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 wouldnâ€™t simply throw money at some program to care for â€œthe poor,â€ 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 â€œhealth care reform.â€ In fact, if the church still acted in this way â€“ the way that Jesus prescribed â€“ we could do away with all of our â€œevangelism programsâ€ 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.Â 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.