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I got a chuckle out of the Feb. 1 article, "Churches may unify to aid the homeless."
The opening sentence of the article states, "Several Gainesville churches have decided it's time to defeat homelessness in the city." The article outlines a national program underway called the Family Promise program. Using the guidelines of this program, participating churches will host homeless families by providing temporary shelter, hot meals and other support.
I am under the opinion that church evolvement in such feel-good activities as advocated by the Family Promise program is not based upon Scripture. In all of his epistles, the apostle Paul emphasizes that all benevolent activities by the body of Christ are to be directed primarily toward the household of faith. That is the saints and faithful brethren in Christ Jesus. Failure to adhere to this principle by contemporary Christianity is gross negligence. Also, there appears to be a very fine line between churches aiding the homeless and churches enabling the homeless.
The current newsletter published by Les Feldick Ministries has the following quote by Adrian Rogers: "You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person received without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half get the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
While that comment is addressed toward government, the same principle applies to the contemporary church. Scripture addressed to members of the body of Christ specifically states, "That if any would not work, neither should he eat." Is there a double standard for church members and nonchurch members?
Come on 2012.
William P. Clark