all ills, and so missionaries and average fundy churchgoers put massive effort into distributing literature and trying to get people to attend services. (I know there are exceptions; I’m talking about the broadest underlying mentality possible.) Catholics and a lot of other denominations (including a lot of Methodists I know), on the other hand, do practical work to cure social ills and by their example of charity and sacrifice make people desire Christianity without preaching a sermon. And it’s the fundies who talk incessantly about “walking the walk.”
Maybe I’m over generalizing but I think for a long time Fundamentalists were enamored with numbers (see how many souls we can win this week and then send the tallies to the Sword of the Lord) instead of truly ministering to people. Soup kitchens and pregnancy centers sort of evoked ‘compromise’ and there’s nothing worse in Fundamental circles than to be called a compromiser. A church took great pride in how many foreign missionaries it supported all the while neglecting the needs in its own back yard. However, I do believe that’s starting to change (from what I’ve seen), as more and more Fundamental churches are starting to minister locally, not only with the Gospel, but also with meeting physical needs.
I’m a ex-fundy with 45 years on the inside.
The logic I have heard over the years sums up as “You can show love through money, but the greatest love is to share Christ. If your money is limited, give the Gospel. If you have money, give to organizations that give the Gospel. Just as God uses the clouds bring the rain, God uses the un-Godly to give money to the poor. The purpose of the Godly is to give the Gospel to all. Stay focused on the Gospel.”
I’m really going to get into hot water among Fundamentalists (I’m always in hot water-only the temperature varies) for quoting a CATHOLIC! St. Francis of Assissi once said “Preach the Gospel at all times, and only use words when necessary”
I know of one fundy college that stopped allowing their students to help in a nearby rescue mission due to the rescue mission accepting help from “neo-evangelical” organizations. And this was within the last few years.
Not that I’m doubting you, but do you have proof of this, “If only men’s hats would make a comeback, we’d be sure to see revival in this land.”?
Prior to 1963 (when prayer stopped in public schools!) people wore hats. After that they quit wearing them.
Do you really need more proof than that? 😉
Great conversation about Fundamentalists and helping the poor. 20 years ago I began helping an inner-city fundy church plant and basically learned what not to do in ministry. We were getting lots of men saying the sinners prayer who were falling in and out of homelessness, but their lives weren’t changing. So my roomate and I started to take homeless men into our house and disciple them in a holistic way (Bible studies, employment assistance, financial budgeting, etc….) which eventually led to the development of a homeless shelter. When the church that I grew up in got wind of this, I immediately got labeled with the Scarlet SG standing for Social Gospel. I was classified as a Neo-Evangelical that had gone the way of compromise. It was interesting that out of the 21 men that benefited from the homeless shelter during my two years as its supervisor, eleven graduated into self-sufficiency with full-time employment and secure housing. Several men trusted Christ for their salvation and to this day, continue to serve Christ in their church. In comparison, when I was doing street evangelism, several made dramatic professions to Christ, but every single one of them fell away because their Ã¢â‚¬Å“conversionÃ¢â‚¬Â wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the real thing.
I am still involved doing urban ministry although now our organization reaches out to high-risk inner-city teens and young adults. Here is our website. http://www.utmgr.org/
I’ve often wondered, shouldn’t those who believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Scriptures be most passionate about obeying what the Bible says about helping the poor, the widow, the orphan, etc….?
I guess its alot easier to be passionate about the King James Version……….
i know personally of fundies who will not get involved with crisis pregnancy centers because of the Catholic thing. Nor will they stand next to Catholics at abortion protests. I have heard one say that the only reason that Catholics are pro-life is because they want to breed more Catholic babies so that they can grow up to be Catholic tithers and fill the Vatican treasuries with more wealth. (this was not said in private conversation- it was said from the pulpit)
not that i’m an example. my heart still hardens at the sight of somebody begging, Lord, have mercy. i should see Jesus in them. but enough about me.
great post as always!
I really like this blog; it isn’t some atheist tirade on see-how-hypocritical-religious-people-are-religion-is-so-bad, but rather it gives an honest look on things that we would do well to work on. I am personally shocked at the notion of refusing to work alongside Catholics in preventing abortions–if someone needed CPR and only you and a Catholic were around to give it to him, wouldn’t you let the Catholic help you save a human life (2-person CPR works better) instead of thinking, “He only wants to make this person Catholic too!”? While I do not agree with every aspect of Catholic theology, I have met plenty of God-fearing Catholics who trusted Jesus above all and who I am convinced are saved and on their way to heaven. And I have met fellow Baptists who I worry may not have their priorities in order. All that said, doesn’t it bother the fundies that they are refusing to help save the life of a baby who has not yet accepted salvation?
According to fundamentalist theology, aborted babies go immediately to heaven so salvation isn’t really an issue with them.
But the Bible doesn’t say that. Anywhere. One can hope that that is what God meant when He said He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, but we really don’t know.
Jesus healed hundreds maybe thousands of people. He didn’t ask them to prove they were willing to follow him before he healed them. I think very few people who were healed actually followed him right to the end (cf. The Ten Lepers) Jesus helped and healed people anyway. We should do the same.