"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven... Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?... and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Matthew 7:21-23
A Biblical Understanding of Charity
Christopher J. E. Johnson
Published: Sept 17, 2015
Updated: Jan 16, 2016

The average Christian (and non-Christian alike) seems to think that charity is finding a Salvation Army drop box and tossing some old clothes in it, putting money in the tithe plate at their church, or participating in a cancer awareness marathon. The world has its own interpretation of charity apart from Scripture. There is much more to charity than most Christians understand, yet the concept is so simple, it's surprising.

Based on my experienced in a number of church buildings, I can see much of the confusion comes from misunderstanding by blinded preachers who often preach from their new-age bible versions. For example, most people recognize this phrase from the NIV:
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
-1Co 13:13, New International Version®, NIV®, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®

However, that's not what the King James Bible says:

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
-1 Corinthians 13:13

This has sparked a controversy in some areas on the differences between love and charity. We have a teaching on the word 'love', and how it's used in the Bible, and the New Testament definitions given to us teach us that true love is NOT the emotional attachment most men perceive it in our modern-day usage (e.g. movies, music, etc).
(Read "False Doctrine: Learn to Love Yourself" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
-1 John 2:5

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
-1 John 5:3

For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
-Romans 13:9-10

It is possible to keep the commandments of God concerning your neighbors without being charitable toward them at the same time.
  • It's possible to not commit adultery, and at the same time, have no charity.
  • It's possible to not kill, and have no charity.
  • It's possible to not steal, and have no charity.
  • It's possible to not lie, and have no charity.
  • It's possible to not covet, and have no charity.
Let's go to the first time the Bible uses the word "charity," 1 Corinthians 8:

Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
-1 Corinthians 8:1

The topic of this chapter is going to concern three things: Meats offered unto idols, knowledge, and charity. This is important, because Paul is going to help define charity here.

And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
-1 Corinthians 8:2-3

In other words, we often don't know as much as we think we do, and if any Christian truly loves the Lord Jesus Christ, he knows he has much to learn. This is why a few chapters later, Paul says our vision is dark concerning knowledge:

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away... For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
-1 Corinthians 13:11-12

In chapter eight and verse three, when Paul says "the same is known of him," it means those who truly love the Lord God (those who are born-again in Christ) understanding that they know very little (i.e. humility).

As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
-1 Corinthians 8:4-6

As born-again Christians, we have knowledge of the One True Living God, and are known of Him, but there are many church-goers out there who, for example, will accept Catholicism right along side Christian doctrine, because they have no understand that "there be gods many," falsely believing that anyone who speaks of Jesus is automatically referring to the Christian God of the Bible. However, that knowledge does no good for those unbelievers (especially those who falsely believe they are of Christ) because they must be given repentance to obtain that knowledge directly from the Lord God.

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
-2 Timothy 2:25

And that's precisely what Paul continues to say:

Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
-1 Corinthians 8:7

Those who believe in their false gods and goddesses have developed a conscience towards their idols, and therefore, their conscience is defiled when they eat things offered unto idols in honor of their false dieties.

But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
-1 Corinthians 8:8

It is lawful for us Christians to eat meat offered unto idols (because we know there is only one Living God), but it is not necessarily good for the purpose at hand (i.e. All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient - 1Co 10:23), and so we should not do it for the sake of others around us.
(Read "Bible Contradictions: Eat Idol Meat or Not?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
-1 Corinthians 8:9-11

Did you know your knowledge of the New Covenant can wound your brethren if you don't have proper understanding? Though we have knowledge of the true living God, and though we have knowledge that idols are nothing, because we are of Christ, we can, by our example, harm others by eating meat offered unto idols. The things we do by liberty might not harm ourselves, and we may not sin against God directly, but indirectly we sin against Christ because we harm our brethren.

But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
-1 Corinthians 8:12-13

Here, at the end of the chapter, we can get a better understanding of charity as something that is not necessarily spelled out in the law of God as a direct commandment, but something we do by first considering the needs of others over our own desires. That understanding opens up a whole new aspect of the word 'charity' that most church-goers seem to be completely unaware of, and very few preachers have enough understanding to teach.

Charity is not just an action, but a way of thinking; a state of mind.

And don't make the mistake of thinking that our knowledge can ONLY wound brethren, because we can wound unbelievers as well:

If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:
-1 Corinthians 10:27-28

Once we are born-again, the Lord Jesus Christ begins the work of altering our philosophy; changing our way of thinking. There is a way of thinking (philosophy) after Christ, and a way of thinking (philosophy) after the worldly tradition of men.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
-Colossians 2:8

I grew up in the country, but for many years I lived in the city, and one of the major problems I ran into were people playing music too loud. I can recall many nights being kept awake (having to work early the next morning), even sometimes having to call the police to get a house party a city block away to turn down their music so I could sleep. The people blasting their music have no thoughts of charity, taking the time to consider how their actions are affecting others around them; taking no thought to examine themselves, weighing the needs of others over their own desires.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
-2 Corinthians 13:5

The people blasting loud music are selfishly motivated, giving no thought to offending their neighbors. (Also consider loud music in cars, loud engines on motorcycles, etc) In that particular circumstance, those born-again in Christ should be of a meek and quiet spirit, not participating in the revelings (loud, noisy celebrations) of the world.

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
-1 Peter 3:4

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
-1 Thessalonians 4:11

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness... drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
-Galatians 5:19-21

If a born-again Christian, who has some time and experience under his belt, were to participate in the revelings of the world, blasting loud music as many of them do, being loud and boisterous, they could easily wound the weak conscience of those around them, thereby leading others, and especially new Christians, to believe that such things are acceptable to God. When we wound the weak conscience of others around us, we sin against Christ.

Another common example are those "Christian" rockers out there, and church buildings that endorse their rock music, are adopting the things of the world. These people do not have a charitable mindset to consider the things they participate in and listen to are wounding the weak conscience of those around them, and in conversation with those people, I have only heard them make excuses for the worldly things they love because they are selfishly-minded.
(Read "What's Wrong With Christian Rock?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

We'll cover a variety of such examples in this article, but the main focus of charity is taking someone else's situation into consideration over our own personal wants and desires. The teachings of giving to others is quite common, well accepted, and well understood, but we need to understand also that we are ambassadors of Christ, taking on his name in the label "Christian," and when we lead others to believe that the habits of the world are acceptable with God, we falsely represent Christ and sin against Him.

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
-Exodus 20:7

I am not concerned if anyone is offended by the doctrine I preach from the Word of God so long as it is rightly divided, but I do make effort that people are not offended by my manner when they speak with me, and that I properly represent Christ in my words and actions. This is why Paul said:

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
-1 Corinthians 10:23

expedient (adj): fit or suitable for the purpose; proper under the circumstances
(See 'expedient', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved June 21, 2015 [webstersdictionary1828.com])

Those who do not properly study the Word of God often walk away from such a verse thinking that we are delivered by Christ, so we can do whatever we please (fornication, drunkenness, revelings, etc). This was the exact same wicked mode of thinking the Jews had before the Lord God had Babylon nearly wipe them off the map as punishment for their evil deeds:

Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
-Jeremiah 7:9-10

One of the most common sins I've seen today in American church-goers (besides respecting persons) is offending the weak conscience of others by abusing their liberty. There are many church-goers who believe themselves to be charitable, but do not have a charitable mindset that considers how their actions and words wound others around them.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
-Romans 6:1-2

This is often misunderstood because the word "abound" means plentiful or to have in great quantity. The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23), and so sin causes wrath to abound (that's the true statement), but here, Paul is posing this question to rebuke the false belief those Christians in Rome adopted, that sin is acceptable practice because of God's grace, and many church-goers today (and false converts among them) also believe, as if the Lord God is not hot in his anger towards them.

My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD.
-Jeremiah 51:45

Most church-goers in modern American church-ianity (ones who esteem church over Christ) often consider themselves to be very charitable people because they drop money in an offering plate, but very rarely consider the sin they commit against Christ in the example they show to others simply by how they live their lives and the words that come out of their mouths. Consider the pagan witchcraft celebration of Christmas for example: It is a pagan ritual defended by church-goers who consider not that God hates idolatry, it is a sin, and then they double that offense by sinning against Christ, wounding the weak conscience of those around them by setting a pagan example.
(Read "Christmas: The Rejection of Jesus" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Leavened preacher Lenny Esposito of Come Reason Ministries gives us a perfect example of how a man claiming to be of Christ wounds the weak conscience of those around him, sinning against Christ, but then turns around and tries to justify it. Listen to him in his sermon designed to justify his pagan idolatry of Christmas:
Lenny Esposito: "I have recently moved... and the area is simply littered with Jehovah's Witnesses... they have knocked on my door maybe twice a week... I always ask them, 'What made you become a witness? Why would you follow that teaching?'... And both of them had pointed to Christmas as one of the motivating factors for them becoming witnesses... they were insulted that their church would lie to them [about Christmas]. And then the witnesses say 'Well, we want to give you the truth. We don't go with these traditions of men. We only study the Word of God... In order to worship God you must worship him in spirit and in truth, so how can you do that with all this pagan paraphernalia in your house?' My Christmas tree was up. [congregation laughs]"
-Lenny Esposito, "Is Christmas Really a Pagan Holiday?" Come Reason Ministries, Dec 14, 2013, retrieved Sept 10, 2015, [youtube.com/watch?v=AyUPFMrGExA]

He continues for the next 40 minutes of his presentation trying to justify his idolatry, and ignores the fact that he sins against Christ.

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
-Luke 16:15

As we discussed in "Bible Contradictions: Eat Idol Meat or Not," Christians are not even supposed to be eating meat offered unto idols lest we wound the weak conscience of others, even for the conscience sake of those who don't believe, let alone having those very idols littered throughout our homes. Here we have Jehovah's Witnesses, who are not born-again in Christ because they believe in a works-based doctrine, coming into this pastor's home, correctly rebuking that pastor, being offended by his idolatry, and this "pastor" does nothing but make excuses for his wickedness.
(Read "Corruptions of Christianity: Jehovah's Witness" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
-Mark 7:13

The Word of God has no effect if we preach it while participating in sin.

It doesn't matter how much that church building wants to laugh off what their pastor said, and it doesn't matter what impressions they might have of his character, the fact is that he is NOT a charitable man; rather, he is a selfish man whose pagan, happy, fun-time traditions are more important to him than the others around him who he wounds by his sin. It's too grevious (afflicting) for him to give up his favored traditions (also many would leave his church, or he would be ejected from his pastoral position if he spoke the truth, which would harm his paycheck), so instead of doing what's right, he would rather enjoy the pleasures of sin for a [holiday] season.

Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
-Hebrews 11:25

He would rather lie to his children and neighbors to tell them these pagan idols represent the Godhead (i.e. Jesus Christ).

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
-Acts 17:29

The concept of charity we just learned from Scripture is for us to put aside the things we want, and to first consider the needs of others before ourselves. Again, not only is idolatry a direct sin, but the participation in the rituals of that sin also causes church-goers to sin against Christ by wounding their neighbors.

A few chapters later, Paul continues:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
-1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Charity suffers long, but please keep in mind we need to take precept upon precept, line upon line, as the Bible tells us to study the Word, and it suffers those things which we are called to suffer in the Bible. (e.g. Suffering affliction as mentioned earlier in Heb 11:25.) Believing, bearing, enduring, and hoping all things; not as all things in the world, but all things according to the Word of God, which God tells us we ought to be believe, hope, bear, and endure. (i.e. sufferings, persecution, afflictions, sound doctrine, etc)

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
-2 Timothy 4:3-5

When wicked preachers like Espisito are not willing to give up their warm, gooey-feeling, happy-time celebrations of witchcraft, like Christmas, for the sake of others around him, he is not charitable. Affliction is grief, and that grief we suffer for the sake of others.

Charity is not envious, which means charity is not uneasy or hateful or discontent at seeing someone else's accomplishments. Charity is being thankful and content with what we have, even if it is little.

Charity doesn't vaunt itself, or in other words, it doesn't brag and boast. Uncharitable people often build themselves up (puffed up) with words intended to give people an impression that they have the qualities of charity (i.e. being giving, kind, righteous living, etc), but in reality, they have a double heart because they don't actually do the things necessary to live up to those words.
For example, concerning the leavened preacher Lenny Espisito in the video above, if you were to listen to his whole sermon, it started out with him bragging about his position among "prominent theologians," his status, his travels, his new home, and my wife and I were both tired of listening to him after just a couple of minutes due to his vaunting (boasting). Then, watching this man rejoice in his idolatry, that was blocking unbelievers from hearing the truth of the Word of God, was sickening to hear, and further demonstrated his lack of charity.

Charity doesn't behave unseemly, which means people who dress inappropriately and speak with indecent words. For example, the "Christian" rock crowd in which men will grow long hair, get tattoos and piercings, and other such things are not charitable people because they do not consider anyone else besides themselves.

Charity doesn't rejoice in inquity (i.e. sin, unrighteousness). Charitable people don't rejoice for alcohol, witchcraft holidays, 501c3 corporate contracts, and an assortment of other sins because charity is not even supposed to think evil.

Did you know you can give alms and still not be charitable? The problem is that most people get the impression of the term "charity" from the media, but the Bible says you can give away all you have to the poor, and still not have charity, because charity is a mindset, not a specific action.

alms (n): any thing given gratuitously to relieve the poor, as money, food, or clothing
(See 'alms', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Sept 16, 2015 [webstersdictionary1828.com])

The world thinks that 'giving' and 'charity' are synonymous words, and we Christians need to be unbrainwashed from the rudiments (first teachings) of the world. When I was younger, I always remember seeing these plaques drilled into the back of pews in church buildings...
...but later in my life, I read what the Lord Jesus Christ said about it:

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
-Matthew 6:1-4

A left and right hand is not talking about physical hands. A king or queen with servants would have a right hand and left hand servant (typically an honored position in Jewish tradition), and when they send the right hand, telling him to go give "X" amount to a person who needs it, the Bible tells us not to tell the left hand what we just did, because in the end, that serves no purpose except to impress others; men who try to make themselves look good in the public eye.

We see this all the time in America, a common example being the papers shaped like hot air balloons that are stapled on the wall in office buildings and restaurants. These are signed by someone who gives a donation to an organization so it can be hung for all to see, no different than the pew plaques.

These organizations are looking to give people incentive for their money, which is not Biblical Christian giving. We expect these things from the world, but Christians should not be like the world. The 501c3 corporate ministries do the same thing, luring people into giving them money with a tax write-off, which simply means they're seducing people into giving money by giving them something in return.

This is precisely how Robert Schuller in the Hour of Power, and the now bankrupt Crystal Cathedral, sought to make an unbiblical living. Growing up, I remember seeing him on TV asking people to send them money, and if you sent enough, they'd send you a porcelain bald eagle, or some other useless garbage, in the mail.

Schuller's son, Bobby, still does the same thing today:
"With your gift of $50 a month or one-time gift of $600 or more, you will receive the beautiful Bible, the same NIV version used by Bobby every week during his message. If you are able to do more by becoming a Golden Eagles Partner with your gift of $100 a month, or one-time gift of $1,200, we will send you the beautiful Bible and a lovely four-ribbon brass eagle bookmark."
-Hour of Power, "Eagles Partner - Monthly Gift of $50," retrieved Sept 16, 2015, [cathedralgifts.com/20eapa1.html]

Last January (2015), I had a man send us a donation via paypal, and a few weeks later, I got an email of complaint that I had not sent him a thank you letter for his donation (typically what you get from 501c3 corporations). I proceeded to explain to him that if he was giving looking for recognition, it's not Biblical giving in charity (providing him all the Scripture to back it up), and that if he would like, we would send him his money back, to which he responded:
"A gracious 'thank you' that you received my gift was all that I was after... In light of your lecture please just send the money back."
[We sent his money back as requested; Paypal also sends a notification to the sender automatically that the amount was received, so he already knew we got it; He just wanted to be praised for his 'generousity'.]

Most of the people in this world, and sadly even those claiming to be Christians, often do not have a charitable mindset. The reality is that people are incredibly selfish (seeking their own first), and focus more on convincing others they are good and charitable people, rather than looking to the Lord God for guidance in all matters of faith and practice.

Again, charity is a way of thinking after Christ, who changes our hearts, making us into people who cheerfully desire to fulfill the needs of others:

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
-2 Corinthians 9:7

That verse also eliminates tithe because if you're giving tithe, which the new-age church buildings false teach is a requirement of Christians, then you're giving of necessity. If people believe tithe is charitable giving, then paying property taxes should just be called "love offerings" to the government.
(Read "Is Tithe a Christian Requirement?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Far Beyond Money: The Truth About Charity

Many wicked preachers out there try to cherry pick 1Co 10:24 as a justification for people to give them lots of money:

Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.
-1 Corinthians 10:24

But the entire context of 1Co 10 is staying far away from idolatry (and other sins), foremost to please the Lord God:

Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play... Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
-1 Corinthians 10:7-14

(Read "Halloween: Are Christians Lovers of Death?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

And also for the benefit of those around us:

But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:
-1 Corinthians 10:28

Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
-1 Corinthians 10:32-33

Because the Bible uses the word "wealth" and "profit," many people miss the context that those words are referring to the success and benefit that others will receive by seeing a righteous example from a God-fearing Christian. The truth about charity in the Bible rarely concerns money as much as it concerns living righteously by Christ, considering the needs of others over ourselves simply by the things we do and say.

You'll also notice that these verses in 1 Corinthians 13 never once refers to money. After a Christian has practiced a charitable mindset, cheerful giving with money will come naturally, but charity is primarily preached (in church buildings) as a direct connection to money because it's the world's first love.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
-1 Corinthians 13:8-13

In this context, abide means that they continue permenantly, and they shall not fail, cease, or vanish, but the greatest among the three is charity because it is the culmination (highest point) of Christ's Gospel. For a Christian to obtain a way of thinking that considers the needs of others over his/her own desires, having a heart developed by Christ to be a cheerful giver, is a goal we ought to seek to obtain.

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
-1 Corinthians 9:25

The commandment of perfection from the saints of God has existed throughout all the dispensations, and the bond that holds that perfection together is charity.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
-Colossians 3:12-14

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
-1 Timothy 1:5

Out of a good conscience, charity is developed, but without that conscience from the Holy Spirit, people will only feign (fake) charity as they feign their faith.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
-1 Timohty 4:1-2

For example, after reading and listening to those who have argued in favor of the 501c3 Devil's church, I have seen many who say: "Well, I don't see anything wrong with it," or "I don't think..." The problem is that they are so selfishly focused on themselves, their own sight and their own thoughts, they refuse to consider, for just a moment, what impression they give to others, and how the world views what they do; they focus more on justifying themselves.
(Read "501c3: The Devil's Church" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
-Luke 16:15

Many of these corporate church buildings are so focused on their own wealth, they can't see the needs of the people. I've listened to testimonies from former church-goers who have shared their grief of church buildings claiming to be charitable, and helping people, but some members of their own congregation were being left out of that charity, sometimes to the point of not being able to afford groceries for their family, and it's sometimes so bad that those given favor for assitance with church building funds are typically those who have some sort of political clout in the system (i.e. pastors, Sunday school teachers, musicians, etc).

The Bible calls that respecting persons:

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
-James 2:1-4

I've never, in my life, heard one person admit to doing this, so I guess no one does it, right? Did the Lord Jesus Christ waste His time putting this in the Bible? Is He wrong? Or is it that people commonly do this under the guise of "Christianity," and they are simply not willing to confess to it?

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
-Matthew 15:8

Just as the scribes and Pharisees were hypocrites, teaching one thing, but doing another:

The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
-Matthew 23:4

As I was quoting Matthew 23 for this article, I was reminded of a section I read on the Hour of Power website while I was researching, and it really hit home:
"Q. How do I request financial support from the ministry?
A. We can certainly understand your need for financial help. Unfortunately, Hour of Power funds are limited. It takes everything that we have coming in each month just to pay for airtime. Therefore, we are sorry we have no funds available that we could send you."

-Hour of Power, "Hour of Power Questions And Answers," retrieved Sept 16, 2015, [hourofpower.org/contact/hop_tv.php]

I can tell you why they don't have the money to help you out: They're pocketing it to pay for their lavish lifestyles:
"Financial documents filed Wednesday in the Crystal Cathedral bankruptcy case show generous compensation paid to insiders and family members of founding minister Robert H. Schuller in the year before the Garden Grove-based mega-church filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. During the same period, revenue plummeted, and church employees and vendors — from choral members to the livestock company that provided animals for its elaborate productions — were laid off or went without pay. The church paid out more than $1.8 million to 23 insiders and members of Schuller's family in the 12 months leading up to the Oct. 18 bankruptcy filing, according to the financial statements. That sum included $832,490 in tax-exempt housing allowances given to eight people and payments to all five of Schuller's children and their spouses.
Jim Coleman, the president of Crystal Cathedral Ministries, declined to comment. 'I don't have knowledge of the documents you mentioned,' he said. Other church representatives could not be reached. The church's financial records, which were kept private until the bankruptcy proceedings forced public disclosure, are beginning to paint a picture of how the church conducted business and the extent to which Schuller family members and insiders were compensated."

-Abby Sewell & Nicole Santa Cruz, "Bankruptcy filings show generous pay for relatives of Crystal Cathedral founder," Los Angeles Times, Dec 3, 2010, retrieved Sept 16, 2015, [articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/03/local/la-me-crystal-cathedral-20101203]

And there's only one reason you have to file bankruptcy: if you're in unbiblical debt to begin with. They're more than happy to request funding in $50 monthly payments, but they're unable to lift a finger to help others. They took from the people giving them, and gave it to those with status and prestige on their board of directors, lied to their lenders by filing bankruptcy instead of paying what they owed, and exiting quietly so no one will catch on to their deceptive, devilish practices.

On a smaller scale, I see this political favoritism, both in status and finances, happening all the time in so-called "ministries." Even before I was saved and attending church buildings, I watched those with a status, or those related to others with status, or those who were close buddies with others whom have status, and were given favor over everyone else.

But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
-Matthew 19:30

Many years ago, I was involved with a creation organization in Indianapolis, where they invited speakers from around the country, and I got to witness a fine example of uncharitable Christians. I watched them bring in prestigious PhDs to give presentations, paying their plane tickets, putting them up in the finest hotels, paying them wages for coming to the event, but others who did not have their prestige, who did far more work at these events, were swept under the rug, never mentioned, never helped financially, and almost flat-out ignored.
(Read my testimony of what happened with the Creation Evidence Expo for more details.)

For example, a friend of ours worked with this organization, teaching the children in their events, getting there early and staying late to clean up. They put her in charge of all the child events, gave her no help at all, no organization or proper scheduling, did not stay in communication with her, and kept demanding more and more from her, yet, they gave her nothing while increasing her work load, only honoring and being charitable to those who were already highly esteemed, giving no consideration to her whatsoever.

I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
-Revelation 2:19

One of the signs of charity is when the least among us are considered the greatest. However, we typically learn the opposite in American churchianity, where the pastor is esteemed as like a king among commoners.
(Listen to "Preacher Kings (Abusive Pastors) - Truth Sharks Radio Show" for more details.)

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
-Matthew 20:26-28

The average American church building has become the exact opposite of what the Lord Jesus Christ just said. The pastors have become chief among the people, and the people serve him, his needs, his desires, and though the pastors call themselves "ministers," the people are actually ministering to the ministers.

This has been a topic that I have had difficulty writing about, primarily because I tend to look inward first, and see I need to be more charitable, or rather, I never feel like I'm being charitable enough. A lot of this is due to the fact that I typically criticize myself more than others criticize me. In discussions, my wife has to remind me that we give away all the materials in our ministry for free, and often I forget that is also a form of charity that we don't see much of in modern-day American so-called "ministries."

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
-Proverbs 23:23

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
-Matthew 10:8

The Lord Jesus Christ specifically instructed them not to take up payments for their services, but that's almost unheard of in America anymore. Take, for example, the leavened preacher Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend; if you want to see any teachings from their 2014 tour, all you have to do is pay $59.95 plus shipping.
(See Brannon Howse, "Branson 2014 8-DVD Collection," Sale Price was $59.95 as of Sept 10, 2015, [worldviewweekend.com/products/package/branson-2014-8-dvd-collection])

Or better yet, if you want to learn about evangelists that were, quote "compromising the gospel," and "What does the Bible say about pride, pragmatism and the love of money?," then all you have to do is is pay him $14.99 and Howse will tell you all about it.
(See Brannon Howse, "Pride, Pragmatism, and Profit: The Three Snares That Have Compromised Evangelicalism," Sale Price was $14.99 as of Sept 10, 2015, [worldviewweekend.com/products/dvds/pride-pragmatism-and-profit-three-snares-have-compromised-evangelicalism])

And don't even think about sharing his materials because we made that mistake many years ago by filming on a home video camera his presentation in Indianapolis in 2012. There were no signs or notifications that we were not allowed to film and share the information, but soon after posting it on youtube, we received the following email directly from Brannon Howse, whom we had never spoken with before:
"I just saw that our video from Indy is on youtube. I don't know how this came to be recorded but this is a copyrighted presentaiton and we paid to have a film crew there in the room. Your video online is a violation of federal copyright laws... You need to remove all the video footage you have from our conference. We really take violatoin of our federal copyright laws seriously... We have an obligation by the ways the laws are written to protect our trademark and copyrights or they become 'diluted' and then the government does not allow us to renew our own trademark and then anyone can call their event a 'Worldview Weekend'."

In further attempts to justify himself, he continued to say:
"We spend a large sum of our budget each year producing quality productions. Your DVD was very poor quality and thus a poor reflection on us."

Could you imagine the apostles of Christ in the book of Acts saying these things? I tried. I can't.

If he had just asked me to take them down, I would have had no problem doing so, and I did take them down immediately upon request because I don't want to violate a law, but at that point, I had less motivation to take them down for the sake of brethren (back when I falsely believed he was brethren); I instead took them down because I didn't want to support or endorse a man who was more concerned about his profits than his prophesying. Brethren, please understand that the word "brethren" means family, and when one has offended another, our first act should not be threats of contacting lawyers and government prosecution, especially when one has no knowledge he's done anything wrong.

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?... But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
-1 Corinthians 6:1-8

Of course, this was back when I mistakenly thought it was acceptable to work with 501c3 leavened preachers; now I know having nothing to do with them (being sanctified) is better, but defraud in this context is when someone acquires something from someone else without permission, and thus instead having a charitable mindset, having understanding, Howse decided to take it straight to the law out of his desperation to protect his meal ticket. I was naive enough to think other Christians would want to follow Scripture and spread teachings for the edification of the Body of Christ, but it has taken me many years to realize that few understand real charity in the Word of God, and fewer still put it into practice.

Those of you who have seen many things we teach in this ministry know that we didn't go out and get a bunch of copyrights on our materials because we want Christians to copy and spread out this information as much as possible, but people like Brannon Howse care more for crediting themselves than edifying others. On his website, he may allow people to view 5-10 minutes of a video, but after that, you have to pay him money to watch the rest.

You can see this same type of selfish motivation in many ministries across the world; that they only want to teach when there's profit, fame, or status to be attained. Another example is Eric Hovind's Creation Today that has a six-part, three hour seminar teaching on creation/evolution, which Eric allows viewers to watch free for 30 minutes, and then you need to pay him $24.95 if you want to get the rest.
(See Eric Hovind, "Beginnings: Exploring Biblical Creation" The Creation Store, Sale Price was $24.95 as of Sept 10, 2015, [creationtoday.org/product/beginnings-exploring-biblical-creation]

And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
-Mark 6:8

I'm not saying that money is wrong to have, nor to take with you on a journey, but to consider what the Lord Jesus Christ had his disciples do by faith. The problem is not making a living preaching the Gospel; the problem is charging a toll for it.

Could you see Paul going into Rome to preach, having some interested people gather around, and then stop after five minutes and tell everyone to put five and half silver coins in the basket to hear the rest? Yet, that is EXACTLY what these men are doing because in the end, there is no charity in their hearts.

I hope that, at the very least, Lorraine (my wife) and I have set a more Biblical example of how Christians should operate by offering all our materials free. (I'll let you to judge that matter for yourselves.) Although there are some things we sell if people want to support us, all the information in the materials we sell can also be downloaded for free, and I pray the Lord Jesus Christ would keep our eyes open so that we are not led astray by the leaven of this world and the love of money.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
-1 Timothy 6:10

Of course, none of these men, or the many others that do the same, will ever admit they're doing these things for the love of money. In fact, I've never met one person in my life who has admitted to doing things for the love of money; so is it that people who have a love of money don't exist, or is it that they refuse to admit their love of money?

Even though many of these preachers are wicked in their worldly way of thinking after the traditions of men, and the love of money, I have to admit that I can understand why they do it. The Bible does tell us that it is acceptable to make a living from the study and teaching of the Word of God:

If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?... Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
-1 Corinthians 9:11-14

Considering the uncharitable state of the American church buildings (mostly due to the fact that there are more false converts than born-again Christians), it is very difficult to earn a living while preaching the gospel, and thus most "ministers" have to use worldly sales ploys to make money. The Body of Christ in general has almost entirely lost their way concerning charity, and most of what is considered "christendom" by the world consists of marketers instead of ministers.

I once had a man write me a gracious letter thanking me for all the hard work Lorraine and I were doing to provide all our materials free, because she and I both work jobs to provide for us and to support this ministry. He told me he had downloaded every audio teaching we offered, read all our articles, and thanked us for providing them. At the end of his letter, he told me he also liked another ministry (that I looked into and found out was yet another leavened 501c3 corporation), and that he had just purchased their entire DVD set, which after investigation, turned out to be $279 as listed on their website; he thanked me, and I never heard from him again.

Don't misunderstand, I'm glad this man got some truth out of the work we've done, and that's what we're doing it for, so the Lord Jesus Christ can get glory, since all that we write comes from His knowledge, not our own, but the subject of this article is charity, and we have to ask: Where was the charity? The point I'm making is that he didn't consider our situation, the blood, sweat, and tears we have suffered to give away everything we have today, and he turned to an already well-funded ministry that is a part of the Devil's 501c3 church to give to them instead (because they force him to do so through their sales), so he could get their leavened materials.

Folks, I'm not writing this to plead with people for money, please don't misunderstand; I'm writing this topic about charity, and how the charitable mindset has been mostly abandoned by those claiming to be Christians in America today. I don't know how to effectively get the point across without giving some personal examples. The average American Christian has come from such greedy, unbiblical, lackadasical, Laodecian teaching from hirelings, that most of them can't even imagine a church that operates solely on charity. (I'm not saying all churches are like that, but in America, about 99% of them are.)

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
-Acts 2:45-46

What happened to that church in Acts? Where did it go?

Take Caution in Giving Without Discretion

The other side of this is people who give far too liberally to ministries and other such organizations without any consideration for what the money is actually being used for; not what they CLAIM the money is being used for, but where it actually goes. Notice that the Bible said they gave "as every man had need," not as every man had want.

To give an idea of what I mean, take for example someone homeless on the street begging for money. Most people will drop some money in their cup without ever stopping to consider their situation, thinking they were charitable by giving money, but the person they gave money to may take that to go purchase alcohol to continue in the sin that caused his homelessness in the first place.

Consider the possibility that you could be giving to feed your neighbor's sinful addictions.

I'm not saying all homeless are like that, as some honestly purchase their needs with the money, but the problem is that people walk by and often do NOT take the time to be charitable, understanding what specific needs that person has, and just throw money at them so they don't have to think about it. Taking some time to inquire what exactly they need, or even taking a moment to look them over to see if they need a coat or shoes, would be proper Biblical charity; however, very few people claiming to be Christians take the time to do this.

We Christians are not supposed to be like the world, giving in blindness to whatever the world labels as "charitable." As we covered in "The Cure For Cancer," many charity organizations in the U.S. give little or nothing to the causes for which they claim to be raising money.

(MM = Millions -- The total percentage spent on aid is after the other expenses of the organization.)
Kids Wish Network $137.9 MM $115.9 MM 2.5%
Cancer Fund of America $86.8 MM $75.4 MM 1.0%
Breast Cancer Relief $63.9 MM $44.8 MM 2.2%
Children's Cancer Fund of America $43.7 MM $34.4 MM 4.6%
Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation $38.5 MM $28.9 MM 0.7%
Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Foundation $19.4 MM $18.2 MM 0.3%
National Cancer Coalition $42.1 MM $16.4 MM 1.3%
United Breast Cancer Foundation $12.7 MM $7.2 MM 6.3%
Children's Leukemia Research Association $9.8 MM $6.8 MM 11.1%
Hope Cancer Fund $2.1 MM $1.7 MM 0.5%
-Tampa Bay Times, "America's Worst Charities," tampabay.com, December, 2014, retrieved Mar 27, 2015, [tampabay.com/americas-worst-charities]

The average American throws money at these organizations, and believe they're charitable people, when in reality, all they did was donate to corporate profit, getting a receipt in return so they can write it off on their taxes.
(Read "The Cure For Cancer: Cancerous Charities" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

To expand on that concept concerning Christian organizations, let's look at Voices of the Martyrs, a ministry started by Richard Wurmbrand, a dedicated, born-again Christian strong in faith and charity, who raised money to help the poor, needy, and persecuted Christians around the world giving their lives for Christ. Although Wurmbrand had some issues of his own (like idolatry with holidays), he was traveling and working to help persecuted Christians around the world.

Then, just a few weeks after he died, the vultures in his organization leaped into the IRS's arms, incorporating VotM under 501c3, and a man by the name of Tom White took over, until 2012:
"The Oklahoma state chief medical examiner's office has confirmed that Voice of the Martyrs executive Walter Thomas "Tom" White killed himself with a toxic mix of drugs in April, after learning that he had been accused of sexually molesting a young [10-year-old] girl... James E. Dau shared in a statement published to VOM's website... 'No day in the history of my work at VOM has been more difficult than Wednesday, April 18th,' he said, pointing to the day White's body was found. He added that he believed that instead of facing the allegations leveled against him 'and the resulting fallout for his family and this ministry, Tom chose to end his life.'"
-Nicola Menzie, "Voice of the Marytrs' Tom White's Suicide Confirmed; Molestation Case Closed," Christian Post, Aug 24, 2012, retrieved Sept 15, 2015, [christianpost.com/news/voice-of-the-marytrs-tom-whites-suicide-confirmed-molestation-case-closed-80529]

Christians around the world gave money to VotM, which provided for Tom White's salary, which means ultimately, Christians were supporting a man while he was fornicating with a 10-year-old girl. The problem here is not the willingness to give, the problem is the lack of discernment because Christians ought not to yoke up and support 501c3 ministries of any kind, and if we would sanctify ourselves from them and their leaven, we also will not be leavened, giving our time and money over to organizations that are run by the Devil.
(Read "501c3: The Devil's Church" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

No one is saying you should not give to those who are being persecuted for the Christian faith in other countries, but if you do give, give to those who are apostles that are physically going to those countries to do the work. Let's use our discernment, sanctify ourselves, and stop giving to provide extra comforts for wicked men who enjoy the pleasures of sin for a seaon and corrupt good ministries.

When I started this ministry, I told God that I wasn't going to go around writing letters and making phone calls to beg people for money because I wanted to operate with those born-again in Christ who would give charitably to help us via the conviction each received from the Holy Spirit. There are some of you out there that operate by conviction of the Holy Spirit, so please, those of you who do have that charitable way of thinking in your hearts, don't take this as a rebuke, but on the other hand, EVERYONE claiming to be a Christians says that they listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, though in reality, those people are far and few between, because the Holy Spirit (if we were following Him) would convict us to charity, something I (and many who write us) see very little of in church buildings today.

There are so many examples I could give, I actually had a rare case of "writer's block" when I was working on this article because I didn't know where to begin. I talked it over with Lorraine, and she suggested to tell the stories of the church buildings we've been to in giving presentations, and the men and women who came up to us afterwards and lied straight to our faces, giving their word they were going to start "sowing into your ministry" to help us, and we never heard from them again. Or I could tell you of the pastors who have come to us claiming that "the Holy Spirit brought us together," only to have them lie and rail against us a few weeks later. Just the lies alone would take a full afternoon to talk about, and these people don't have the smallest of charitable mindsets to stop and consider how bad they have hurt us; how many nights Lorraine and I have been in tears together over what we've seen and heard out of our supposed "brethren."

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil... Be not rash with thy mouth... Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?
-Ecclesiastes 5:1-6

A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
-Proverbs 26:28

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
-1 John 3:15
(Read "God Does Not Justify Lies" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Consideration of who you're wounding by your actions and by your tongue, and stopping yourself from doing and saying things that would wound others, is one of the basic concepts of charity. However, the highest form of charity is being charitable to those who are uncharitable.

But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
-Luke 6:27-28

See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
-1 Thessalonians 5:15

Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
-1 Peter 3:9

Some Christians may not understand how to pray for those people who lie to us and despitefully use us, but understand that man may very well be on his way to the lake of fire. Try to imagine him in the lake of fire for etenity in suffering with no way out, and if that doesn't work, imagine yourself thrown into the lake fire for eternity and suffering with devils without an escape; burning and agony without end. Perhaps then you will gain some understanding, and then you may find it easier to pray: "Heavenly Father have mercy on us for our sins against you. If this man is not saved, then please show him the way to repentance and faith, and if you can use me to do your will, I am your servant, even if it is something I may not want to do; have your will over mine. Open his eyes to the truth, and keep my eyes open as well; deliver us all from deception."

The first step in learning charity is to, as they say, put yourself in someone else's shoes, and then seek to do what a Christian ought to do. We need to do what's right over what's convenient.

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