The True Charity Philosophy
The True Charity Initiative is a thoughtful, multi-faceted approach to providing just and effective alternatives to state welfare. The end goal of the TCI is to slowly, carefully and conscientiously replace government welfare programs with local community cooperation.
We believe True Charity is just, effective, and founded on faith.
Justice – For Charity To Be Just, It Must Be Voluntary
God provides a pattern for us to help the poor. In Deuteronomy 24:17-22 we learn that God’s people were to leave some of their wheat, olives and grapes for the poor wanderer, the orphan and the widow. God personalizes this charity using the phrases, “your field,” “your olive tree,” and “your vineyard.” While it would be wrong for us to ignore the needs of the poor among us, the idea of gathering goods from another man’s field to feed the poor that are in our own would be considered a perversion of God’s intended justice for the poor. Yet, it is exactly what we do today through America’s welfare system; legislated versus voluntary redistribution of wealth takes from another man’s property and gives to the poor in our community. True charity will not trespass justice and the legislated redistribution of wealth to help the poor in our community is an injustice.
Effectiveness – For Charity To Be Effective, It Must Be Relational
The principle of subsidiarity (help rendered by the person closest to the recipient) is noted in Scripture. In 1 Timothy 5:9-10, the apostle Paul connects eligibility for the church “welfare role” to the character of the recipient. And in verse 4, he admonishes family to be the first to help their own. In adhering to the principle of subsidiarity, the government should be the last source of help for a person in need. Because the government is often looked to as the first source of help for a person in need, local communities lose the resolve to care for their own and the welfare problem continues to grow. Without any understanding of the person or his situation, charitable transactions are mostly blind and ineffective. True charity is based upon face-to-face relationship-building, which empowers, ennobles and sets free people captive to poverty.
Faith – True Charity Believes
For charity to be both just and effective, it must be grounded in faith. We find the word(s) “charity” and “love” interchanged in Scripture. Charity, if not love, is at least love’s expression. In 1 Corinthians 13:7, we find that love or charity “believes all things.” Consider giving help to someone, but with no belief that they will ever change! Is it possible to express love for someone in need but with no hope for his or her future? Charity given without faith and without hope will adversely affect anyone’s resolve to continue serving the poor. Consider also that our faith for a better future (including heaven) gives us hope for today. And because our hope is anchored in the assurance of our faith, we are freed to love radically in the here and now, to even give our lives for the sake of another. Faith that our eternity is secure and a belief that a person can rise from poverty is the birthing ground for true charity.