Can Calvinists really be in favor of mercy ministry? According to conservative Presbyterian minister (and Wheaton College president) Phil Ryken, Calvinism actually provides the best motivation for mercy ministry. With Wheaton professor Noah Toly, Ryken argues that the doctrine of election motivates ministries that feed the homeless and give away clothing. Grace is unmerited favor. Mercy is de-merited favor. God chose to show mercy on the elect not because they deserved it, or even because they asked for it, but simply to show His own goodness and mercy. Too often, otherwise dogmatic Calvinists, who firmly believe in Godâ€™s sovereign providence, assume that poor, homeless people deserve their condition. Presumably they do; only then is helping them actually merciful, argues What Is Mercy Ministry?...
â€śToo often, otherwise dogmatic Calvinists, who firmly believe in Godâ€™s sovereign providence, assume that poor, homeless people deserve their condition.â€ť
The above is a strawman argument in my opinion. I know of no Calvinist who thinks that way and if there are some; they are rare indeed. There is a time to give and there is a time not to give.
In other words, scripture teaches if a man can work, but chooses not to, then they shouldnâ€™t eat (2 Th. 3:10). It also teaches that we should not give to sluggards or to wealthy people (Pr. 21:25) (Pr. 22:16).
In my opinion, everything we do must glorify our Father in heaven. So, if my light shines, then it isnâ€™t me they see, but Godâ€™s mercy and love (Mt. 5:16).
Also see 2 Chronicles 19:2.
This reminds me a little of Samaritanâ€™s Purse and ministries like that. They go into these poor Muslim countries and provide for their needs. But, they never denounce Islam or tell the people they are helping that they must come to Christ and receive Him as their Lord and Savior. So, whose light do these people see; Samaritanâ€™s Purse or our blessed Savior?
But, I thank God that He sees into our hearts and knows our desires and that is what really matters. If He is glorified all is well,if not ...