[Viewpoint] Is Charity Merely a Method of Evangelizing?

A charity banquet raised by Shanghai Christians was held on Dec. 1, 2015
A charity banquet raised by Shanghai Christians was held on Dec. 1, 2015 (photo: ChristianTimes.cn)
By Ruth WangMay 22nd, 2017

With the development of social needs and policies, more and more religious organizations and people are becoming involved in Chinese charity.

"It seems that charity isn't relevant to the training of disciples. However, if you really want to do effective charity and achieve long-term development, the key is to update the concept of discipleship training." Brother G, who has been training Christians to get involved in charity for the past 10 years, said.

"Charity is not just giving out love. It is not just providing some kindness to make yourself satisfied. Charity is a long-term event which requires perseverance. Even if you can't see direct effects of charity, you should still insist on doing charity."

The role of Chinese government tends to be more like a mentor. Many charity organizations have emerged. Many Christians and churches are also involved. However, people are easy to become utilitarian when doing charity.

What's worse, people may be impatient to see significant effects of charity in a short period of time. If we do the charity in order to make people believe in God, the job of charity will be hard to conduct in the long term.

In the eyes of Brother G, Christians need the spirit of disciples when doing charity. "The most important mission given by God is the training of disciples. We should make people believe and follow Jesus from the bottom of their hearts." He said.

"However, sometimes we have taken this method as the target. For example, to study Bible and pray is the channel for us to enjoy the grace of God and develop a relationship with God. Many of us just read certain pages of the Bible every day. It is quantizing faith."

Brother G stressed that the church has been devoted to developing Christians as disciples for several generations. However, each generation has their own peculiarities. Looking at the current age, the church needs to participate more in charity. We can make adjustments in the following areas.

First, the church should have a comprehensive vision instead of caring about the church only. Second, Christians should step out of the church and get to know their neighbors. In fact, Jesus always asks us to love people around us instead of caring about things far away.

Brother G thinks that the activities of family church were generally limited inside the church due to various reasons. Our service of society is far from enough. Loving neighbors seems to be no longer essential anymore.

He cited one example.

On the National Day of Malaysia, some Christians intended to celebrate in the way of sermons, which is limited in Malaysia. However, a church leader questioned: "If you clean the community for your neighbors, will you be banned by law?"

Brother G often heard complaints from neighbors in the same community of the church. They said that the church seriously disturbed the order of the community. When the church moved away, neighbors felt relieved and said they wouldn't be disturbed anymore.

"The church is made up by people. If our neighbors around us are happy about the departure of the church, where is our social influence?

Brother G believes that the reason why Christians do community service and charity is to conduct the training of disciples instead of only making people believe in God. "Charity is only a channel to show the glory of God in all of us. Our goal is to glorify God." 

Translated by Emma Ma

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