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I am a 1967 graduate of The Citadel (Distinguished Military Student, member of the Economic Honor Society, Dean's List), a 1975 graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div., magna cum laude, member of the Phi Alpha Chi academic honor society); I attended the Free University of Amsterdam and completed my History of Dogma there and then received a full scholarship from the Dutch government to transfer to the sister school in Kampen, Holland. In 1979 I graduated from the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Churches of Holland (Drs. with honors in Ethics). My New Testament minor was completed with Herman Ridderbos. I am also a 2001 Ph.D. graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (Systematic Theology) in Philly with a dissertation on the "unio mystica" in the theology of Dr. Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). I am a former tank commander, and instructor in the US Army Armor School at Ft. Knox, KY. I have been happily married to my childhood sweetheart and best friend, Sally, for 43 years. We have 6 children, one of whom is with the Lord, and 14 wonderful grandchildren.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Christians and Poverty (II)

Compassion Can Become Sentimentality

In our last segment on the matter of true poverty and the mindset of both the individual Christian as well as the local congregation, we commented that Scripture is clear that we are to be concerned to the point of action regarding the widow, orphan, and poor. What we are asking from an ethical viewpoint is what constitutes true poverty in North America. That is to say, we don’t want to be poor stewards with God’s money and throw it away frivolously on those who claim to be poor, but who, in reality, are simply poor managers of their money.

For example, a man might make a reasonable salary, but squander it by abusing controlled substances (illegal drugs), alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, and lottery tickets. This person isn’t truly biblically poor; he’s simply a poor manager of his money. And while it might be helpful, in some sense, to build houses for Habitat for Humanity, it is not necessarily a badge of honor. Surely, there are those who need subsidized housing, but someone must pay for this and usually it’s the U.S. taxpayer that must pay for government subsidized housing.

From the Emergent church movement and liberal theology (actually, they’re one and the same), the attitude is pretty much the same as leftwing Democratic economic policies, which are basically this: income redistribution. We’ll come back to this in a moment. When I speak with a number of my colleagues—not all mind you—they are, by and large, clueless when it comes to basic economics. This coupled with a misguided notion of Christian charity can be the scam artist’s delight. You see, the intentions are good and admirable, but we are called upon in Scripture to be innocent as doves and wise as serpents (Matt. 10:16).

As I mention last installment, we tend to operate on stereotypes. We see the panhandler at the end of the off ramp of the freeway and we conclude that a large segment of American society is like this. It isn’t. Numbers and stats can be wax noses, but they can also be quite helpful in making good decisions. We noted last time that somewhere between 1-4% of Americans live at the poverty rate. It’s possible that you heard higher numbers and it’s also possible that if you live in Southern California where I live those numbers are substantially higher due to the inclusion of illegal aliens, who are not U.S. citizens and, contrary to popular opinion—even among some in the PCA—they are criminals. They have broken the law. It never ceases to amaze me that when illegals are interviewed on TV they contend that they are not criminals, but rather that they are merely people looking for a better life. The latter is quite possibly true while the former isn’t. It’s more than disheartening that those who call themselves Christians cannot distinguish between legal and illegal aliens; indeed, who do not seem to have any grasp on the word “illegal.” Be that as it may, we do want to delve further into what precisely we know about those who are, ostensibly, at the poverty level in the U.S.

Last time, I criticized the Consumer Price Index because it has not been properly adjusted for inflation. Yet another bias of the CPI is that “it counts only those things that most people are likely to buy.[1] At first glace, the CPI’s method seems plausible until we contemplate that what people will actually buy depends upon the price, “so new products that are very expensive do not get included in the index until after their prices come down to a level where most people can afford them.”[2] In the early days of mobile phones, the handsets were large and the costs were sometimes $8.00/minute for a call. Such a deal! Sowell goes on to explain in his book on basic econ that the CPI is inaccurate for no other reason than “Everything cannot be included in an index, both because of the enormous time and money this would require and because ‘everything’ itself changes over time with the creation of new products and the disappearance of old ones.”[3]

You might be asking yourself at this point: So what does all this mean? That’s a good question, because it goes to the heart of the matter when we’re trying to decide what constitutes true poverty. Ben Stein comments that “Since the poverty rate has never been adjusted for real improvements in our standard of living, it’s a dubious statistic for comparing the poor of today with the poor of yesterday.”[4] In other words, it isn’t always accurate to measure the poverty rate with income. What should be used then? Consumption actually gives us a more accurate picture.[5]

What kind of “snapshot” do we get if we use consumption rather than income as a measure of welfare? Well, as you might imagine, it’s different, but as you might not imagine it’s also eye-opening. For example, “The poor today spend between two and three dollars for every dollar they earn, which is why looking at consumption patterns suggests a very different picture of those supposedly living in poverty.”[6] In dealing both with members in financial difficulties as well as those outside the congregation, local churches should take this into consideration.

The most obvious question at this point is: How can the poor spend so much more than they earn? In a study that you can download from heritage.org, Robert Rector documents that the Census Bureau’s report on income and poverty in America omits many types of both cash and non-cash income such as Medicaid, food stamps, and public housing. These “perks” add up to approximately a half-trillion dollars of government aid to the underprivileged and elderly. We also need to be discriminatory—in the good sense—and realize that many people that are lumped into the “poverty” category based on income are retirees living off Social Security and their savings or full time students who are notoriously poor.

Nevertheless, from a consumption point of view, the price of “essentials” in the U.S. has dropped rather precipitously, leaving impoverished people with more discretionary income for others kinds of goods and services.[7] Here is where Christians need to be cautious. There are a number of people, who, for various reasons already mentioned, actually have adequate discretionary income—provided that they spend it on essentials and not on luxuries. Part of the task that the modern Church has both with members and non-members alike is teaching people to be good stewards with money. There should be occasions for church members to receive excellent advice on spending habits, savings, tithing, and budgeting. In fact, in all likelihood, even if those who are truly poor were to receive some sound instruction about the practical aspects of using discretionary money, then there would probably be less poverty. It would not be eradicated, but it would be less. This is all the more crucial since it is true that since the 1970s, the proportion of total consumption that poor Americans devote to food, shelter, and clothing has fallen almost 20%![8]

And even though we’re experiencing higher prices at the pump and in the grocery store, we need to keep in mind that a basket of groceries that cost nine hours of labor to buy in 1920 now only takes us 105 minutes.

Is Poverty Temporary or Permanent?

The answer to this question is Yes. It is both. There are some who will be poor perpetually. Our Lord also reminded us that we would have the poor in our midst (cf. Matt. 26:11). For these folks, poverty is permanent and the church should be at the forefront of providing true aid and not merely throwing money at them; the government does that. In fact, I’m fully convinced that a compassionate diaconate with sufficient funds and an effective set of church leaders (pastors and fellow-elders) can do more to truly alleviate perpetual poverty than the government can.

It is also an interesting stat, by the way, that America’s poverty rate stays about the same year after year irrespective of which political party is in power. So the next time a liberal tells you that he or she has done more for the impoverished in America, you can tell them that it simply isn’t so. It does seem, however, that liberals only notice poverty when conservatives are in office.

That being said, we must sadly acknowledge that some people, by their moral and social behaviors, place themselves in poverty-like situations through a series of bad choices. Some, like Stein, would go so far as to say “Living in poverty today is largely the result of specific unfortunate life choices people make.”[9]



[1] Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies, (NY: Basic Books, 2008), p. 131.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics, (NY: Basic Books, 2004), p. 301.

[4] Ben Stein & Phil DeMuth, Can America Survive? (Carlsbad, CA: New Beginnings Press, 2004), p. 7.

[5] Both Nicholas Eberstadt (Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies) & Daniel Slesnick (University of Texas) believe that there is little basis in solid economic theory for using income as a measure of welfare. Slesnick adds, “As a snapshot estimate of the standard of living, the consumption of goods and services is of paramount importance.”

[6] Stein, CAS? 7-8.

[7] Ibid., 8.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid., 10.

26 Comments:

Blogger Randy said...

“Living in poverty today is largely the result of specific unfortunate life choices people make.”

That shows incredible ignorance. People are often in their poverty as a result of the things they followed into this world.

Wealthy families bread weathy people. Great educations, great family names and access to money and people of influence make for great business people.

Poor families inherit poor public school systems, poor social systems, and they lack access to money and people of influence.

Your very statement shows how racist you are. I dare you to suggest that statement to ten men of any color other than causasian in America and listen to their response.

As for your economics, what makes you and expert? How many busineses have you run? How many people have you employed and given life sustaining income to? How many of those people have been minorities?

It saddens me to realize followers of Jesus have a limit to their compassion. Obviously, that was the case with the 3 million Christians previously living in Iraq... Our nation's security took priority over their lives.

That's a great way to read the biblical text. So, the Romans were right for crucifying Jesus? He too was a threat.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Dearest Randy,
I'm not certain how wealthy people "bread" wealthy people. To bread?
Men of color? You do know, don't you, that Thomas Sowell is black?

I guess my economics (which, btw, was my undergraduate major) prowess is on par with your military statistics. You did serve your country, didn't you? If you didn't, your comments died under the weight of your own accusations. If you never served in the military, you have no right to quote anything about the military--or anything else you never did. Right?
It would be a tough sell for folks to read your vitriolic comments and think that you are compassionate--the very thing you find lacking in others.
I guess it's an emergent/pomo thing.

9:44 AM  
Blogger wordsmith said...

Racist? Come off it - who mentioned color first? Sure wasn't Rattlesnake.

Asians are "people of color," yet most of them seem to escape the poverty trap. Gee, do you suppose it has to do with their work ethic? Many of them own their own businesses, which (funnily enough) tends to put them on the road to wealth. Oh, and they didn't come from wealthy families - you know, only the shirt on their own backs and all that stuff.

Seems like it's the people who are fixated on skin color that have a problem with racism. Something about "content of character" (gee, I bet that also has a strong correlation with "work ethic" and "escaping poverty") instead of "color of skin."

11:45 AM  
Blogger Solameanie said...

Randy,

I hate to say it, but that's probably the stupidest thing I've ever seen you post. What a wild rant!

I strongly suggest you go see your doctor and ask him for a thorazine prescription.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

I reread what I wrote. I'll stand on it.

A Bush is a Bush. They have money. They have influence. They always will. Likewise with everyone who has money. They will have influence. They will have access.

To think that we got somewhere just by our work ethic is nuts. We may work hard, but it's more a matter of 'who you know' than 'what you know' that makes your place in life.

To think otherwise pleads ignorance.

I'm not sure my previous statement is vitriolic either. It was simply reflecting your post.

Perhaps I am also tired of wealthy white men complaining about things like taxes when they/we have built our lives on the backs of many people who work as hard as us but don't make beans.

Perhaps injustice flows in a free market system as much as it does in other economic systems.

Perhaps the biblical text is correct that injustice abounds, and we are the people who are called to lead the fight for justice and mercy.

It is what God requires of us. Perhaps we are the people we have bene waiting for. Perhaps people filled with the Spirit should stand up for injustice.

...and perhaps I should get angry when people write crap and can't recongize it for its stink.

Your quote “Living in poverty today is largely the result of specific unfortunate life choices people make” ...is crap.

There is no wisdom in that quote. It's inaccurate, and you should know better.


Find out how many working poor are in America today? Find out how much migrants are making? Find out how much Chinese kids are getting paid while they make our shoes, clothes, and most everything else.

10:30 PM  
Blogger jazzact13 said...

--Your very statement shows how racist you are. --

This statement shows how weak and insipid your position is, Randy. You cannot defend it at all, so you turn to race.

You should be ashamed to have written such a thing.

--It saddens me to realize followers of Jesus have a limit to their compassion.--

Which means, what, exactly? That we should continue to support people who can work but won't? That we should not determine if any charity given is being used for good or bad purposes?

This past weekend, I was stopped outside a store by a man asking for money to get some food. I offered to take him to a restaurant maybe 200 feet away and get him something. He refused, and so I did not give any money.

Was I uncharitable? I think, no, I wasn't. I was ready to offer to him what he said he wanted, but he refused it. I was attempting to be wise.

--Obviously, that was the case with the 3 million Christians previously living in Iraq... Our nation's security took priority over their lives.--

Yeah, we may be so sure that life under Hussein was all peaches and cream for them.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
"To think that we got somewhere just by our work ethic is nuts." No, Randy, historically it's quite accurate. Did you ever hear the phrase "Protestant work ethic"? You have no statistics to back up your accusation--what's new?--that the majority of wealthy people simply inherited their money. Did some inherit it? Sure. Did the majority. No. How did they become wealthy then? My suggestion is that you take some Bible software and do a word search for wealth or wealthy in the book of Proverbs. It will shoot mega-holes in your vapid theory.

I personally don't care if you disagree or use childish terms, but you're just dead wrong about the choices and their results. Again, do a word search for poor or poverty in Proverbs and see what you get. You're going to find that according to God at least poverty is often a self-inflicted wound.

"Perhaps I am also tired of wealthy white men complaining about things like taxes..." Do you mean the Founding Fathers or us? You have no clue what's in the Constitution, do you? Have you ever read it? You're a little thin on the history side.

Have you read anything I've written and documented about who is truly poor in America today? What if a person decides they don't want to finish high school. Are there no consequences to such a choice? Should they expect to have a pay check like Obama--you use Bush, I use Obama or the Clintons, all of whom are rich--or should he expect substantially less? Do I owe him a subsidy because he made a bad choice? Where do the subsidies end?

For someone who has been to sem, you haven't thought through very much about life at all. So, you come on the blog and rant. It really is tedious. Lay out your plan, but if it involves the redistribution of wealth, you're a socialist at best and a communist at worst.

12:13 PM  
Blogger jazzact13 said...

--A Bush is a Bush. They have money. They have influence. They always will.--

Whether that is true or not, we shall see, but more then one fortune has been gained and lost by people. It is a far from sure thing that those who are rich now will be rich later.

--To think that we got somewhere just by our work ethic is nuts.--

Just by the work ethic? Probably not by just that alone, but if you think that people get anywhere by not working and by simply waiting for the next government check, you are the one who is nuts.

--Perhaps I am also tired of wealthy white men complaining about things like taxes when they/we have built our lives on the backs of many people who work as hard as us but don't make beans.--

Are you saying that simply because a person owns or runs or manages a company or business, that such is wrong? Is this the rhetoric of class hatred and warfare coming from you?

--Perhaps injustice flows in a free market system as much as it does in other economic systems.--

Firstly, define 'injustice'.

--Perhaps the biblical text is correct that injustice abounds, and we are the people who are called to lead the fight for justice and mercy.--

And one part of justice is not showing partiality to either the rich or the poor.

--Find out how many working poor are in America today? Find out how much migrants are making? Find out how much Chinese kids are getting paid while they make our shoes, clothes, and most everything else.--

Define 'working poor', please. And 'migrants' (I am especially interested in if you mean illegals). And by those 'Chinese kids', are we to assume that you are referring to kids in China?

1:28 PM  
Blogger Solameanie said...

Randy, what offended me the most is your broadside charge of racism. That is patently ridiculous and you know it. If you want to debate the pros and cons of the modern welfare state, go for it. But leave the charges of racism in the gutter where they belong. I tend to think the people that scream the loudest about racism are the very ones who want to keep ethnic minorities ignorant and dependent on government largesse rather than being dependent on their own hard work. When they're dependent on government (public) largesse, they tend to vote for the politicians that keep their checks coming. The left knows it and wants to perpetuate the system at all costs.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Ron - You want to talk about a rant? Read your last hundred posts. They reflect little biblical text.

You defer to doing a 'word search' in Proverbs? Good fickin grief. That is neither systematic nor theology.

-----------------

As for the charge of racism. I stand by it. By the fact that we are white and men in America, we are racist. You may think otherwise, but ask a black man if you are racist. Ask him if he is angry that his entire life has been put down, that he starts at a line a hundred meters behind us, for the economic race of life.

The charge is not a gutter charge. For us to think that we do not have HUGE advantages in life simply because we are white and men is again ignorant.

To think such lacks wisdom. Today I am angry that WISDOM has left the room. I'm tired of Christ followers leaning on their knowledge rather than wisdom.

I'm tired of us thinking that smarter followers of Jesus are better than wise followers of Jesus.

I'm particularly tired of Calviinst Christ followers leaving wisdom behind.

Read the biblical text, Old Testament and New Testament, and you determine which of the two are closer to the heart of God.

It's time we start living lives that are reflective of a God who sent his Son into the world rather than ranting about free econonic systems and a govt. that steps on the rest of the world.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Randy,

Why don't you ask some impoverished white males in the Southern Appalachian backcountry about their "advantages." It'll make some black people born into wealthy black families look positively "racist."

If you want to redefine "racist" to mean "born with greater economic advantages than someone else," go ahead. But don't expect anyone with half a brain to buy it.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

Randy wrote
"It's time we start living lives that are reflective of a God who sent his Son into the world"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is exactly what Ron is indicating, including those in poverty who are responsible for their own demise.
Some speak of hypotheticals here, but let me describe what I see daily at the inner city mission where I serve. We have the mentally and physically handicapped, along with the elderly, which we all agree we need to care for. But the majority fall into three catagories, those who struggle getting empoyment because of felony/prison records for a variety of offenses, those who are currently abusing some substance and those who are perfectly satisfied living in highly subsidized housing or the shelters, perfectly satisfied getting their monthly checks, spending their days idly hanging out in a variety of places and have zero desire to change their circumstances.
Now, those with employment struggles (felons and former substance abusers) for the most part accept responsibility for driving their lives into the ditch. And that's an important starting point, because they know it's going to be a long road rebuilding their lives. Even if there were better avenues toward employment for those folks, we are still left with those who could care less about changing their lives. And those, I believe, are what these posts are attempting to address.
It's not "injustice" when there are free/subsidized educational opportunities available. It's not "injustice" if you're a second or third generation welfare recipient who choses to remain as such. But it is an injustice to lump all these groups together for the sake of an argument. And Ron's not doing as such. So how about addressing fact based, real life situations.
I hope that through these posts and the discussions that will certainly follow, we can come to some conclusions pertaining to dealing with and transitioning from a system that permits/promotes those people who are truely living off this broken relic.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Solameanie said...

Randy: As for the charge of racism. I stand by it. By the fact that we are white and men in America, we are racist.

This is so patently ridiculous, I am amazed that you would have the temerity to even write it down so it could be used to demonstrate your ignorance. You must have failed logic and formal reasoning. Go back for a refresher course. Start with the series of fallacies related to non causa pro causa

Randy: You may think otherwise, but ask a black man if you are racist. Ask him if he is angry that his entire life has been put down, that he starts at a line a hundred meters behind us, for the economic race of life.

It depends on the black men to whom you are referring. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton might say this, but there are a good number of black men such as Jesse Lee Peterson, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams who might argue otherwise. While you're accusing Caucasian natives of the United States of being inherent racists, you might look into black racism, unless you're of the stripe that doesn't think racism by anyone other than whites is possible. And that wouldn't surprise me a whole lot, given your myopia on other matters. Your white guilt complex has really blinded you to the actual state of affairs. This is 2008, not 1862 or even 1964, for that matter.

Randy: To think such lacks wisdom. Today I am angry that WISDOM has left the room. I'm tired of Christ followers leaning on their knowledge rather than wisdom.

So. Let me see. Wisdom is divorced entirely from knowledge. Wow. I had no idea that such a quality could be absorbed by osmosis from the nether regions of the universe. Get this straight. Knowledge and wisdom are connected to each other. While it is certainly possible to exercise wisdom without a Ph.D, it does take a modicum of knowledge to exercise wisdom. Your lack of knowledge and related lack of wisdom is a stellar example of it.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Solameanie said...

Check this article out, everyone. I think I've found Randy's clone. This is as good a glimpse into the liberal mind as you'll get.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
"You defer to doing a 'word search' in Proverbs? Good fickin grief. That is neither systematic nor theology."
Actually, you're wrong--again. A systematic study of Proverbs using words like "poor" and "poverty" will give you a lot of biblical insight into the question at hand and will correct a great deal of your aberrant thinking. Dare I call it thinking?

As far as Calvinists are concerned, you knocking at the wrong door. If you want a real lack of wisdom try the mega-church, the emergents, Jim Wallis, and ole Bri. No wisdom there; not much anyway. Of course , you can neither see nor acknowledge that, can you?

I cannot speak for all Calvinists, but our Wed. Men's Bible Study has been studying Proverbs (you know, wisdom literature in the OT)for about two years now. We're very much concerned about wisdom and knowledge because according to Scripture, the two are inseparable. That's a real bite in the shorts if you eschew knowledge like the ecm tribe does.

Which is it, Randy? Do you want us to have knowledge and wisdom? Wisdom without knowledge? Knowledge without wisdom? Where do we get wisdom and how, according to the Word of God, does it fit in with knowledge?

4:47 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
I also took your advice and asked my black friends if they thought I was a racist. They just laughed and shook their heads no. Sorry to disappoint your tendentious Kool-Aid approach.
Who in the world do you hang with? Jeremiah Wright?

4:50 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Sonameanie,
I don't believe you'll find any biblical evidence that wisdom and knowledge are connected any more than any other two things.

I have two grandfathers with eighth grade educations, and their wisdom is above and beyond anything here... so, the two may be related, but they are not interconnected.

Knowledge does not lead to wisdom. Neither does wisdom lead ot knowledge. From the request of Solomon, it seems that wisdom is closer to the heart of God than most any other human characteristic.

10:19 PM  
Blogger sister said...

“Living in poverty today is largely the result of specific unfortunate life choices people make.”

This statement is entirely true, and a concise, accurate paraphrase of a multitude of those Wednesday night proverbs. There is wisdom in those words.

I'm impressed, too, by the inclusion of the adverb "largely",to make allowance for those affected entirely by misfortune.

The only thing I might have added is the word "poor" alongside "unfortunate" to describe the sorts of choices that result in poverty.

What concerns me though is the suggestion that once one makes a poor or unfortunate choice, they are immediately disqualified from being worthy of assistance. Sometimes, we make mistakes and learn from them... even if there's someone there to bail us out. If we all had to climb out of poverty for every poor (or unfortunate) life choice we ever made... well...

10:23 PM  
Blogger sister said...

Jazz,

That was a nice a nice gesture... to offer to take the the guy to a restaurant. It wasn't McDonalds was it, 'cause I would have said "No" too...

Seriously though, please be careful about being condescending when making those kinds of offers. What seems like a good deal to you can often feel like patronization to a needy person. The hungriest man in the world might refuse "free" food, if he thinks the real cost is his self-worth... and understandingly so.

10:30 PM  
Blogger sister said...

Randy,

I hate to be the one to point this out, but:

related = interconnected

10:33 PM  
Blogger jazzact13 said...

--As for the charge of racism. I stand by it. By the fact that we are white and men in America, we are racist.--

And with that remark, Randy, all of the little credibility you may have had with me just got flushed.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Solameanie said...

Sister,

One quick comment, as I can't remember whether I related this here or not in past threads.

When I was working in radio out in Long Beach years ago, one of these apparently homeless men came knocking at the door of the studio saying he was hungry. I gave him $10. The next day, the station manager told me not to do it again, because the first thing most of them do is go out and buy cigarettes and booze instead of food. He recommended the restaurant approach back then, and that was 20 years ago. While I can't paint with a broad brush and say all of the homeless spend what little money they have on booze, a good number of them do, hence the caution.

8:37 AM  
Blogger IceDawg said...

Hi sister,

Nice to hear from you again...

I actually don't think that the point is that making a poor choice means folks are disqualified from help. It simply means they are not entitled. Folks can give help to whomever they choose. To expect help as some universal right despite one's poor decisions...that's not taking personal responsibility.

9:13 AM  
Blogger sister said...

Dawg, I think we disagree a lot less often than you would like. What you said is, in fact, the point.

We should stipulate, too, that expecting help is not the same thing as requesting help, which is not the same thing as accepting help.

With all that said: the expectation of help should not automatically disqualify one from receiving help, either.

Oh, one more thing before I go. I don't think you meant otherwise, but certainly, "Whoever they choose" is not a very limited list for anybody who calls themself a christian... "Freely you have received. Freely give," after all.

10:29 PM  
Blogger IceDawg said...

Hi Sister,

I'm happy to report that I agree that we don't disagree on that many things. It has been a position I've held for some time now (albeit in private). Even when we disagree (which I agree is not very often) your posts are worth responding to since they are well thought out and articulate. They force me to think through my positions and that is a good thing.

With the "whomever they choose" comment I just wanted to lay the burden for helping at the feet of the helper not the helpee. The Bible is the guide for my behaviour, not my own personal whims.

5:32 AM  
Blogger jazzact13 said...

--That was a nice a nice gesture... to offer to take the the guy to a restaurant. It wasn't McDonalds was it, 'cause I would have said "No" too...--

Subway, actually. There was one not far from where he was standing.

--Seriously though, please be careful about being condescending when making those kinds of offers.--

I understand that, and try to not be condescending. Whether he thought I was or not, I don't know, but I had no intention to be that way. I wished to help, but to do so wisely.

6:39 AM  

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