Please remember the people of Haiti and our brethren there

Map of Haiti from CIA World Book
Map of Haiti from CIA World Factbook

I was not planning on blogging today, but it is hard to continue to hear the news that continues to come from Haiti and not say something.  What a saddening and tragic situation.

Several folks have contacted me to ask about information concerning our brethren in Haiti, and I must say that I have not heard anything yet.  Perhaps some of you have news?  It is my understanding that, given the circumstances, it is rather difficult to get information in or out, though I hope that we will have word soon.  Regardless, instances like this should have all of us on our knees.

May Christ bring His kingdom quickly.

8 thoughts on “Please remember the people of Haiti and our brethren there

  1. Not sure if you saw this on Twitter yesterday:
    lcginfo – No news from our members in Haiti. Communications are down. Keep them in your prayers. – DKA

  2. R.L.

    It was moving to watch the end of ABC World News last night, which showed a group of Haitians standing outside in the dark of night — singing praise songs to God.

    They were in Creole or French, but one tune I recognized was
    “You Are My All in All.” Talk about a show of faith, similar to Job.

    I’ve heard at least one Church of God minister speak after disasters like this against donating to relief efforts in other countries. “Charity begins at home,” he’s said — as in needy people in the U.S. Do you think this is a Biblical approach?

  3. Thanks, Annette, and howdy, R.L.

    R.L., I don’t have a lot of time, but let me give you a quick answer (well, quick for me, anyway). I can’t speak to the “Church of God” minister you mention, because I do not know the context of his comments nor the whole of his comments. However, I can give my personal take on the topic of charitable giving.

    God expects us, as individual Christians, to be charitable. Just like Jesus assumes we would fast (Matt. 6:16-17), He assumes we would be charitable (v.3, same chapter).

    This does not mean that we take money or resources devoted to God for purposes that He has commanded for other things and use them for our own charitable giving. Scripture gives us no liberty to do that.

    [In this context, Jesus teaches us in 26:8-13 that though it is commendable to help the circumstance of the poor with our wealth, there are higher uses of our money — wisdom is needed.]

    And this does not mean that we give all remaining money to charitable organizations or that we give to all charitable organizations. Believe me, if I gave to every charitable organization that called my home, I would not have enough money to pay the electric bill that is enabling this very enlightening comment to appear on the Internet. 🙂

    However, to help in the ways one can is a godly principle toward our neighbor, which Christ teaches us clearly in the parable of the Good Samaritan (in which he also teaches us how to understand “neighbor”). But this, too, takes wisdom. In a global “culture” with the electronic power of money transfers, we could literally poor all of our resources as individuals into the suffering of the world and make no permanent difference.

    Also, we are bound to help certain neighbors before others. We have very clear guidance about this from Jesus Christ through His apostles. For example, 1 Tim 5:8, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Also, Galatians 6:10, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

    In fact, Galatians 6:10 probably summarizes what I am trying to say… What is God’s is God’s, and we are not free to use that in any way we please. But for that which is ours to use at our discretion, we are expected to be charitable as we are able — first to those of our own family and the family of faith, and then, also to those outside that family, as well (again, as we are able). The proper practice of this takes wisdom and educated Christian character.

    (What was that I said about “quick answer”? 🙂 )

    I hope this helps.

  4. Hi, Mr. Smith! First, let me go off-topic and thank you and everyone else involved for the outstanding job you all did in producing our recent DVD, “2012: Mystery and Truth”. My own schedule finally allowed me to watch it yesterday.

    Something that is seldom if ever brought out is that when Jesus spoke to His disciples, they were already part of the “three-tithe system”. They, like the “mainstream” Jews, also were given the biblically based ethic of giving alms to the poor in addition. It is interesting that every statement that Jesus made about “having treasure in heaven” relates not to supporting the religious work of the time through the tithing system, but to giving alms to the poor.

    Of one young rich man Jesus demanded that he give all his wealth to the poor, thereby gaining “treasure in heaven”, in order to break his fixation on wealth and make a clean start as Jesus’ disciple. He demanded of us all that we be willing to do likewise, if necessary. Thankfully, He doesn’t demand this upfront of most of us, but I’ve noticed that the reckoning is demanded sooner or later and in one way or another.

    That said, it wasn’t Jesus’ intent, or that of the apostles, that we impoverish ourselves or our families or ignore priorities. Beyond those priorities, though, we do have the individual freedom to help the poor when we have opportunity and according to our choice of which poor to help (e.g., those in Haiti). I note too that this was always an individual, not a corporate responsibility for the Church. Corporate responsibility came in when the Church helped its own people.

    Do you think this exposition sound? If you have time to add to or correct it, I would be grateful. Have a profitable Sabbath!

    יוחנן רכב

  5. Thinker

    I don’t know if it is absolutely a rule that we have to give to “the household of faith” before we help someone out in the world. What if someone is in horrible need,are we supposed to have a cold response to them based on that rule? Or do we need proper wisdom and balance?

  6. Howdy, Thinker, and thanks for the comment. Actually, the fact that we need wisdom and balance was the point of my comment, noting that God (as usual) gives us guidelines for finding that wisdom and balance. The Good Samaritan certainly did not react in a cold and uncaring manner, and neither should we. Yet, a compassionate Christian needs God’s Word to help him properly direct that compassion in a wise and balanced way.

    Thanks, again.

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