Some things never cease to amaze me. Christians talk about a lot of good and righteous things, but when confronted with having to DO them or follow the crowd; most of the time the crowd wins. It takes a special kind of person to break away from the safety of numbers and take a stand for what is right, even if everyone thinks you are wrong. As Christians, we are faced with the conundrum of trying please others but at the same time trying to stand on principle.
I have been a member here at Christian Blog a long time. I have seen policies and people come and go many times since I joined this site in October of 2007. Without question, the issue that has caused the greatest number of problems over the years (outside of theological arguments) is money. Is this really so surprising? Aren't many of the problems that erupt within a marriage and in families related to financial matters? Of course they are.
The founder of this site determined long ago NOT to make Christian Blog a church, charity or any other type of group where donations would be tax deductable.Personally, I respect this decision but many people over the years have used this decision as their reason for not giving more than a few dollars per month (if that) to Christian Blog They have said they would give more if their gifts were tax deductable, but would they?
If the giving and sharing we do as Christians is determined by and directed to only the places where we get tax benefits, how can that giving honestly be deemed free will giving ? If our giving is only to places where we are guaranteed a tax advantage, how can that be called giving out of faith ? Giving only to receive is tainted giving. Giving only to places and people who give us something in return is selfish. What kind of tax advantages did the poor afflicted believers in Macedonia receive for their giving to the Apostle Paul as recorded in 2 Corinthians 8? NONE!
I have fought the crutch of tax benefits many Christians use to justify their giving (or not giving) for years. When I started my charity back in 2006 I deliberately did not make it a legal charity capable of making people's giving tax deductable because I didn't want to do all the work needed to keep the government happy and I did not, and still do not, believe that our giving should be dictated by tax advantages. I believe our giving should be determined by the love of God in our heart and willingness to give with no strings attached and with no expectation of return.
I have watched this site and its owner, John Abela, struggle under the weight of people being unwilling to give for more than seven years. I have watched as people who had the means to really make a difference in the financial state of this site take pride in NOT GIVING so as to prove some kind of point. I have watched countless people come to this site who quite literally did not have anything to give but who got blessed reading and writing blogs. I have watched with utter disgust as my brothers and sisters in Christ treated the idea of giving to this site as some kind of compromise or even anathema!
I am fully aware that if I had given all the money I gave Christian Blog to some group who has tax advantages; I would have received a much bigger tax refund than I did last week. But, is receiving a bigger tax refund more important than honoring what one believes in their heart is right? Is giving only for the sake of receiving a bigger tax refund right? Personally, I would rather do without the tax refund than to give my funds to some place I do not believe in.
It is no great secret that I give a lot of money each month to this site. I do this because of the gratitude in my heart for John providing a platform so my 2000+ blogs can be seen and read by anyone on the internet at any time for as long as this site is around. Oh how I wish I had more to give for I would, without any hesitation or regret, give most of it to this site as a gift of appreciation.
Twice a year, for birthdays and at Christmas, we send our six nieces and nephews a small check. We have done this for years. Out of six people, we may get one thank you in return (these kids are all in their teens and early 20's). Every time I write one of those checks I cringe for I know it will be unappreciated and spent on something frivolous. This is exactly how most Christians feel as they write a check to their church or favorite charity. They do it grudgingly or of necessity to receive the tax benefits or because they have to instead of out of cheerful heart.
Enough of my rambling, but with the changes happening ton this site today, I felt compelled to share of my heart as one who has been here a long time and supported Christian Blog as much as I possibly could with no tangible rewards (tax benefits) in return. Let me say right now before God and man that I will continue to support this ministry as long as it is here to support and God gives me the means to give. Even if he doesn't, I will do as I have in the past; sell things to get the funds to give. I exhort each and every one of you to rise up and give back to this incredible site that has given so much to so many for so many years. Thank you for listening.
The way things are going a tax credit for giving to a church may not last much longer in this country. The government likes to put strings on any benefit they give the people by dictating their terms to the recipient. The government can use tax credits, zoning regulations, safety regulations, traffic congestion and any number of other things to make it difficult if not impossible for a church to survive. People should not need to be bribed with tax credits to give to a ministry. If the ministry is worthwhile and they and others are blessed by those it serves then we should support it as best we can. Christian blog is one ministry that should be supported by all that belong to it.
Hey Kirk, I just want to say thank you for all of the support that you and your wife (and so many others) have given over the years. CB would simply not continue to be online without the blessed givings I have received.
Yeah many people are always looking for something in return for their efforts !
Personal I am unable to give because I have no income for my labor I am a caregiver for my brother and Son and wife and I take care of them and in return they pay for my needs ,and my wife kinda don't like me having to pay for the membership I have here but I told her that I love this place and all the people who are sharing their blogs with others and the assembly together in the love of the lord and the many things we can learn .
And one thing I would not want to see happen is for CB not to be here an longer and I will be praying though for the lord to make a way for me to make money that I may be able to contribute more ,I had a website before and I understand the things that John is talking about and the cost is very real and can Be time consuming greatly to maintain aswell .
And I am still praying that the lord increases the membership tenfold !
Be forever blessed