Thursday, May 10, 2012

What is Charity?

Noun:

  1. The voluntary giving of help, typically money, to those in need.
  2. Help or money given in this way.
Or Is it Something Else?
So, if I give a dollar to a homeless person and she uses it to buy bread and peanut butter for her family.  That, to me, is definitely charity.

If I give a dollar to a homeless person and she uses it to buy crack, while it was intended to be charity, it might not really be.

If I give a dollar to an organization that provides flood relief to victims in Haiti, that to me is definitely charity.

If I give a dollar to an organization and they use 50 cents to pay salaries to their executives and use the other 50 cents to flood relief victims in Haiti, I guess that's still charity.

Now, if I give money to my church, and 90% of that money goes toward heating the building, buying a new organ, replacing the pew cushions and fixing a leaky roof, and 10% goes toward helping the less fortunate in the community, is that still really charity?

I don't really know the answer to these questions, and perhaps the costs that a church uses for it's own facilities is in an indirect way helping support the overall community.  But I would tend to believe that churches in general (and I know there are exceptions), have lost sight of their purpose, and instead of having a purpose of helping the community, they have changed to a purpose of self-preservation.  Either growing their attendance, or just staying solvent.

When any organization gets to a point where their sole purpose is self-continuance, they might want to consider folding up shop.  Especially if the organization is a supposed charitable one.

Current Knitting
You asked for it...I knit a total of maybe three rows since the last photo.


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