At the bottom of our website, you can see a small block of text which tells you that everything on this website is free of charge. This is important, so we put it in bold.
Often, when something is in bold on our site, it’s a link to somewhere. So we decided that this is a great opportunity: let’s use an important point as a link to an explanation.
Why is it so crucial that things are free of charge? And how can we be generous to people?
Our volunteer social media team tells us that we regularly get two types of comments, amongst others.
Either people ask us for money, or on the flip side, they tell us that we want to get money out of people. These are two very different ideas, but let’s explore our response to both.
Find out more from God’s Word by clicking the links in bold as you read!
The Dawn Christadelphian community is quite small, and this site is just one place you can find our online presence. First and foremost, we want to use our websites to fulfil the command to spread the Gospel message to the whole world. Whilst we’d love our websites to advertise a charitable outreach programme across the globe (and if it’s online, it’ll have a huge reach), this isn’t practical.
The Christian ethic of loving your neighbour brings aid and assistance in many forms. Our members regularly spend time volunteering to keep their surrounding communities fed, housed and spiritually nourished, but wherever possible, we will also assist with other local needs. For example, in developing nations, we subsidise farming communities where they are integrated with our own. Outside our ecclesias (or groups of churchgoers), a number of our individual members help with external charities.
But it’s a very different task to just give money to everyone who asks. We must be good stewards of the things we have, and work out how we can provide effective support.
This should not be used as an excuse, and if you think we can do more, please still let us know.
To keep it relevant here, we’re especially interested in using this site to effectively spread the Good News of God’s plan and Christ’s work. We may not be able to assist with financial aid, but you might have some ideas about content we can create, or ways to answer your questions – money is just the tip of an iceberg of assistance, and shouldn’t be our only focus. Sometimes, time and skills are more valuable, making use of our whole lives. This is usually what we can offer.
Now let’s turn to the accusation of trying to take money from people, which is where you’d expect our thoughts to lead, given the title of this article.
As Christians, we know that we should not be motivated by trying to exploit the concept of money, that we cannot pay for redemption by Christ’s sacrifice, and that we should not charge people unjustly. Even full-time preachers like the Apostle Paul and his co-workers were unwilling to take a wage, although practical assistance was accepted where it was strictly necessary.
We want to follow in the footsteps of those who were told these principles first, and we consider ourselves to have been warned by what happens when it goes wrong.
At no point will we ever charge you to read this site or learn from the materials we present. There is no paywall. We don’t even have any online payment infrastructure. The same applies for public events we host.
In our communities, our charities tell our members when there will be charitable collections, and we allow them to use cash, bank transfers or, in some cases, cheques to donate what they can. We don’t ask people to declare their incomes and we definitely don’t make any suggestions of a tithe – a percentage of income to be donated.
A fee can be charged for some residential events, or to cover the costs of things like printed materials and their postage. Appeals to cover these fees are dealt with sensitively, with a number of mechanisms for supporting those in financial distress.
We see in the Bible that God loves cheerful, willing donations, made according to a believer’s ability and conscience. Whether money or something else, it should be given freely, just as Jesus gave his life and body as a perfect sacrifice to redeem us. We supply this website and our assistance in this spirit.