Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Who's Actually Less Loving?

I just came across a study about the role of the Bible in the lives of Americans, through a link from J. Warner Wallace. You can read about the study in more depth here. Notice, for example, the sections on "Giving to Non-Profit Organizations". Take note of the contrast between how much particular groups give and how often those groups claim that they object to Christianity because it's unloving, divisive, hypocritical, etc. Here's an article by Chris Price on Christianity's historical influence on charity.

"…why do we not observe that it is their [Christians'] benevolence to strangers…their care for the graves of the dead and the pretended holiness of their lives that have done most to increase atheism [Christianity]?…For it is disgraceful that, when no Jew ever has to beg, and the impious Galilaeans [Christians] support not only their own poor but ours as well, all men see that our people lack aid from us." (Julian the Apostate, cited in John Cook, The Interpretation Of The New Testament In Greco-Roman Paganism [Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002], 327)


  1. Some relevant stats from http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/RevealingStatistics.html

    The typical no-faith American donated $200 in 2006, versus $1500 contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult. Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics, and only 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, versus 22% among the no-faith adults. - http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12-faithspirituality/102-atheists-and-agnostics-take-aim-at-christians?tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default&page=

    The amount that churches are giving overseas in goods and services to developing (“Third World”) countries amounts to $8.8 billion. This figures out to be nearly 40 percent of the foreign aid provided by the United States to the same region. U.S. foreign aid to those same countries is $23.5 billion. - Carol Adelman of the Hudson Institute, from Notre Dame University study. - http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?id=118566

    On average, weekly churchgoers donate 3.8% of their income to charity, compared to 0.8% for those who never go. Independent Sector (charitable clearing house): - Atheists won't save Europe by Don Feder; http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=27937

    Church members gave 2.56 percent of their income in 2004, down from 3.11 percent in 1968. Only 15% was for ministry outside the church. - http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20061012-105326-4799r.htm October 13, 2006

    Over 50 percent of the members of any given Christian congregation donate little or nothing toward their church’s upkeep and ministries. - Terry Mattingly. Syndicated column from Scripps Howard News Service, January 24, 2001. http://www.generousgiving.org/stats# (web source provides many more stats on giving)

  2. part. 2

    Of every dollar given to a U.S. Protestant church, the average amount that goes to overseas missions is two cents. In 1920 the church gave 10 percent of the total offering to missions, compared to today’s 2 percent. In addition, individual Christians do not even tithe, giving less per capita than Christians gave during the Great Depression. Gene Edward Veith. World Magazine, October 22, 2005.

    American Evangelicals gave four times as much, per person, to churches as did all other church donors in 2001. 88 percent of Evangelicals and 73 percent of all Protestants donated to churches. - John Ronsvalle and Sylvia Ronsvalle, The State of Church Giving through 2004: Will We Will? 16th ed. (Champaign, Ill.: Empty Tomb, 2006),12. http://www.generousgiving.org/stats#

    Among Evangelicals, almost 90 cents of every donated dollar goes to their churches. The proportion drops, however, as people's spiritual intensity and commitment to Christ decline. - George Barna, quoted in Survey Finds Americans More Generous Last Year, press release by World Vision, July 22, 2002. http://www.generousgiving.org/stats#

    Donating Money (during the last month): Church of Christ churches were the highest at 29%, with Catholics being the lowest at 12%. - http://www.science20.com/print/972444

    Americans have given less and less of their disposable income to religious charity since the 1960s and now spend more on church buildings and staff and less on helping the needy, according to a study by Empty Tomb. Larry Witham. The Washington Times, November 19, 2002

    Giving as a percentage of income was higher at the depth of the Great Depression in the 1930s (3.3 percent of per capita income in 1933) than after a half-century of unprecedented prosperity (2.5 percent in 2004) - John Ronsvalle and Sylvia Ronsvalle, The State of Church Giving through 2004: Will We Will? 16th ed. (Champaign, Ill.: Empty Tomb, 2006)..

    Including religious households, American households overall gave 3.5% of their income to charity, with approx. 33% going to religious institutions. Utah was the state with the highest average per-capita charitable contributions, followed by Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas. - Professor Arthur Brooks, 2005. http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-english/2005/February/200502181639511CJsamohT5.593508e-02.html