i want to remain sensitive to this issue, third world poverty. this is my second attempt at writing this blog entry. i wrote one line for my first attempt, coming off ranting and complaining like my similar styles in previous posts. but when i started researching this issue, i guess similar to the experience you get after actually watching the advertisements of starving children in need of hope and care half way around the world, i didn't want to cut up anybody's efforts to help these children. i mean, i'm not looking for a debate that much.
i was watching a video that i rented about cult explosion. from a christian perspective, this video looks at various cults and religious organizations around the world, tells you what hindu, muslim, jehovah's witness, mormon, christian science, black muhommad, and scientology are all about. they explore all the brainwashing tactics, selling schemes, manipulation, how to reach people involved with that, their conversion experience, what the cults believe, where the holes in their philosophies are, how it relates to what the bible teaches, their views on Jesus, God, satan, christians, etc. India is one of the most suffering countries in the world. The majority of social problems in India have their roots in Hindu religion and Hindu philosophy. this includes their unhealthy lifestyle and deathly fasting. Hindu children are subject to this, producing ill results and disturbing images of living corpses. when this was brought to my attention, my immediate reaction was "no wonder we're still sending money and food over there after all of these years." you'd think that now we'd begin to see a change. have we? if it's a cultural issue and a religious issue, shouldn't we be fighting that? to erase that mentality?
i guess this is a hard opinion to stand by for myself, i do not sponsor a child. i haven't contributed to global humanitarian efforts. although the idea has crossed my mind. especially during those heart-wrenching commericals. but is this guilt that i feel God tugging on my heart strings? or is it manipulation of television? funny how those commercials don't ask for your prayers as much as your money. are prayers not as effective? God's word talks immensely about the power of prayer. i wonder what God's humanitarian commercial would look like? then again, many of these organizations are christian organizations. they're the ones we should be sending money to. because they're building churches. spreading the gospel. sending missionaries to these countries in need.
one thing i've seen more and more of recently and something i most respectively admire are rock bands that are doing something. this includes the ever-famous U2, and their Live 8 worldwide concert and their long list of bands who made thier contribution to that. i look at Coldplay and their efforts. but more importantly i am seeing a number of christian bands stepping up to the plate. taking their fame and putting it to work -- humanitarian work. Audio Adrenaline, Jars of Clay, dc Talk, P.O.D., Brian (Head) Welch, Newsboys, Switchfoot, etc. those are some of the big names. and they're doing something. whether its every time you buy an album, t-shirt, concert ticket, or set up a donation table at your local church, these bands are dedicated to saving this lost and dying world from dirty water, racial discrimination, disease and viruses, and world hunger.
i suppose the smart and best thing to do as a christian, if you do desire to contribute to these organizations, is first to pray about it. see if God wants you to donate to this effort. also make sure it is a christian organization, because you can be sure that they do good business and are preaching the gospel everywhere they sow these seeds. maybe you do want to sponsor a child. there are other things you can do, at the Jars of Clay website they have a special program that you can set up a donation table at your local church or school to raise money. and if you are looking to buy a cd, check out the band's site first. see if any partition goes to a good cause. (for the music downloaders out there, this could mean actually spending a couple bucks instead of robbing those evil conspiring record companies we all love to hate)