Daughters and what I believe

Hi everyone

Ian here again – fresh from a row with my 13 year old about…werewolves.

She says, “All my friends watch films about werewolves, what’s the problem?”

I don’t say, “You’re right.  It’s pap and you should be doing your homework, but it probably won’t kill you”.  Instead I talk to her about what we believe, our values and our faith and she storms upstairs.

I assume, when I’m not here she will return to her movie.  I’ll never know, and I suspect no harm will come of it (unless she gets caught!)  So what’s the point of raising all that blood pressure?

I have the same question about Giraffe. I like this project (not like I love my daughter, but, you know, still quite a lot).  The motivation for Giraffe is a Christian one; helping the poor (of any faith and none) based on an understanding of what the Bible teaches on that matter.

But clearly anyone can help the poor.  My faith is my driver, but it’s certainly not the only one.  I was listening to a debate on the causes of poverty on the BBC website last night Why poverty? Part 1 If nothing else, it made me realise how little I understand about this complex subject, and maybe how little anyone really understands it.

But I do know that thousands of adherents to other faiths, as well as those who profess none, have concern for the poor hard-wired into their DNA, and are far more effective than I am at understanding and addressing the problems of poverty.

Leaving divine intervention aside (something I freely acknowledge is hard to do and probably even foolish to contemplate if you believe in an intervening God), does it matter why you do things, or is it important just to do them?

In fact, can it actually cause problems?

Some faith-based charities advertise clearly what prompts them.  Others are silent on the matter. Some argue there is a captive donor base within the faith which they profess, and others are equally convinced that by staying neutral they will appeal to a wider donor base.  Who’s right?

Equally, where does that  leave the faith-based donors confronted with a faith-based charity that  is ineffective and a secular one that is outstanding?  I know I would prefer to donate to the outstanding one, but I and many like me would still wonder…and maybe give to the other one from some sense of attachment.

You see I’m pretty clear about what I want for my daughter. (As I write this she’s now perched on the arm of my chair and she says she’s OK with it.  And the blog).  If it means a few skirmishes along the way, I consider it absolutely worthwhile for her well-being.

But I’m much less sure about the charity.  So, if anyone is listening, “Does it really matter why we do it, as long as we do it”?

Thanks for reading

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Author: Ian

I'm a passionate supported of the Giraffe project, passionate believer in the Christian Gospel. Blessed husband and proud Dad of three kids.

5 thoughts on “Daughters and what I believe”

  1. A concerned friend said to me that he wouldn’t let his daughter watch horror movies. Nor would I. That’s not only a faith issue, (although it is in part). It’s also about feeding a young imagination with terrifying things that could hurt her. My friend talks of his night time terrors after years of watching horror movies, and I don’t want that for anyone I love. Therefore, to give some reassurance to my friend and context to everyone, she was watching what I can best describe as High School Musical with dental prosthetics.

    Nevertheless, some people, Christians and non-Christians, believe that if you expose yourself to different influences, even if apparently benign or acceptable, they can have an effect on you. I share that belief – but it depends on the material being viewed and the person viewing it. It seems to be the case that what one person finds exciting and ultimately corrupting, leaves another completely unaffected. But who knows where that line is for anyone?

    Biblical wisdom, therefore, encourages us to do everything to guard against risks to our spiritual or mental well-being. That’s why it says, “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4.8).

    That’s my backstop, and that’s why I’m happy to consign werewolves, even of the High School Musical type, to the category of unnecessary risks, even if it means clashing with my precious young daughter..

  2. Ian

    Thank you very much for this. I agree with your comment on limiting what influences you allow your children to expose themselves to, and Phil 4:8 is a pretty good rule of thumb – we had this conversation in our family over lunch this Sunday.

    As to the point about Christian or non-Christian charities, the choice is seldom in my experience a binary one. Our approach is to work with those charities which proclaim the kingdom, hence our support for IJM and Compassion. Speaking to the people we met at the Hollows the other week, who have a big heart for mission, they have seen charities start with a clear Christian calling, then over time slowly shift their focus without really being aware of it.

    On a narrow point, I am reminded of Matt 5:13 and salt losing its saltiness. This is a challenge for all of us, but particularly for Christian charities in a hostile world.

    1. Thanks Adam,

      I have received another comment on this which comes to the same conclusion, and which I hope will be posted soon. Matt 5.13 is indeed the challenge, and not just for charities!

      1. Ian,

        Thanks a lot once again for sharing your thoughts.

        As I mentioned on Facebook, I personally believe the reason / purpose for our actions does make a difference. If we apply the rule that “only the result matters” to noble actions, such as charity business, then how do we explain it in other cases, such as the suppression of freedom “for the good of the people” in a the case tyranny ?
        As you say however, there are many reasons to do good things, but the main one is mostly the love of mankind… to various degree. This applies to any religion (or lack-off as you mention) but is it really enough ? What is the sense of right & wrong if there is no Higher Power and something after the end of this life ?
        It becomes all relative, personal & self-centered – quite the opposite from the definition of Love !

        JF

  3. To all my dear post-ers here, and to Elaine and John on Linked-In, thank you very much for your words of wisdom. You guys are so kind.

    Most of your comments have concerned themselves with motive – expressly, Christian love. Whilst I want to be very careful about denigrating the motives of any of the wonderful non-Christian charities that are doing such great work, I can easily concede that the motive for a Christian charity ought to be Christian love in every case.

    In this blog, I was also interested in the idea that a Christian charity, operating out of Christian love and care for the world, might not be explicit about what drives it, because it believes that this could potentially limit its capacity to operate effectively.

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