Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Obligatory Charity?

Yesterday the phone rang and yet again another caller invaded my presence with a demand for my money. She barely even mentioned the group for whom she was collecting money, but was urgently pressing to send me a contribution packet in the mail.

I explained that we do not contribute to any phone solicitations. I explained this repeatedly, but she persisted, as is the way with phone solicitors.

After a few minutes of this she said, “So you are saying that I should just go ahead and send the packet.”

I responded, “No. I am saying that you should not waste your time.”

She responded with a tone of indignation as though I were unreasonable, but politely wished me a good day.

I continue to be amazed at the presumptions of these callers. Is it because most people have no ability to say “No”? Is it the entitlement mentality that the government and media and government schools and the churches have taught for so long?

Well, at any rate, I would like to remind people that these various callers do not hold a valid obligation over you. You do not owe them anything whatsoever. Moreover, the resources that God has entrusted to you are first and foremost for the support of your family’s daily needs, which He teaches us to call our daily bread. The desire to help others flows from the love that He gives to us in Baptism and renews in His Holy Supper. Within His Holy Communion He strengthens and renews His love to us continually so that we are moved to respond to one another with the same love that He has for us.

But this does not mean that we OWE anything to those who attempt to solicit our resources from us. With the amount of internal fraud in most of these agencies and foundations and societies and churches we are actually obligated to refuse their demands.

How many of our neighbors, living very nearby, do we even know? How many people living within the same block could use a friend? Is not our time and energy and resources better used in getting to know our immediate neighbors and their needs, especially their need for God’s love proclaimed in the Gospel?

If we all had functional relationships with our immediate neighbors and we truly looked to one another with the love of God in Christ, would we not accomplish far more than all of these soliciting groups put together?

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1 comment:

Gary Cepek said...

Pastor Siems,
Thanks for the reminders; and especial thanks to the Lord for the spiritual substance of the devotions and sermons.

Gary Cepek