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.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Opus 2013-212: What Do the Poor Really Need?, Part 1 of 2

Sunday I was visiting a church while away from home.  The pastor gave what I consider a warm, fuzzy, politically correct sermon that seemed to be saying that the "gospel" means being involved in social welfare programs.  When I was later looking through the bulletin I came across this announcement, reproduced here with its obvious lack of proof reading.
“(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.
“ was important for the better-off to know the poor individually, and to understand their distinct characters.”, p. 8
Thus 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


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.