Monday April 25, 2011, 6:19 am
According to many Republican politicians and pundits, caring for the poor is the job of the churches, not the government. Now Franklin Graham, son of the famed evangelist, is claiming that churches no longer care for the poor, because government stole that role from them. I lave a load of that to fertilize the front lawn!
Monday April 25, 2011, 9:52 am
Pseudo-christians only preach that riches are given to the pious. They have no interest in what the bible actually teaches about caring for those less fortunate than yourself.
Monday April 25, 2011, 2:18 pm
I was deeply involved in "the church" until it became so clear, in my eyes, that the pastors no longer believed what they were saying. The ministers would give sermons about the "Power of Prayer". But when disaster struck no prayers were offered, except when they occurred in our area. I went to a couple of other denominations and while they did offer prayers for the victims of hunger etc, they (the Prayers) were part of the liturgy and not from the heart. I also found out that the leadership, of the denomination I belonged, told the pastors not to give any sermons that would annoy the big donors. Most of the money going to churches is being used for that congregation's needs and not for the needy. It took me a long time before I attended another church regularly. In the meantime I really delved into church history, religion in general, theology and creeds. The result of my reading etc. was that I have been regularly attending a Unitarian Universalist church near me.
Monday April 25, 2011, 2:38 pm
Most churchs do Some charity work - but Usually for their own congregations.. but I doubt any but Mega Churchs COULD do what the government does to help the poor. I liked the end of the article ".. for the vast majority of American churches, especially the pseudo-Christian of Republican Supply-side Jesus (not the real Jesus), the focus switched to foreign missions that created more notches on soul belts, churching the unchurched, and catering to rich congregants to help build cushier churches. Helping the poor fell by the wayside without government help. Added to that, the prosperity doctrine became popular that wealth is Godís blessing for piety, while poverty is Godís punishment for sin. The poor became the new lepers. Government stepped in to help provide a safety net, because the churches were not taking care of the poor. There is no credible evidence to support the idea that, if government steps back, the churches will step forward to care for the poor. For Graham to imply otherwise is a lie. Government is not at fault for Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian greed.
That said, to those authentic Christians, who do all they can, thank you. This does not apply to you."
Monday April 25, 2011, 3:10 pm
Sad to say, but I believe most churches and their "pastors" have their own agenda akin to the TV preachers--very few give a damn about helping the poor and elderly. They think by doing "something" once in a while--they are good to go straight to heaven. I used to be a fan of Billy Graham and his son Franklin, even had left Franklin's cause for the children a donation in my will. That was removed some time ago, Franklin is a racist, you are going to hell if you don't believe as I do, Republican teabagger birther. Thanks Tom
Monday April 25, 2011, 10:23 pm
Churches were the original Banks.
When grain (food) was the currency, it was stored at the temples.
This was the only place people would not steal from.
Now people arrested for marijuana are FORCED to attend Christian Church drug rehab programs as a 'condition of bail', before they have even been determined to be 'guilty'.
People of ALL religions are forced to attend Christian Churches, hese programs are not offered at Muslim Mosques or Jewish temples. If one refuses to attend the Christian Church Rehab (12 steps with Beatitudes from the Bible attached to each), one s sent back to jail to await trial and one's bail is revoked - you lose your money.
The Christian Church has reached a new level of 'partnership' with the government through 'Faith Based Initiatives'. (Not all churches)
This is a new development, a complete violation of Seperation of Church & State.
Go to Church or Go to Jail!
This is real, not a joke...
America is no longer a free country.
We have been taken over by religious fundamentalists.
We are going to have to fight over this.
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 2:34 am
" GRAHAM: Christiane, a hundred years ago, the safety net, the social safety net in the country was provided by the church. If you didnít have a job, youíd go to your local church and ask the pastor if he know somebody that could hire him. If you were hungry, you went to the local church and told them, "I canít feed my family." And the church would help you. And thatís not being done. " Form, Would Churches Care for the Poor?
I LIKE THAT. IT MIGHT BE TRUE IN SOME CHURCH.
Thank goodness for the government programs. Thank goodness for the free food boxes, and free clothes offered at many churches, and for the free rooms given at through some churches. Thank goodness for those few churches that make the choice to give to the poor work, and to give to the poor the basic needs until the poor may find a way to provide for themselves. Thank You God. Thank You God - the Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit -- for those few to many who are faithful. All Glory go to God -- the Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit -- for those who treat the poor well, and welcome the poor! Alleluia!
Thank You for the honesty in this article.
Dare we repent -- turn back to God -- the Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit, -- and look to God First, to meet our every need, and then our desire, and dare we trust God to work through more people, and more churches to meet the needs of the poor, and completely accept the poor.
Dare we look to God -- the Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit -- to request that all people will be restored to being loved and accepted, and if not, why not start the church on the street, and in the camping grounds, and may God let the homeless be the ones who are the leaders, and .May God let the bankrupt persons be lead by the Lord to be in leadership. I love my Jesus who has seen me through this far. ALL Glory be to God.
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 2:44 am
The people are the church -- the body of believers. Jesus did not live in a home, and he was taken in by people who had homes. Many people who believed in Jesus were told to go home and tell / show people that you are made whole. Many who believed Jesus were devote and had homes. Some did not have that call and traveled from place to place as they were lead. So, it is today hat many who believe have homes.
MAY THERE BE MANY HOUSE RAISING PARTIES, AND BARN - RAISING PARTIES, AND FOOD AND CLOTHING AND FUND RAISING PARTIES -- FOR THE GLORY OF GOD -- THE FATHER, THE SON , THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Peace i give to you, not as the world gives it, Peace I give unto you.
This is the promise, receiving the Holy Spirit -- to comfort you until the day of the return of the Messiah -- that is God is with you.
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 2:51 am
Since the people are the church -- the body of believers -- then the people may meet together where ever they choose -- in parks, at homes, and have true fellowship and true worship. They that worship the Lord, will worship Him in spirit and in truth.
So YOU WHO ARE WILLING -- WE NEED TO GET SOME PEOPLE TOGETHER TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE POOR -- SINCE WE ARE THE CHURCH -- THE BODY OF BELIEVERS -- AND THIS DOES NOT SEEM EASY. Jesus says COME TO ME YOU WHO ARE WEARY AND HEAVILY LADEN, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST. Jesus say. HE LEAVES THE HOLY SPIRIT TO LEAD AND TO GUIDE,. So, e-mail Ruth R. and let us get started in how to receive what the church and the government will give each person, and -- go do the rest to help all and the poor, all with the help of God, and to the His Glory.
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 2:53 am
Helen, I was thinking Pat Robertson.
I agree, Patty.
Bryan, I disagree. Blaming religion is like blaming a car for the acts of a drunken driver. Religion is not the problem. Misuse of religion is.
Robert, we share some similar experiences. I belong to no church, myself.
Thank you Yvonne. I'm glad my writing rang true for you.
Bo, I think your right, but I have to believe that there are congregations of authentic Christians too.' We don't know about them, because they are helping quietly, not shoving it down others' throats.
John, I agree that the 'faith based initiatives' either ought not to be or that they ought to be closely overseen to ensure that there is no discrimination and proselytizing not be part of charity using taxpayer funds. Technically, none of the abuses you mention are allowed to exist, but nobody enforces it.
Ruth, I respect your belief. Mine tends more to God gave me a brain and I'll use it. :-)'
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 3:11 am
The churches have deeply failed the poor, and the different. there is no doubt about that. The people who are outside "the church" are the ones who can help one another, and each other.
There are some churches that are still doing a little to help the poor and the outcast. They still fail and must be forgiven.
The separation of church and state is essential at this time, or the church will compromise even more, and already has to the extent, that many people seek God away from the buildings-church. This seems to be the only way for some to maintain their faith. the church is not what it used to be, is not what it should be, and could be.
However, there are still some true and giving churches, and there are some churches doing some thing right -- that are useful.
So, many are already gathering to have fellowship outside the church.
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 9:35 am
Churches are parasites leeching income, energy, and time from their congregations while poisoning their minds with primitive nonsense. The only good church is the one that's being sold to someone who has a better use for the building. Otherwise, they should be torn down and the building materials recycled to build homes for the poor.
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 1:16 pm
It isn't fair to expect the poor to have to go to the church for food and clothing. The myth of "welfare queens" living off the backs of the working people has become so widespread, it's commonly believed, and all poor are thought of as lazy and shiftlesss. What about disabled people? We should spend the rest of our lives living on handouts like secondhand clothing and food pantries? We have little chance of upward financial mobility, and we are poor through no real fault of our own. People need to think before they propose that the pooor are of lesser value as human beings, as well.
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 2:07 pm
I am not fond of holy men who drive limos and evade taxes by pretending to be the "ears and mouth of the Lord". But what truly irks me is those who give false hope to the lame, blind, deaf or dying, like that scum Benny Hinn and all the other "televangelists". If God truly gave some the power to heal, He would not want them to charge for it. Amen.
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 2:12 pm
Whether serving in little "platoons", or helping individually each in our own way, the true followers of Jesus Christ will continue doing what we do as we have done for decades. Those who condemn even the true believers, who are sincerely helping, for the wrong doings of others--if you are unwilling to pitch in and help as well rather than spouting hate, then please get out of the way and do not hinder.
We should all help the poor, governments, churches, corporations, people as individuals. The problem is that institutionalised help often requires some quid pro quo, which often negates the help, e.g. the Marranos of Spain were not exactly the Christians the Spanish monarchy really wanted.
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 7:21 pm
Churches already do a great deal for the poor. Visit any Salvation Army center and you will see llives being changed. I am a liberal, but I get tired of fellow liberals bashing the Christian charities that run the soup kitchens, food banks, and homeless shelters.
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 7:48 pm
I doubt it.
My personal experience says the church really doesn't care. Recently, one of my nieces and her 2 kids lost their home and everything to a fire. The Lutheran Church she went to put a collection jar out for her. After 2 Sundays, there wasn't even a dollar in it.
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 8:08 pm
John 3;16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. :-) Amen! Thanx Tom :-0
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 10:47 pm
I do not know of anychurches in North America that could take care of the poor if all government programs were scratched. alll Christian church communities I know are supported by free-will donations that add up to just enough to pay for the program of their local congregtion, including staff salaries, give about$5,000 to $20,000 a year to support their denomination, which does what it can to engage in some social programs and outreach. Few church have endowment funds. They also usually have pantry programs for the poor who come to them for help and give what they can to community programs to support the poor, such as food banks. But that contribution depends on the wealth of the members, which often is not great, and such contributions may run typically to anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars a year.
The notion that the churches command huge resources may stem from the fact that the Church before the reformation owned lots of land that they drew lots of income from and were able to collect taxes, often very high rates of taxes, because they usually had a greater or lesser degree of secular power, as well as encouraging people to a spiritual life. When there were convents and monasteries with hundreds of sisters and brothers, these were institutions that often were schools or cared for the sick and the poor. The churches of North America, and even Europe now, have none of this. Where would they get the means for caring the masses of poor people that are now getting government assistance?
Tuesday April 26, 2011, 11:38 pm
There are many churches in my area that offer the services they can to the homeless and poor. There are many that do not. I don't believe it should be the churches job, and as Kathy B notes, many require attendance and prayer in exchange! What about the large minority of atheists/pagans/agnostics? In a country with 20+ percent unemployment, the only entity large enough to deal with this IS the government. And since it's the GOVERNMENT that has eliminated US jobs and the payment of TAXES by Corporations, let's all call on our congressmen to take in a few homeless themselves! Bastards and Christians! GRRRRRRR! Both p*ss me off. (No, not the FEW that don't judge or want me to change, but those are VERY FEW!)
Wednesday April 27, 2011, 3:17 am
I believe that there are very few true Christians today. They pick and choose what they want to follow in The Bible. It is not a smorgus board! If you claim to be one, then be one. We must not leave the caring for one an other to others, weather it be the Church or Government. We must take that mandate upon ourselves. Be Blessed.
Wednesday April 27, 2011, 3:39 am
Wow! I'm boggled that there are so many comments.
For those of you who condemn all churches and all people of faith, that is no less tolerant than the most rabid Supply-side pseudo-Christians. Authentic atheists are willing to coexist, just like authentic Christians.
To those of you who insist on lock step obedience to the Bible, dies that include stoning someone to death, because they shaved their beard or making slaves of residents of neighboring nations. Although I've always wanted to own a Canadian, I think worshiping God makes more sense than worshiping a book.
For those who said all should do what they can to help the poor, I agree, and for those doing what they can, thank you.
Wednesday April 27, 2011, 9:57 am
There's only a handful of organized religions that actually help the poor. It's more or less left up to private individuals who take it upon themselves to feed, clothe and house those without.
A great example are the sweet elderly ladies who run the "Love Kitchen". Recently they received donations from a millionaire, Oprah and Smiths/Kroger Foods. These ladies (sisters and twins) get up every morning, with the help of three other volunteers, to prepare food for the less fortunate. If they received any money from churches it's probably very miniscule.
Most high profile faith systems are in it for the ego and money, saving souls and PRACTICING the teachings of God are last on their agendas.
Wednesday April 27, 2011, 10:25 am
I'd like to believe that churches would, but I think it depends on the individual church. Too many are putting 'except' against those who are poor and need help. Religion should be inclusive, as God intended, and not exclusive.
Wednesday April 27, 2011, 1:08 pm
I think I have been guilty of hating all religion and churches equally and that is wrong. It is lazy and feels good. As pointed out, the Salvation Army does great work. Jewish Voice for Peace and Sojourners do a wonderful job and perform a great service.
But all I have to do is see some "red-faced, science denying, mammon worshipping, limo riding, televangalist Svengali monkey and I forget my manners.
Wednesday April 27, 2011, 5:09 pm
charity really does vary from church to church. a few weeks ago, someone told me that they thought jesus set too high a standard; an unattainable goal. i don't think most people even make an effort to emulate him. i don't expect everyone to be like jesus, but i expect all christians to be moving in that direction.
Wednesday April 27, 2011, 9:40 pm
First of all, I believe in God but do not worship Jesus Christ, so therefore I am not a Christian and do not attend church, where there are so many hypocrites who talk out of both sides of their mouths. I have seen some smaller churches bend over backward to do everything within their community they can to help however they can, then I have seen mega churches who help no one other than themselves. To expect churches to take care of the poor is more or less just a pipe dream!
Ruth, I'm very glad you have the faith you do, but please, don't push it off on people who don't want it...
Wednesday April 27, 2011, 11:04 pm
According to a study done during G.W. Bush's reign, the church's can only pick up and provide for 10% of the need for the poor. That leaves the other 90% out in the cold. Many church's in my town have the food bank trucks at their church for food give-aways, but only their members are notified when these trucks are coming and after the event is over sometimes it is listed in the local newspaper.
I worked poor most of my working years. Nursing homes pay minimum wage to the aides who do the majority of patient care. I starting working at $1.60 an hour in 1971. I felt that what I was doing was more important than the wage and even though I am unable to work now due to medical, I would still work in the line of work I did if able too. I felt I made a difference in the lives of the elderly and that is priceless. Often people will work in a field of work that does not pay a living wage, but feel there are other reasons to do certain work. So now we are to be considered as being lazy or unworthy because we don't make a decent wage for the work we do. It is unfortunate that many feel that some of us are poor because we do not have a big bank account, I found other rewards from my years of work with my patients one-on-one. But there are some out there who would not understand that. Too bad now that the church's are taking that view also. I was even condemned by church visitors to the nursing home on Sunday's mornings for not being in church Sunday mornings and instead working getting the patients who were still able to go to church up, washed, dressed and fed before sending them off to church. I was 18 at the time and I told one church person that I would feel bad about myself for abandoning the very people who needed me there to see to their needs and go and sit in a church and ask God for forgiveness because I left those who needed help and came to church instead. The person could not answer that. Well, I am still considered poor, but I have riches from some of the people I took care of that are worth more to me the money I was paid.
It is a sad thought that one only has value if they have lots of money.