Charities that Aren’t Charitable

By johninnc

Matthew 6:21: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

I saw an article today at RNS entitled “Ministries and money: Christian charities that use your money wisely.”

According to this article, almost a third of the $373 billion given to charity by Americans last year went to religious organizations.

There was a quote by Rusty Leonard, founder and CEO of MinistryWatch, with which I agree: Donors should recognize they have a serious responsibility to give as wisely as they can, as it is not their money they are giving but the Lord’s.

RNS evaluated a number of nonprofit Christian ministries to determine:

  • What percentage of their budgets the ministries spend on their core ministry programs.
  • How transparent the ministries are in sharing their financial information.
  • How charity watchdog agencies rate various ministries.

While the first two of these criteria are important, they are missing a much more critical question:

Do the so-called Christian charities promote and defend the gospel of Jesus Christ?

The purpose of this article is not to vet specific charities or ministries for our readers. Rather, it is to advocate the primary responsibility of Christians to advance the gospel message.

To that end, I would encourage our readers to be diligent in knowing whether the Christian charities and ministries to which they are considering giving are clear on the gospel. It may tug at our heartstrings to help  people in need, but if the “help” we are sending them includes false gospel messages, are we really doing them a service?

Please be aware that some of the larger, more prominent charities are run by people who teach false gospels such as Calvinism, Lordship “salvation,” social justice, and Arminianism.

Following are some thoughts from Clear Gospel:

  • We believe it is the duty of every Christian to make diligent inquiry into the doctrine of a church or ministry, particularly with respect to the doctrine of soteriology, before financially supporting it.
  • We believe that those Christians who tithe or support doctrinally aberrant ministries are partakers of the evil deeds of those teachers and “evangelists” (2nd John vs. 11).
  • We believe that the eternal rewards that God gives for sacrificial tithing (Matthew 6:1-4, 6:19-20) will be diminished or lost when those tithes and offerings supported ministers or ministries that are not straight with the gospel (2nd John vs. 8).

If your treasure is with ministries that clearly advance the gospel, your heart will be there also.

If you would like to know more about the gospel, please click here: The Gospel





8 responses to “Charities that Aren’t Charitable

  1. Keith, well said.

  2. To clarify, full assurance of eternal life in the present, not dependent on future performance or conditions, is foundational to walking in the Spirit but does not guarantee it. The Corinthian believers had assurance of eternal life but abused their liberty (1 Cor. 6:12). Walking in the Spirit, or abiding in Christ, also requires that the believer choose to obey Christ’s commands (1 John 2:3-6; James 4:17), such as the command to love fellow believers (James 2:15; 1 John 2:9 -11). Walking in the Spirit will save the believer from loss of profit or reward at the Bema Seat (James 2:14).

    Those who are not clear on the Gospel commonly teach that fruitfulness and good works are an inevitable result in those who are “truly saved” (possess eternal life). However, fruitfulness is not necessarily true of those who have eternal life; it is true only of those who both know they have eternal life by resting on Christ’s promise and choose to obey, the result of which is walking in the Spirit.

  3. Keith, I agree that looking for signs of eternal life will not result in walking in the Spirit.

    Focusing on who we are in Christ is the only way one we are able to walk in the Spirit. And, even believers who have full assurance of eternal life do not always walk in the Spirit.

  4. I’ve noticed that many ministries, particularly the ones that appeal to a broad base, are very general and vague on the content of the Gospel. For example, the only statement on Salvation in the SOF on one’s website states:

    “We believe that regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for the salvation of lost and sinful men”.

    Of course, virtually all groups that call themselves “Christian” would agree that regeneration is necessary for salvation. But the manner in which regeneration comes about, in particular the order of belief and regeneration, I think is the difference between belief and unbelief.

    Those who believe that faith precedes regeneration, like we do, know that assurance of eternal life occurs at the outset and that living the Christian life, or “walking in the Spirit”, is the result of continuing to set our minds on the truth of scripture that we are presently justified and have eternal life as a present possession. On the other hand, those who believe that regeneration precedes faith spend their Christian lives in an effort to detect “signs of regeneration” (such as turning from sin, persevering in faithful service, etc.) in order to have assurance of eternal life.

  5. Jasonc65, I agree with you on VOM, and unfortunately they may support saints, however who knows which ones? They do support and promote false gospels and are very ecumenical and mystical and contemplative. Thanks for bringing them to mind, you might add them (if not already) to the false page of teachers here.

  6. One organization to stay away from is Voice of the Martyrs, founded by Richard Wurmbrand. They do not spend your money wisely by mundane standards. They promote false gospels, LS, Catholicism, and contemplative prayer. And in my opinion they promote the fallacy that suffering equals sainthood.

  7. Alice,like I said in the article, I don’t want to vet specific ministries in this thread.

    However, if someone is clearly wrong on the gospel, or cooperates in ministry with those who corrupt the gospel, I won’t support them in any way – time, treasure, or talents. When in doubt about someone’s gospel, I don’t support them either.

    The mantra of Lordship “salvationists” who teach Bible prophecy is “hurry up and believe a false gospel, before it’s too late.”

  8. Johninnc, thank you for addressing this subject about supporting financially charities and ministries which are not clear on the gospel of grace.
    I have struggled with this issue for quite awhile as I do listen to ministries such as Jimmy DeYoung, Brannon Howse, Olive Tree Ministries and so on that teach Bible Prophecy correctly about Israel/Middle East/ EU/ Islam/ Creation vs Evolution etc and discuss current political and social issues from the Bible’s point of view but they don’t warn against Calvinism or Arminianism or Lordship ‘salvation’ because many of them fall into those false teachings themselves. Although I gain a little from these ministries and am interested in the subjects that they cover and I would like to support them (along with those who are clear on the Gospel such as (Tom Cucuzza, Dennis Rokser, Ralph Arnold), I feel reluctant to do so because even if they are correct on Bible Prophecy, if they have the wrong gospel, wrong definitions of words like: Repentance, Grace, Faith, Finished, they are still sending people to hell. If God will hold us accountable for how and who we support, we do need to be careful that we don’t give to those who teach false doctrines or at the very least not clear on the Grace Gospel. Sometimes, it is difficult to know from their statement of faith, whether they believe in eternal security or loss of salvation if a believer falls away.