Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Opus 2011-30, Charity that Destroys

The Bible is full of expressions of God’s concern for the poor.  The concern extends beyond what we are used to by telling the poor not to join the ranks of the oppressors and take advantage of those who are weaker.  Like everything else that God teaches us there is a balance.  Unlike other systems, Biblical Christianity does not assume that you are poor because you are evil or that being rich makes you righteous.  Although the two effect each other, they are really separate qualities.

Our society has forgotten that.  Part of the attack against biblical Christianity is this idea that if someone is poor, it is because someone else has cheated them or taken advantage of them.  That is not what the Bible teaches.  Read Proverbs.  Yes it talks about oppression and cheating.  But it also talks about lack of planning, sloth and indolence. 

So how do we respond to the needs around us?  Let me cop out:  It depends.  Holy living is hard.  It requires that we engage our brains and look at the situation.  I know that there are those who give a dollar to every beggar outside every 7-11 and feel good about it.  Good for you.  You have just been an enabler.  You have contributed to their destructive life style.  They may die someday because you have been so “loving.”  You say you can’t judge them.  Okay, don’t judge them.  Give your dollar to someone you judge as worthy instead of someone you are afraid to judge.

People raise there children this way.  They make no demands, protect them from all challenges and allow them to set their priorities.  Then they wonder why the child can’t find a job or be successful.  The “love” has destroyed them.

The Bible makes a difference between the deserving poor and the sluggard.  One is in a tough situation from no fault of their own.  It may be a father who works hard, long hours but can’t get ahead.  A may be a mother of young children who has a husband struck down by disease.  It may be an entire community in the midst of drought.  These people are worthy. 

The sluggard is the one who is poor because they won’t work.  I once had a man come and tell me he needed fifty dollars.  He said he was willing to work for it.  It sounded so sincere until he said he only had twenty minutes.  Another wanted me to let him sleep in my back yard.  I bought him a meal and talked to him.  In the conversation I found that he had lied to and cheated every friend and family member he had to the point that they would not help him any more.  And he wanted me to take their place. 

Helping people without destroying them is hard work.  It takes time and effort on our part and requires a willingness on their part.  You need to be willing to teach.  They need to be willing to learn. 

So save your dollar for the waitress that is hustling to take care of your table.  Maybe you could give it to the guy who mows your lawn.  Your dollars are limited.  Seek the wisdom to invest them as a steward not just a warm heart.

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.