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Is it right for a church's benevolent ministry to provide financial help to a member on the basis that they meet certain conditions (i.e become more involved, join a group, etc.)? The church's philosophy is "to give a hand up...Not just a hand out."

Asked by: Introspective
Is it right for a church's benevolent ministry to provide financial help to a member on the basis that they meet certain conditions (i.e become more involved, join a group, etc.)? The church's philosophy is "to give a hand up...Not just a hand out."
  • Self-Governance is part of religious freedom

    A Church is a religious organization. If the Church believes that a member can be helped but ought to work for the money on some level, then that's perfectly fine. I actually quite support the idea of trading labor for wages.
    Since a Church is tax exempt and the labor is ministry based, the person receiving the wage won't even have to pay income tax. It's a pretty good deal.

  • Yes it is.

    If people are able to help out in exchange for assistance, they should. If they cannot, then it would be wrong to place such requirements. If you are able to help the people that helped you, you are obligated to do so. The church is to spread the gospel and help people, not be enslaved to someone.

  • For starters, that makes them an employer.

    Churches are only tax exempt on their income. If they pay people for specific labor they are an employer and must still have income taxes taken out of that employee's wage.

    Of course there's also the fact that calling something "charity" when it is really coerced isn't charity at all. It's no different than the repugnant practice many missions and religious charities have of requiring folks to sit through a service or sermon before they can get food.

  • No and the answer is obvious.

    I don't know if that is a particular church's philosophy, but it is not the tenets of Christianity supposedly proposed by the Jesus figure. If a 'church' does adopt that conditional behavior tagged to charity then they a re a manipulative organization trying to use misery, fear and hopelessness as condition of any support, you know like the Tea Party.

  • The true meaning of charity?

    My thoughts are that the church's philosophy of "giving a hand up," rather than "just a hand out" is a nice ideal, but also conveys a message of wanting to control the outcome. It appears that they look at the issue of benevolence as an "investment" in your life as a whole; but apparently just giving money when help is needed - without strings attached - is not what they would prefer.


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