Thanks for the clarification, I stand corrected. Love your books, I have several.
As for the almsgiving quotes from Tobit (the YouTube clip), here are several references to the Fathers in support (ironically from a "Puritan" site):
The Early Church and Alms-Giving
Rewards for almsgiving
When you can do good, do not hesitate. For "alms delivers from death" [Tob. 4:10]. Polycarp (c. 135, E), 1.35.
Therefore, almsgiving is a good thing, as is repentance from sin. Fasting is better than prayer. But almsgiving is better than both. "For love covers a multitude of sins." Second Clement (c. 150), 7.522.
As Solomon says, "He that has pity upon the poor lends unto the Lord." For God, who stands in need of nothing, takes our good works to Himself for this purpose: that He may grant us a reward from His own good things. For our Lord says: "Come, you blessed of My Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat." St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 180, E/W), 1.486.
Sins are purged by alms and acts of faith. St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.363.
It is written, "Alms do deliver from death." Assuredly, this is not from that [original] death that the blood of Christ has extinguished and from which the saving grace of baptism and of our Redeemer has delivered us. Rather, it is from the death that creeps in afterwards through sins. St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 250, W), 5.332.
Be earnest in righteous works, by which sins may be purged. Frequently apply yourself to almsgiving, by which souls are freed from death…Let good works be done without delay. St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 250, W), 5.447.
Make Christ a partner with you in earthly possessions, that He also may make a fellow-heir with Him in His heavenly kingdom. St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 250, W), 5.479.
The matter comes to this: whatever a has bestowed upon another person with thought of receiving an advantage from him he really bestows upon himself. For such a man will receive a reward from God. God has also admonished us that if at any time we prepare a feast, we should invite to the entertain*ment those who cannot invite us in return. St. Lactantius (c. 304-313, W), 7 A 76.
Tobit is Scripture, and that alms aid our salvation the earliest Fathers believed. Of course not the crass caricature that White presents, but:
"In the Lenten period, the Church makes it her duty to propose some specific tasks that accompany the faithful concretely in this process of interior renewal: these are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. For this year’s Lenten Message, I wish to spend some time reflecting on the practice of almsgiving, which represents a specific way to assist those in need and, at the same time, an exercise in self-denial to free us from attachment to worldly goods. The force of attraction to material riches and just how categorical our decision must be not to make of them an idol, Jesus confirms in a resolute way: “You cannot serve God and mammon” (Lk 16,13). Almsgiving helps us to overcome this constant temptation, teaching us to respond to our neighbor’s needs and to share with others whatever we possess through divine goodness. This is the aim of the special collections in favor of the poor, which are promoted during Lent in many parts of the world. In this way, inward cleansing is accompanied by a gesture of ecclesial communion, mirroring what already took place in the early Church." (Pope Benedict XVI for Lent 2008)
From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia on "alms" --
Dikaiosune and eleemosune are both used in the Septuagint to translate chesedh, "kindness," and are also both used to translate tsedhaqah, "justice." Almsgiving was regarded not merely as a plain evidence of righteousness in general but also as an act of justice, a just debt owing to the needy. "No one refuses directly," Mackie says, hence, possibly, Christ's teaching in Luke 11:41, "Let your righteousness (charity) be from within," "Give your hearts to almsgiving."
Defined by the old Catholic Encyclopedia: "(Greek eleemosune, "pity," "mercy"), any material favor done to assist the needy, and prompted by charity, is almsgiving."
"Scripture is rich in passages which directly or indirectly emphasize the necessity of contributing towards the welfare of the needy. The history of the Church in Apostolic times shows that the early Christians fully realized the importance of this obligation. Community of goods (Acts 4:32), collections in church (Acts 11:29ff; 1 Cor 16:1; Gal 2:10), the ministry of deacons and deaconesses were simply the inauguration of that world-wide system of Christian charity which has circumscribed the globe and added another testimony to the Divinity of that Church which directs her ministrations towards the alleviation of human misery in every shape and form...The Fathers of the Church frequently and unequivocally inculcated the necessity of almsgiving."
(then follows references to St. Cyprian, St. Basil, St. Ambrose, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. John Chrysostom, St, Augustine, etc).
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8, NIV)
Thought I'd help a little. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: