Giving to Ministries May Be an Act of Dishonoring One's Parents
 

In Matthew 15:1-20 and Mark 7:5-13, the Lord responds to a question from the Pharisees as to why His disciples violate God's law by their traditions. He uses Exodus 20:12 (the command to honor ones' parents) and Exodus 21:17 (the command to put to death a child who doesn't honor his parents) to present a hard-hitting condemnation of the Pharisees and a stern warning to us. Christ's warning: We are to be constantly on guard lest we allow the traditions of men (cultural norms of our day) to cloud our vision as to God's will for us.

I believe Scripture is teaching that one of those "clouds" may be overshadowing God's will for us when we make gifts to ministries (during our life or after death through our will or trust) without first considering the needs of our parents.

Consider Christ's teaching in Matthew 15:5,6 and also Mark 7:6-13: "But ye say, whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition."

The Pharisee-approved practice of the day was to allocate (pledge) an asset to God and be freed (actually prohibited) from using it to meet the needs of parents. I know that none of us would intentionally do this, but this may be the effect of a gift that goes to a Christian ministry or secular charity instead of one's needy parent(s).

I realize that such counsel is not usually offered by ministries such as ours, but then, we have never been timid about standing upon God's Word as it relates to science—we shouldn't be on stewardship either. God wants our hearts—yours and ours. When He has these, He has access to our pocketbooks. We know our needs will continue to be met through those whose heart is His.

We praise God for those who have demonstrated that their heart is His by sharing His resources with us currently and through your will or trust. We urge you to be sure this generosity is not at the expense of your parent's needs.

Cite this article: Tom Manning. 1999. Giving to Ministries May Be an Act of Dishonoring One's Parents. Acts & Facts. 28 (7).

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