December 11th, 2011
Recently, the Institute received the following comment
“You are wasting gullible people’s money by investing in the spread of your religion. Please use those donations to help people physically and not spiritually.”
Like similar comments we have received, it appears to be from a temporary email address; Even I use temporary email addresses when signing up for services I’m unsure of. Since a similar vein of comments have been flowing into other ministries, I assume it is the latest “fad” in anti-Christian argumentation. For that reason, I felt the need to make my response. Here it is in full:
Thanks for the comment. We appreciate all feedback whether negative or positive.
First of all, you overestimate how much the institute takes in. We basically fund everything ourselves. Even the classes we offer lose money. Our goal has never been about making money and it never will; We volunteer our time and pay our own way. We give away the teaching resources for free and they are being used by schools worldwide (literally) to raise up a generation of godly leaders. The small gifts we receive a few times a year merely alleviate the costs of minor expenses like hosting.
That said, your statement seems to infer that people don’t need “spiritual” help. Shall we help pay the rent of struggling people but not give them hope for better days? Shall we comfort the sick and dying with mere meals until they pass fearfully into the eternal unknown? How unkind and selfish. That is only doing half the mission given to us by God. The Church is supposed to bring both food and comfort to the home-bound elderly, the widows and orphans. If the church merely does one, only meeting physical or only meeting spiritual needs, it is only doing half of its mission. People are not merely machines that consume and are happy; People are also spiritual beings.
In addition, religions do not exist to bring happiness, equality and contentment to the earth; That is a side-effect of good doctrine that comes from the mind of an all knowing, all good God. In general, religions exist to bring man closer to God (or the equivalent depending on the religion). Religions usually describe the nature of the relationship between God (or the gods, the universe, etc) and man. In the case of Christianity, the God of the Bible has told us of the relationship we have.
Unlike so many false religions invented by man, Christianity is not about “do this” and “don’t do that” no matter what the popular media portrays. Christianity is about God offering us salvation for free apart from our actions. In Christianity, it is God who replaces our selfish, self-destructive spirit with His own; Once His Spirit dwells in us, we change from the inside. We live by love because we want to not because we have to. As we all know, enforcing a set of religious rules without a change on the inside does not produce contentment, equality or freedom; Neither Mormonism, Islam or Catholicism can make anything like this claim. However, Biblical Christianity, as seen in communities from Communist China to Central Africa to South America does.
So the Institute will continue on its mission of teaching Christians how to defend their faith and refute the claims of those who disagree. In this way, unbelievers can experience the change that comes from accepting the salvation Jesus gave us and believers can spend less time arguing and more time helping those in need. We seem to be succeeding, not because we are anything special, but because God is causing it to happen. Glory to God.
We are not insulted nor offended by your question. Unlike other large monotheistic religions, Christianity welcomes the questions of both skeptics and doubters; That doesn’t mean we enjoy abuse or trolling (which we will probably ignore) but that does mean we are willing to answer any honest question … and even some less than honest ones.
Once again, thanks for your comment.