Making some noise

I happened upon a post by Eugene Cho today that speaks well to the issue of giving public testimony, as Christians, about our monetary giving (something I have mentioned here recently). Eugene and his wife, Minhee, are dedicating their earnings for an entire year toward launching a humanitarian organization to battle world poverty and one of his blog readers challenged their choice to announce that publicly, asking: “Why not just do it in secret?” I appreciated his thoughtful, honest response to that question, and encourage others to check out his post: Loudly Fighting Poverty.


  1. Left my thoughts on Eugene’s blog about taking the initiative to announce our own personal financial giving to others but felt like I was speaking cross-culturally and maybe across generations after reading the comments start to finish.

    Could you interpret?

    Why do you think Jesus’ clear teaching that we shouldn’t take the initiative to publicly announce our own personal financial giving is acceptable in some circumstances?

    I don’t think the article about Tom and Bree in People qualifies. I’m sure People contacted them after getting a tip from somebody else and they took the opportunity to witness. Cool.

    I’m all for exceptions to the rule :^) but I wasn’t convinced by anything I read on Eugene’s thread.

    Your thoughts?

  2. I appreciated your thoughts on Eugene’s blog…made me think…

    If I remember correctly, Tom posted his profile on some website that gave people a chance to share testimonies about giving, which is where People picked them up…so, they did not approach People, no, but they did make a sort of public declaration about their choices (pretty sure it was a secular thing with a variety of stories about different people giving).

    I guess as I have only pretty recently been thinking about this, I have been struck by all the other areas of our stewardship of gifts that we freely discuss and how that is instructive: how it models and teaches, etc. And then in the area of money, it’s like we don’t share that freely and people are left to just figure it out on their own.

    Anyway, I have more thoughts than this–I think enough for a post, so I will share them in that format.

  3. Important stuff, I think, for the future of Christian justice ministries.

    Jesus seems to encourage public witness except for exposing our personal prayer lives and our personal financial giving to others.

    Must be something about prayer and giving money that are unusually powerful for the good but may be easily abused too.

    Seemed like the consensus on Eugene’s thread was that Jesus’ teaching about discretion re personal financial giving was only applicable for the ‘self-righteous’ in Jesus’ day but not for cutting edge people now who really want to do God’s will by serving the poor.

    Oh well :^) As if the Pharisees weren’t the best and brightest of the religious people of their day and didn’t start out on the cutting edge.

    I’m as frustrated as you are that more Christians don’t give big to a more potentially honest and alternative and living gospel take.

    In spite of that frustration, I hope we can find a way to do development and fund raising for cutting edge stuff that encourages justice minded folks to go out of their way to give wild generous finance while telling tales about other people’s generosity rather than their own.

    Seems like the challenge is go viral without putting hearts at risk.

  4. Tom,

    Your comments here (and on Eugene’s blog) have got me thinking…

    I think one thought that is standing out right now is the way we have shifted from a corporate witness to things like generosity/giving toward highlighting what individuals do…there is probably something in that to examine

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