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Sep. 19th, 2010

I keep having Matthew 25:31-46 pop up in my life. It comes into my thoughts randomly, church sermons have been bringing it up, books I've been reading have been mentioning it. I linked to a site that has the text here: Matthew 25:31-46

I try to give and be generous but its not just that. I don't think Jesus meant "I was hungry and you gave money to a food bank that fed me." I don't think He meant I was homeless and you gave money to a shelter and they gave me a place to stay. Jesus said
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.'

I was this and YOU helped.
Luke 18:18-30

John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same." Luke 3:11

"When someone strips a man of his clothes, we call him a theif. And one wh might clothe the naked and does not--should he not be given the same name? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry:the coat in your wardrobe belongs to the naked; the shoes you let rot belong to the destitute" -Basil the Great

We are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside...but one day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. it comes to see that a system that produces beggars needs to be repaved. We are called to be the Good Samaritan, but after you lift so many people out of the ditch you start to ask, maybe the whole road to Jericho needs to be repaved- MLK Jr

As long as we uncritically manage the collateral damage of the market economy the world can continue to produce victims. - Shane Claibourne

We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, but we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

People are poor not just because of their sins; they are poor because of our sins (and people are rich because of our sins)- Shane Claibourne


( 2 Thoughts — Whatcha think? )
Sep. 20th, 2010 12:42 pm (UTC)
Really, I just wanted to use this icon XD
I don't mean to politicize your religious post, Savannah, there is just a couple of quotes I don't really agree with. Some people choose to be beggers. They have the opportunities in front of them in which they can end their begging but a lot of them choose not to take the step willingly for whatever reason or some see themselves as such perpectual victims they don't bother to take a step foward.

Having a mother who worked for the welfare department and actually just speaking to a social worker recently at the base, they all say the same thing... with a lot of people, it is not the system that is broken, it is their line of thought that is broken. You can offer help but those people have to be the ones who take the first step.

I really don't think our "system" is broken as what is implied with the MLK Jr. quote. XD

I mean, it is obvious we should all be good people and help people out but I was a bit bothered by some of those quotes (not the Biblical ones) because I grew up around a lot of social workers and it is not as simple as the system is broken or not. A lot of it is the mind set of those people.
Sep. 21st, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
Re: Really, I just wanted to use this icon XD
Don't worry you didn't politicize my post. Sometimes I get very jumbled up in how I want to view the world and how I want to live my life and being thoroughly informed is helpful. This is one of those situations where the conservative in me and the lefty in me cause very very odd internal thought discussions.

I agree that personal responsibility comes into play. Some people make terrible decisions and there are consequences. Some people decide that they want to live on the street or they don't want to get a job. But many people make decent decisions but things fall apart.

There cannot be a refusal to help people based on those who make poor decisions. Throwing up our hands and saying well the poor will always be among us or that some people make poor decisions so lets not help anyone is ridiculous.
(And you weren't saying that, its just entirely too many people have said that or something like that to me in the last couple of years)

To me its not so much about what the government is trying to do to help people, it should be what individuals and small groups are doing. Because really the government can only throw money and laws at a situation. It cannot throw compassion and love and hard work at it. That comes down to the individual.

I see it as a flaw in myself that I can have more than one coat and see someone else shivering in the cold without one and not always do something about it. It doesn't matter quite so much what they decide to do with that coat if I give it to them. You are correct in the fact that I can't make them decide to keep the coat and not sell it. And there are street peddlers who ask for money and freak out and swear at you if you give them food instead. But I think it shouldn't prevent me from trying to do what I can for the next person who I see in need.

( 2 Thoughts — Whatcha think? )