Caring for the Needy and Focusing on Sound Theology Are Fully Compatible—and Both Necessary

To some Christian organizations, caring for the needy trumps talking about theological issues. In a sense that’s true, but it leaves an either/or impression, as if you can’t productively do both. Actually, I think we must do both, and careful supporters of ministries should look for organizations who believe in both.

Someone can care for widows and orphans and not believe in the deity of Christ, the resurrection, or salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. However, as stewards of God’s money who desire to give to kingdom causes that exalt the true Jesus revealed in Scripture, we have an obligation to ask theological questions and deal with those issues, which in their own way are vitally important and related to the caring for widows and orphans. Caring for them means not only offering food and shelter but also theological truths including that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through Him. Unfortunately, sometimes the implication is that theology doesn’t matter much, and what matters are only the actions we take to love people and having unity with others. 

Now if we were offering the needy theological truths without food and shelter and love, then that would obviously be unbiblical and dishonoring to Jesus. The point is we should be offering them both.

See more resources on money and giving, including 19 Questions to Ask Before You Give to Any Organization, as well as Randy's related books.

Photo by mark chaves on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries