The Poor

Posted on February 19, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters

“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” (Psalm 82:3)

Over the past two years I have been exchanging ideas with a close Christian friend who holds a vehemently different political opinion than I do. I’ve learned a great deal from him, primarily concerning the poor. All of his ranting and raving along with all of my study of scripture have reinforced what I believed all along in most areas.

However, there simply can be no debate concerning God’s concern for the poor, needy and disenfranchised. He wants them cared for. That is a part of my responsibility as a Christian.

“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.” (Psalm 41:1)

“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” (Prov. 14:31)

But He also seems to put some restraints on our judgement and generosity.

 “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’” (II Cor 3:10)  

“The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work.” (Prov. 21:25)

One reason there are so many poor people in the wealthiest nation in the world is that we have legislated them into a cycle of poverty and made it rather easy to survive on “poverty.” Joseph Sobran said, “‘Need” now means wanting someone else’s money. “Greed” means wanting to keep your own. “Compassion” is when a politician arranges the transfer.’”

I’m not certain either political party actually wants to solve the problem, each for a different reason.

Therefore we as a church and other non-profit organizations need to step in as best we can. We do this with food drives, clothing drives, soup kitchens, special offerings for the needy, etc. We also have rescue missions, pregnancy centers, boycotts, etc.

In addition there are many non-profits that help the poor. Personally, I give only through the church, for this reason: I will not donate money to a charity organization that pays an excessive salary to its executives and/or has overhead costs which results in a fairly large percentage of their budget.

My friend reasons like this: restaurants with the least expensive menus provide the least compensation (gratuities) for their employees. He also reasons that less capable people are working in lower-priced restaurants. Therefore, he tips a higher percentage than normal at the least expensive restaurants, sometimes as much as 30%! (Please don’t leave a tract if you are a lousy tipper!!!!) I asked him if he ever feels guilty tipping the waitress 30% and less than that to God. He said he tithes plus gives generous offerings above the tithe and he takes literally Jesus’ words, “If you’ve done it unto the least of these my brethren, you’ve done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40). So to him, he is fulfilling God’s mandate to help the poor and needy.

Think about that for a while! While I’m not where he is, he certainly is sending me in a new direction in my growing Christian maturity.

Written by Rev. Neil Fitchthorn Rev. Neil Fichthorn is a seasoned conference and camping servant having served at Gull Lake Bible Conference, Sandy Cove Ministries as President, and an interim Executive Director at Pinebrook Bible Conference. He also served in church music for decades as a choir director and arranger. He has been Bill Welte’s mentor and friend for over 45 years.

The Daily Bible Reading: Exodus 7-8, Mark 16| You can download our 2018 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

Daily Quote: “If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”― Stephen Colbert

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You,that he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple. – Psalm 65:4

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