the weblog of Alan Knox

Scripture… As We Live It #207

Posted by on May 6, 2012 in as we live it, scripture | 1 comment

Scripture… As We Live It #207

This is the 207th passage in “Scripture… As We Live It.”

For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me so there’s no reason to ever do anything about the poor since it’s a lost cause. (Matthew 26:11 re-mix)

(Please read the first post for an explanation of this series.)

One Comment

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

  1. 5-6-2012

    Im not sure we have the same definition or understanding of poor that Jesus and the early church did.
    May I start with defining the terms I think we are working with?
    First, Unlike them, we have a dictionary, to cast in stone the meaning of a word. Add to that, media, statistics and NGO’s that have turned anti poverty into growth business opportunity.
    Second, It’s academic to discuss poverty with anyone that is neither poor, or hasn’t been, or, doesn’t live in close proximity to and/or is impacted regularly with the poor.
    Thirdly, (western) Govt’s have almost completely replaced individual and community charity giving, in every aspect of our lives.
    Fourth, and finally, God knew this would be the case, and included just enough commentary in His Word to bring attention to the broad issue, but not enough to produce a script from.
    He really is annoying at times, isn’t He?
    here are a few:

    Acts 2:43-45
    43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

    44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

    45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

    Acts 4:31-33
    31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

    32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

    33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

    All things common is not a prescription, unless we make it one.
    It is though, a description of spontaneous charity, shared lives and the love of and for the Lord Jesus that leveled the believers playing field so they could get on with being witnesses unto Him.
    I don’t see in scripture that the poor outside the believers community received charity. I also see Jesus keeping His time and works within the confines of Gods people, with a few notable exceptions that He remarked on.
    Today, we define poverty on an income scale, that we designed based upon our lack of poverty, and it applies across the spectrum of society.
    May I suggest that we only qualify to truly understand the scripture and teach one another when we are at least meeting the minimum requirement of having all things common among us?
    I will further suggest that as long as we have widows and fatherless among the believers community(s) that live in difficulty, we are not practicing true religion.
    Who among us can cast the first stone?