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Christians not caring about poverty

In general, we Christians are too nice.  We often don’t say what we’re thinking, preferring not to offend anyone.  And that’s one of the things I like about Tom Davis – he’s not afraid to call out Christians.   He calls ’em like he sees ’em.  And, he puts his money where his m…
By Seth Barnes
In general, we Christians are too nice.  We often don’t say what we’re thinking, preferring not to offend anyone.  And that’s one of the things I like about Tom Davis – he’s not afraid to call out Christians.   He calls ’em like he sees ’em.  And, he puts his money where his mouth is as an advocate for orphans around the world.  Here’s an article he wrote on Beliefnet that is coming out later this week. His point: Christians need to care about the things that Jesus cares about. 
 

Each Sunday, millions of Christians in America gather to worship the
God who commands us to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” We belt out
praises to the God who tells us that “pure and undefiled religion is
caring for widows and orphans in their distress.” We kneel in pious
prayer before the Almighty God of the universe who describes Himself as
loving, gracious, merciful, and generous.

Then, we walk out
the back door of the church, step into a world in need, and proceed to
withhold the love, grace, and mercy that’s extended to us.

We
might as well give God the middle finger. Outside of a tiny minority of
Christians, we have become a self-centered group of priggish snobs.

In short, we s**k.

Before
you pick up a rock and throw it at me, think about this: I could have
used other words that aren’t as nice as “s**k.” Like “white-washed
tombs,” “brood of vipers,” “fools,” or the ever ego-inflating, “Get
behind me Satan!” Jesus used all of these choice phrases to describe
religious leaders and some of his closest of followers.

But
calling someone a white-washed tomb just doesn’t cut it anymore. “We
s**k” is a much better choice for our cultural context. Poverty s**ks.
Divorce s**ks. And, unfortunately, some Christians s**k, too.

Here are the facts:

Eighty-five
percent of young people outside the church who have had connection to
Christians believe present-day Christianity is hypocritical. Inside the
church, forty-seven percent of young people believe the same thing.

And why wouldn’t they? We’re pretty stingy with our money:

– 80 percent of the world’s evangelical wealth is in North America.
– Giving by churchgoers was higher during the Great Depression than it is today.
– Christians give an average of $13.31/week to their local church.
– Only 9 percent of “born-again” adults reported tithing in 2004.

And let’s take a peek in on our neighbors:

– More than 1 billion people live in absolute poverty.
– 500 million people are at the edge of starvation.
– 200 million children are being exploited as laborers.
– Half of the human beings on the planet live on less than $2/day.
– 1.5 billion people do not have enough money to buy food.

This
is information that anyone can collect from the Internet, just as I
did. Any reasonable person could make this simple conclusion: Most American Christians do not care about what God says in the Bible.

We pick out the scriptures we like, as if we were dining at a five-star
buffet. We conveniently ignore the scriptures that talk about caring
for the poor, giving away material possessions, and loving money.
Scriptures like:

  • Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a
    good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only
    hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the
    Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their
    plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.” (James
    1:26-27)
  • Dear friends, do you think you’ll get
    anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do
    anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really
    has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and
    half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be
    filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as
    a coat or a cup of soup-where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that
    God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? (James 2:15-17)
  • “If you have two coats, give one away,” [Jesus] said. “Do the same with your food.” (Luke 3:11)

When Christians care about their political views, what sexual
preference someone has, or their bank account more than they care about
the millions of people who die in the world because they don’t have
five dollars to buy the medicine that would cure them, something has
gone drastically wrong.

These kinds of Christians s**k.

What can we do to stop s**king? I think the answer is relatively simple. It’s found in the Bible: “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).

 

Give
away material possessions to those in need, love the unlovely, take
care of the widow and orphan. This is not rocket science. It just takes
a heart committed to doing the things God said to do.

Christians,
listen up: People are tired of being criticized, judged, and listening
to the lip service we are so great at giving. Instead, why don’t we
commit to making the changes we can make?

Christianity needs a
renewal of the principles that made it great. It needs to be more like
Jesus-compassionate, self-sacrificial, unconditionally loving, and
caring for those who are most in need.

That kind of lifestyle allowed twelve men to change the world. It will help you change yours, too.

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