Should Christians support only Christian charities?

I recently heard an interesting statement from a pastor regarding charitable giving. He explained that he only supported explicitly Christian ministries and charities with his charitable giving—no public radio, no Red Cross, and presumably no Girl Scout cookies.

He explained that there wasn’t anything wrong or immoral about those non-Christian organizations and charities. But he felt that the Great Commission obligated him to put his finite funds toward organizations that actively furthered the spread of the Gospel. Other charities might do valuable work, but they were a lower priority than evangelistic organizations. (And since there’s never going to be a shortage of evangelism needs or Christian organizations in need of help, that essentially means never supporting a non-Christian charity at all.)

This was a personal decision for him, and he didn’t try to argue that it was a rule for all Christians. But he clearly felt that this was a natural implication of the Great Commission in the modern world.

What do you think about that? Do you give higher (or sole) priority in your giving to evangelistic ministries?

4 Responses to “Should Christians support only Christian charities?”

  • Bret Golson says:

    As strangers and aliens in a strange land (a people who’s primary citizenship is heavenly and not earthly) Christians must necessarily keep a vigilant eye on the eternal.

    The Good News can sound hollow if unaccompanied by works of service, but works of service are powerless to effect change without the Gospel. For example: The Gospel has no feet when preached to a starving man from a plump missionary. At the same time, food given to a starving man will save his life for a day, but without the Gospel he is eternally condemned. It would be better to tell a community about The Living Water while digging a well or explaining about the Bread of Life handing over a bag of grain.

    As for our finances, everything we own belongs to God and we are merely stewards. (we tithe 10%, but he owns the rest, too). Therefore, everything that we do with God’s money should be, necesarily God honoring. There is no explicit Biblical teaching on charitable giving, and so this has limitations, of course. Jesus taught that we are to give the government their share… and the government definitely does things that are not God honoring.

    So there is no hard and fast rule, but as beleivers, we must view the world differently. Our priorities are supposed to be changed by the Holy Spirit and affected by our primary purpose on this earth, and that purpose is to go into all the world and share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. (For instance, buy the Girl Scout Cookies, but as you do, witness to the Girl Scouts… or use the cookies at a function where you share Christ with friends)… it really goes back to beleivers keeping an ALWAYS vigilant eye towards evangelism.

    “so we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Corinthians 4:18

  • TinuPatel says:

    I agree with Bret. The gospel must be spread first then the food. If you buy girl scout cookies you are supporting activities to run the earth. I believe as believers we should only involve our selves very limited with a so-called outside function in which we participate that we feel is going to be receptive to have Gods word. This of course is not going to be easy as I myself sometimes feel guilty if I did not give to the red cross or other well known charities. But at the same time the red-cross is not in the business to do God’s work.

    So in conclusion: a christian based charity too me is sounds like the ones we should support. Let the non-beleivers worry about the red cross and others. Our voice should not be weaked at the expense of their voice.

  • livonda williams says:

    I’m so happy this is here i am in a betwixt to with this right now an i agree. The bible states colossians 3 17 whatever u do in word or deed do it all in the name of the lord.

  • Yolanda says:

    There was a discussion in our bible study class on giving to the needy. One grp says the church should give each and everytime a church member or stranger comes to the church door requesting help. Another discussion was that although God says to help the needy you have to evaluate each situation and have a benevalence committee decide. What are your thought on this issue?