Do appeals for donations turn you off? They never bothered me before, but lately they do. I’ll share my thoughts on that, and I’m interested in whether any of you feel the same, for the same reasons.

I feel, deep in my heart, that selling the truth of God is wrong! I understand that there are basic costs that ministries incur, costs of websites, printing books, making DVDs, mailing, etc. Those costs are legitimate. I have no problem with charging what things cost–selling books and DVDs at cost, for example, but I believe it is wrong to put a dollar value on the truth itself!

Over the past few months, I have found websites that are invaluable sources of information. The Lord has led me to many sites in response to my prayers for wisdom. Lately, even those that seem to present the most truth have begun to request donations. I don’t mean they’ve just put a ‘donations’ button on their site for people who want to give, but they are explaining their hardship and asking people to give.

(God help me if I’m wrong about this, and God forgive me if I succumb to the temptation myself. I think it would be easier for Him to forgive me, than for me to forgive myself.)

Again, I understand there are costs involved, and how frustrating it is when funds are lacking! (I won’t share my personal experiences or situation because that is irrelevant–but please trust that I have lived a life of financial hardship.) Out of that comes my conviction that if you put your faith in God for the resources to do what God has called you to do, He will provide what you need to do the job, and meet your needs as well!

It was with God that the idea originated that ‘a workman is worthy of his hire’, and that you don’t prevent your ox from stopping to nibble while he is pulling the plow for you (or something to that effect). God knows what you need, and He can provide it. He can also inspire people to give, if He so chooses. Even so, if no one gives, and nothing is provided, and you are sure you are doing the will of God, then you continue and you sacrifice and cover the costs yourself. Rest assured that in so doing, you are ‘laying up treasure in heaven’!

As I have constantly prayed for wisdom and understanding of certain matters, the Lord impressed upon my heart that if He granted me understanding, with it would come a responsibility to share it. (If you are indeed sharing God-inspired truth, then please remember that the Lord gave it to you for free, and the ones who need it the most may be the ones who can’t afford to pay for it. The Lord’s design has always been to have people that would be conduits of His blessings to an unbelieving world. He gives them to us to pass along to others, yet He gives us a portion too.)

The Lord lays out the responsibility of a watchman-that if he warns the people and they don’t listen, their blood is on their own heads, but if he knows and doesn’t warn them, their blood will be upon his head. I believe it is time to speak out boldly.

I believe the Lord is raising up an army of people to share His word in these ‘last days’ (right now, via the Internet). It will be able to penetrate places where a missionary may never be able to set foot. We, in America, are strategically placed, and divinely endowed with the freedom of speech, technology, time, resources (compared to billions of others in this world) and credibility as a free people in a God-inspired country, to be able to reach the world with the truth about what is happening as the ‘days of grace’ draw to a close.

I believe America was divinely ordained to put an obstacle in the way of Satan’s plan at this very point in time! I believe we are called to use our freedom & constitutionally guaranteed rights to resist and expose the truth about Satan’s plan to the world, at this very hour, while we still have those rights! This is the fulfillment of Christ’s words in Matthew 24:14:

‘And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’

I believe the words ‘for a witness’ hold special significance. I believe this means that we, while the events spoken of in the end times prophecies are unfolding, will be explaining them to people throughout the world, and sharing the gospel message! Those who hear will not be able to say they didn’t understand what was happening, and who was its author, if we do what we have been divinely appointed to do–in this very hour! Our message will be the ‘witness’ to them whereby they will later be judged as to whether they understood what they were participating in!

So, when I see these blatant appeals for donations, it is a HUGE red flag to me! Maybe it is not that these folks are sinning, or out of God’s will in general. Maybe it is just a barometer of their faith in God’s provision. But if they do not believe that (without them ‘helping’) God can provide for them to do what they believe He has called them to do–then how can they trust that He will provide for more mundane things, such as their own personal needs, or those of their family? I’m just sayin’ . . .

It may simply be that all the changes that are occurring in our economy, and the fact that we are under God’s judgment, have not fully penetrated most people’s understanding. I believe that, as with grief, there are certain stages or phases we go through in coming to this understanding. I believe that most people are still in the ‘denial stage’ of grief over the loss of America and life as we have known it. We are all in different stages of our ‘paradigm shift’. So, I can certainly understand and leave room for that. I don’t judge these people. However, I still believe, deep in my heart, that this is a step in the wrong direction.

Things are going to be ‘tough all over’. Our economy is going to crash. You MUST start seeing things differently!! Capitalism is being purposely destroyed–and it is the will of God for this to take place!!

The sins that have been committed under this system, and justified by it, the way it has been misused and corrupted, the way it has deceived and corrupted so many and led them into sin, have brought about its judgment!!  We are experiencing a brief reprieve, but things are never going ‘back to normal’ again!!  Rather, things are going to get much, MUCH worse in the days ahead!!!

Now is a good time to get your beliefs about money in line with God’s Word. I know it is hard to conceive of a non-capitalist way of using money, but capitalism is not ‘God’s Way’ any more than communism is. These are constructs and traditions of men. We have strayed far from God’s plan for trade and commerce.

Jesus had much to say about money. This would be a good time to go back to The Word and establish a Godly foundation in regards to your beliefs about money. Again, let me say, go back to The Word of God, not to the ‘prosperity’ messages and other doctrines of men that took hold in the church in recent times.

Ultimately, each of us will be confronted with the choice of continuing to partake of the world’s system of trade, or being left to trust in God to provide for our needs. Your beliefs about money, and lack of understanding of God’s will in this area, could very well be what ensnares you into accepting the ‘Mark Of The Beast’ (because you believe you have ‘no other choice’).

One other point, in regards to those who have books, DVDs, etc. to sell, that purportedly contain revelations of truth that God has given them, and who request ‘donations’ in return:

Taxes should be paid by a nonprofit organization on materials that they sell. However, in an underhanded way of trying to escape our tax laws (we should ‘render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s’), many ministries request ‘donations’ in return for these materials. (In a broad sense, true donations are not taxable, but there are certain guidelines regarding what is considered a true donation).

This has been a commonly accepted practice, but is it really handling money in an upright way, that serves as a witness to the unbelieving world that Christians operate under a set of ‘higher laws’?

Furthermore, I would apply my own criteria to determine if it is really a ‘donation’ that is being requested, or if you are in fact being sold the item:

  • If you do not have the ability to pay the amount of the ‘requested donation’, will the ministry still send you the materials, upon request?

I say that those who don’t, lack integrity in regards to finances–and are most likely in violation of tax law. As with most things, what is visible may only be the ‘tip of the iceberg’.

Think about this next time you hear a request for a ‘donation’ for an item that claims to be God’s truth and revelation that we ‘all need to hear’. It may be the ‘American Way’ or the ‘Capitalist Way’–to sell God’s truth for a price–but it is not God’s way!!! I daresay, if Jesus were to visit today, He would ‘overturn the tables’ of these merchants!

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