At the risk of sounding like a broken record and being dubbed a heartless, ignorant bible thumper my opinion regarding the Nov. 16 article "A hunger to help Ministry handout food in Gainesville" is prayerfully submitted.
First and foremost it is a mandate of rightly divided scripture that members of the body of Christ as to be involved in good and benevolent activities. The sole purpose of which is to help other members.
Those of us who recognize that the epistles of Paul contain scripture truth acknowledge that he never states or implies that the saints are to minister and material things, food, clothing or shelter to those without the body. The ministry to those outside the body is to be confined to ministering the gospel of God's grace for salvation. When a person becomes a member of the body of Christ then, and only then, are they worthy to share the spiritual and material blessings of the saints.
Based upon experience and observation those activities such as Under the Bridge Ministries, Church Food and Clothing Banks and other types of so-called community out reach ministries are but prime examples of people operating in the realm of the flesh. "Look at what we're doing God is so pleased with us it makes us feel so good."
In the meantime they overlooked the fact that Jesus only twice concerned himself with feeding the poor but on numerous occasions he placed special emphasis upon preaching gospel to the poor.
I'm sure most are familiar with the old adage, "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he'll sit in the boat and drink beer all day."
I fear religious do-gooders are advocating the same principle. "Give a man a bologna sandwich and he'll eat for a day; give him a big box of goodies and he'll lie around watching television till it's all gone."
According to the article, four local churches purchased the food for the giveaway. These congregations are to be commended for their gullibility into thinking that the recipients of their bounty sincerely appreciated what you have done for them.
Over the years, the church has apparently been trying to create an atmosphere of entitlement similar to that of the federal government. In my opinion, it is a crying shame; as a result of entitlements, able-bodied citizens don't have to work in order to support their families.
I realize many people are experiencing difficulties because of current economic problems. From my youth, I have been instructed from the pulpit to pray for any material needs, and to date, I have not been disappointed. If it's good enough for saved folks, it's good enough for the down-and-out.
Something happens when churches pray and I challenge all the churches in Hall County to open your doors a few hours a day for the sole purpose of prayer. Don't worry about being invaded by the homeless and other down-and-outers. God knows the intents of your heart.
William P. Clark