Many benevolent organizations make strong appeals for donations before the end of the year, obviously for I.R.S. purposes for donors. With tax returns in mind, plus the giving mode because of Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, Christians sometime freely give without keeping this verse in mind: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
The modern rendering of this verse has become, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify man through benevolent man-centered organizations!” The question before us is, “Do recipients of those charities thank the Heavenly Father for Christians who gave their time, money and work for them, or do recipients of those man-centered organizations thank man?”
What has happened due to the new rendering of this verse? In the past, society was well aware of good deeds done by the church. It was Christians who fed, clothed, and cared for the needy, who started hospitals and schools here and abroad, etc. and shared the Gospel. Christians were considered real assets to society even though not all society believed in Jesus. In obedience to Matthew 5:16, Christians let their light so shine before men so when men saw their good works they glorified the Father in heaven, were grateful for the Christians’ work, and multiple charity recipients came to the Lord.
Over the years, government and private secular service organizations have been developed. Gradually service of Christians has been siphoned from doing all deeds in the name of the Lord and for the glory of God to working in social service organizations (government and non-governmental) where sharing the Gospel is usually prohibited and man is glorified (humanism). In confirmation to what has been stated earlier, someone said “the existence of these non-Christian organizations is a criticism on the church for leaving a void when it comes to taking care of those in need. Of course the answer to this is, “The church, in disobedience to Matt. 5:16, was working but in non-Christian organizations, so it looked as if the church
left a void!” For another confirmation, poll these non-Christian organizations to find out how many Christians are members and/or gave their money and other resources. Plus, poll real Christian charity organizations to see if they lack funds or workers and if so, it is probably because their brothers and sisters in Christ gave their money and time to one or more secular charities which glorifies man.
There is an anti-Christian bias developing in our society through secular media as well as education. The general public is being led to believe the only things Christians do are “religious things” of no benefit to society. Christian supposedly even hurt society by working to stop or censor immoral activities that society approves. Some material in public schools’ gifted glasses actually teaches that Christians just do “religious things” while humanists are the real caring people!
Even root words in the terminology; “humanitarian aid” instead of “Christian aid” identifies who is glorified in the aid. Humanitarianism is defined in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary as “1 Theo. The tenet denying the divinity of Christ… 3 Regard for the interests of mankind.” The term “humanitarian Christian” is an oxymoron!
With the media attack, slated educational material and the public not being informed of Christian works that glorify God, is it any wonder the following thinking has developed? Lighthouse Trails Research stated that “Tony Jones in his book, The New Christians, … says that the typical Christian just doesn’t care about the world’s abuses, tragedies, and woes, and says that when disaster hits, all they care about is whether “victims had invited Jesus into their hearts” (p. 18). Using extreme examples over and over to prove his points, Jones will leave many unsuspecting readers with the notion that up until now Christians have done almost nothing good for this world…, Jones believes that the problems of the world are actually caused (at least in large part) by Christians. Jones neglects to admit that when disasters happen throughout the world, Christian-led organizations race to the scenes, often sooner than governmental agencies. While there have certainly been countless occurrences throughout history when those proclaiming to be Christian do fit Jones’ stereotype, he completely (and seemingly intentionally) leaves out the category of true Christianity that has been in existence since the beginning of the church two thousand years ago. … This of course, is resulting in a growing hostility and alienation towards biblical Christianity today.” (The media also often censors true Christian benevolence!)
Now, a word to Christians: “While the command is clear, Do good to all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith” Galatians 6:10, ask yourself who receives the glory when your resources (money and/or time) have been translated into good works. Give your money, influence and time to Godly organizations which freely give God the glory, where everything is done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and where the Gospel can be shared (Colossians 3:17). Also, check their finances for the percentage given to administration and the percentage given to services. They are required to give that info if asked.
Please consider starting a Christian organization in any area in which there is currently no Christian benevolent organization. If man wants to provide for man and glorify man, that is his business, but let Christians obey God and use their resources to glorify God!