Sunday, September 01, 2013

The Poor


Gal.2: And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

With stained glass windows, and with huge auditoriums, and with technologically advanced sound systems, and with great salary packages, the evangelical churches in America continue to build their own little kingdoms. But after proclaiming the gospel the ministry to the poor should be paramount to the church. Instead we look for charismatic speakers, great music programs, wonderful children’s programs, and a friendly atmosphere.

There are over 3 million homeless people in America. The average age of a homeless person is…NINE YEARS OLD.  If that does not break your heart you have no soul. Oh church what have we done?


Anonymous said...

Well said Rick but I think the reasons why this happens can't be pinned totally on one group of people.

As believers, let's be more sensitive to the needs of the poor and those poor in the understanding of who Lord Jesus is. Let's invite them, even more eagerly, to fellowship with us.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought - since I was a kid, our teachers and society would tell kids to dream big and that they could achieve whatever they put their minds to. Unfortunately, too many took that to heart and everyone wanted to be a hero, or achieve riches.

I'm afraid our children's generation and our children's children generations (even so, come Lord Jesus) now or will all want to pursue careers that cater to pleasure, or cater to the affluent. It seems that everyone wants to earn big money or be a celebrity, and the church says nothing about this. It's not surprising that they turn their noses down to the poor, assuming now that everyone who's poor is crass and lazy and a slug.

Churches today covet wealthy public figures because they need their tithes. They'd never preach against materialism or coveting things, because they'd lose their members. In order to have a healthy financed church, the preacher today can't preach about the "poor" unless it's a lip-service sermon on throwing a dollar in the community need bucket once in a while.

It's so evident to me, that church leaders have aligned with the rich, the powerful fake christian politicians and have thrown the poor outside the court. These fake christian politicians care nothing about the poor. They blame them and deride them for their situation and call the poor lazy, and forget that many have had their hope deferred or are mentally ill, abandoned, etc, and they self-righteously proclaim themselves as monetarily blessed because they think God blesses capitalism.

The church doesn't stand up to these offensive people, in fact, the church sponsors them and endorses them and asks christians to vote for them. It must grieve the Holy Spirit.


Anonymous said...

When I hear elected officials or family values' radio celebrities deride the poor and talk about removing 'food stamps' and safety net social support from them, I wonder where they think these people will go? Many do work on their feel all day at minimum-wage jobs. There are also the homeless, and what stories the homeless could tell them. Many didn't choose to be homeless. Circumstances in life can turn one able-bodied working person in a downward spiral that goes out of control and a person can find themselves with nothing in a very short time. I've heard talking head christians suggest that churches be the provisionaries of the poor only. How can churches take care of the needs of 9 million homeless people? Who would deny these people ample services, food, medications and Medicaid? What kind of christian would complain if his taxes went up to help those in need?

The OT law did command Jews who had crops to leave the outskirts or borders of their fields unharvested, for the poor. Would we do that today? Every corporation or business reaps everything for itself and instead of sharing the extras, they take bigger salaries when their harvests are extra plentiful.

I can't stand to hear christian media talking heads yell and scream about the poor, calling them leeches of society. And they deride those who would support them. It's Ebenezer Scrooge against the goodwill men asking him for a donation for the poor on Christmas Eve. And the ones who claim they represent Christ are the Ebenezers. I guess this post hit a nerve for me.


michael said...

This is a timely reminder and hopefully a convicting Word that will spread like fire?

I have a couple scriptural places to post to highlight our need for repentance as the Church worldwide?

One comes from the Old and the other from the New and I just cannot see the strong maturing Church able to divorce their concerns from these portions of God's Word while the poor among us languish?

From the Old:

“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the Lord ’s release has been proclaimed. Of a foreigner you may exact it, but whatever of yours is with your brother your hand shall release. But there will be no poor among you; for the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess— if only you will strictly obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today. For the Lord your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you. (Deuteronomy 15:1-6 ESV)

From the New:

And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:32-35 ESV)

There are several other places I can put up, the Good Samaritan story from the Old Testament maybe after I see more responses to your article and other places from the New that basically treat this matter just as squarely as the portions of Scripture I've already put up do.

It's going to take a major revival by supernatural operations of the Holy Spirit to jump start a practical response to see an increase by strong Christians to care for the needs of the poor and weak in the world without falling prey to a socialist mindset it seems to me. There's not much more we can do beyond lifting up the Scriptures and confronting poverty head on as the Word does.

Anonymous said...

Matthew 21:13 And He said to them, "It is written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER,' but you have made it a 'DEN OF THIEVES.'"

What has the church done with the tithes and offerings?


Anonymous said...

What have we done ??? We have changed our name from 'Corpus Christi' to 'Corpulent Christi'.

ginger calabro said...

Massive church buildings that sit empty of people many times......rooms that are seldom used........gourmet kitchens and fellowship halls that seat and women whose trials consists of what will we have for dinner tonight or where to go on vacation all the while men , women , and children would do almost anything for a meal and a place to lay their heads and come in from the cold or blazing heat.
What if Christians allowed the buildings where they meet to worship the Lord, truly worship Him by opening the doors to the homeless and made it a place where we did unto the least of these?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Matthew 25:40

Now, that's something that would touch the very heart of God, I think.