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My Daily Life and Thoughts while in San Diego | List of Best Posts
This blog is where I express myself to the world or at least to those who might stop by to read what I post . Maybe God will use what I post (I am a Christian and this blog will have a most decidedly Christian bent to it) to good effect in the lives of my readers.

I may turn some of my posts into a book. I may cease blogging here altogether. Who knows. But for now..I am content to post away in this, my own little corner of the world.

Rather than reading through my now lengthy list of posts you may wish to read what I consider to be my very best posts or you can just read the posts that deal with a single subject category that might interest you.

Please know that I am open to any input on any topic I write about. If you have something to say about anything you see written here please....feel free to speak up in the form of leaving a comment or sending me a PM (private message).

And if you are in San Diego and wish to meet the one and only Carlos (that's me )...drop me a private message. I always enjoy meeting one of my readers!

Thanks.

Carlos

PS. If you want to follow my blog such that you will get an email when I write new posts you can subscribe to my blog.
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A "free" bus pass from a "loving" Christian ministry.

Posted 02-28-2009 at 10:29 PM by carlos123
Updated 03-01-2009 at 05:11 PM by carlos123 (Fixed some grammatical errors and otherwise changed a few words...)


I am angry tonight. Real angry. And given that I am using this blog to express myself I figure it's good if I express what exactly is making me angry.

I recently met some wonderful Christians and have enjoyed hanging out with them some. Through our conversations one of them found out that I had no way to get around other than by bus and that I had no bus pass. So...he graciously offered to contact someone they knew at a San Diego ministry to see if they might be willing to "grace" me with a free bus pass. To help me get around and perhaps find some more consistent work than I have been able to find locally.

All well and good. Wonderful in fact.

Today I found out as a result of this Christian's attempt to reach out and find a bus pass for me that this ministry does indeed give out bus passes but that one must be working 25 hours a week to qualify for one.

Mind you...I did not ask this new Christian friend to inquire on my behalf. I did not even ask him if he knew where I could get help to secure a bus pass. He offered on his own initiative to make inquiries among his contacts to see if someone might be willing to provide me with one.

God knows my needs and I make it a matter of practice to not go around as with a hat in my hand begging or going around to everyone I can to see if someone might not be able to make my life easier by giving me stuff. I just don't do that.

But if someone will go to bat on my behalf to help meet a real need in my life...I won't interfere or say no either.

Anyway...the thing that is making me angry is this.

This ministry, under the name of Jesus Christ, is offering their "love" in the form of a bus pass only to those working 25 hours a week.

Is that a biblical and loving thing to do? Is that the way Jesus would have dealt with people in need?

I can see it now...the bus pass = a healing in the analogy below.

Man needing to be healed in order to work..."Lord I would like to be healed in order to be able to walk and go find work!".
Jesus..."Yes...my son but first you must be working 25 hours a week!".
Man..."But...but Lord how am I supposed to be working 25 hours a week if I cannot walk so as to get to work?"
Jesus..."He who does not work does not get healed!"
Man..."But...but Lord...I can't walk. How am I supposed to go and work if I can't even get there? Have mercy on me Lord."
Lord...."You must be working 25 hours a week in order to be healed. Next person please..."

Is that the way Jesus would have handled this? NO WAY!

Yes...we are to temper our love in meeting needs in one another's lives with a realization that there are some that don't want to work. In the case of such persons...if they don't want to work...they should not be given unending supplies of free food.

But if a brother is in real need....neither should a ministry superimpose on that brother or sister in need some qualification that the very Lord such a ministry claims to serve would not superimpose on those in need!

To do so is hypocritical at the very least. And completely out of character with the love of God.

The problem with many "ministries" is that they have ceased to be organizations that really love people (if they ever were) and instead have become corporate entities that only "love" others on the basis of criteria that they deem acceptable. Criteria that God Himself would not place upon others.

Love as God intended it...is to be personal. Personal in the sense that we are to involve ourselves in the lives of those we are expressing love to.

Today many persons who attend church give a pittance to organizations and ministries who then love others in their place. A most convenient form of loving that allows us to continue living selfish lives while all along deceiving ourselves into believing that we are acting in love. When in fact we are not.

God will provide for my needs as He always has but in this case...it certainly won't be through this Christian ministry acting in what they undoubtedly believe is a most loving manner.

One reason that I don't go to such places myself is precisely because they see people in need as less worthy of consideration than they themselves would wish for themselves. Many so-called "Christian" ministries treat the poor and those in need as second class citizens. As people unworthy of being looked upon as equals in the eyes of God. As somehow deficient because...well...because they are in need.

The other reason is because I believe God can do better than to help me through such organizations. I am a child of the King who just happens to have fallen into hard times.

Just as any other child of the King can fall into.

Were it not for the fact that it is a hard thing to have to endure...I would wish upon every one of my "loving" brethren some very hard times such that they too would fall into need. That they also might come to see things from the other side of the tracks so to speak. That they might come to experience the humiliation that it can be to feel that one must go to such places to get help.

A humiliation that no one should have to endure.

The Church needs to get back to a standard of personal as opposed to corporate loving. Of each one loving the other unconditionally according to the real needs of those on the receiving end.

Instead of leaving people in need, in a misguided and hypocritical stance that no one will receive anything unless they meet some arbitrary criteria that applies to all...regardless of whether such a criteria is reasonable or not with respect to the real need of any single individual.

To get to know individuals so as to be in a position to best meet their real needs takes time. It takes committment and sacrifice. The kind of love Jesus exemplified and the kind of love that we are so unwilling to give one another today.

But precisely that kind of love is what should set the Christians apart. Sadly one rarely sees it.

Carlos
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Carlos, I agree with you. I no longer give to organized charities for just the reason you described. Organized charities solicit on emotion but dispense selectively. Have you taken a look at the salaries of organized charities?

    The families of the victims of 9/11, for example. Money poured in, and those who gave wanted the money evenly divided among the relatives; but, the charities made the families jump through hoops, but worst of all, they dispensed the funds based on economic status - those victims who earned more during life - their families were given more than someone who washed dishes for a living! Outrageous.
    permalink
    Posted 03-03-2009 at 08:39 AM by New Hampshire New Hampshire is offline
  2. Old Comment
    I think you hit the nail right on the proverbial head New Hampshire.

    "Organized charities solicit on emotion but dispense selectively."

    Well said!

    Carlos
    permalink
    Posted 03-03-2009 at 10:03 AM by carlos123 carlos123 is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Your comment made me think about something else New Hampshire....

    My new Christian friend who I mentioned in my post and who graciously offered to go to bat for me in trying to find a bus pass for me is a good and decent person. He does more for those in need than just about anyone I know (I didn't describe the extent of his involvement in helping those in need but it is substantial).

    His faith is a tremendous encouragement to me.

    But despite all that...I ask myself why he felt the need to go to a charitity to see if I could be provided with that which I so obviously need instead of providing me with a bus pass himself?

    Why did he not offer to help me himself?

    Mind you I do not expect such help from anyone. As I said I just don't operate that way believing that God wants me to look to Him in order to enable me to just love others without expectation of return. Relying on Him to provide for my needs through whatever or whomever He chooses.

    But the question remains...why did my friend choose to inquire on my behalf with a ministry as opposed to helping me himself?

    There are any of a number of reasons why he might have done that and if I get the chance...in time...I may ask him myself.

    But...it seems to me that there is one reason above all others that might allow us some insight into that.

    And that is this.

    That we have been trained to believe that giving through charitable organizations and ministries is preferred to giving of ourselves. We take the easier, less involved, perhaps safer route by giving to organizations and directing those in need to those organizations rather than meeting the needs of those we come into contact with....ourselves.

    If that is so...we must get away from that and get back to helping our neighbor ourselves. Just as Jesus intended. Such neighborly willingness to help is what in part made the U.S. such a great country at one point in time.

    Carlos
    permalink
    Posted 03-03-2009 at 10:16 AM by carlos123 carlos123 is offline
 

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