Here are some interesting thoughts from a Christian Alliance for Orphans paper on Orphan Statistics. Priorities in Response to Orphan Need The Christian Alliance for Orphans affirms the historic Christian understanding— conveyed in Scripture and affirmed by social scienceviii—that God intended the family as the essential environment for children. We believe the ideal outcome for every orphan is to know the love and nurture of a permanent family. Our world’s brokenness at times makes this goal unattainable. Thus, alternative forms of care are sometimes necessary. This reality calls us to affirm two seemingly opposing truths at the same time. First, … Continue reading Linkable
I don’t really like the word “poor.” I think one of the problems I have with the way it is commonly used is that it almost always is used to refer to only one kind of poverty. I guess another problem is that when it is used that way it seems to reinforce the idea that having more material possessions always automatically puts a person in a superior and enviable position (those “poor poor people”) when the reality is it doesn’t. In fact, sometimes it is the opposite way around. The materially poor person who is working with the materially … Continue reading Poor isn’t always poor
I am often shocked by the variety of life experiences of the people in our church. It is a small example, I know, but yesterday I was sitting and drinking sodas with two of our interns. One said he remembered when he was a child that he was only allowed to drink one soda a day. The other smiled and said he remembered how he was only able to drink one soda a year and he and his brothers tried to make it last all day. The fact of the matter is that many of us are unaware of just … Continue reading Helping those with more to love those with less…
“..the first responsibility of the church towards the poor is to offer them a place of welcome. That does not necessarily mean inviting them to a Sunday meeting. It means including them in the network of believing relationships. In this way we offer them dignity, belonging and inclusion. We empower them by valuing their contribution and their role within the community. They are no longer isolated, but people with connections and people with a contribution to make. So you don’t need to start big projects with government funding. You need to welcome the poor, eat with them, drink tea with … Continue reading Welcome the poor
I keep thinking about trying to write something on the subject of mercy ministry. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten much further than coming up with some different themes for various chapters. But, here’s a beginning to what I would want to say when I stop being so lazy. 1. Don’t just do something, believe the good news. 2. Don’t only talk about the truth, apply it to your life. 3. Don’t simply give resources or start projects, love people. 4. Don’t start with being radical, begin by being godly. 5. Don’t divide showing mercy from speaking the truth. 6. Don’t ever … Continue reading Work in Progress
Imagine a young man who decides he wants to take some time to focus on serving those in need. After discussion with different leaders and godly people, he decides to quit his job and begin working every day on different ways to reach out to others with the gospel and also serving them in love. Over this time he begins trying to start a business which will help fund his service, ministers faithfully in his local church, develops the foundation for a long lasting non-profit organization that will exist to serve the church, begins a work that reaches out and … Continue reading Who says?
There seems to be a bit of discussion going on right now over a book called, What is the Mission of the Church? by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert. If you are interested, Ed Stetzer gathers together some of the different reviews of the book. This can be an emotional issue. I think it should be. What is the mission of the church? Evangelism, discipleship, loving your neighbor, caring for the poor, these are important subjects that we should get fired up about. We need to think carefully, we need to push each other to speak more carefully, we need … Continue reading Rambling…
Why we shouldn’t need to argue with someone to get them to want to do good to someone else: “It is an invaluable honor to do good; it is an incomparable pleasure. A man must look upon himself as dignified and gratified by God when an opportunity to do good is placed into his hands. He must embrace it with rapture as enabling him directly to answer the great end of his being. He must manage it with rapturous delight as a most suitable business, as a most precious privilege…we ought to be glad when any opportunity to do good … Continue reading An invaluable honor
Russell Moore: So how does the church “balance” a concern for evangelism with a concern for justice? A church does so in the same way it “balances” the gospel with personal morality. Sure, there have been churches that have emphasized public justice without the call to personal conversion. Such churches have abandoned the gospel. But there are also churches that have emphasized personal righteousness (sexual morality, for instance) without a clear emphasis on the gospel. And there are churches that have taught personal morality as a means of earning favor with God. Such also contradicts the gospel. We do not, … Continue reading A question of balance?