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Archive for October 2010

The Local Depression

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“Easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle”…

The current depression like the one in the 1930’s is global, but it hits most on a local and personal level.  According to one local study in 2008, 20% of the homeless are veterans often suffering from PTSD or war-related injury, 23% were families often times a single parent with young children, 50% of homeless women were abused as children, 16% of women were sexually assaulted while homeless and 34% of the homeless have been a victim of crime while homeless.  Keep in mind that things have only gone downhill since 2008. Then there is the stress, the lack of daily showering, loss of dignity and self-esteem to name a few.  On top of that, they are persecuted, oppressed, judged by people who never even bother to acknowledge their existence, etc…  This is nothing new.  Even in ancient times, this was the case.

I paid a visit to the Knox Area Rescue Ministries, Salvation Army and Volunteer Ministry Center today. I attended services at the Salvation Army complex and donated a bunch of clothes.  It was mostly clothes I’ve had over the past 10 years or so, but I rarely wore. I also donated about ten pairs of socks and handed out two dozen pairs of wash rags. I also gave a man a pair of work boots. He said he was laid off recently from his construction job and was at KARM for the past four days.

I have driven by the KARM facility numerous times over the course of my life, but this was my first actual visit.  Why do most people even Christians have such a hard time “getting to know the poor”?  Because poverty is not comfortable and safe? Do people actually believe they are entitled to comfort and safety and just gladly give themselves over to the elites?

Does that mean we aren’t to have any money at all, or that money’s evil? No, not at all. There are two extremes here: abject poverty, which renders us of no earthly good to one another and excessive wealth, which renders us of no heavenly good to Christ and to the Father. I believe Jesus was coming from a middle position: use your wealth to HELP the poor, and then once you are relieved of its burden, FOLLOW him.

It’s interesting to note that of all the stories in the Bible, there isn’t ONE that discusses how miserable and poor and shabbily-clothed and starving his disciples were. Why? I think it’s because they trusted him. They shared with one another. They kept a common purse. They kept just enough to live on, and gave away what they didn’t need.

What is most people’s mentality today including those who attend church? “Ah, I will just put some change in the bowl and that will relieve me of my burden,” or “Let the government take care of it, That is why we pay taxes”. The thing about helping those in need is that it shouldn’t be a burden. You should help them generously and happily while sharing in their suffering. Then there are those who want to absolve all responsibility to the government. Then they have the audacity to wonder why the cost of housing has increased 20 times in the past century or banks are going bust. A nation that ignores the poor will become poor itself. This depression could just be God’s way of trying to get people to wake up for once especially this generation. They put their faith in humans who are corrupt, fallible and sinful instead of a higher authority.

I would suggest that the churches instead of just having the same Sunday worship services should go outside the comfort of the four walls, get in their cars or SUVs and go to the poor. Most poor people don’t have a car and if they do, they are living in it. Either you put the resources that God has given you to good use or you will lose it. Just like a muscle.

Written by chrisforliberty

October 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Posted in General