A True Disciple of Christ OR a "Christian" Philanthropist?
When caring and conscientious people lose faith in the after life, judgment day, and the realities of a coming world; they then invest their lives in this world. They find fulfillment in helping children, special needs youth, orphans and the poor or homeless to have a happier existence in this life. They see human happiness in this life as the ultimate good, and they find satisfaction and joy in making a difference in someone’s life in this world.
When these people lose faith in God’s Word, they care less about truth and doctrine, and just find a refuge of satisfaction and a soothing for their conscience in what they now deem “something worth living for” — investing in people — that little orphan girl that touched your heart with a big hug and smile and “I love you” or that little boy without a home or parents to love him. You say, “Now this is worth living for, and who can condemn me? ... not even God.” They then reason that God must have the same priorities as they now have; and that the real heart of Christianity and Christ’s teaching is to accomplish what they are working for now. They latch onto verses like, Ro 13:8 “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” They ignore the context and the message of the Scriptures as a whole, and create their own “Gospel” based on their own values.
The sad reality, however, is that they have left the path, plan and priorities of God; and have mapped out their own way based on their value system, and what they deem valuable in this life. They have made the happiness of people — at least the one’s who touch their heart — the “highest good”. Before man can find true happiness in eternity, however, he must reconcile with God who now holds him under condemnation for his crimes against God’s holy law. Reconciling with God may mean forsaking his present lifestyle, religion, and safety. Reconciling with God may bring him into danger, family division, and may jeopardize his life or his livelihood. Reconciling with God means aligning my mind, heart, and life with God’s values, doctrines, and will.
God’s “highest good” is not the same as theirs, but includes right doctrine, holy living, and hatred of sin along with helping ALL people without partiality - And not just helping them materially; but rather preaching repentance to them to save them from coming judgment. This means condemning their present life-style, values, and pursuits; and most likely causing pain in their present life in hopes of another. Paul’s converts were put into the way of danger and suffering by following the Gospel he preached.
Ac 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
When I begin then to make an issue of right or wrong doctrine; preach repentance to sinners; condemn ungodliness, immodesty, and false religion; THESE PHILANTHROPISTS BECOME ANGRY. Why? Because I am making “man’s wellbeing in the after life” first priority; while they are making “man’s wellbeing in this life” first priority. “I am disrupting man’s happiness for ‘my particular religious views’.” Well, Jesus made it clear that making the after life first priority often causes loss, pain, depravation, and divisions in this life — Being too “religious” often initially causes family division, pain, and loss in order make the transition into a Biblical life of blessings, joy, and salvation.
Mt 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Philanthropists are not judgmental or condemning; but speak only of love, acceptance, and compassion — at least with their special group. They are very critical, judgmental and condemning, however, with the Christians who are trying to bring sinners to God through God’s criteria. Did you ever wonder why everyone who dies is said at the funeral to “be in a better place” regardless of how they lived? It is because these philanthropists are not true believers; but see religion as a necessary crutch for the simple and ignorant, and they are more than willing to play along with it for the sake of human comfort and happiness; just like the parents who play along with Santa Claus for the sake of the children’s happiness.
This is why there is a great rift between the two camps that both speak of “GOD’S LOVE”, and talk about Jesus — but we have a different Jesus who certainly has a different love.
You can be a Philanthropist and still be immodest, immoral, extravagant, self serving, proud, and a heretic in doctrine. You can even be an atheist or evolutionist or homosexual. As long as you are finding joy in life by making other’s lives more pleasant, then you are considered a “good” person, whether God says you are good or not. To be a true disciple of Jesus, though, you cannot be immodest, immoral, extravagant, self serving, proud, or a heretic in doctrine. You cannot just “lay aside your differences” and “all just get along”. You cannot just allow every man to believe as he wishes as long as it meets his needs. You cannot believe that each religion is as good as another as long as it makes people happy, etc. You cannot preach the easy-believe Gos-pill that immediately gives an unconditional acceptance with God and a mansion over the hilltop. Philanthropy is the most dangerous false piety, because it is easy to defend in the eyes of people — why? Because “people’s happiness” is the highest priority, and “who would dare to militate against that”? The true prophet is then easily painted up as “uncaring” “unloving” and “hateful” when he is speaking the truth that really saves the soul from eternal damnation.
Most think that philanthropy is the heart of Christianity; but actually it is the heart of humanism. A good Christian who seeks first the Kingdom of God will also seek the wellbeing of those around him; but it will be appropriately done from God’s perspective, not simply human comfort and happiness. God has sacrificed human happiness many times for the sake of TRUTH, JUSTICE, LAW, AND HOLINESS — Remember the Flood? God’s priority is not human happiness in THIS LIFE; but His goal in the gospel is HUMAN HAPPINESS IN ETERNITY without disregarding principles of justice, holiness, and appropriateness.
The philanthropists mistakenly claim Jesus into their camp, because in some areas he did side with the cause of “loving humans” against the unloving Pharisees and Sadducees who didn’t care for people, but only for their religious image and position. But Jesus was not standing for philanthropy; He was standing for the truth of God’s Word and kingdom, which loves man when God deems it appropriate and within the confines of God’s values and plans. Jesus certainly didn’t put man’s wellbeing in this life as top priority; but called men to repentance upon pain of perishing. Jesus told his own disciples that they were His friends only when they kept His commandments. Jesus said that they only could abide in His love and His Father’s love when they obeyed His commandments. Jesus said that those who did not want Him to reign over them would be slain before Him when He comes. He was not a pacifist or philanthropist or humanist; but He appropriately represented God’s Government of justice, holiness, and perfect appropriateness.
Matt 22:35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Notice that there are TWO commandments that sum up the entire Law of God, and the first one is greater than the second. The first is loving God, which means loving His Laws, commandments, doctrines, as well as His honor, government, and will. The sin of the Philanthropist is to elevate man's happiness above God's happiness to the despising of God's doctrine, government, honor, law, and will. It is sad that they have lost faith in Judgment Day. It is sad that they have set their affections on things below, rather than on things above. It is sad because all their good deeds toward people will not bring them rewards from God due to these realities. They will be condemned by their audacious pride in setting up their own values to the condemnation of Gods. God will declare to them as He did to Job
Job 40:8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Job repented - will you?