Does God want us to feed the poor?

Social Distinctions again.  My thoughts on this go way back to when I was reading That Printer of Udell’s.  Some of you may remember the little review I did of that book.  I heard someone say just last night, "God wants us to be involved with our communities, and He wants us to feed the poor."  These statements are nowhere in scripture, yet if someone said them, most of us would be saying "Amen!" within our hearts.
 
Hear me out.  Christ came to establish a community in which His will was done.  His goal was to eliminate social statuses (stati?) of all who trust in Him.  When we use terms like "poor", we are automatically assuming that we are in a higher social class than they are.  By using these terms we create this invisible wall between us and those we minister to.  It’s almost like some have the attitude, "I’ll give to the poor and do my part for these poor, unfortunate people."
 
In the kingdom of God, which we enter upon our salvation, there is no slave or free, there is no rich or poor.  The early church had all things in common.  Anything that was needed was supplied by others because no one thought that anything belonged to them, but all things belonged to God.
 
Once someone is in Christ, are they any longer to be considered with a social label?  Do we apply the terms "rich Christian", or "poor Christian, or "middle class Christian"?  Or are they our brother or sister in Christ with no social distinction label to be applied to them?  When I reach out to some Christian who is less fortunate than I am in a monetary way, if I use the term poor, am I not contributing to the plight?
 
I have thought about this as Tom and myself have grown closer.  Is Tom a poor person?  Or is Tom simply my brother in Christ?  When I give Tom a ride to church, am I really doing anything special?  Or is it a ride to church in the family car?  My car really isn’t mine, but it’s on loan from God for use in all family matters.  Do I deserve any thanks for anything that I do for Tom?  Or am I simply taking care of my brother?
 
Once I do away with any type of social distinction between Tom and myself, I am suddenly free from any anxieties about "helping a poor man".  Tom is NOT a poor man.  He is a child of the king and will inherit the universe right alongside me.  Does God want us to feed the poor?  Is that the right question?  Is there something deeper that we have been missing?
 
This is one of my concerns about the emergent church.  Are they embracing the poor, or simply feeding them?
 
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
 
-The Orange Mailman
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4 Responses to Does God want us to feed the poor?

  1. Nanasammi says:

    "Do I deserve any thanks for anything that I do for Tom?  Or am I simply taking care of my brother?"
     
    Good Morning Orange 🙂
     
    The words of Jesus came to mind where your question above and the pondering of…"is there something deeper we are missing" is concerned. Its not so much "something deeper" we are missing, but instead is….something overlooked?
     

    Luk 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
    And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye would say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou rooted up, and be thou planted in the sea; and it would obey you.
     
    But who is there of you, having a servant plowing or keeping sheep, that will say unto him, when he is come in from the field, Come straightway and sit down to meat;
    and will not rather say unto him,
    Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
    Doth he thank the servant because he did the things that were commanded?
    Luk 17:10
    Even so ye also, when ye shall have done all the things that are commanded you, say,
    We are unprofitable servants; we have done …
    (only)….that which it was our duty to do.
    love and prayers me 🙂

  2. Darrin says:

    Yes, Yes, Yes.  Thank you very much for your comments.  If the LORD leads us in this direction of ministering to those in need, we first need to discard any haughtiness.  That\’s what is contributing to what I feel is a schism in the body of Christ between the haves and the have-nots.  Those who have more are not worth any more or less to God.
     
    Thanks again Mr. (or Mrs.) Me.
     
    -The Orange Mailman

  3. Corky Chandler says:

    Orange,

    Have we as a “Church” become so disengaged with scripture by personal interpretation that we fail as a body of one in Christ? The recent traumatic weather event in Alabama that has removed many and taken the lives of 230+ might remind us of our role. James 1:27 commands us (Church) not Federal and State governments to “take care of orphans and widows.” Yet, I see those who suffered tremendous loses tuning to the government, or hear those with wealth say, “Let the government handle it” when truthfully the majority of the issues could be handled by the church. Proverbs 19:17 speaks of God’s reward to those of us who give with a humble heart. My impression is that if the church will assume the lead, step back in its place and commit to following scripture the government might be less reluctent to distribute the church’s wealth.

    • Hello Corky-

      In other posts, as this was part of a series if I remember, I advocate helping the poor. I myself give regularly to the city rescue mission which preaches the gospel. This whole series of posts that I wrote back then came about due to a homeless man that I began helping to bring back to the LORD. But see, my labeling him a homeless man makes me guilty of classism. I automatically put this guy in the category of “poor” without realizing his identity as a brother in Christ. That was my main point. The title of my post was to get people’s attention and try to get them to read the content of the post.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

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