I am not entirely sure where I am going with this. I ran across a couple of posts recently that were talking about evangelicals. I am not sure where they are any more but as I recall they were rather negative. One in particular, presumably from a non-believer was decrying the fact that as they saw it, evangelicalism somehow decimated the wonderful liberal churches that were feeding the poor and curing the sick and I forget what else. According to the post, we are not very christlike any more.
Now this surprised me first because their definition of being christlike, and I am not sure that term was actually used, seemed to have nothing whatever to do with sharing the gospel, which I thought was our top priority. In the second place, the assertion was made that we do not care for the poor. How surprising is that, when evangelicals have been running soup kitchens, food pantries, homeless centers and the like, for years? In my own church, we have a number of mission outreaches, including serving at the homeless center, collecting clothing for the same, homework kits for students in Title I schools, to providing antimalaria nets for countries in Africa. I’m curious as to why none of that seems to count as caring for the poor. But then since this is a denominational church, perhaps we are by definition, not considered evangelical by the author.
So it made me wonder what that author would define as giving. I’ve heard lots of sermons on giving over the years. Churches, after all, are supported by the giving of their members. We are supposed to give cheerfully, as we have been blessed by God, in proportion to our income or sometimes sacrificially. We are expected to give of our time and talents as well. In one verse I ran across, there was even a promise that we would be repaid more than we give, but in proportion to our generosity. That is kind of interesting to contemplate. I think our church as a whole is pretty generous. I wonder how much it would take to convince him that we do indeed care for others.
I suspect however, that no amount would ever be enough, because perhaps he was looking for support for government programs. That is really another issue entirely, especially in this era in which the bills are coming due for past spending and no matter how you slice it, it seems like the wrong people have to suffer. So I guess we will just keep on giving and wondering why people don’t understand. Perhaps it is because despite the accusations, we are giving in an anonymous manner. That is also biblical in that we are told to give in secret so as to be rewarded by God instead of men.