If Someone Keeps Asking for Help, Should We help or Not?

A man prays to God.
A man prays to God. (photo: BGEA)

Recently, something happened in a Wechat group. Some people claim to be Christians who believe in the Lord, and ask for financial help from Christian groups. They usually send a tragic picture in the group chat with a short description, and then "beg for help!" This causes chaos in the group.

In one group, the Church staff criticized this behavior for it violated the group rules of the church and affected the normal order. However this criticism lead to a strong retort from those people:

"Don’t Christians have love? You are so cold-blooded! How can you believe in the Lord without love?"

Therefore, the debates begins. Someone who feels sympathetic will give a red packet to the person asking for it, but someone else who don’t know what is going on snatches it away. Then the person who gives the red packet starts to ask for it back.

There are also people who question the authenticity of the person seeking help. They will ask more questions. For a while the group chat became chaotic.

There is another group, which is more loosely managed. Those people make pictures of WeChat or Alipay QR codes and instructions for help and send them to the group again and again, whether during sermon or prayer time.

At first, the brothers and sisters feel sympathetic, then they are overwhelmed by boredom, and finally someone comes out and condemns it. Then the debates appear again.

I would like to say something about the matter of asking for help.

Everyone has difficulties, especially in the case of natural and man-made disasters. When they have no way out, it is ok to ask for help from others. But they should be aware of how to ask for help. Christians should not do as they please, especially in God's family.

When people wants to ask for help, they should first pray, and then share their feelings and what happened to the person in charge of the church, so that the church staff can take care of things, instead of making decisions by themselves and causing chaos in the Christian group.

Because the people in the group are from everywhere, it is difficult to verify the authenticity of the incident. In this case, we should pray to God. If we are touched, we will help. If we are not, we can give up. For God will make all things work together for good for those who love God.

I do not agree with using red cash packets to support those people. From my perspective, for the brothers and sisters in need, the church staff should explain the true situation of the supplicants clearly, and those who are touched can contact them privately to give help. Let alms be kept in secret.

Do not allow a brother or sister to add a WeChat account or provide other contact information to a person whose case is unclear.

My advice is to explain the situation in the group, not only information on the person asking for money,  but also about the real situation. Let the brothers and sisters give the money to the person in charge of the church out of a personal desire and their own free will. It is better for the person in charge to give the money to the person asking at an appropriate time.

Personally, I believe, from the perspective of faith, that the Church must not be indifferent to those whose situation cannot be verified. Beside providing help in the way above, we should also share God’s love with them and let the person know that it is God, not man or money, who will truly help them.

Another thing is that church officials should not rush to hand over the money to these people, and should keep it for a short time. For true Christians will stay in the group, and those who try to use Christian love to swindle others will not stay in the group forever because time will prove everything.

- Translated by Kevin Feng

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