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Supporting a group because they are Christian

April 21, 2011

This morning on the way in to work I heard a commercial on WayFM for becoming an “Impact Partner” which is what they call businesses, organizations, churches, and ministries that financially support the radio station. What struck me about it was the way they presented it. They said something like “problems come up every day, whether it is a leaky faucet or needing to find a dentist for your kids, through WayFM’s impact partners you can find businesses that support our mission and vision.”

Ok. So, a few questions arise.

First, are we really telling people to support an organization or business just because they are “Christian?”

Second, just because a business supports WayFM, does that mean that they are reputable and do good work?

Third, are we saying that “non-Christian” businesses and those that do not support WayFM should be supported less?

Before I go any further, let me say that I am not bashing WayFM, I am just using them as an example of a more prevalent and insidious Christian mindset.

That mindset is this: if a business claims to be christian or a ministry says it is doing work for God then Christians should support them. No questions asked.

We must stop believing that solutions are this simple. They are from it.

It is time we put an end to this way of thinking. We need to stop supporting organizations, businesses, and ministries just because they claim to be doing good work. And this doesn’t just go for “christian” organizations. This needs to be the case for all organizations.

This is a tough thing for Christians to do.We have been conditioned in our churches to believe that if your church partners with or highlights a ministry then it must be good. Now, that is not to say that some churches don’t do their homework and only support good and effective organizations, but most do not. If a church or christian radio station talks about a ministry we need to do due diligence and ask questions in order to find out what that ministry does, how it does it, and whether its methods are effective and honoring to those they work with instead of just blindly supporting it.

The other problem for Christians is that we just want to help, it is in our DNA. As believers we are supposed to give, we are supposed to do good works, we are supposed to help. Some do it as well because they believe salvation is by good works, which only heightens their desire to do these things. And so we do. We help any all ministries that ask for it, we give to organizations our friends tell us to, and we volunteer whenever we are asked.

We don’t ask the important questions, we just help.

But what if the organizations and ministries that we blindly support are in fact doing more harm than good? What if their “help” is actually causing those they are trying to help to become dependent on them? What if they are giving what they think the people they are “helping” need instead of what the people actually want or need? What if they don’t use their finances wisely? What if they have no knowledge or skill in the area they are trying to work in?

Blind support does no one any good.

Jesus never called us give and help just for the sake of doing it. He asked us to give and help in a way to that brings glory to his father. That cannot happen if we dishonor or objectify those we are seeking to help, treat them as if we know better than they do, or only seek to help them for our own gain or reasons. And it cannot happen if we blindly support organizations without checking to see if they do these things.

Christians should be leading the charge in this area, not following in last place.

This is where the world should be looking to us for how to do right.

So, what are you going to do?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    April 21, 2011 10:16 pm

    Great post, Jon – I completely agree. You cannot blindly accept that just because an organization, an individual, a group, etc. affiliates themself with a Christian radio station (or any other entity for that matter in which strong beliefs are held) in a monetary capacity is the best choice or the right choice. For a corporation to pay money for broadcasting costs them very little of their most precious resource – time. Is the entity living out Christian beliefs or is it just a cheap way to advertise?

    This is so true in other aspects of life, too. Do you date someone just because he or she is a Christian? No, of course not. While that is a critical issue, it doesn’t over ride everything else in life, if not lived out.

    Recently I’ve been challenged to understand and take more of an interest in politics. For what do our potential future candidates stand? We will be electing individuals to change the way our country is run…. and not simply vote on a solitary issue. What individuals do you support? Do you know how they stand on all issues or are you voting just because they are…. republican, democrat, etc. etc?

  2. Shanda permalink
    April 22, 2011 12:51 am

    Another danger I see in encouraging people to support a business or an organization just because they are Christian is that in doing so they are encouraging people to, when possible, avoid mixing/associating with non-believers. That really should be the opposite of our goal.

  3. April 22, 2011 10:32 am

    but I rrrreeeeeaaaaalllllyyyyy want a pair of TOMS! 🙂

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