One of the tenets of the Christian faith is helping those who are less fortunate. Jesus promised that to those who use well what they are given, they will have an abundance. (Matthew 25:29-30)

If we see a need and we can help, we are to do so.

However, we are also to use discretion in giving. In the instructions covering administration to the church, Paul gave guidelines as to who was to be supported financially and those who weren’t. (1 Timothy 5:3-16)

In a later letter, John gives a very strong warning against supporting false teachers in any way, even by encouragement. The opposite was also true, believers were to support those who taught them.

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work. (2 John 1:10-11)

In the third letter of John, he writes to his friend Gaius regarding the treatment of the traveling teachers that were visiting the church. One member was trying to discourage believers from supporting them, which John very strongly rebuked:

5 Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. 7 For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. 8 So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth. 3 John 1:5-8

In both cases, a kingdom is being supported. The first supported the kingdom of the rulers of this world. Providing false teachers support in any way is taking part in expanding the kingdom of darkness. The second supports the Kingdom of God. The gift of the giver is making them a part of that activity.

We must give responsibly and use discernment.

There is so much need in the world that we don’t have to be millionaires to make a difference. Through online fundraising like Kiva, charities, nonprofits or supporting people you know to go on missions, we can make an impact in another area of the world.

But again, we are called to use well what we are given.

Just as there is much need, there are many who would use that need to their advantage.

A story just broke last week that almost $50 million 1Tia Goldenberg, Daniella Cheslow. “Israel Accusses Gaza manager of World Vision of Funding Hamas.” The Washington Post. August 4, 2016. Accessed August 6, 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middleeast/israel-world-vision-manager-in-gaza-funneled-money-to-hamas/2016/08/04/168b824a-5a31-11e6-8b48-0cb344221131story.html has been embezzled from World Vision, a Christian charity, and diverted to Hamas. 2“Behind the Headlines: Hamas Exploitation of World Vision in Gaza to Support Terrorism.” Israel MInistry of Foreign Affairs. Published August 4, 2016. Accessed August 8, 2016. http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/Issues/Pages/Behind-the-Headlines-Hamas-exploitation-of-World-Vision-in-Gaza-to-support-terrorism-4-August-2016.aspx
“Israel has discovered that Mohammed El-Halabi, currently employed as director of the Gaza branch of World Vision, is actually a major figure in the terrorist/military arm of Hamas. El-Halabi has been taking advantage of his position to divert the humanitarian organization’s funds and resources from the needy to benefit Hamas’ terrorist and military activities.

In fact, more than half of World Vision’s resources in the Gaza Strip – originating in aid money from Western states such as the United States, England and Australia – were transferred to Hamas to strengthen its terrorist arm.”

From the article on NPR: 3Nick Schifrin, Merrit Kennedy. “Israel Accuses World Vision of Embexzling Millions for Hamas.” NPR. Published August 5, 2016. Accessed August 6, 2016. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/08/05/488809438/israel-accuses-world-vision-employee-of-embezzling-millions-for-hamas
The accused name is spelled as “Halaby” in the NPR article. It is spelled “Hallabi” on the other articles I have read.

The allegations include examples of how Halaby diverted World Vision funds:

  • Money raised to support injured children in Gaza was diverted to the families of Hamas militants who their children were wounded;
  • Money was paid as salaries to Hamas militants who were falsely registered as World Vision employees;
  • Costs for legitimate projects such as greenhouses were inflated, with the extra money going to Hamas;
  • Fake charities that were actually Hamas fronts received World Vision donations;
  • And entire lists of aid beneficiaries were fictitious, so instead of giving money to needy farmers, the money was handed out to Hamas members.

Donations to a Christian charity were funneled to Islamic terrorists.

To be fair, it appears that World Vision does have checks in place to prevent this precise type of thing from happening. The problem is that someone with evil intentions was in a position of authority that allowed him to circumvent those checks.

Personally, I believe this is an example of people’s willing blindness to the reality of evil in the world. We have been sold a message of tolerance and the claim that all beliefs have equal value.

This is not true. This is not Scriptural. The claim of Christianity is that Jesus is the only way (John 14:6) and the Bible clearly states that there is a spiritual war being fought and that there are two sides. (Ephesians 6:12, Matthew 12:30, Luke 11:23)

Which Side Are You On?

Which side are you funding?

Mistakes happen. The point is to be aware and to be responsible.

Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you when you give. People can be deceived, He cannot.

References   [ + ]

1. Tia Goldenberg, Daniella Cheslow. “Israel Accusses Gaza manager of World Vision of Funding Hamas.” The Washington Post. August 4, 2016. Accessed August 6, 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middleeast/israel-world-vision-manager-in-gaza-funneled-money-to-hamas/2016/08/04/168b824a-5a31-11e6-8b48-0cb344221131story.html
2. “Behind the Headlines: Hamas Exploitation of World Vision in Gaza to Support Terrorism.” Israel MInistry of Foreign Affairs. Published August 4, 2016. Accessed August 8, 2016. http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/Issues/Pages/Behind-the-Headlines-Hamas-exploitation-of-World-Vision-in-Gaza-to-support-terrorism-4-August-2016.aspx
“Israel has discovered that Mohammed El-Halabi, currently employed as director of the Gaza branch of World Vision, is actually a major figure in the terrorist/military arm of Hamas. El-Halabi has been taking advantage of his position to divert the humanitarian organization’s funds and resources from the needy to benefit Hamas’ terrorist and military activities.

In fact, more than half of World Vision’s resources in the Gaza Strip – originating in aid money from Western states such as the United States, England and Australia – were transferred to Hamas to strengthen its terrorist arm.”

3. Nick Schifrin, Merrit Kennedy. “Israel Accuses World Vision of Embexzling Millions for Hamas.” NPR. Published August 5, 2016. Accessed August 6, 2016. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/08/05/488809438/israel-accuses-world-vision-employee-of-embezzling-millions-for-hamas
The accused name is spelled as “Halaby” in the NPR article. It is spelled “Hallabi” on the other articles I have read.