Archive for September, 2011


September 11, 2011 2 comments

What’s the good word? In my closet I have multiple Product Red T-Shirts (a portion of the proceeds go to help end HIV/AIDS), I have a ONE T-Shirt (One Campaign seeks to end poverty in the world), I have a Save Darfur T-Shirt (Darfur is being ravaged by genocide by the governing body) and my wife and I give occasionally to several other causes. Something has happened in the last 10 years- charity has become cool. One doesn’t have to look far today to find someone doing good. This “fad” has also made an entrance into the business world. Charitable causes are no longer monopolized by nonprofits; now they’re embraced by the white-collar CEO and the tech savvy twenty something alike.

But do these causes come with a price? If we relegate our compassion to a consumption mentality, we could end up reframing what it means to show compassion, which, in my view, flies into the face of Christian theology. Meaning we end up with a more narcissistic approach to charitable giving. And what happens when the uninformed teenager has to choose between donating $20 to the Salvation Army and buying a T-Shirt that endorses a cause? If “cool” takes the place of charity, then the cause with the greater marketing may win. But for Christians, aren’t our actions and signs of compassion supposed to be acts of worship? How do these causes speak to that? Does it murky the waters? And ultimately, does it hurt giving at local church levels? On one hand I see the good in these charities, I do after all support many of them and buy many gifts in the name of charity, but I also see how it could hurt our sense of what true charity is about. What are your thoughts? And that’s the good word for today!

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