“(Name of church) partners with a nearby low income apartment complex to share our fresh fruits & vegetables puchased (sic) or home grow (sic) (sic) Each Sunday of summer we collect fresh produce & deliver the food on Mondays to the leasing office where residents can drop by to pick up fresh food. The community outreach director is thrilled that we are willing to share with the complex residents - there is a genuine need for this endeavor. Thanks!”On first read this seems like a wonderful thing to do. It certainly is a nice thing to do. The question is whether it is the right way to go about meeting the needs of the poor. I think it is evidence that the church of Jesus Christ has abandoned it’s responsibility to help the poor and has joined in the conspiracy by the socialists in the federal government to keep the poor on the plantation instead of encouraging them to improve their lives.
That is a mouthful.
Marvin Olasky in his book, The Tragedy of American Compassion lays out the changes that have gone on in what we now call welfare from the founding to modern entitlements. The founders of our country took care of the needy. They considered it their Christian duty, just as the people in the church I attended. The difference is that they saw charity as part of a world view steeped in Christian theology not secular social theory.
One big difference is personal involvement.
“...it was important for the better-off to know the poor individually, and to understand their distinct characters.”, p. 8Thus the idea of dropping off food for some professional to distribute would have been seen as sloth and lack of caring. Christian compassion is more than writing a check. If you don’t get involved, you are limited in the help you can give.
Personal involvement demands more than paying someone else to do it. It also produces better results.
To be continued...
Olasky, Marvin. The Tragedy of American Compassion. Washington, D.C.: Regnery
Publishing, Inc., 1992.
homo unius libri