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Thread: Secret Giving as Opposed to Public Giving

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Secret Giving as Opposed to Public Giving

    OK, so this has come up a number of times.

    It always seems to come down to a pretty binary - either/or.

    Here, from KG, is what sparked my interest. And, let me be clear, I'm NOT saying he's wrong!

    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    Nobody should reveal their charitable giving. Jesus was clear that it is to be secret. Thus I feel asking is out of bounds.
    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    I simply don't see a reason not to take Jesus literally here. Good deeds in general can be apparent to others, and goodness is a fruit of the spirit, but Jesus seemed to single out charitable giving in particular as something to be done in secret. If others find out about it, so be it, but Jesus words are clear to me: for us to publicize it seems to negate any spiritual benefit.
    Maybe I'm just thinking this is taken to literally, I don't know. I just thought it would be worth discussing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I don't think that's as ironclad as some people think, after all, there's "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven". (matt 5:16)
    But I think this is worth discussing, so how bout making your best case for "nobody should"?
    So - in this thread, this is NOT "scripture battle", this is a discussion from brothers and sisters in the Lord talking about giving. OK?

    First, KG, could you post the scriptures that you feel support your position? And, maybe it's the way we define "charitable giving"?

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    Professor Zymologist's Avatar
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    Right off the bat, I think I tend to agree with KG.

    For example (and speaking for myself here), say I donate to something online--if there's a "give anonymously" option, I'll always choose it. You could say it's personal experience, but I'm suspicious enough of my own motivation that I don't know if I could trust myself if I didn't take that option. I don't apply this to other people: if I see that someone else donated and gave their name, I assume good motivation on their part. But for myself, I don't trust my own motivation.
    Hofstadter's Law: It will always take longer than you expect, even if you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    I think Jesus was just warning people about being like the Pharisees who gave in order to get recognition. They were bragging about their charity. Their motivation wasn't to help people as much as it was about making themselves look good. Nothing but marketing.

    So I don't think there is anything wrong with letting people know you give to charity or how much, just as long as you gave to charity to help others and not for recognition and praise from other people.

  4. Amen Thoughtful Monk amen'd this post.
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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zymologist View Post
    Right off the bat, I think I tend to agree with KG.
    And, I'm not saying I don't. I think it's more of -- I'm kinda wired to question statements or opinions that tend to sound like "always" or "never".

    For example (and speaking for myself here), say I donate to something online--if there's a "give anonymously" option, I'll always choose it. You could say it's personal experience, but I'm suspicious enough of my own motivation that I don't know if I could trust myself if I didn't take that option. I don't apply this to other people: if I see that someone else donated and gave their name, I assume good motivation on their part. But for myself, I don't trust my own motivation.
    I love giving and helping. And I love getting a tax deduction for it, because that makes more money available to me for more giving and helping. As long as there is a tax benefit, I'll avail myself of it, but it's not the reason. It's because God just keeps blessing and blessing. Plus, I'm nutty enough to believe I can put my money to better use in helping others than the government can.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    I think Jesus was just warning people about being like the Pharisees who gave in order to get recognition. They were bragging about their charity. Their motivation wasn't to help people as much as it was about making themselves look good. Nothing but marketing.

    So I don't think there is anything wrong with letting people know you give to charity or how much, just as long as you gave to charity to help others and not for recognition and praise from other people.
    I guess I'm thinking in the context of common giving. Like, for example, the guy I posted about helping with DL, SSN, birth certificate, etc. I think that encouraged others in my Church to assist, too. But we don't want to duplicate each other's efforts, and we want to have an idea that the right kind of help is being given, so there is some coordination there. We don't announce it in Church on Sunday Morning, but we do keep each other apprised of needs, and how we did or will meet them.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    Professor Zymologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I guess I'm thinking in the context of common giving. Like, for example, the guy I posted about helping with DL, SSN, birth certificate, etc. I think that encouraged others in my Church to assist, too. But we don't want to duplicate each other's efforts, and we want to have an idea that the right kind of help is being given, so there is some coordination there. We don't announce it in Church on Sunday Morning, but we do keep each other apprised of needs, and how we did or will meet them.
    I wouldn't have any problem with that. The idea of coordinating, for example, just seems prudent.
    Hofstadter's Law: It will always take longer than you expect, even if you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

    "Metal is an apple--everything's good but the core."

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I guess I'm thinking in the context of common giving. Like, for example, the guy I posted about helping with DL, SSN, birth certificate, etc. I think that encouraged others in my Church to assist, too. But we don't want to duplicate each other's efforts, and we want to have an idea that the right kind of help is being given, so there is some coordination there. We don't announce it in Church on Sunday Morning, but we do keep each other apprised of needs, and how we did or will meet them.
    That too. The point remains though. You did what you did to help others, not so you could get praise from others and puff yourself up. I think that is what Jesus was warning about.

    if you said, "hey I can help this homeless guy out and then everyone will say what a great guy I am when I tell them about it!" then while you still did good for that guy, your motivation was selfish and that praise is all you are going to get as a reward.

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    Just so happens I'm aware of a conflict along the very lines we're discussing, though....

    A local lawyer tends to think of herself as rather altruistic, and recently we had an emergency community project where we needed to raise $50,000. I took the lead in coordinating that, and roped some other community figures into helping.

    This lawyer volunteered that she would match dollar for dollar the contributions which we collected - so we would only need to raise, in theory, $25,000.

    As we blew by the $25,000 goal, I let her know we were almost there, and she got kinda squeemish, and said, "well, I'd need to see the list of donors and how much each gave".

    That was never part of the deal - and I certainly didn't feel comfortable disclosing that information, even if I had it. (I had enlisted the aid of another Church to be the "trustee" of the money, as I didn't want it to appear that this money was intended to benefit "my" church)

    So, she backed out of the deal, which was tremendously disappointing.

    By that time, however, we reached the goal of $50,000 without her.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  10. Amen Jedidiah amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zymologist View Post
    I wouldn't have any problem with that. The idea of coordinating, for example, just seems prudent.
    And, I think is part of being a good steward with God's money.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  12. Amen Jedidiah amen'd this post.
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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Just so happens I'm aware of a conflict along the very lines we're discussing, though....

    A local lawyer tends to think of herself as rather altruistic, and recently we had an emergency community project where we needed to raise $50,000. I took the lead in coordinating that, and roped some other community figures into helping.

    This lawyer volunteered that she would match dollar for dollar the contributions which we collected - so we would only need to raise, in theory, $25,000.

    As we blew by the $25,000 goal, I let her know we were almost there, and she got kinda squeemish, and said, "well, I'd need to see the list of donors and how much each gave".

    That was never part of the deal - and I certainly didn't feel comfortable disclosing that information, even if I had it. (I had enlisted the aid of another Church to be the "trustee" of the money, as I didn't want it to appear that this money was intended to benefit "my" church)

    So, she backed out of the deal, which was tremendously disappointing.

    By that time, however, we reached the goal of $50,000 without her.
    yeah that seems odd. As long as you could show her that you collected $25K that should be sufficient for her. What difference would it make who gave what?

  14. Amen Jedidiah amen'd this post.

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