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Outgoing Letters and Public Statements

December 3, 2011

RE: "Who will replace the faith-based donors?", December 2, 2011

To the editor of The Globe and Mail,

Gratitude and duty shouldn’t be confused; neither can they be separated. Erin Anderssen characterized faith-based givers as “dutifully handing [the offering plate] around” in religious communities that make them “easy to reach”. Duty then, as Anderssen describes it, implies an attenuation of the giver’s autonomy and faith-communities are reduced to being instruments for extracting charitable funds. Nothing could be further from the truth. Christians give out of gratitude for what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Christian giving is gratitude masquerading as duty and manipulation only to those who misunderstand what they’re observing. Religiously motivated giving overflows beyond “religious” charities to “secular” ones because so does the love of God. 

Those who are forced or manipulated to give will ultimately find a way to take a pass.  Duty, or a love of neighbour, has to be nourished by gratitude.

Rick Hiemstra
Director of Research and Media Relations
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
1810-130 Albert St.
Ottawa, ON, K1P 5G4
613-233-9868 x332

Outgoing Letters


EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger writes regular commentaries about public policy issues. The EFC magazine Faith Today often publishes articles and essays that examine such issues.

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