the weblog of Alan Knox

A balanced look at our responsibilities to the poor…

Posted by on Feb 28, 2007 in community, service | 4 comments

Ray at “Observations and Opinions” has written a very good post called “Responsibility“. He examines the responsibility of the church toward those with needs, both those within the church and those outside the church. His thoughts are very balanced and worth considering.

He also examines how we should carry out our responsibilities toward those with needs. Consider this paragraph:

Our responsibility goes beyond ‘cutting a check’ for a group; I live, literally, within 10 miles of at least four monster churches, and I have visited two of them and inquired about their programs, and found that they do exactly what I said above. While I applaud their financial support, I believe that the church should do much, much more than just send money. Some of these churches could easily support a true outreach center, where single, or battered women could find shelter and spiritual help, or where children could be taught etc.

He also compares the church’s response to the poor to the response of those outside the church:

It is a sad statement that those who are doing the most for the community are people that the Christian community labels as heretics. While some of these people are truly heretical in their view, and some are health and wealth acolytes, at least they are reaching their community. What does it say about the Christian community when the best-known example of community service comes from a church that teaches false doctrine? Why do we think people flock to some of these places?

So, I ask you what Ray asks: What does it say about the Christian community when the best-known example of community service comes from a church that teaches false doctrine? And, I will add, what does it say about the church when the best-known examples of community service do not come from the church at all?


4 Comments

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  1. 2-28-2007

    Alan -

    There is an excellent article tonight over at Relevant Magazine called “Ghosts on the Street Today” … check it out :-)

    ~Heather

  2. 2-28-2007

    Heather,

    Thank you for the link. You are right, this is a very thought-provoking article.

    -Alan

  3. 3-1-2007

    Good article Heather — that is what I have observed — that people who are homeless become invisible, almost ‘things’ rather than people.

    An irritation to be ignored, or a finger-pointing and a well placed “Why don’t these people get a job?”

    It is only once you get to know one of these folks, or become one yourself, that you begin to get past the stigma that the media and even the church has placed upon these folks.

    I know taht some are shysters and con artists, but there are plenty who are neither one of those.

    I pray the church in our country will step out of their air-conditioned, carpeted, Starbucks-laden edifices long enough to pull one of the least of these to safety!

    Sorry, got on my soapbox!

  4. 3-1-2007

    Ray,

    You are certainly busting my chops on your soap box… but I need it. Thank you.

    -Alan