Church Gives Shoes to Homeless – Misplaced Priorities
Xtian = Christian
(Link): On Vulgar Language at This Blog -You have been warned.
BTW, there is some weird Asian- language site that keeps re-blogging my posts, and I wish they would stop. It’s weird.
Anyway. Back to the purpose of my post.
Church Gives Shoes to Homeless – Misplaced Priorities
Does the Bible say Christians are to help widows and orphans? Certainly.
But it says that first and foremost Xtians are to help those within their own group (Galatians 6:10), not those outside of it.
Most often, Xtians fail miserably at meeting the needs of Xtians they already know, who may even go to their very same church.
One reason of several I am leaving the Christian faith is that Xtians don’t actually do what the Bible and God tells them to do when it comes to helping one another.
Christians did not help me get my needs met when I went to them at a very low point in my life.
At my time of greatest need, Christians brushed me off, or gave me judgement, cliches, platitudes, and criticism – when I needed love, encouragement, and sympathy. -All of which is free, by the way. I was not even asking for money.
Some of the same Xtians who did this, however, will sit there and cry crocodile tears of sadness over people they do not even know (such as orphans in Africa, domestic abuse victims in homeless shelters, etc).
I cannot conceive how you can feel sorry for little orphans in Africa, whom you don’t even know, but treat the hurting Xtian next to you weekly in church like she is a piece of shit, when she’s going through heartbreak in her own life, which you damn well knew about.
But it happens often, not just with me, but I’ve met other Xtians online who have similar stories.
Here’s the article that got me to pondering on these things again:
(Link): Florida Church Sends Congregants Home Barefoot, Collects Shoes for Homeless
First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale, which is attended by about 2,000 people each Sunday, collected an estimated 700 pairs of shoes for the homeless during Sunday’s “Soles for Souls” event, according to Mike Jeffries, associate to the senior pastor.
I’m supposed to think that church is being generous or loving by donating a bunch of old smelly shoes to some homeless shelter?
BTW, if you’re going to donate shoes, you should send the shelter gift certificates, so they can fill any size request with BRAND NEW SHOES.
The article said these people who donated wore the shoes into the church service before sticking them up on the stage for donation. 🙄
Are they too cheap skated to buy BRAND NEW SHOES or to give the shelter GIFT CERTIFICATES? If you were a shelter person would you want to wear a pair of shoes previously worn by someone else, or would you prefer a brand new, never worn pair?
I’m more interested in knowing if that church follows Galatians 6:10 and serves the members of the body of that local church first.
Does that church provide a month’s worth of free groceries every so often to the seniors living on meager incomes? Do they drop by to scrub the toilet and dust the furniture and mow the lawn of the 35 year old never married member who’s on his back, recovering, after surgery?
Or does this church only run around raising funds and some used shoes for homeless shelters?
If the people at that church are ignoring, or shaming, the Average Joe in the pew of their church, but thumping their chests over how proud they are to be helping the homeless, screw them – and that would be God’s attitude as well, I’m pretty sure.
See Christ’s story of ‘The Good Samaritan’ to see what Jesus thinks about people who IGNORE the hurting RIGHT BENEATH THEIR NOSE to go perform some other religious duty, or to serve someone else, or do charitable deed to someone else.
If a fellow Xtian approaches you with a problem, don’t brush them off to go help an orphan or lecture him or her that “orphans have life worse than you,” because God (assuming He exists) put that person in YOUR PATH because God EXPECTS YOU TO HELP THAT PERSON, you nim rod.
If God wanted you to help African orphans, he would have arranged for you to be BORN AMONG THEM IN AFRICA.
But you’re a white person born into middle class American life (this problem seems more prevalent among white American Christians than other types of Christians I’ve seen).
Your “mission field” consists of the other people already around you – people in your neighborhood, your job, people you bump into at the store, and NOT AFRICA and NOT HOMELESS PEOPLE IN YOUR INNER CITY.
Unless God explicitly and clearly tells you he wants all your energies going to the homeless downtown or to poor people in Africa, assume it’s to help people you personally bump into on a day by day basis in your own city, GALATIANS 6:10.
PREACHERS WHO GUILT OR SHAME PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN HURT BY CHRISTIANS OR CHURCHES
I caught several minutes of the “Answers” show this weekend. It’s the weekly church show by preacher Bayless Conley.
The funny thing is, I usually agree with this Conley guy most of the time, but every so often, he says something that rubs me the wrong way or that I don’t agree with.
In this past week’s show, he was shaming and blaming people who say they are angry at church/Christians or who drop out of church because their church didn’t meet their needs.
He told the story of a woman who began going to his church. He said she was still quite angry over an incident from years before.
This woman said that at their old church, when her husband was sick for months, that nobody from her church helped her or her hubby. This really upset her, and she was still hurt or angry about it many years later. Conley was saying she should drop this and move on.
The problem is, it’s not just her.
I’ve seen numerous testimonies online by Xtians who said in their time of greatest need, their church did not come to their aid, with practical help, such as bringing over free food, mowing their lawn for them, etc.
Anyway, this Conley preacher guy stood there and criticized this woman or her attitude.
Conley told people who feel they’ve been done wrong by a church to keep going to church, and so on.
The audacity! The appropriate response to people who have been hurt by a church is NOT to BLAME THEM for HAVING BEEN MISTREATED (which is victim-blaming and is totally repulsive and anti-Christ), but to ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR WOUNDS.
You don’t blame an abused or hurting person for being hurt, shell shocked, understandably reluctant, or skittish from having been abused by a former church or by a Christian(s).
You don’t shame a hurt Xtian back into church attendance by appealing to some Bible verse or another, or by appealing to a sense of “Christian duty,” or by claiming they are having a pity party or feeling sorry for themselves, or whatever other insensitive malarky.
What Conley should have said is, “If you have been hurt by a church, I am so sorry. But please reconsider giving the church another try.” But he chose the “blame the victim” strategy instead, shaming and blaming people who have dropped out of church because they were hurt. Shame on Conley and preachers and Xtian laypersons like him.
WHAT PREACHERS CAN LEARN FROM DEALING WITH DOGS
If you come across a dog in an alley way that has been mistreated by previous humans, and the dog is either angry (growling) or whimpering (in fear, hurt), you get the dog to trust you by showing that dog consistent love and compassion.
You stop by every day, toss a few bits of food its way, and baby talk to it, such as,
“Oh what a good boy! Aren’t you a sweet puppy dog!”
You win the dog slowly over by displaying compassion and showing you are trustworthy; you earn the dog’s respect or trust.
You do NOT approach the wounded, scared, abused dog by yelling in a loud, angry, (or demanding and condescending) voice,
“The BIBLE says you are to forgive previous abusive humans and let me pet you! Repent you dog! REPENT FIDO! You are not to be in fear or nurse a grudge, that is a sin! Stop holding a grudge! Let me approach you and pet you!”
Taking that harsh, unloving, non- understanding approach to the dog’s abuse and its history will only cause the dog to mistrust you more.
And it’s stupid to think quoting a Bible verse at a dog – or human – is enough, or should be enough, to get them to instantly comply with what you want.
I’ve been hurt by other Christians, so I don’t really care if the Bible talks about ‘let us gather together to encourage one another blah blah blah.’ Those are just empty words on a page and mean nothing to me, as much of the Bible does these days.
Christians can’t even live up to the “love one another” and “love your neighbor” type verses but then they expect me to obey the “do not forsake the assembling together” verse? I don’t think so.
A note to preachers and regular church goers:
First live up to the “love one another” type verses, and then I will maybe consider returning to a church. Clean up your own life and your own church and fix what is wrong with you and your congregation before chewing me out over what you consider my flaws or for trying to shame me and guilt me over my non-attendance.
–Related posts this blog—
(Link): To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan
(Link): The Bible Says Christians are to Help Other Christians First (not sex trafficked people, not orphans in Africa, not homeless crack addicts, etc)
(Link): Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour
(Link): Part 2 – Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour
(Link): You Don’t Need to Look Far To Find Hurting People Who Could Use Your Help and Compassion
(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article)