Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Human Needs Ministries

In my recent post on "Biblical Limits to Government," one part of the quote from David A. Noebel read as follows:

The church, as the institution of grace, should preach the gospel and be the chief vehicle of charitable aid to the needy.

Critics of Evangelicalism often criticize evangelicals for focusing on gospel proclamation to the exclusion of helping with people's physical needs. Evangelicals committed to the gospel and in agreement with Noebel's statement above concerning the two-fold role of the church cannot afford to ignore such criticism, nor can we afford to de-emphasize the gospel in an attempt to help with the physical needs of those who have been driven to poverty through death of a provider (i.e., orphans and widows), disease, famine, or oppression.

What we must do is utilize our resources in such a way as to glorify Christ through proclaiming who He is and what He has done, while following His example in serving others- particularly the needy.

One major way that Christians in an relatively affluent nation such as the United States must provide charitable aid is through financial donations. When considering options on donating to a charity, the wise Christian will consider who will distribute the money and resources given- will donations be directly distributed by missionaries, or will they be given to local government agencies that may hoard the donations, depriving the truly needy? The wise Christian will consider how donations are utilized within the charitable organization- are overhead costs for things such as advertisement for the organization higher than they should be? The wise Christian will care for the eternal welfare of the needy and consider how the good news of Jesus will be proclaimed to the indigent while they are being given food and clothing.

Thinking on the issues outlined above, Abby and I have decided that some of our money set aside for charitable giving will be donated to the Human Needs Ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board. [Learn more about the Human Needs Ministries of the IMB HERE.] I urge every Christian reading this now to think carefully through the issues raised in this post and to prayerfully consider how you might help the church (in terms of individual congregations as well as associations and conventions of churches pooling their resources) to re-assume her rightful position as "the chief vehicle of charitable aid to the needy" for the good of others and for the glory of God.

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