Why are God's children going hungry?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Amy.G, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    Jesus said:

    Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.


    I do not question that Jesus spoke the truth, but why are some of His children going hungry or are homeless? Are they not seeking the kingdom first? This has bothered me for a long time.


    Any thoughts?
     
  2. abcgrad94

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    For me the question is ARE God's children going hungry?
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    What do you mean by are?
     
  4. Amy.G

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    Are you saying that the ones going hungry are not really God's children? That's one of my questions as well. And the reason I ask it is because I believe that God keeps His word and if He says "seek first and ....." then He means it.

    But I don't want to be judging others either.
     
  5. glfredrick

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    Amy, this is a difficult issue, and I'm convinced largely one of sin in the church members, not in the persons who are going hungry.

    In the same Scriptures where we read Matthew 6:31-33, we also read about how God wiped out His own people Israel for their failure to take care of widows and orphans. That was the message the prophets spoke to Israel on God's behalf, but Israel failed to listen, and so do we.

    But, we are not "just" about social ministry or social justice. We are equally about the gospel, for what good is it to send a fed, well-clothed person to hell? People will not see Jesus in us merely by our social actions. We're also called to preach the whole gospel and to teach the whole counsel of Jesus Christ as we go into all the world.

    Sadly, there are enough Christians in the world to take care of the world, but many are way more interested in building up their own temples.

    I highly commend David Platt, "Radical." If you (or anyone) can stand to read it, that is... Not because it is a bad read, but rather because it is too good a read -- and it will convict the fire out of you.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/1596449381/?tag=baptis04-20
     
  6. annsni

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    In my understanding, there are a few issues:

    1 - There is plenty of food in this world - are we being responsible with what we have?

    2 - Are we being generous with what God has given us? Do we as Christians seek to help other people in this world - especially the Christians who are in our circle of influence who might need help?

    3 - Does the person have sin in their lives that is causing them to be in a state of not being able to provide for their family? Even believers fall into sin that will cause them to suffer and they are basically reaping what they sow. (An example would be a man who is an alcoholic and spends all his money on the alcohol instead of food for his family.

    4 - Is the church assisting those who are truly in need to get them back on their feet in a real way rather than just giving them a temporary crutch?

    5 - Is God using this struggle in their lives to get their attention or to teach them a lesson?

    I think the issue is quite complex and there is no one good answer but each case needs to be measured in it's individual situation.
     
  7. abcgrad94

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    Let me clarify, Amy. My question is, are God's children honestly destitute and starving? There's a difference in starvation and having to live on food stamps. Jesus prayed for "daily bread." Nowadays we think "daily bread" means a full pantry and three squares a day.

    One can be homeless and broke but not yet starving, as long as soup kitchens, homeless shelters, etc. are available. That's a rough existence, not knowing where your next meal is coming from, but as long as there IS food coming from somewhere, it's not starvation. One can still exist without dying.

    Elijah was fed by the birds during a time of famine. He was homeless and broke, but not starving.
     
  8. annsni

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    I honestly wonder if one person in the United States has starved to death because they just could not get food. Yes, I know there are parents who have starved their children or caretakers who have starved their charges but I'm not speaking of someone else starving someone who cannot get food on their own. I'm speaking of anyone truly starving to death because they did not have the resources to buy food. I don't think there has.
     
  9. BobinKy

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    Have you lived in every home, car, shelter, shack, and cardboard box in the United States?

    ...Bob
     
  10. annsni

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    No I haven't. That's why I said "I don't THINK there has." If anyone can show me otherwise, I'd appreciate it. :) But I don't recall ever hearing about anyone who has starved to death in the United States because they could not get any food.
     
  11. nodak

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    I trust God to keep His word.

    That said, it IS a complex matter.

    If He gave you the money for January's needs in July and you blew them at a casino, He kept His word. You were a poor steward.

    If He gave you the money for another's January needs, and you just kept them, you are a poor steward.

    But sometimes, occasionally, He allows us to reap the system we have chosen, I believe.

    So if a NATION chooses corrupt leaders, or if the people are lazy, or if they are debased, even the believers caught in those systems may suffer the consequences. We are to be salt and light and strive to change those systems if we are caught in them.

    And sometimes the starving masses around the world have quite thoroughly rejected Him and His promise is not to them.

    About all any of us can do is to trust Him and strive to be good stewards.
     
  12. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    When your poor, there are many types of starvation. Yes you can feed someone at a soup kitchen (but is the food nutritious enough & is there enough to support 3 squares a day) & how about the kids? Are they being provided enough nourishment. And what about their spiritual needs. If they are poor, are they provided for? There is allot of things slipping through the cracks today. The proper health care, food, shelter, clothing, education, spiritual needs etc. I wonder if America is listening any more.
     
  13. BobinKy

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    Another interesting book (but not Baptist) is Heaven's Kitchen: Living Religion at God's Love We Deliver.

    I have volunteered at Soup Kitchens and Shelters. You really need to check doctrine and denominational issues at the door, and enter, willing to give and receive from those seeking food, warmth, shelter, and more.

    ...Bob
     
  14. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    So lets get specific a moment. Mother gets a government check for December, enough to just meet here needs. But the husband takes it and squanders it, so she & the kids do what to survive? Does God write her off cause the husband is a bum? I dont think so.
     
  15. BobinKy

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    This is my last post in the top four. (Good riddance, did I hear?). I am going to the "lower forty" and personal messages.

    . . .Bob
     
  16. abcgrad94

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    My dh once worked with a Christian lady who called to tell me she didn't know where her next meal would come from. She'd been off work with surgery and family and church folks had helped with meals for the last two weeks but said she was still unable to cook and her husband was ill.

    Dh and I were young with two small children and funds were extremely limited. I made a pot of pinto beans, cornbread, and fried potatoes, and dragged my two children out in the cold to bring her the meal. Imagine my surprise when I pulled up to a huge house in a fancy neighborhood. There were several nice cars sitting in the driveway. The inside of the house alone was as large as my entire house and yard and the house was furnished with expensive decorations. I found her husband had a slight cold and was not really ill, just lazy and grumpy. He, along with the two grown sons living there turned their noses up at the beans and cornbread, but decided they were hungry enough to eat the fried taters.

    People sure have have strange ideas about what it means to be hungry. As long as people have this kind of mentality, I have no more desire to "feed the hungry."
     
  17. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Yes they do, but that is why we should not give to them, we have to give to the Lord. Every year we volunteer with our local food bank making deliveries. Different charities have different qualifications for giving, but at our food bank we give to whoever asks. If they call and request a delivery, we will bring them food. Going from one address to the next there is often a big difference, you see the truly needy and those who think they are needy, and also those who just will take anything they can get for free. With the declining economy over the last two years we have seen the lists of requests grow, and the available food shrink. Where three years ago we had Christmas hams and canned goods, now we are lucky to get cornmeal and produce, and yes, I have seen some turn up their nose at what we have to offer. That is why I tell my children, and myself, we don’t do it for them, we do it for the Lord. There are always several addresses that are in such real dire need you give them the food from the food bank and whatever else you can. There is real need and hunger out there, and we should not penalize them because a few con men and thieves want to milk the system.

    Back to the initial subject, we have plenty of real hunger here, and many of the hungry are children of God. Not just as men and women, but Christians. Often they are the weakest of our society, the old, the young, the blind, the sick. They are known to God, and they are hungry, and I don’t know why.

    If you really want to ask why they are hungry, you better be prepared to answer this as well, “Have you done all you can to help?” Before I blame God for letting his children starve, I better make sure I obeyed him and did all I could.

    We did our church Christmas Helper last weekend. For the second year in a row the number one request from children was not toys or even food but it was for blankets. I remember just a few years ago we would bring children in to the room filled with toys and ask them what they wanted. It was always toys and play things. This year, and last, the number one request was a blanket so they would have a warm place to sleep. The second most common request was food. This is from kids as young as 4 and 5 and it is here in America.

    If you can’t see that there is real hunger in America today you are living behind walls and need to get out. Come ride with me, I will show you.
     
  18. nodak

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    Earth, Wind, and Fire--I never said to write off a mom in those circumstances. However, we need to be specific when we "help". If we just hand her money under your hypothetical circumstances, he will probably just drink it up. We may have to make help contingent upon her getting help for codependency. We may have to allow the government to intervene and put the kids in a safe haven until she does. We may need to give her and the kids money but deal with him as a community, which may involve changing the laws. We may need to find out WHY she got that government check for December. If there are no jobs available we may need to push our government for some WPA type jobs, especially for dad, as he might not drink if he could support his family.

    It is easy to hand out money, to hand out soup, to hand out blankets, and to judge those who don't do those things.

    It is much harder to get to the root of the problem and fix that.
     
  19. freeatlast

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    Yes Amy that is exactly the reason. The promise was only to those who are diligently seek the things of God. However I might add this cannot be used as a test of being in the will of God. Just because someone might be saved and have enough things it does not mean that they are diligently seeking.
     
  20. SaggyWoman

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    I hold to the verse in Psalms 37 where the psalmist wrote, "I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread."

    As a believer, I believe God provides for my needs, including food.

    Have I been hungry?
    yes.

    Have I had three squares a day.
    no.

    Has God provided sustainance for the day.
    yes.

    Is it what I wanted or expected?
    no.

    Is it what I needed?
    yes.


    Homelessness........God is my shelter....I thank the Lord almost daily for my home, my heater, and his provision, even in the midst of my stupid inability to do what I need to do.

    Having said that, I currently work in a "homeless shelter" for pregnant women. There are shelters available in the area, and many churches are providing room for the homeless to sleep (and eat). If willing, people can seek out homes.....
     

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