The Giving Pledge

Came across a website, called The Giving Pledge, today where billionaires are listed.. ones who have pledged to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Here is a note from Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison describing his involvement with the pledge:
Many years ago, I put virtually all of my assets into a trust with the intent of giving away at least 95% of my wealth to charitable causes. I have already given hundreds of millions of dollars to medical research and education, and I will give billions more over time. Until now, I have done this giving quietly – because I have long believed that charitable giving is a personal and private matter. So why am I going public now? Warren Buffett personally asked me to write this letter because he said I would be “setting an example” and “influencing others” to give. I hope he’s right.
About 40 billionaires have taken the pledge. Here are a few excerpts from their pledges:
Michael R. Bloomberg: “If you want to do something for your children and show how much you love them, the single best thing – by far – is to support organizations that will create a better world for them and their children. And by giving, we inspire others to give of themselves, whether their money or their time.”

Eli and Edythe Broad: “Those who have been blessed with extraordinary wealth have an opportunity, some would say a responsibility – we consider it a privilege – to give back to their communities, be they local, national or global.”

Jon and Karen Huntsman: “It has been clear to me since my earliest childhood memories that my reason for being was to help others.”

Lorry I. Lokey: “There’s an old saying about farmers putting back in to the ground via fertilizer what they take out. So it is with money. The larger the estate, the more important it is to revitalize the soil.”

David Rockefeller: “Our family continues to be united in the belief that those who have benefitted the most from our nation’s economic system have a special responsibility to give back to our society in meaningful ways.”

Ted Turner: “I’m particularly thankful for my father’s advice to set goals so high that they can’t possibly be achieved during a lifetime and to give help where help is needed most. That inspiration keeps me energized and eager to keep working hard every day on giving back and making the world a better place for generations to come.”
You can learn more about the pledge at their site. I applaud their efforts. I am impressed and challenged by their pledge. I aspire to embrace this kind of generosity.. albeit on a smaller scale. Any thoughts about the pledge or about philanthropy?


  1. Mine opinion would be an absolute minority. From our humanistic standards of "good" we would say that it is good. Second, with this caveat, I am not biblically permitted to judge the motives of a man's heart - that is for God and God alone - so not judging their motives nor knowing their motives, solely based on their actions at this moment, I think it is an abmomination, particularly to God.

    What ever is not done in faith is sin the bible says, so without doubting or judging motives becasue for some it could be done in faith, but if it isn't it is no different than the filthy rag Isaiah talked about.

    Also, without judging the heart or motives, what is not done for the absolute glory of God is an abmomination to God.

    We are to give in secret not even allowing the left hand to know what the right hand is doing. We are not to give as the Pharisees gave.

    No doubt many people will be helped in this life. My concern is what about the souls of both those who give to these foundations and those who are helped temporarily and physcially?

    Hopefully some now know Christ, but my prayer would be that they all would know Christ and his salvation.

  2. I hear what you are saying Gregg. I remember Pastor Rick Warren speaking of his pledge and the responsibility he felt to care for the poor. It is a sad fact that Christians, for the most part, are not philanthropists in the sense that they care for the poor. Christian donations mainly support buildings and religious salaries but do very little to care for the poor.

    It reminds me of how James, Peter and John asked Paul and Barnabas to simply "remember the poor".. the very thing Paul was eager to do and the very thing that most churches have forgotten to do.

    So I guess I rejoice that the poor are being cared for through the contributions of these billionaires. And who knows.. perhaps some of them.. maybe most of them.. are giving from a heart of faith?

  3. I am with you on that - I am so tired of large, ornate momumnets to man in the way of buildings when so much could be done for the poor, the hurting, the broken, not to mention the lost.

    I first became of wear of the imbalance in salaries when I first attempted to hire a youth pastor in a church I pastored, most of the Seminarians wanted guarantees, benefits, and packages that were larger than mine.

    Too much goes to keeping the machinery alive and almost nothing goes to people.

    If I am able to be used of God to plant this church in Longview, I have determined to rent rather than build so more money can be put into people - the Scripture is not opposed to a paid pastor but I only want what is needed to live, rewards may be forth coming in glory but I don't need to live equal to a CEO of a Fortune 500 company.


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply. You can click here to see my comment policy.