the weblog of Alan Knox

Put your money (and possessions) where your mouth is

Posted by on Sep 15, 2009 in discipleship, love, missional, service | 7 comments

Last week, in a post called “The Good Samaritan meets Health Care Reform,” I said the following concerning the early church:

They would take care of the poor, the orphans, the widows, those in prison, etc. And, they wouldn’t simply throw money at some program to care for “the poor,” they would take care of poor people.

The Roman world first noticed Christianity because of the way that Christians cared for other people.

If the church still acted in this way, there would be no reason for “health care reform.” In fact, if the church still acted in this way – the way that Jesus prescribed – we could do away with all of our “evangelism programs” as well.

It is easy to say that the church should take care of people. It is much more difficult to actually put this into action. Here are two recent examples of how the church is “putting its money (and possessions) where its mouth is.”

Last week, a brother in North Carolina found out that a coworker in Pennsylvania was having car problems. When our brother talked to his coworker, he found out that it would be very expensive to fix the car. Our brother decided that he was going to drive his car Pennsylvania and leave it for this coworker to use as long as necessary.  It turns out that some other coworkers checked the car out and found out that there was a simple, inexpensive problem. But, even though my brother did not give his car to someone else, he was willing to and ready to.

A few weeks ago, a young man was injured doing martial arts. Several of us know him, and he has helped many of our children work on their Tae Kwon Do skills. In fact, he was helping Jeremy (my son) when he was hurt. At the emergency room, we found out that his injury was not as serious as we thought, but as with all ER visits, there was still a substantial bill. This young man does not have health insurance.

I told the church about this need, and several people volunteered to help this young man pay his medical bill. He is not a “member” of Messiah Baptist Church. But, we know him, he is our brother, and we know of his need. So, we are responsible to help meet this need. More than knowing that we are responsible, we are acting on that responsibility.

While I write often about ecclesiology (the study of the church), I also like to move things out of the realm of theory and into reality. It is possible for the church to actually help people who are in need.


7 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 9-15-2009

    Amen!

  2. 9-15-2009

    Thanks for sharing the stories. I think tat we would be amazed as a church what would happen to our communities if we truly started living out the “early church” mentality within our life and within the life of the church.

  3. 9-15-2009

    We are getting there Alan. Lord increase my faith.

  4. 9-15-2009

    Jeff,

    Yes, I think we (and the world) would be amazed.

    Lionel,

    So are we. We’ve failed several times as well… individually and corporately.

    -Alan

  5. 9-15-2009

    I’ve been reading a bit about the theory-practice connection in Christian education this week and something in that reading surely applies here: theory and practice are always connected, but, apart from intentional reflection, it is often the wrong theory that resides behind our practice.

    Thank you for providing examples of the both-and of theory and practice.

    Now to reflect and do…

  6. 9-15-2009

    Alan,

    At least you, and others such as Lionel, are making the attempt!

    Stumbling over the holes in the road, and there are many, is part of the journey for those who are imperfect. Take it from an expert :)

    The important thing is to get up and keep going.

  7. 9-15-2009

    Laura,

    Yes, following Christ is certainly a both-and of theory and practice, both of which stem from our identity in Christ, I think.

    Aussie John,

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one that stumbles over holes in the road. I think I’m becoming an expert in that as well.

    -Alan

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Ecclesiology Wrap: Sept 12 through Sept 18 - Who in the World Are We? - [...] Put your money (and your possessions) where your mouth is: Alan Knox shares a story of the church helping …