Welcome To Our Blog!

The Sisters Wade was started to give voice to a young, fresh, conservative perspective. We invite you to dialogue, debate, disagree or applaud our efforts. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day

I'm a day late, but I would be remiss if I fail to pay tribute to those whom this holiday commemorates. So, to our troops and to our veterans, to those who have given their lives throughout our nation's history and to those who are risking their lives even as I type these words--THANK YOU!! There are no words that can convey to you the extent of our gratitude. You are our heroes.

I am humbled and awed at the sacrifices that have been made to build what I consider the greatest nation on earth. I am so thankful for the freedom I inherited because others paid the ultimate price. I am truly proud to be an American.

And now, to those of us who have been privileged to receive this gift, the cost of which we can't begin to comprehend, I charge you to guard it with utmost solemnity and vigilance. May we not be guilty of ignorantly squandering that which was not easily obtained. It's hard to understand the value of something you've never been without. But that is what we must do or we will surely find ourselves without it. As Wallace Bruce once said, "Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours."

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Generous Hypocrisy II

In her previous post, my sister points out that a generous government policy of giving can be quite hypocritical, not to mention, ineffective at times. But none can argue that there are genuine and great needs in our world, and conversation on the best way to meet them is at least honorable.

So I thought I would follow up Kacey's post with what we consider one of the best ways to meet those needs... TITHING.

This post is specifically for all my Christian brothers and sisters. But if God is not really your thing, you might still be interested in hearing of His financial plan for the earth.

Let's define tithing:

The tithe literally means "a tenth." In the Christian faith, a tithe is a tenth of one's increase given to the house of God, the church. I believe the tithe is a biblical mandate, ordained by God from the beginning (it first appears in the Bible in Genesis 14). Tithing is not just Old Testament law. It is precedent before the law was given, and Jesus himself speaks of it in the New Testament (Matthew 23, Luke 11).

The tithe belongs to the Lord. In a biblical worldview, all things belong to God and originate in Him, but the tithe is specifically referred to as belonging to God. It's His off the top. It's His before the bills. It's His before our needs. It's His before our Starbucks. When you tithe, you are not being generous, you are simply being obedient.

It is also important to note that the tithe is not based on one's perceived ability to afford it. It is an act of faith, honor and worship to God no matter your level of income. I was fortunate to have a family who believed in and practiced tithing, and it has, therefore, become a way of life for me. I have tithed in times of great blessing and tithed in times of great need. Learning to live on 90% of your income is possible (and not an option for believers.)

The Bible actually refers to withholding the tithe as robbing God. Malachi 3:8-12 says, "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty.

So back to meeting needs.

Statistics show that less than 2% of Americans tithe today. The Barna Group found "that tithing among all born again adults has stayed within a range of 6% to 14% throughout the past decade." C'mon people!

John and Sylvia Ronsvalle, a husband and wife team of researchers have consistently tracked American expenditures as well as global need for many years. They have estimated that $70-$80 billion a year could meet the most essential human needs around the world, including "projects for clean water and sanitation, prenatal and infant/maternal care, basic education, immunizations, and long-term development efforts." The Ronsvalles go on to write, "Consider this: If church members in the United States would increase their giving to 10 percent of their income, there could be an additional $86 billion (over and above their estimated $70-$80 billion) available for overseas missions." Tithing Christians Would Meet Global Need.

So before we call for the government to do more, let us examine our own hearts. Let us not be participants in this generous hypocrisy. Let us not be the ones calling for increased civil spending if we ourselves are not fulfilling our Christian duty. Caesar will for sure get what is Caesar's. Will God get what is His? (Matthew 22:21).

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Generous Hyprocrisy

I was thinking today about some of the issues which, on the surface, I seem to have in common with Democrats. I care deeply about the poor, the hungry, the oppressed, the underprivileged. I want desperately to help these people, to see their lives transformed. And these are issues that are similarly close to the hearts of many Democrats.

Take Barack Obama, for example. He’s proposed giving billions of dollars in aid money to nations in poverty around the world. Wow, what a guy! What extreme generosity, you might think.

Think again. I have no problem with wanting to help those in need around the world. In fact, it’s one of the main things I want to do with my life. But where I differ with Obama is our respective methods for so doing. You see, I want to give my money to those in need. I don’t need the government to force me to do it. I don’t want my money to be taken in the form of higher taxes, put through the bureaucracy of the government and given to causes I may or may not believe in, by means that may or may not be effective. Let me keep my money to be used at my discretion! I’m the one who worked to earn it. Why should the government dictate how I spend it? I’ve spent too much time overseas watching our aid money line the pockets of corrupt leaders in the nations we’re trying to help, thereby increasing their oppressive rule in these countries. But I’ve seen lives changed forever by individuals and private organizations using resources freely given to truly help people in need.

It sounds so noble of Obama to propose such generous foreign aid, until one looks at his personal giving record, that is. The national average for charitable giving is approximately 2.2 percent of household income. I was shocked by how low this number is. And yet Obama’s tax returns show that he was well below that mark in years prior to 2005. Now I’m not condemning the Obamas for their giving record. I believe it’s a personal choice to give or not to give. What I have a problem with is the fact that while Obama clearly doesn’t care enough about the needy to help them himself, he wants to take my money to do it.

I am all for extreme generosity. But I don’t think this falls within the government’s scope of responsibility. I believe this is a responsibility given by God to the church and the individual. Apparently, Mr. Obama and I differ dramatically on this point.