Helping the needy at Christmas – does charity begin at home?

Dec 9, 2014 by

by Andrew Symes. Christmas is a time of giving, when we remember the most vulnerable, those really suffering, those going through terrible trauma around the world. Children are especially at risk. Our hearts go out to young people in West Africa – the horror and incomprehension of watching parents and carers dying from Ebola is unimaginable, but also the lives of a whole generation have now been massively disrupted by the school closures and restrictions of normal community activities. Or Syria – once again news reports warn of a serious crisis this Christmas, as refugee camps are overflowing and there are serious shortages of resources such as food, clothing and blankets. These crises always create debate about the best ways to help. But meanwhile Christians in relatively affluent and conflict-free countries are responding in their millions with generous giving and prayer. Churches in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are playing a crucial role in helping local communities deal with the Ebola crisis, for example by recognising the crucial spiritual and psychological components in taking leave of the dead, and in helping people deal culturally with the brutal but necessary new regime of having to isolate the sick, and then allow masked and plastic-suited strangers anonymously and unceremoniously bag up and take away the deceased loved ones. Church leaders have been at the forefront of advocacy for serious joined up international action on the crisis in Syria and Western Iraq. An important part of charitable giving is raising awareness and educating the public in our own country about the desperate needs in other countries, what can be done, and to help us and our children reflect on how fortunate we are and how we are in a position to give. Then if it is a church or a school with a religious foundation, we can teach children that though we can make a difference with our giving and governments can do a certain amount, ultimately the forces involved are too big for all of us, and we need to come to God in prayer. That’s why many hundreds of schools all over the country are running Christmas appeals for the needy, whether shoeboxes, hats, gloves and blankets for Syria or medical supplies for West Africa, goats, seeds and tools, water pumps, or other desperate needs. Sadly though some schools don’t see it this way, and appear to have turned their backs on the needy in other parts of the world, to encourage their children to focus their compassion on another “need” closer to home. An example here from a school in Wimbledon, one of the most affluent suburbs of London: Dear Parent/Guardian, Next Wednesday 10th December, an enthusiastic group of Year 11 girls from the Senior School will be singing a number of Christmas-themed songs and carols by the magnolia tree in the Junior playground (which is glittering with lights as I write!). All staff, students and parents are welcome to join in for a relaxed sing-along to get into...

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BBC Children in Need funds homosexual propaganda aimed at youth

Nov 15, 2014 by

by John Smeaton, SPUC: BBC Children in Need is a charity of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to raise money for the support of children, including disabled children. Its main fundraising vehicle is an annual telethon, which this year (2014) is being held this evening (14 November). The BBC Children in Need website reveals that in the last three years it made grants to sexual health centres and homosexual youth projects. In SPUC’s experience, such centres and projects often support and/or facilitate legal abortion, abortifacient birth control and/or damaging forms of sex education. For example, BBC Children in Need has given funds to the Terrence Higgins Trust, which has endorsed a right to choose abortion, promoted morning-after pills, produced pro-euthanasia advance directives (‘living wills’) and produced highly-explicit sex education material. [John Smeaton, 12 November 2011] Also, BBC Children In Need has previously given grants to charities funding abortion and family planning services and using research methods that involve destructive embryos – see the entry in the 2006 edition of SPUC’s Charities Bulletin. Here are the latest examples of BBC Children in Need’s grants to pro-homosexual groups: Read here...

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Christian charities need Christian truth

Sep 17, 2014 by

By Rebecca Oas, PhD, Turtle Bay & Beyond: The UK-based organization Christian Aid released a briefing paper dated September 2014 detailing its position on the post-2015 development agenda currently under discussion at the UN. Under their “Gender Justice” recommendations, Christian Aid calls for: “Mainstreaming of gender into other areas including health, education, natural-resource management, energy access, peacebuilding, accountable governance and access to justice. This should include specific targets on maternal mortality and on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).” The term “sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)” is highly controversial language that has never been formally defined and is being promoted as a way to promote abortion and homosexuality.  No country that does not support abortion and homosexuality in the UN context supports the term SRHR. This isn’t the first time Christian Aid has promoted it, either.  Last year, another report they published on the post-2015 development agenda included this: “The mainstreaming of sexual education into school curriculums is another important issue – and the integration of all SRHR services, to make sure they are all under one roof, would also encourage women to seek and utilise these services that could save their lives. […] We all need to increase our advocacy in these areas, especially on SRHR, and greater involvement of faith-based actors would be particularly positive.” That reference to integrated, one-stop SRHR services might as well have come from International Planned Par enthood Federation’s advocacy materials.  Needless to say, it would not only include abortion, but ensure that it is delivered as part of a comprehensive package of services and thus more difficult to isolate and stigmatize. Read...

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Religion ‘makes people more generous’

Jun 9, 2014 by

By John Bingham, Telegraph: It preaches help for the poor and loving thy neighbour but now a new study has provided evidence that religion can make people more generous in their everyday lives. Research commissioned by the BBC found that people who profess a religious belief are significantly more likely to give to charity than non-believers. Sikhs and Jews emerged as the most likely to share their worldly goods with a good cause, just ahead of Christians, Hindus and Muslims. The study, carried out for the BBC’s network of local radio stations, included polling by ComRes of a sample of more than 3,000 people of all faiths and none. It found that levels of generosity across the British public are strikingly high, but highest among those with a religious faith. Read here...

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It is time to make UK Overseas Aid contingent on religious liberty

May 31, 2014 by

From Cranmer: His Grace raised the appalling plight of Meriam Yehya Ibrahim a fortnight ago, and it is heartening to see that The Times and the Prime Minister have caught up with it. […]  The thing is, HM Government (ie UK taxpayers) are giving aid money to Sudan. According to the YouTube news report above, it appears that we don’t donate directly, but we do give. His Grace is of the view that a government which is bold enough to make overseas aid contingent on a nation’s promotion of gay rights ought equally to ensure that the aid budget is used to promote religious liberty. If we are truly pursuing equality in international development, why do we penalise those regimes which hang gay teenagers but permit those who behead Christians to continue with impunity? Are Islamic blasphemy laws any less repressive than anti-gay laws? Why are we subsidising the torture and systematic slaughter of our brothers and sisters in Christ?We have exchanged the eternal Gospel of Salvation for the ephemeral creed of political correctness. We have supplanted the Good News of Christ with universal gay rights. While we are actively bribing developing nations to embrace gay equality, we convey to the world that the life of a Christian is worth less than the life of a homosexual. Foreign aid is the national expression of love for our neighbour. Love is unintelligible except as a participation in the life of the One who reveals Himself to us. It comes after faith and hope, but it is the greatest and most transformational. David Cameron is right to condemn the death sentence imposed upon Meriam Ibrahim as “barbaric”, but he appears not to know that our neighbour is not only the gay man or woman in Uganda, Ghana or Malawi, but also the persecuted Christians in Sudan, North Korea, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Iran, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Eritrea, Laos, Northern Nigeria, Mauritania, Egypt, Bhutan, Turkmenistan, Vietnam, Chechnya, China, Qatar, Algeria, Comoros, Azerbaijan, Libya, Oman, Brunei, Morocco, Kuwait, Turkey, India, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Jordan, Cuba, Belarus, Indonesia, Palestinian Territories, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Malaysia… Read here...

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Same-Sex Marriage: A 'Truth Serum' for Evangelicals

Apr 3, 2014 by

By Dr Richard E Land, Christian Post What a week! It started with World Vision announcing that it had changed its employment policy to allow partners in a legal, same-sex relationship to be employees. This action set off a theological firestorm both because of the organization making the decision – World Vision U.S. ranks among America's top ten charities and serves over 100 million people in at least 100 countries – and the breath-taking nature of the shift in theology and doctrine it seemed to signify. Amazingly, in making the announcement, Richard Stearns, World Vision president, explained "this is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage. We have decided we are not going to get into that debate. Nor is this a rejection of traditional marriage, which we affirm and support." […]  As World Vision has learned, Evangelicals cannot declare "neutrality" on this issue, and it cannot be fudged or finessed. If you tolerate same-sex marriage and/or same-sex behavior as acceptable morality for Christians, then you have rebelled against biblical authority and departed from the orthodox faith of biblical Christianity. As the World Vision episode illustrates so vividly, the same-sex marriage issue will act like a truth serum, dividing true Evangelicals from the faux Evangelicals who seek to travel under the Evangelical banner while denying the biblical faith of their Evangelical forefathers. Perhaps in the final analysis the same-sex marriage and homosexual issue will purify and refine Evangelicalism (always a prerequisite for true spiritual revival) by causing those who accept the current politically correct zeitgeist to be known. As the Apostle John said long ago, "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not of us."...

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