Helping the Poor and Needy

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by evangelist6589, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Surely the most radical book I have read has been the book Radical by David Platt. As a former critic turned believer the book has helped bring me lots of compassion on the poor and the needy. I want to make everyone aware of the many poor children in Ethiopa, Algeria, and many other places. Many of us in American Christianity (including myself) have had a deaf eye and ear to the poor. Many of us would rather spend our money on our own luxuries and would rather not help others. I have spent many thousands on myself and have not given as much to the poor and the needy. Surely we can find ways to bless and help the less fortunate with our finances and resources. This is something I have done far more of as of recently due to the influence of Mr. Platt and his Radical book. I encourage others to do likewise.
     
  2. Sapper Woody

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    This is not meant to bash you, or the book in any way. But before talking about poor children in Ethiopia, Algeria, or anywhere else, we need to focus on the poor children in America. Our welfare system is so broken that those able to work are getting paid by taxpayer money to sit around and have kids (not a hateful statement. But a true one that I've seen firsthand), while there are forgotten people who really can't work who are starving.
     
  3. Oldtimer

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    Old and sick and can't repair their homes.
    Old and sick and can't maintain their yards.
    Old and sick and can't afford basics we take for granted.
    Ditto young and disabled/sick.

    Yes, our welfare system is broken. As a result we have two classes (for lack of a better word) of people. Those who are able to abuse the system and those, truly in need, who are penalized or ignored by the system.

    IMHO, we need to focus first on those within our own community who truly need our help. And, it need to do more than simply writing a check to some organization representing somebody somewhere in the world. That's the easy way out taken by too many folks. Again in my opinion. A few minutes with a pen and a piece of paper and "I've done my part".

    Instead, how about buying the ingredients, preparing a meal and taking it to a spouse who's watching his/her family member die of cancer?

    Instead, how about buying the supplies and fixing the plumbing problems of and elderly person in the community who's on oxygen from CPD?

    Instead, how about going to the grocery store and buying staples for a local church's food pantry?

    Instead, how about taking your lawn mower to the home of someone who walks with a cane and cutting their grass for them?

    Instead, how about letting someone, with the need, know that you'll supply transportation, at no charge, when they have doctor's appointments? Or, that you'll stay with a dependent family member so that person can go grocery shopping themselves?

    The list can be a very long one of needs within our own communities. Needs for both our time and our dollars. Needs that the government can't/won't supply. Needs that aren't met when donated dollars are spent on TV advertising spots to beg for more dollars to help children in foreign lands. Needs that aren't met when donated dollars go to large salaries of the executives of major relief agencies.

    I'm not saying it's wrong to give to these agencies and that they don't do good work. I'm saying help the neighbor down the street who can't help themselves first. Unless you live in a sparcely populated rural area, there's likely to be someone within a mile or two of your home, who doesn't know how they'll make it another day without help. Find them, help them, first. Then, if led to do so, write that check to help someone on the other side of the world.

    Snapper, I've seen it, too.

    Just one example, in closing. Town condemed an elderly man's home and tore it down, because he couldn't afford to make needed repairs. Community stood by and watched, as they "gave at the office". Sadly, I'm as guilty as the rest of them, because at the time I watched it happen, too without doing what I should have done. I hope that others won't make the same mistake that I made. That is, thinking I'd done enough by sending a check for a few bucks to help somebody somewhere for something. It wasn't enough. It was a token gesture, instead.
     
  4. evangelist6589

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    Platt does go into depth on the needy in america.
     
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

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    AMEN, AMEN, AMEN :thumbs:
     
  6. Arbo

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    Add a fourth amen to that.:thumbs:
     
  7. freeatlast

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    Let if I may add to this a little as I have worked with the street people. Many times the church is burdened with people who bring their circumstances on themselves and are not interesting in change. They simply want hand outs so to continue on in their lifestyle.
    I think there needs to be a great deal of discernment in how to deal with these people and one of the words that needs to be learned is NO and feel no guilt over it. While I am in favor to disciple the saints to be charitable, I am not in favor of brow beating the saints with guilt so they are abused or even to just give.
    Unfortunatly many who have ministries for the poor use the brow beating. So just because someone is poor does not mean they should get monetary help.
     
    #7 freeatlast, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2012
  8. evangelist6589

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    I agree.. Amen
     
  9. evangelist6589

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    You are correct. As a street evangelist I have met some that did not want my money for diapers, but wanted my money to buy cigarettes. Me & a partner in ministry were gonna help a young girl get diapers once, but she would not go into the store and just wanted the money to buy cigarettes or something. Its unwise to give money to a poor person. Its wise to walk into the store with him/her and buy it for them.
     
  10. IANMO(IAMNTMYOWN)

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    Radical is an excellent book. I read it this summer, and it seriously changed my perspective on so many things. In relation to the following comments, I do agree that America is a forgotten mission field. I go to the Juvenile Justice Center and a girls' home here. Through these outreaches my eyes have been open to the desperate state of my own people. When I had visited Africa, I had expected an ignorance to the gospel, but not here in America, a country founded upon the Bible and godly principles. My heart is broken over their desperate state, and I regret that I had not had not taken more and held more compassion for them sooner.

    By the way, we had two girls get saved at the girls' home. One had been visited by our group for nearly a year! Irrevalent to this thread, perhaps, but it is so exciting to see someone held captive by Satan finally set free through the Saviour.
     
  11. Bob Alkire

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    I haven't read the book. Over at the Juvenile Justice Center for boys over hear, I'm shocks on how little they know about Jesus or the Christian faith. It is as if they haven't been around Christians any where they go. What does that say about our out reach to our neighbors? And at the jail I get the same thing. We do have a lot of work at home to be done.
     
  12. evangelist6589

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    Which is why more need to tune into the Way of the Master with Ray Comfort.
     
  13. nodak

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    I wasn't all that impressed by Radical.

    But you can learn some truly good ways to help--or not!--by reading the book "When Helping Hurts."

    Often we do something that sounds good, looks good on paper, and makes us think we have helped when actually we have harmed.

    Many short term mission trips do far more harm than good to the "recipients" of the trip.

    Much charitable giving does more harm than good also. Give some of my neighbors money or food or clothing or diapers for the kids and it is bartered for meth.

    If you really want to help, figure out what you can afford to give and offer to hire the person to do xyz for you.

    Maybe the neighbor teen can help weed your garden in exchange for school supplies for him and his younger siblings.

    Maybe the mom or dad can show you how to do something in exchange for produce.

    We have to learn to stop thinking of ourselves as having the resources and answers and learn to help the less fortunate figure out how to help themselves.

    A familiar short term mission trip is to go to South America and help build a crude worship building. Far better to fund a local missionary to hire locals to build it--helps their economy, gives them a sense of ownership and pride, etc.

    Here folks go to great lengths to get clothing and transport it down to the rez. Unfortunately, I used to live there and know the good stuff gets sold to buy booze very often, and the rest is tossed behind the house and left to rot.

    Yeah, that was helpful.
     

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