Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Do Christians and the Church take care of the poor?

Do Christians and the Church take care of the poor? Do they make the poor feel guilty for being poor? Do Christians and the Church have the mentality of God helps those who help themselves? How many Christians beleive, "God help those who help themselves is in the bible?" How does God feel when the poor are neglected and abused? Is American Christians over looking their fellow brothers and sister in their own land who are poor? What does your church do to reach out and minister to the poor? Does your church do anything or do they make anyone who asks for money feel guilty for asking. I have been there and have been made to feel guilty for asking for help. Have you felt the same way? What needs to change in American Churches as far as how they view and treat the poor and those who need financial help?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.


Anonymous Elizabeth Young said...

I would have to say by enlarge they don't, because they feel people are poor because it's their own fault. A couple of years ago when I was extremely poor and reduced to picking crabapples and tiny berries just to have something to eat, my Church new I was on assistance (equate: no money for food!) and yet never once offered me money for food. The Pastor said people were supposed to tell him if they were in need; I felt that it was his job to find out, we were a small Church. Needless to say I have moved on. The Salvation Army are the only ones who take this seriously and then there are conditions, like you have to go to Church Sunday morning in order to have lunch.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Alan Garner said...

Like most everything else -- it all depends on which congregation, which individual Christian. As to "churches of Christ," in general, I don't think we come close. We spend more time studying Paul and how to "do" church than Jesus and how to "be" church. We will send people to do mission work across the ocean, but not across town or across the street. In general. I know quite a few members of the churches of Christ who went into social services because their congregations wouldn't help much.

2:34 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Thank you for your thoughts and comments. I apprecaite them greatly. I have been there and I have found myself unhelped by the church and also in staff positions within Churches where help was refused to others. We need to start taking care of and treating the poor better.

3:27 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I also appreciate your comments. I also think the church of Christ could do better in better I know several of the big or mega churches of Christ pay their preaching minister 100,000-2000,000 dollars in salaries. While neglecing the poor in their communities. Sad.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Becky said...

As a single mom I have been made to feel guilty in asking the Church for help. I rather ask the Salvation Army for help than my brothers and sisters. It was horrible. Before they asked me they asked me if I had asked anyone else for assistance or applied for food stamps. I felt like they rather the government help me.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

"We spend more time studying Paul and how to "do" church than Jesus and how to "be" church."

Comment of the day Alan! Sad that so many churches do not have a heart for the poor.

On the flip side, some non-evangelical churches have been doing this stuff for years. I know that Catholic Charities seem to do it well.

Also notable are the para-church ministries that do excellent work with food pantries and homeless shelters.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

I have found that most churches in Ameria neglect the poor. Write them off because they can't contribute to their organizations, ministries, causes, or tithe. I have also seen some churches make Christians in need feel bad because they didn't tithe or tithe enough and needed help. God helps those who help themselves isn't even in the Bible. If we could help ourselves we wouldn't need God or the Church.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Wanted to add: Or they focus on the poor in other countries like Haiti or Africa and neglect the poor in their own towns and congregations.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

I think it depends on the Christian and the church. Yes, some are more caring and compassionate than others. Not all Christians and Churches are the same.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that it depends on the Christian and church. But does the world see Churches as giving, caring for the poor? No.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Just Another Thought Online said...

I think the bigger issue is how churches help.

Many simply give food, which is important during crisis, but do not offer the kind of help that will enable their struggling parishioners to improve their situations.

If more churches offered education assistance for adults (since those without a GED are more likely to be impoverished) then there would be a bigger benefit to the community. Also helping those who are most desperate find jobs and affordable housing, or receive additional career training if they are displaced or disabled workers (the government's requirements can often be too strict for many individuals to get into these government programs).

Simply giving food or paying for utilities is good for emergencies but is not helpful in the long run.

1:49 AM  
Anonymous Justin said...

Churches do need to spend more $ on taking care of the poor. We need to be known for love and compassion.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might wonder why I don't leave my church despite the fact that they failed to provide help to me and my dad when we needed. It will not make any difference if I left the church because if I did and went to another I would find misuse and abuse in one form or another. I am fed up with co-called christian charities because they help who they want to help which basically means that you are royally screwed. I am Roman Catholic and am fed up with religion.
My dad and I were in desperate need to have our house completely renovated, both of us with a support of our friend suggested habitat of humanity and they turned us down because we had a mortgage despite that fact that our friend told the people that we have to have a house to live in but despite that, they still refused because we did not fall within the guidelines. Because of that I felt Habitat of Humanity was a joke because I did not feel they had any humanity because if they did they would have rebuilt our house. Our friend tried calling our church if they would help renovate our house and they rudely told her that they did not have any funds to do so. But within a few months later, the same church that refused the help that my dad and I deserve, were asking donation to help someones granddaughter pay their medical bills and the church was also asking a donation to help them pay off their loan that they used to repair their roof. They have the nerve to refuse me aid, but they have the nerve to expect us to help them! I do not think so! Anyway, my dad and I tried Catholic Charities and I asked if they could provide me grant money in the amount of $12,000.00 believing that was pocket change for an organization with their pool of resources. They said no, that they were short of funds and that amount of money was considered outrageous which made me angry. This organization takes all the immigrants with open arms and provides them with housing, clothes, medicine, food stamps, food, free-interest loans, etc. but they have the nerve to say no to the people who are American Citizens and who donate their hard-earned money to keep their operation going. I didn't donate money to them because I did not have money to donate but is that an excuse to refuse me help when I needed it. An friend of mine needed help and she tried the salvation army, catholic charities,etc, you named it and they refused to help her. All she was asking for was food from the food pantry to help feed her kids when she was down on her luck and they refused to help her. They had this attitude that it is a crime to ask for help. Her comment was if they will not help me, I will not help them. I agree with her on that.

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God!
I am a Christian who I lost his Job 2 years ago due to corrupt people who did not want me and consequently frustrated all my efforts to stop their corruption. I ended up a victim and this resulted to a lot of suffering to my four children whose age ranges from 2years to 14years.
This was due to loss of my income generating means. My children need to be educated and am writing to find out how I can receive aid from Christian organizations and brethren who are in a position to assist.
I have so far been given legal support from a humans rights organization in Nairobi to enable me sue the concerned company. However the court process is so slow in kenya. The case was filed at the beginning of last year but I have never managed to get any hearing due to adjournments and absenteeism by the defending party (company that am suing)
Please assist me to get financial support to educate my children and maybe start a business.

Kind Regards,
Pater Kianga

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The church should provide career training to all who want or need a job whether or not that you have a disability or handicap.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mainstream churches care for the poor, orphaned, widowed in bother their own community and third world quite well through their various denominations.

Such as the Baptist, Anglican, Salvation Army to name a few.

And if the churches withdrew their community help our communities and government would crumble to say the least.

In our own church - we provide meals to those in need both financially and emotionally distressed or ill health.

We have raised and given money to those dealing with financial when dealing with a sick child in hospital.

Independantly this week I heard of a christian car dealership offer 4k off a speciality vehicle for my friend in need whose wifes health is declining. In his own words, he felt it his christian duty and call from God to do so....he was not initially aware of the great need.

The man he was helping has been investing their own superannuation till it was depleted to assist school and community in Cambodia - sacrificially out of their own pocket they gave and give and not part of a church program but an individual effort....

So for me whilst the church in general could care better for its fellowship and community,it is doing a job that the government could only hope to emulate.

In regard to education - in our communities in Australia we have many and abundant government and non government opportunities to be educated and improve our life circumstances

It is both the responsibility of the fellowship and the leaders to seek each other out and let each other know our needs, Ministers are not clarvoyant and as far as I know can't read minds. last I looked a Pastor, a human being with the same limitations on time and family commitments as say me - an ordinary member of the fellowship.

I wonder by way of observation if any of the professed poor now back on thier feet with acess to the internet etc are now in a position to attend church, help in the church and show the kind of love they once needed?

I am one of those who have paid taxes all their life, now find myself poor and broke through the misdealings of a bad tenant issue, a husband with poor and ongoing health and surgery. I do not blame the church for any perceived lack of care - I found joy when at my worst to take up teaching scripture, now a few years on and still poor and still dealing with health issues I am now in a position to lead bible studies, run outreach workshops and a little visitations - I was grateful for the love I received during my most distressed times that were overwhelming to say the least. I am grateful to God for those who prayed for me, took me to lunch, held my hand as I sorted out the legal mess, all were church people, and I was grateful for some of the government help that was afforded me then and now....Church for me is about serving God and yes taking care of the orphaned, widowed, sick and infirmed and yes the poor......

And the bible does indeed talk about not becoming an unnecessary burden on the church fellowship....but for those genuinely in need we should be there to show love and care

11:04 PM  
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