Charity is a social event which benefits the society and people. Groups or individuals aid those in need and support them with a selfless heart.
Jesus, recorded in the Bible, had great mercy and sympathy for poor people. During his three-year public ministry on the earth, he kept doing good to others when preaching the gospel.
In China, Christians are often encouraged to preach the gospel and conduct the great mission. However, they rarely mentioned charity. Many Christians don't have a clear understanding of charity. They think following the example of Jesus and helping people in need with the love of Christianity is also charity.
Such thought is right. However, both Christians and non-Christians should pay attention to methods when doing charity. How should Christians do charity? Christ Times has invited several Christians who are devoted to charity to talk about their opinions.
1.Handle the relationship between personal faith and social public
Brother Ren from Yunnan Province thought that Christians need to balance personal faith and the social public before doing charity.
"Anyone in the society can be our neighbor including non-Christians. As a Christian, we should have equal love for everyone. We can't choose whom to love by ourselves." Therefore, Christians' love for the public is a kind of expression of their faith.
However, loving the public is different from making comprises to the evilness. Improving the conditions of prison doesn't mean encouraging criminals to continue committing crimes. We Christians love people because we want them to be saved by God. Love is both the expression of our faith and our driving force of doing charity.
"Meanwhile, there should be no bias when loving our neighbors. A neighbor can be anyone that we encounter in the society. It is our mission to love them because God told us so." Brother Ren said.
"Therefore, we shouldn't discriminate or favor anyone when helping others. We should follow the example of those good Samaritan in the Bible. We don't need to ask where our neighbors are. We just need to meet them with love."
Some Christians may only focus on charity instead of personal life. Such preference of charity is not right because they may lose the significance of testimony and deviate from their faith.
Brothers Ren argued that the church should act like normal social organizations. In terms of charity, the church has no difference with other charitable organizations.
Jesus does not require a Christian to ignore normal sense. Christians should abide by social norms and industry standards.
When it comes to how Christians balance the personal identity and charity, Brother Ren said that faith is not directly related to charity. Whether Christians or non-Christians need to follow the same specifications of charity events.
Every Christian has his own social identity just like non-Christians. "It makes sense when Christians integrate their belief with their social identity." Brother Ren summarized.
2. When Christians do charity, they don't have to donate money. We can offer many kinds of help.
Pastor Si, a member of a Christian group from Hangzhou named "Heart to Heart Fellowship," believes that Christians could help those in need by worshipping for them and giving them confidence.
Pastor Si mentioned that he copies the contents of the Bible with Chinese brush writing every day and gives these works to others. He said that we can also do charity in daily life.
"What matters most is that we follow the righteousness and kindness of Jesus. The scale of charity events is not so important. "
Pastor Si thought that Christians are also part of our society. So we should also bear the social responsibility. However, the ability of Christians is limited. When doing charity, we must rely on God's wisdom and think of our own situation.
He also mentioned that some people who seek donation just want to get others' compassion and solve their own problems easily. They may live a comfortable life. However, when they meet with difficulties, they always seek help from others instead of selling their own properties.
"A brother in my church had cancer. He owns a house. His brothers and sisters are also rich. However, he has kept asking money from others for many years and he still remains his house."
"I encouraged him to sell the house since he might be looked down upon by others." The brother followed his advice and successfully wiped out the economic pressure.
"After we know about the economic condition of his family, we will help him according to our own strength."
Pastor Si thought that when people meet with difficulty, they should trust God before seeking help from God. God will motivate all kinds of resources to help them.
3. Charity is based on the essence and foundation of Christianity. The goal of charity is altruism rather than self-interest
Daniel Bian, the founder of Shanghai Love and Caring Charity Fund, argues that when doing charity Christians should know their purpose. If they do charity for solving their own problems, it is understandable. However, if a charity organization wants to affect the society, the members of the organization must devote themselves to the society and think of others instead of themselves.
When it comes to the original intention of the charity fund, he said, "I am also a cancer patient. I pay for my own treatment. The money and help should be devoted to those in need most. "
He noted that he didn't make an acquaintance of anyone who receives help from the fund before. However, he still pays all his time, energy, and resources.
"Charity should be based on the essence of Christianity. Charity is altruism rather than self-interest. If the spirit of charity goes against the willingness of Jesus, such kind of charity shouldn't be encouraged."
In addition, he says that Christians have the obligation to affect the people around with their altruistic values. Nowadays people only seek their own interests. Christianity should be the backbone of charity in our society.
In terms of fundraising, Daniel thinks it is natural that people would seek for help and love faced with difficulties. However, we can't force anyone to provide help. It is not their obligation.
"Our faith is the reason why we help others, not the tool to make others help us."
"We are chosen to be His disciples as light and salt. Helping others is our mission. Christians should be more willing to devote to others and even sacrifice their life for people in need." Daniel adds.
Translated By: Emma Ma