The Godly Response to Haiti’s Earthquake (2010)
On January 12, 2010 an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 shook the island of Haiti near its capital of Port-au-Prince. The Haitian Interior Minister estimates the dead could number 200,000. In response, America’s government, churches, and pagans have donated money and goods to help the survivors recover from the great damage. We have not done so. Why have we not done so? We have plenty of funds. Can we defend our position? What is a Christian’s duty from the Bible in such situations?
Port-au-Prince Cathedral, or Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, a national treasure of this poorest of nations, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Port-au-Prince. The sight above should provide the same pleasure as in reading I Samuel 5:1-5.
The Godly Response to Haiti’s Earthquake (2010)
Preliminary Reading: Deut 7; Psalm 9; 46; 58; 66; 79; 107; 112; 135; 137; 147; Isaiah 58; Rev 18.
- We dare not intrude arrogantly or boldly into matters too high for us. Embrace humility (Ps 131:1).
- God’s secret will is His own, including Haiti; we limit ourselves to the revealed things (Deut 29:29).
- It is our wisdom to examine His works, including desolations, in the earth (Ps 46:6-11; 107:33-43).
- Let us rejoice and praise our glorious God for His terrible works against the rebellious (Ps 66:1-7).
- Last Sunday, two days before the earthquake, of which we had no possible idea, we repeatedly used Psalm 9:16-17 as an explanation of our study of Romans 1:24-28, both of which apply perfectly to that nation of devil-worshippers, who changed the truth of God into a lie and also embrace sodomy.
Christians start with faith in God and His scriptures.
- We start with a sovereign God with eternal power and Godhead (Romans 1:19-20; Psalm 19:1-6), Who has clearly revealed Himself to all men, so that they are without excuse for their rebellion.
- We then move to Scripture as the final and perfect authority (Ps 119:128; Is 8:20; II Tim 3:15-16), which declares clearly the character of God and His past, present, and future actions against men.
- There is not an event in nature or by man that is not planned, directed, and restrained by God for His glory and pleasure and the profit of His people (Job 37:12-13; Pr 16:4; Amos 3:6; Rev 4:11)!
- We go to the Bible to determine our practice; we do not take our or anyone else’s practice to the Bible for support; we are not touched by Hollywood actresses calling for money for judged pagans.
- What the world calls a terrible disaster, we call an act of God for infinite reasons known to Him; we do not try to undo His work; we do not wail and complain because of it; we praise His greatness.
- It is hard to think, speak, and act on Bible authority alone when pagans and Christians ridicule us, but they ridiculed Noah before the Flood, Moses before the Exodus, and Jeremiah before desolation.
- If there was ever a subject to separate you from pagans and carnal Christians alike, this is it. Beware!
- God has placed no obligation on you to declare the following facts to ignorant and rebellious pagans.
- There is so much Bible on this subject that it is hard to know what to include and what to exclude, since the entirety of the Bible is the declaration of God’s sovereign power of any and all men.
- When was the last time you heard Jimmy Dobson, Benny Hinn, or Ricky Warren on Psalm 137:8-9?
- There is a famine for God’s word in our nation, just like in Israel before destruction (Amos 8:11-14).
God is king over all and is grinding the wicked under divine justice.
- We believe the Bible record of the Flood, Babel, Egypt, Canaan, Babylon, and Jerusalem among other desolations, and we believe they rightly reflect God’s dealings with men (Ps 9:16-17; 46:6-10).
- He dashes rebellious nations in pieces and derisively laughs and mocks their calamities, in which He shows His perfect holiness, justice, and defense of righteousness (Ps 2:1-12; 59:5-8; Prov 1:20-32).
- God has holy anger and hatred for the wicked every day, which is ignored today (Ps 5:5; 7:11; 11:5).
- He makes differences among nations we should recognize and appreciate (Mal 1:1-5; Isaiah 63:19).
- He makes a difference among men far worse than directing mere earthquakes (Rom 9:14-18,21-23).
- He Himself makes distinct differences in reception and understanding of the gospel (Matt 13:10-17).
- Read the severity of His judgment on Roman Catholics without Haiti’s voodoo (II Thess 2:9-12).
- Can you grasp the description of His judgment on ancient Jerusalem (Matt 24:15-22; Luk 19:41-44)?
- What attitude do the Christian martyrs have in heaven under God’s altar? Read it (Rev 6:9-11)!
- If there is evil, you know God has done it by directing permission (Amos 3:6; Isaiah 45:7; Job 2:10).
Christians are not part of this world; they are strangers and pilgrims.
- God has chosen us out of this world to be His children, and we are dead to the world and its ideas and its people; neither do they know us (John 15:19; I John 3:1; 4:4-6; I Cor 2:15; Gal 6:14).
- We are citizens of a holy nation very separate from America or Haiti (I Pet 2:9-12; Heb 12:22-24), and while we have general duties toward all men, we have special duties toward it (Gal 6:10).
- America, though having some benefits for Christians, is not second cousin to Bible Christianity.
- Haiti has no value for Christians, for it has given itself over greedily to fleshly lusts and witchcraft.
- There are children of God and children of the devil and no persons in between, and we should conduct ourselves according to this truth (John 8:44; 10:26-27; 15:19; 16:2; I Cor 2:15; I John 3:1).
- Never forget that the righteous and the wicked are perpetual enemies (Pro 29:10,27; I John 3:11-13).
- The unity that the world feels because they are all human is a totally foreign concept to us, for our unity is by the blood of Jesus Christ in adopting us into the family of God, and they are not part of it.
- If you are like the sweet psalmist of Israel, then you hate those who hate God (Ps 139:21-22), and you know better than helping those who are God’s enemies, even among Christians (II Chr 19:1-2).
- We are of God and of the truth, contrary to the world, and we should prove it (I John 4:4-6; 5:19).
The devil and world work with our flesh to steal peace, joy, and praise.
- The three conspiring entities do not want you trusting a sovereign God and rejoicing in Him alone.
- The three conspirators defile your conscience to turn your freedom and service to God into bondage and a defiled religion without victorious praise and thanksgiving (Rom 14:20-23; Titus 1:15)!
- But you can give thanks and rejoice at God’s lovingkindness and discriminating mercy in choosing to bless you and not others, who are justly punished for their wickedness (Ps 107:33-43; etc., etc.).
- If you watch enough of the news media regarding this event, you will feel guilty for not grieving and writing the most generous check that your financial situation can afford … or not afford!
- If you listen to these tree huggers speak for the devil, it will corrupt good manners (I Cor 15:33).
- Give no place to the devil by listening to the world beg for help against God’s work of judgment in reducing a worthless and dysfunctional nation to a more fitting level of anarchy and destruction.
- Why did Moses or God not stop Miriam from dancing and singing about waterlogged Egyptians?
- Why did God want the Philistine’s hemorrhoids remembers for a perpetual reproach (Ps 78:65-66)?
- Why did God not stop the martyrs from begging for vengeance on their tormentors (Rev 6:9-11)?
The world is filled with public do-gooders that are murderous hypocrites.
- They will rush to the aid of devil-worshipping, mooching sluggards and anarchists, but publicly skewer minister Pat Robertson for having an opinion that the Creator God might be involved.
- Why are the most vocal and public proponents of helping Haiti the abortionists, sodomites, anarchists, and seditious? This should tell you about the degree of real love and faith they have in the matter, as they wipe the blood of innocent children from their hands to feed lazy Haitian sodomites.
- Since when are children more important or the emphasis or focus (not so in the Bible), especially to abortionists who celebrate the use of suction wands to dismember 115,000 children a day!
- These public givers donate tokens that do not even amount to 1% of their abundance (Luke 12:1-4).
- These front-page, hypocritical givers are an abomination to the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:26; 16:15).
- If you think they have a good bone in their bodies, determine what they do about Pat Robertson, abortion clinics, persecuted Baptists in other countries, creation or prayer in schools, etc.
- They have no more sincere and spiritual care for the poor than did Judas before them (John 12:3-8).
- Why do they pretend? They are zealous humanists, God-haters, self-righteous, with a Babel goal.
- Why do Christians join the wicked? Ignorance, missionary goals, self-righteousness, distracted, etc.
- They yap about WWJD, without any knowledge of Him whatsoever. Look and see WJDD (did do)!
Christians know more about love and charity than any others.
- Since the Christian religion is based on God’s gift of His Son, they emulate that love (I John 4:7-13).
- Their entire religion is summarized by two commandments – love of God and love of neighbor.
- Charity is the greatest grace and the more excellent way of service (I Cor 12:31; 13:1-13; Col 3:14).
- An important proof of eternal life is giving to others (Matt 25:31-46; Luke 14:12-14; I Tim 6:17-19).
- Pure Christianity is taking care of those unable to care for themselves (Isaiah 58:6-7; James 1:27).
- They know selfishness and hatred are depraved instincts of the natural man (Rom 3:9-19; Titus 3:3).
- Qualified widows in a true church are to be fully supported by the church (Acts 6:1-6; I Tim 5:3-16).
- It is a mark of Christian wisdom to consider and generously care for the poor (Psalm 41:1-2; 112:9; Proverbs 11:24-25; 14:21,31; 19:17; 28:27; Eccl 11:1-2; Acts 20:35; Galatians 2:10; I John 3:16-18).
- Since the Christian religion is based on God’s gift of His Son, they emulate that love (I John 4:7-13).
- But God’s love is discriminatory in both eternal and carnal blessings (Mal 1:1-5; Ps 139:21-22).
- God has chosen for His people to rule over the heritage of the heathen (Deut 28:12-13; Ps 111:6).
- Under the New Testament, we do not take this into our hands, but neither do we subsidize them.
- There is not a word in scripture to obligate saints to relieve His acts on pagans in far off places.
- Make sure you do not draw a line at helping in Haiti but fail to help those under your nose, or your judgment will be greater than those who are helping in Haiti but failing to do so in Biblical order.
An earthquake is an act of God.
- The LORD created the waters, seas, and oceans and gathered them together (Gen 1:1-10; Prov 8:29).
- He also controls their every movement (Genesis 9:8-17; Job 38:8-11; Ps 93:1-4; 104:5-9; Jer 5:22).
- He can send storms to do His will, and He can send calm (Psalm 48:7; Jonah 1:1-17; Matt 8:26-27).
- The holy God sends horrible events at times to accomplish His will (Job 2:9-10; Is 45:7; Amos 3:6).
- The LORD Jehovah of the Bible is righteous in all His ways and works (Deut 32:4; Ps 33:4; 145:17).
- He can use water to bring judgments (Gen 6:1-7; Ex 14:21-31; Job 37:6-13; Ps 107:23-43; 135:5-7).
Earthquakes are to punish wicked men for the glory of God.
- All men are wicked and deserve to die miserably (Gen 3:14-19; 6:1-7; Rom 6:23; Rev 20:11-15).
- The LORD has made all things for Himself and for His own pleasure (Prov 16:4; Revelation 4:11).
- There are no accidents or coincidences of nature – they are God’s acts of judgment (Luke 13:4-5).
- When a disaster is widespread, bringing God’s judgment, saints are to be relieved (Acts 11:27-30).
The nation affected is devil-worshipping followers of the man of sin.
- Haiti was known before and is still known now as a Roman Catholic nation obsessed with voodoo.
- The Bible, which reveals Jehovah’s will, gives warnings and examples of God’s wrath against them.
- II Thessalonians 2:9-12 shows God’s judgment against the followers of the Man of Sin (popes).
- He used His chosen people Israel to annihilate the nations of Canaan (Deut 7:1-11; Josh 10:40).
- He promised to turn nations that forget Him into hell (Psalm 9:15-20; 79:6; Is 13:1-22; 21:1-17).
- And the Lord Jesus Christ is no different, for He is Jehovah (Psalm 2:1-12; Rev 2:26-27; 19:15).
- A nation is only blessed to the degree that Jehovah and Jesus Christ are God (Psalm 33:12; 144:15).
- The religion of Jesus Christ is peaceful, but Jesus Christ is not (Matt 10:34-42; 21:44; I Cor 16:22)!
Pagan nations are without excuse before the LORD Jehovah.
- God created a testimony to His eternal power and Godhead that is understood by all (Psalm 19:1-6).
- They are without excuse for rejecting it, and their dark ignorance is by His judgment (Rom 1:19-21).
- The blessed God of heaven by showing some natural kindness gave witness of Himself (Acts 14:17).
God made the poor, and there shall always be poor.
- God made the rich and poor; it is His right (Deut 28:13; I Sam 2:7; Job 31:15; 34:19; Pr 16:4; 22:2).
- There will always be poor, and it is foolish to think they can be eliminated (Deut 15:11; Mark 14:7).
- Many nations, especially in Africa, and notably Hindu, Muslim, or Buddhist nations, are very poor.
- Roman Catholic nations, partially due to their incredible superstition, are generally very poor.
Christian financial charity is first to your own family.
- A man is bound first to provide financial support to the needy in his own family (I Tim 5:4,8,16).
- Parents owe help to their children, and children to their parents (Pr 13:22; Mat 15:4-6; II Cor 12:14).
- Since an inheritance is assumed from godly fathers, a priority must be made to save excess funds.
- The Lord Jesus even ruled that faith-promise offerings to God cannot relieve family obligations.
- The Lord Jesus Christ taught that it is not right to give your children’s bread to dogs (Mat 15:24-26).
- You may not have any money left over for outside charity after caring for the needy in your family.
Christian financial charity is second to poor saints in your church.
- Before you give to the poor in other churches, you owe it to your body (Rom 15:15; I Cor 12:25-27).
- Every member, and therefore every need, is in a church by God’s choice (Acts 2:47; I Cor 12:18).
- There should be an instinctive compassion for those in the same local body with you (Heb 13:3).
- The feasts of charity mentioned by Jude were for the saints in a given local church (Jude 1:12).
- The true churches of Christ provide full support for qualified widows (Acts 6:1-6; I Tim 5:3-16).
- It is a brother or sister short on food or clothes that should provoke charity (Jas 2:15-16; I Jn 3:17).
- The “one another” duties of the New Testament are predominantly for the members of your church.
Christian financial charity is third to poor saints in other churches.
- Remember when reading Old Testament passages that the church and the nation were the same, so any poor in the nation are one and the same with poor in the church, for they were in the church.
- A tithe taken every third year was to support and bless the poor “within thy gates” (Deut 14:28-29).
- The poor in the land of Israel were “thy brother,” “thy poor,” and “thy needy” (Deuteronomy 15:11).
- The Lord Jesus Christ will recognize charity done to His brethren on Judgment Day (Matt 25:40).
- When Paul brought alms to Jerusalem, he brought them to his nation, not other nations (Acts 24:17).
- We are to do good to all men, but especially to those who are in the kingdom of Christ (Gal 6:10).
- The true measure of Christian love is giving financially to our brethren, not pagans (I John 3:16-19).
- Christians are members of a secret society invisible to men – the kingdom of Jesus Christ (Luke 17:20-21; Rom 14:17; Gal 6:10; Eph 2:19; 3:15; I Pet 2:9-12; Heb 3:6; 12:22-24).
- As shown below, the apostolic object for fund raising were the poor saints in other churches.
Christian financial charity is fourth to victims God brings to you.
- A lawyer, which should not surprise you, limited the love of neighbor to friends (Luke 10:25-29).
- Men will attempt to justify themselves by limiting their neighbors to their friends and nation.
- The story of the Good Samaritan is Jesus Christ’s identification of your neighbor in God’s sight.
- But Jesus expanded it to anyone God brings across your ordinary business in life (Luke 10:30-37).
- The specific example is a Samaritan befriending a Jew, which were enemies (John 4:9; 8:48).
- Therefore, we conclude that charity is due a pagan that God places in need in your path.
- The Samaritans and Jews did not live together, so this is a neighbor in a broader sense.
- The Samaritan, in the ordinary course of business travel, chanced upon the wounded Jew.
- He chanced upon the wounded Jew; he was not looking for wounded Jews in a bad part of town.
- The Samaritan did not watch telethons to discover starving children in Ethiopia or Uganda.
- The man in this case was in need; he was not pretending a need to get free cigarettes or wine.
- The Samaritan did not subsidize the Jew; he only rescued him from his very specific need.
- The Samaritan did not give money for building a house, getting a car, or celebrating Christmas.
- Your neighbor, in order to fulfill the second commandment, is those God puts directly in your path.
- The nation affected by the earthquake is not a neighbor; it is a considerable distance from us.
- In most any other generation, you would not even have known about it for months or years.
- The world’s anti-God media brought the information to us and promoted the relief, though the same media ignores aborted babies, deprived ministers, suffering saints, and persecuted Baptists.
- The Good Samaritan did not inquire at the market about wounded travelers in Egypt and Arabia, of which there would have been many; he was not moved in conscience to give to U.N.I.C.E.F.
- The fact we can see them on television is no more obligatory than market info to the Samaritan.
- Job speaks of taking care of those poor within his sight or coming to him for help (Job 31:16-22).
Apostolic Christians raised money only for poor saints.
- The early church was the most charitable church ever … toward each other (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-37).
- Paul was committed to charitable giving by the churches, but it was always for poor saints of Jesus Christ: it is your duty to read and understand this Bible emphasis (Rom 12:13; 15:25-27; I Cor 16:1-3; II Cor 8:4; 9:1-2,12; Gal 2:9-10; Philemon 1:7; Heb 6:10; Jas 2:15-17; I John 3:17).
- There is not a single mention of the poor that were in every city; the churches sent their money abroad to poor saints, ignoring the orphanages and hospitals and jails and brothels in their own city.
- The bag carried by the apostles of our Lord had to have been for the poor saints in Israel, not starving children in Ethiopia, for He was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, which was the church of God under the Old Covenant (John 12:6; 13:29).
- Dorcas and Cornelius did almsdeeds to church widows and God’s nation (Acts 9:36-43; 10:2,22,31).
- The giving rewarded by God is charity to believers (Matt 10:40-42; 25:40; Mark 9:41; Heb 6:10).
The apostles responded to disasters by caring for poor saints.
- When God warned of a famine, the disciples sent money to their brethren in Christ (Acts 11:27-30).
- The famine was throughout all the world, but the disciples did not worry about starving pagans.
- Here is fundraising and charitable giving identified very clearly for our learning in such cases.
- Money was sourced in this passage from Syria to help saints in Judea, ignoring starving Syrians!
- Money was raised in this passage from Syria to help saints in Judea, ignoring unbelieving Jews!
- Jerusalem was 300 miles south of Antioch, which meant that a lot of opportunities were passed.
- Money was sourced in Greece for Jerusalem, ignoring the Greeks (Rom 15:25-28; I Cor 16:3).
- Money was sourced in Galatia for Jerusalem, ignoring the Galatians (I Cor 16:1-3; Gal 2:9-10).
- Obviously, there were poor orphans and widows at all times in these foreign cities and nations!
- Obviously, there were poor orphans and widows at all times in other foreign cities and nations!
- The saints of Jesus Christ are strangers and pilgrims in the earth: they are not moved for pagans.
- They seek first the kingdom of God, and therefore there is not much left for the kingdom of Satan!
- But they would be first in line to help a pagan orphan or widow God put in their ordinary path.
Under neither testament did God’s people give charity to pagans.
- Remembering that in Israel the church and state were the same, we can learn by studying Israel.
- Though ten plagues ravaged the nation (Ex 10:7), the people spoiled Egypt further (Ex 12:36).
- There is not a single precept in all the Law of Moses to send contributions to U.N.I.C.E.F.
- The Lord Jesus Christ, though speaking proverbially, denied bread to Gentile dogs (Matt 15:24-26).
- God told His people to take interest from pagans for loaning money to make money (Deut 28:12-13).
Charitable giving is not all that it seems to be.
- Jesus Christ was not impressed by proportionately small gifts: remember the widow (Luke 21:1-4); which shows that the large public donations out of a man’s wealth are pitiful in every respect.
- Americans viciously murder 1-1.5 million babies a year, yet they raise funds for pagan enemies.
- Genocide has been going on in nations since Cain killed Abel, but the relief givers do not care.
- Without faith, all human actions are corrupted and become sin (Pr 21:4; II Thess 3:1-2; Heb 11:6).
- When Hollywood and other anti-God elements of society foam about it, we should be extra careful: those parties never give charity to any worthy object like churches, saints, or ministers; they think it far more important to save spotted owls and baby seals than aborted babies or persecuted Baptists.
- The worldlings proudly broadcast their charitable giving, just as Jesus condemned (Matthew 6:1-4)?
Further observations about Christian charity for learning wisdom.
- Liberal to qualifying widows, Christianity has very strict qualifying rules, which shows that godly giving is very objective, rather than emotional, subjective, or universal (Acts 6:1-6; I Tim 5:3-16).
- If men will not work diligently and wisely, they should starve; wisdom does not subsidize folly, which shows that not everything that looks like a need qualifies for Christian charity (Prov 6:6-11; 16:26; 18:9; 19:15; 20:4; 30:25; Matt 25:8-9,24-29; Rom 12:11; I Thess 4:11-12; II Thess 3:6-12).
- Christian charity is to be overseen by God’s ministers to insure proper qualifying and equitable distribution (Acts 4:32-37; 6:1-6; 11:30; I Cor 16:1-3; II Cor 8:16-24; I Tim 5:3-16).
- Christian charity does not try to artificially create equality in income or net worth, as under Communism, for the rich are allowed to remain rich (Job 1:1-3; 42:10-12; I Tim 6:17-19).
- Bible charity requires an act of God that renders a person unable to obtain food, clothing, shelter, or life-threatening medical treatment: it does not provide for human foolishness or a shortage of desired things (Job 31:19; Isaiah 58:7; Ezek 18:7; Luke 10:25-37; Acts 11:27-30; Jas 1:27; 2:15-16).
- Bible charity is limited to food, clothing, shelter, or life-threatening medical treatment – not luxury, pleasure, support, etc.
- Bible charity is limited to the truly needy e.g. widows, orphans, an act of God – not the slothful, foolish, or extravagant.
- Giving to the poor was not the most important thing for Jesus – His anointing cost many children many meals, but He blessed and recorded the priority of honoring Him (Mark 14:3-8)!
- The age of those in need, or extra sentimentality for children, is not found anywhere in the Bible, for sin and its judgment includes the youngest (Gen 6:6-7; Exodus 12:29; Num 16:27; 31:17; Deut 2:34; Josh 7:24; II Sam 12:13-14; Psalm 137:9; Ezek 9:5-6).
- To have a pure heart before God applying the guidelines of this study, you had better be generous and liberal with your opportunities to give legitimate charity (Prov 11:24-25; Luke 6:38; II Cor 8:6).
- We go to the Bible to determine our practice; we do not take our practice to the Bible for support.
- If you were to search the Internet enough, you could find a “disaster” daily … or hourly … or more!
- Charitable giving without the daily actions of charity has no profit whatsoever (I Cor 13:3).
What should our attitude be?
- It should be the same attitude that we have when reading about Pharaoh in the Red Sea (Ex 14:17-18,23-28), Dagon on the floor (I Sam 5:1-5).
- We cannot be like the Pharisee and glory in our own righteousness above others (Luke 18:9-14), yet when we confess God’s grace in our lives, we may also declare our zeal (I Cor 15:10; II Kgs 10:16).
- We must thank God always for His eternal choice to save us from the world (II Thessalonians 2:13).
- We do not try to pinpoint causative sin in others, when we should repent (Luke 13:1-5; 6:41-42).
- Praise the Lord for His goodness, even when that goodness is judgment or salvation (Psalm 107).
- The verses against gloating at personal enemies falling do not apply to God’s enemies (Pr 24:17-18).
- We cannot glory in anything we are or have without acknowledging God’s gifts to us (I Cor 4:7).
- It is not wrong for us to admit what all men know about the character of the Haitians (Titus 1:14).
- It is not wrong for us to acknowledge their profane combination of Roman Catholicism and voodoo.
- We must be thankful that we are the children of God chosen out of this world (I John 3:1; Jn 15:19).
- There should be joy in seeing God judge His enemies, without personal glee (Ps 66:1-7).
- To what do we ascribe His distinguishing judgments – it seemed good in His sight (Matt 11:25-27).
Answers to legitimate questions and objections to the Bible position
- What about Galatians 6:10? It mentions doing good to “all men,” even though the priority is on the household of faith. If you were to send even 1 cent to every poor person in the world, your net worth could not sustain it. This verse must be understood in light of priority #4 mentioned above, which we can also see in the Holy Spirit’s use of “opportunity.” He did not loosely say, “Do good to all men.”
- What about Acts 9:41? It mentions “saints and widows,” indicating two distinct groups – believers and pagan widows. There is no reason these must be two distinct groups: Luke chose to emphasize the appreciative widows by singling them out. Apostles are elders (I Pet 5:1), but we read repeatedly of “apostles and elders,” where apostles were singled out for emphasis (Acts 15:2,4,6,22-23; 16:4).
- What about II Corinthians 9:13? It mentions Jewish thanksgiving for Corinthian giving to them and “unto all men.” The all men need to be no broader than believers other than the saints in Jerusalem. There would not have been any money left for the Jews, if the Corinthians had given to all men. There is some obvious limitation. Since the New Testament is silent on pagan giving, so are we. Why would Jewish saints have glorified God for Corinthian giving to their enemies – the Romans?
- What about Acts 10:2,4? Cornelius was not yet a believer, so it is highly unlikely he limited his almsgiving to believers, yet his giving was accepted by God. If Cornelius had ignorantly given alms out of faith in God to pagan orphans and widows, the Lord would have accepted them. But he did not: his almsgiving was to the poor of the people of God – the Jewish nation (Acts 10:22).
- Would we take aid from the U.N? Of course! Why not? The pagans of this world are our nursing father and nursing mothers. We would use them like David did in Gath and Paul suggested to the Corinthians (I Cor 10:27). See Isaiah 49:23 and https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2005/god-bless-the-irs/.
- Why did Jesus weep over Jerusalem and its children (Luke 19:41-44)? The Man Christ Jesus had all the compassionate aspects of human nature and the divine benevolence of the merciful God (Matt 5:45; Acts 14:17), yet He did not stop the vengeance that was coming. There is every reason to believe that elect children of God died in Jerusalem’s judgment as in the wilderness (Luke 11:52).
- What about the pressure to give to United Way? If you must give, do so and understand that you are simply keeping them off your back. If you have a sympathetic boss, maybe you can explain or show him your tax return to prove that you give 10 times more than others in the department (to the Lord).
- Where does charitable giving come from, my tithe? No, your tithe is to the Lord directly. Your charitable giving to the poor should be above and beyond that. In Israel, there was a tithe for the priests, a tithe for annual celebrations in worship, and a triennial tithe for the poor.
Conclusion for Christians following the Bible:
- God set our priorities for charity: (1) family, (2) church, (3) saints, and (4) providential neighbors; and these priorities ought to be protected and provided for before any giving to other objects.
- Christians should have discriminating eyesight toward poverty and trouble – seeing 20/20 for their family, 20/40 for their church, 20/60 for other saints, 20/80 for persons in need God puts in your path of ordinary business, and 20/200 (legally blind) for all other natural needs throughout the earth.
- It is not sin to send money to a relief fund, if you have covered God’s priorities for charitable giving; but have you wisely considered the overhead, integrity, and distribution objectives of the fund?
- It is not sin to not send money to a relief fund, if you are cheerful and generous with God’s priorities.
- If you have covered God’s priorities and are ready to help in the future, tsunami relief is a liberty.
- God did not set any obligation for pagans on the other side of the earth that are His avowed enemies.
- If we knew true Christians that were harmed by the tsunami, they would be part of priority #3 above.
- We should be ready to help anyone God providentially brings in our path, especially orphans or widows, but even enemies also (Luke 10:25-37; Rom 12:17-21; Gal 6:10; James 1:27).
For Further Study: