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Thread: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

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    Senior Member Greg Crofford's Avatar

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    CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    I was pleased to see the CotN sign this letter asking Congress to maintain U.S. foreign aid levels:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/gle...reign-aid.html

    Besides the General Secretary, other Nazarenes who signed include Jon Middendorf (OKC First) and Timothy Brooks (South Portland). Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith also signed, as did JoAnne Lyon, representing the Wesleyan Church.

    According to the article, foreign aid amounts to only 1% of the U.S. government's annual budget.

    Thanks for taking this stand!
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    Host Fun & Prayer forums Gina Stevenson's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Just 1% !? Surprising . . . .
    Anyone else surprised??
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    Senior Member Doug Ward's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Crofford View Post
    I was pleased to see the CotN sign this letter asking Congress to maintain U.S. foreign aid levels:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/gle...reign-aid.html

    Besides the General Secretary, other Nazarenes who signed include Jon Middendorf (OKC First) and Timothy Brooks (South Portland). Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith also signed, as did JoAnne Lyon, representing the Wesleyan Church.

    According to the article, foreign aid amounts to only 1% of the U.S. government's annual budget.

    Thanks for taking this stand!
    A few things. This is not a surprise. Actually, we spend less than 1% of our federal budget on foreign aid. However, this is NOT much of a stand. The US spends many multiples more on NGO foreign aid. We could reduce the federal budget portion and it would barely be a drop in the bucket on what we send out in foreign aid. We should keep foreign aid the same. Let's cut Social Security instead.
    On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.
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    Senior Member Glenn Messer's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Ward View Post
    A few things. This is not a surprise. Actually, we spend less than 1% of our federal budget on foreign aid. However, this is NOT much of a stand. The US spends many multiples more on NGO foreign aid. We could reduce the federal budget portion and it would barely be a drop in the bucket on what we send out in foreign aid. We should keep foreign aid the same. Let's cut Social Security instead.
    Uh, I was totally on board until I got to that last little sentence.

    I'm all for cutting foreign aid. I am convinced it fuels more graft and corruption than we can imagine. Sorta like the program to rebuild Haiti. (Did you notice, I didn't mention any names?)
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    Senior Member Greg Crofford's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Ward View Post
    A few things. This is not a surprise. Actually, we spend less than 1% of our federal budget on foreign aid. However, this is NOT much of a stand. The US spends many multiples more on NGO foreign aid. We could reduce the federal budget portion and it would barely be a drop in the bucket on what we send out in foreign aid. We should keep foreign aid the same. Let's cut Social Security instead.
    When you say "the US spends many multiples more on NGO foreign aid," do you mean taxpayer money disbursed from the U.S. Treasury or private donations from American citizens to various charities, i.e. NGOs such as World Vision, Save the Children, Compassion International, etc.?
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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    I wonder what the percentage or total amount is if we figured in the costs of keeping our military presence around the world.

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    Wes
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    Senior Member Doug Ward's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Crofford View Post
    When you say "the US spends many multiples more on NGO foreign aid," do you mean taxpayer money disbursed from the U.S. Treasury or private donations from American citizens to various charities, i.e. NGOs such as World Vision, Save the Children, Compassion International, etc.?
    NGO - Non-governmental organizations - private monies given voluntarily. The far better, and more efficient way to impact a world.
    On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.
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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    While I am not sure that I oppose or support signing the letter to the President concerning maintaining foreign aid, I will say that the letter makes me a bit nervous.

    When we have our most esteemed and visible Christian leaders making this "statement" against debt reduction, it just makes me nervous.

    More than anyone, these leaders should know the danger of debt to the future of the republic and they "seem" to be saying in this case it just doesn't matter. The truth, then, is that our spiritual leaders are pretty much obligated to be silent when others affected by the reductions step up to the plate to complain. I'm not sure or totally convinced of what I am saying here. It "may" be that poor, downtrodden folks around the world "may" have a primary claim to expenditures.

    I have to wonder, though, if there is not an equal amount of waste/graft that if eliminated would keep us abreast of meeting world needs. Are there other, even better, sources of support for world need than the US government?

    It just makes me nervous when our leaders are right there at the front of the line complaining. Aren't there some adult discussions we should be having about how to compensate for the decrease in funds?

    My statements are still in the formulative stage, but it is going something like this: Americans are not good at tightening their financial belts, and, they are quite resistant to the concept of no longer stealing from their children and grandchildren.

    There are just bigger subjects we should discuss before we do our knee-jerk complaining about debt reduction. That is more a reaction we would expect from congress, I think.

    Friend,

    Wes
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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Wes Smith View Post
    When we have our most esteemed and visible Christian leaders making this "statement" against debt reduction, it just makes me nervous.
    Did we read the same article? The point is not debt reduction.
    "Neither holiness nor love is Christian without the other...Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination ends in nitpicking and divisiveness." - MBW
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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Crofford View Post
    When you say "the US spends many multiples more on NGO foreign aid," do you mean taxpayer money disbursed from the U.S. Treasury or private donations from American citizens to various charities, i.e. NGOs such as World Vision, Save the Children, Compassion International, etc.?
    Yes, US foreign aid delivers very good return on investment, both for US interests and for world mission.

    I look at it as choosing prevention (foreign aid to buy friends) or cure (military campaigns to kill those who side with our enemies). The latter far more expensive and far less effective. But hey...at least foreign killing creates lots of American jobs. Right?
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
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    Senior Member Rich Schmidt's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Ward View Post
    NGO - Non-governmental organizations - private monies given voluntarily. The far better, and more efficient way to impact a world.
    If you're counting all the money that leaves the pockets of our citizens, not just what flows through the US Treasury, then my guess is that far, far less than 1% goes toward anything that could be labeled "foreign aid."
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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Troxler View Post
    Did we read the same article? The point is not debt reduction.
    We disagree. The point of the decreased budget proposal, almost across the board, imo, is deficit and debt reduction. $20 TRILLION in budgetary debt is not anywhere close to pocket change. All of that money must be financed and, hopefully, repaid at some point. Who will repay? No one alive now, probably. Just decreasing deficits to the point of zero will take decades.

    So, what to do? Either keep kicking the can down the road, or, face up to it and begin to address it.

    While I repeat, I am not sure this is a good cutback, BUT in honor of upcoming generations I would expect our Christian leader to say something about the [im]morality of what we are doing to future generations.

    Friend,

    Wes
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    Senior Member Diane Likens's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by billy cox View Post
    yes, us foreign aid delivers very good return on investment, both for us interests and for world mission.

    I look at it as choosing prevention (foreign aid to buy friends) or cure (military campaigns to kill those who side with our enemies). The latter far more expensive and far less effective. But hey...at least foreign killing creates lots of american jobs. Right?
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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Wes Smith View Post
    We disagree. The point of the decreased budget proposal, almost across the board, imo, is deficit and debt reduction. $20 TRILLION in budgetary debt is not anywhere close to pocket change. All of that money must be financed and, hopefully, repaid at some point. Who will repay? No one alive now, probably. Just decreasing deficits to the point of zero will take decades.

    So, what to do? Either keep kicking the can down the road, or, face up to it and begin to address it.

    While I repeat, I am not sure this is a good cutback, BUT in honor of upcoming generations I would expect our Christian leader to say something about the [im]morality of what we are doing to future generations.

    Friend,

    Wes
    No, the point is this:

    Matthew 25 tells us when we serve the least of these, we are serving the Lord. As people of faith, we cannot turn our back on those in desperate need. We are grateful for America’s global development and diplomacy programs that have been instrumental in saving lives, safeguarding religious liberties, and keeping America safe and secure. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have strong legacies of supporting humanitarian and development programs that enable countless people to pull themselves out of poverty and live life with dignity. It is through these diplomatic and development tools that we’ve seen countries and communities build peaceful, productive societies that do not turn to violence or terrorism.
    If you want to discuss the pros and cons of economic theory for government budgets and debt, I think you should start a new post.
    "Neither holiness nor love is Christian without the other...Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination ends in nitpicking and divisiveness." - MBW

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    Senior Member Doug Ward's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Troxler View Post
    No, the point is this:



    If you want to discuss the pros and cons of economic theory for government budgets and debt, I think you should start a new post.
    The inevitable "God card" gets played. Since we now all know that Tim is more Christian than Wes, I guess we can discuss something else.
    On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.
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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Ward View Post
    The inevitable "God card" gets played. Since we now all know that Tim is more Christian than Wes, I guess we can discuss something else.
    The "God card" as you call it is a direct quote from the letter the leaders signed. I don't claim to be more Christian than Wes, but apparently I actually read the letter unlike you.
    "Neither holiness nor love is Christian without the other...Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination ends in nitpicking and divisiveness." - MBW
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    Senior Member Doug Ward's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    Yes, US foreign aid delivers very good return on investment, both for US interests and for world mission.

    I look at it as choosing prevention (foreign aid to buy friends) or cure (military campaigns to kill those who side with our enemies). The latter far more expensive and far less effective. But hey...at least foreign killing creates lots of American jobs. Right?
    Again, this is just way too easy, and is representative of historical amnesia. Sometimes, foreign aid is a great return on investment, at other times it has only serve to worsen situations, or has served to create issues that have led to violence. Sometimes, the lack of aid has actually helped situations more than continued giving. There are many examples where foreign aid has simply represented flawed diplomatic decisions. The list is long. One simply cannot create a binary statement - foreign aid - good, reduce foreign aid - bad. It is not that easy.
    On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.

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    Senior Member Doug Ward's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Troxler View Post
    The "God card" as you call it is a direct quote from the letter the leaders signed. I don't claim to be more Christian than Wes, but apparently I actually read the letter unlike you.
    Now you claim divine powers - each post gets a bit more grandiose than the last. Since you know what I read and don't read, tell everyone what I am reading right now.
    On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.

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    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Wes Smith View Post
    We disagree. The point of the decreased budget proposal, almost across the board, imo, is deficit and debt reduction. $20 TRILLION in budgetary debt is not anywhere close to pocket change. All of that money must be financed and, hopefully, repaid at some point. Who will repay? No one alive now, probably. Just decreasing deficits to the point of zero will take decades.

    So, what to do? Either keep kicking the can down the road, or, face up to it and begin to address it.

    While I repeat, I am not sure this is a good cutback, BUT in honor of upcoming generations I would expect our Christian leader to say something about the [im]morality of what we are doing to future generations.

    Friend,

    Wes
    Tell you what Wes, I'm not exactly sure how much this will save, but save we must and cut we must.

    What is kinda bothering me about our leaders signing this letter is that they are playing the part of the political hack in a time when we are deeply divided. Proverbs tells us that to take on someone else's argument is the same as picking up a stray dog by the ears.

    And now for what's really bothering me about this letter and your mention of debt reduction. What about the Mid Atlantic District's debt? Certainly our leaders at the General Church have much more important things to be concerning themselves with than meddling around in piddling political events. To which I might add, they have very little influence over.
    -Jim

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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Ward View Post
    Now you claim divine powers - each post gets a bit more grandiose than the last. Since you know what I read and don't read, tell everyone what I am reading right now.
    "Neither holiness nor love is Christian without the other...Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination ends in nitpicking and divisiveness." - MBW
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    Senior Member Doug Ward's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Troxler View Post
    Well-played.
    On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.

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    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Ward View Post
    Now you claim divine powers - each post gets a bit more grandiose than the last. Since you know what I read and don't read, tell everyone what I am reading right now.
    The take out menu for the local Chinese restaurant????
    -Jim

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    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Ward View Post
    Well-played.
    Indeed! Bravo Tim!

    At least it was only a letter. I've read entire books for no good reason!

    Still Wes is right, just because a bunch of people who are looking for attention state their alleged point, that in itself doesn't a primary point make.

    I didn't read the letter, but you already know this. I didn't need to, a few of the names on the list of signatories combined with the political subject matter make this a letter not worth reading.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    I'd just like to say that when we have a financial crisis on the local or family level, everyone shares in the pain. In America we have so bought into the concept of living on borrowed money that debt reduction and debt elimination is a fantasy.

    Of all people I would expect to understand this...church leaders!

    My point about my concern re. the "pastoral letter" is simply this...something of less is substantially more than all of nothing. It can be argued that we are light years away from...nothing. That may be, I doubt it, but whatever we do that ignores shared pain, just steals more resources from our children and grandchildren and way beyond. Stealing from coming generations is less offensive than giving less charity to the needy?

    Friend

    Wes
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    Senior Member Benjamin Hobbs's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Wes Smith View Post
    I'd just like to say that when we have a financial crisis on the local or family level, everyone shares in the pain. In America we have so bought into the concept of living on borrowed money that debt reduction and debt elimination is a fantasy.

    Of all people I would expect to understand this...church leaders!

    My point about my concern re. the "pastoral letter" is simply this...something of less is substantially more than all of nothing. It can be argued that we are light years away from...nothing. That may be, I doubt it, but whatever we do that ignores shared pain, just steals more resources from our children and grandchildren and way beyond. Stealing from coming generations is less offensive than giving less charity to the needy?

    Friend

    Wes
    "Steals resources from our children"? Isn't that like saying the native is more important than the foreigner? Or like saying that I need to keep the grain in my storehouse because I might be hungry next year?

    "Stealing" from the future generations of Americans is infinitely less offensive than feeding current generations elsewhere.
    It is time the Church Jesus Christ overcame the disjunctions created by the 16th-century Reformation. What is called for is the 'evangelical catholicism' of John Wesley's 'middle way' in which two historic traditions were synthesized. In this sythesis the English Reformer not only recovered for the Church a viable doctrine of holiness but also pointed the way to a scriptural view and practice of the sacraments that is both apostolic and catholic. ++William Greathouse
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    Senior Member Tim Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Hobbs View Post
    "Steals resources from our children"? Isn't that like saying the native is more important than the foreigner? Or like saying that I need to keep the grain in my storehouse because I might be hungry next year?

    "Stealing" from the future generations of Americans is infinitely less offensive than feeding current generations elsewhere.
    Careful...you're dangerously close to bringing the bible into the conversation. People get mad about that.
    "Neither holiness nor love is Christian without the other...Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination ends in nitpicking and divisiveness." - MBW
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    Senior Member Greg Crofford's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    I've heard from time-to-time the assumption that foreign aid is a waste of U.S. taxpayer money. Obviously, I can't speak for every situation. No doubt you'll find somewhere that funds were misused. However, when I visited the Presidential library of George W. Bush a few years ago in Dallas (near Southern Methodist University), they made a big deal about PEPFAR, which is an ongoing anti-AIDS program operating in various African nations and funded by U.S. foreign aid. According to the Stanford study linked below, between 2004 and 2008, 740,000 African lives had been saved as a result of this intervention. This seems like reason enough that Nazarene leaders would sign the letter to Congress to preserve this kind of funding.

    Here's the link to the 2012 Stanford article:

    https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-ne...f-program.html
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    Senior Member Doug Ward's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Hobbs View Post
    "Steals resources from our children"? Isn't that like saying the native is more important than the foreigner? Or like saying that I need to keep the grain in my storehouse because I might be hungry next year?

    "Stealing" from the future generations of Americans is infinitely less offensive than feeding current generations elsewhere.
    So, I hope that when it come to retirement time, that you will be upset when you find that you get a Social Security check, and it has not been spread out to people all over the world. I also hope that you support the idea of using your local taxes to repave my street in Illinois. I also hope that you have no issue with your municipal water bill going to build a water system in Garden City, KS. I respect this position - I really do. I just hope it is a consistent one.
    On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    I've got the feeling we're gettin' set to go down a very familiar road. Hang on!
    Laughing Kevin Rector, Diane Likens, Bill Morrison - thanks for this funny post

  30. #30
    Senior Member Mike Schutz's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Golly gee - It's almost as if Greg said - "Let's create a post that demonstrates what we are referencing in the 'Why can't we talk about politics' thread."

    In conversations with a Christian who was in a key administrative position with the United States Agency for International Development, and who had also been in similar positions with Christian NGOs, his perspective was that strategic partnerships between governmental - including UN - agencies and NGOs were the most effective in solving problems and creating positive relationships with those in the locations of need. There are places where governmental entities can get in the door, and places where they cannot.

    In other words, realpolitik is more helpful than ideals when it comes to humanitarian solutions. Ironic, isn't it.
    "Fully embracing the Gospel, fully engaging the world"

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    Senior Member Mike Schutz's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Messer View Post
    Sorta like the program to rebuild Haiti. (Did you notice, I didn't mention any names?)
    Both governments and NGOs struggle to make any significant difference in Haiti. As the director of one Christian NGO told me, "Haiti is where assistance programs go to die." Making a difference in a single village, over a single issue, can be done - such as a water project. But it will cost more than just about anywhere else. And making systemic change is really hard, and must be done by Haitians. Simply throwing money at a problem - whether US aid or funded through a Christian organization, may salve our consciences, but it has not worked.
    "Fully embracing the Gospel, fully engaging the world"

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    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Hobbs View Post
    "Steals resources from our children"? Isn't that like saying the native is more important than the foreigner? Or like saying that I need to keep the grain in my storehouse because I might be hungry next year?

    "Stealing" from the future generations of Americans is infinitely less offensive than feeding current generations elsewhere.
    Well, we aren't supposed to be stealing Ben, simple as that. And yes that includes stealing for the purpose of what we might think is a greater good, it's still stealing. To think about it is covetousness, when we desire the goods or money that rightfully belongs to someone else, we covet.

    Somehow you might have missed the reality that the storehouse is currently empty and we are raiding the storehouses of others. No it's not ok, and yes it is inherently sinful.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

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    Thanks Wes Smith - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Crofford View Post
    I've heard from time-to-time the assumption that foreign aid is a waste of U.S. taxpayer money. Obviously, I can't speak for every situation. No doubt you'll find somewhere that funds were misused. However, when I visited the Presidential library of George W. Bush a few years ago in Dallas (near Southern Methodist University), they made a big deal about PEPFAR, which is an ongoing anti-AIDS program operating in various African nations and funded by U.S. foreign aid. According to the Stanford study linked below, between 2004 and 2008, 740,000 African lives had been saved as a result of this intervention. This seems like reason enough that Nazarene leaders would sign the letter to Congress to preserve this kind of funding.

    Here's the link to the 2012 Stanford article:

    https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-ne...f-program.html
    Here's the thing Greg. I'm not convinced that the originator or signatories to that letter actually know what aid that might be affected. Can you back up this linkage between reality and the AID's funding you speak of? My understanding is that the foreign aid that is slated for reduction are State Department funds.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

    Garrison Keillor

  34. #34
    Senior Member David Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schutz View Post
    Golly gee - It's almost as if Greg said - "Let's create a post that demonstrates what we are referencing in the 'Why can't we talk about politics' thread."

    In conversations with a Christian who was in a key administrative position with the United States Agency for International Development, and who had also been in similar positions with Christian NGOs, his perspective was that strategic partnerships between governmental - including UN - agencies and NGOs were the most effective in solving problems and creating positive relationships with those in the locations of need. There are places where governmental entities can get in the door, and places where they cannot.

    In other words, realpolitik is more helpful than ideals when it comes to humanitarian solutions. Ironic, isn't it.
    [I began a response to this and actually named the person who helped instrumentally to set this program in motion but realized naming that individual may not be appropriate so I deleted it.]

  35. #35
    Senior Member David Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    Here's the thing Greg. I'm not convinced that the originator or signatories to that letter actually know what aid that might be affected. Can you back up this linkage between reality and the AID's funding you speak of? My understanding is that the foreign aid that is slated for reduction are State Department funds.
    Jim,
    US AID is a department under the US State Dept and was headed up by a prominent leader known in Nazarene circles under two separate administrations, both Republican and Democrat.

    Development was seen as an equal to Diplomacy and Defense as a means to US foreign policy.
    dave t

    (This is not an AIDs program as in HIV, but as in Agency for International Development)
    Thanks Mike Schutz - "thanks" for this post

  36. #36
    Senior Member Glenn Messer's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    I'm wondering what kind of return we'll get on our investment in Iran.

    I would support foreign aid to a point, if it were administered by reliable institutions/persons who were directly accountable to the US congress, and foreign leadership had no access to the funds, but could only submit requests for specific projects. All projects should be open to competitive bids and, where practical, would require partnering with local businesses and labor. Lots of people and organizations (some US based - read "Clinton Cash". No one has legally challenged its accuracy.) made a lot of money off the Haiti earthquake, but the Haitian people were shafted once more.

    Sure, some good has come from foreign aid, but it (like the UN) has a history of corruption and graft. It's time to stop, reevaluate, and find a better way to do it.

    By the way, I don't have a problem with anyone in the Church signing on in support of any government program so long as they don't declare it to be the official stance of the denomination. They have a right to their own opinion.

    One more thing: I believe that it is a dangerous thing to build government policy on Biblical foundations --- for a lot of reasons I won't go into here. Not even God and and the spiritual/political leaders of Israel could make that work. It is my belief that sooner or later one will destroy the other. Are we a Christian nation? I would consider that a stretch and the answer doesn't really concern me. I would hope that we would be a nation that embraces a moral conscience that values the dignity of humanity and the will to pursue, in what ever way is necessary (even militarily, if need be) to preserve that dignity and the right of self-determination for all who desire it.
    Thanks Wes Smith, Greg Crofford - "thanks" for this post

  37. #37
    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Troxler View Post
    Careful...you're dangerously close to bringing the bible into the conversation. People get mad about that.
    Yes, we keep God in a separate silo, so as to bring him out only for really important issues like gay rights and abortion.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis

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    Senior Member Greg Crofford's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    Here's the thing Greg. I'm not convinced that the originator or signatories to that letter actually know what aid that might be affected. Can you back up this linkage between reality and the AID's funding you speak of? My understanding is that the foreign aid that is slated for reduction are State Department funds.
    My niece would probably be a better one to answer this question, Jim. She works for World Hope, the NGO started by Dr JoAnne Lyon. While I may not have a direct quote, I do know that Dr Lyon is quite knowledgable about this field of relief and development generally, so it would be fair to surmise that her signature on the letter is informed by her experience.
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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    Yes, we keep God in a separate silo, so as to bring him out only for really important issues like gay rights and abortion.
    God may not really have the time - I think he spends a lot of time writing disclaimers.
    Laughing Diane Likens, Billy Cox - thanks for this funny post

  40. #40
    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Crofford View Post
    My niece would probably be a better one to answer this question, Jim. She works for World Hope, the NGO started by Dr JoAnne Lyon. While I may not have a direct quote, I do know that Dr Lyon is quite knowledgable about this field of relief and development generally, so it would be fair to surmise that her signature on the letter is informed by her experience.
    You are missing my point Greg. Someone has penned a political letter, and a bunch of people have signed it. From news reports regarding the budget and the items affected, it appears to me that the signatories to the letter aren't fully cognizant of what they are objecting to, and I'm being kind here. You have started a thread in support of this letter and those of our tribe who have signed on, myself I'm not thrilled when our leaders play politics.

    Still here is the thing. Yourself, by admission, do not know what is affected or what you are supporting. Given the level of ignorance in this thread, myself included, it is impossible to have a discussion that will not eventually or immediately, as is the case here, simply break down along partisan lines. Mike is right, it is almost as if you have unintentionally created a thread that will prove that we cannot discuss politics in a civil fashion. For myself, I'm quite happy to not discuss politics, or to read about politics here. An informed discussion about a particular situation might be different, although we have demonstrated in the past that most naznet participants, and I'll include myself here, are extremely partisan, and I'll include you as well. Much better if we could stay away from politics in general, it's nothing but divisive and we have zero influence on the outcome.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

    Garrison Keillor

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