Ok, I’m ticked off! Ticked off at our throw-away society in the so-called modern world! I won’t use the term civilized, because that means different things to different people in different places around the world, and I’m not really sure that many areas of the globe are falling into that category too well right now. We used to use terms in the western world to describe various so-called civilized levels that other countries did or did not reach. Terms such as “First World” and “Third World”. Now that everyone is getting more politically correct and more sensitive to anything potentially denigrating, we have replaced the phrase “Third World” with “Developing”. Some countries labelled as “Developing” seem to be further along in the social aspect of civilization than others that have supposedly reached “First World” status.
I say “supposedly” because to reach “First World” status, you now have to embrace a culture of death. Your government gets pressured into making murder of unborn children legal for starters. Secondly, your government might get pressured into legalizing doctor-assisted suicide, completely destroying any sense of decency, morals or ethics as taught by the Hippocratic Oath in med school! Rumour has it that this oath and its adjoining teachings are not even taught in some med schools now, as a doctor my daughter went to one time claimed to never have heard of it!
The concept of living in a culture of death is not new. It is one of the reasons why older civilizations back in the Dark Ages, or ancient civilizations either a) never spoke of those who were infirm among their ranks, or b) were found to and have legends of tossing unwanted babies to the wolves or worse, dumping them in the streets such as in the days of Rome. Christians at that time were nicknamed baby-eaters because they would rescue these unwanted infants and raise them as their own children.
Today modern society imitates that by making late-term and “after-birth” abortions legal! As one abortion survivor has stated, where were her rights when she was in the womb? At what point did she become a viable human being? Where was her advocate when her mom went for that botched abortion?!
Not only do we live in a culture of death far too closely imitating that of ancient Rome, we also live in a throw-away society! Combine the two and you get unborn or just-born children being tossed to the societal wolves, being thrown out in to the streets so-to-speak, and most never make it! However it isn’t just babies that we are once again tossing into the sewer-strewn streets of life. We are also tossing society’s rejects into the streets as well, and that is not a metaphorical term this time!
Every large city around the world has its slums, has its backwater streets, has its red-light districts, has its homeless missions and outreaches, and has those trying to force them out of the eyesight of others they are trying to impress. The fact we have such a worldwide homeless problem smacks of gross neglect by others who could have given these people a hand up, but chose not to. In places like India, you are cast aside merely for being in the lowest Caste of hindi society. In some countries of Africa, you are cast aside because you might be infirm in some fashion, used as a scapegoat for someone else’s sin (IE: young virgins being used by HIV-infected men as a folklore sexual cure for their ailment, leaving the former virgins infected as well), or literally dumped in the garbage heap because your parents couldn’t afford to raise you or they just plain didn’t want you.
In North America, if a person wasn’t terminated at birth and if they are found to be physically or mentally disabled, they are often institutionalized. If an otherwise healthy and able-bodied person ages poorly and becomes infirm or an invalid in some fashion, they get treated like a burden and blight on society. They get shuttered away in old folk’s homes and forgotten about, even mistreated. Why? Because society still buys into the theory that we are animals and as animals, only the strong must be allowed to survive and multiply!
Nothing could be further from the truth! In the account of creation as given in Genesis Chapter 1, the animals were created first, and then mankind was created afterward. Each created group was told to be fruitful and multiply, which is something that prominent alternative lifestyles are unable to obey within their ranks. They have to make use of surrogates who ARE keeping this first command, in order to get the children they choose to raise, unless they choose to adopt, but even then children available for adoption also came out of obedience to this very first command given to mankind.
Seeing then, that God created mankind separate from the animals, and also seeing that God saw fit to create mankind in His own image; body, soul and spirit = God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (the word for God in this chapter is in the plural unified form), who does mankind think he or she is to toss aside what God has created? But that’s exactly what we are doing as a society! Yes you’ll run across the occasional person who values human life, but on the whole, we have created a society that throws away all who do not meet expectations!
Ever since sin entered the world, life has not been fair. People who were on top of the world can be living in the gutters because of a perfect storm of health, relationships, income and expenses all balling up at the wrong time. We have children growing up in abusive homes because they weren’t wanted and not given up for adoption. We have children rescued from some of these homes growing up through the foster care system never truly having a real Mother or Father. We have elder abuse now, and lawmakers trying to get various forms of euthanasia laws put into place. Some countries already have such laws and people travel to those countries for the sole purpose of ending their lives in a supposedly humane (sic) and more positive atmosphere than what they’d have living out their lives in their home country. This is not only sad, but angering!
Who are we to say that God’s prize creation should be terminated?! Who are we to throw others out onto the street merely because they don’t live up to our personal set of expectations?! Who are we to decide that unwanted children should be either abused or killed or left to fend for themselves?!
For years God has been showing me that the Church at large has reneged on its responsibilities as outlined in the early chapters of the book of Acts. The Church has passed off the responsibility of caring for the poor, the widow, and the infirm onto the government, and no matter which government of any country you look at, they have ALL failed in this task! They weren’t designed to take on this role to begin with, but rather than pick up the torch where it was dropped, people within the Body of Christ point their accusing fingers at the government of their day and rail against them for not doing more to help the poor, ill, and homeless of society! This is WRONG! The Church is the one God saddled with reaching out to these people! The Church is the one Christ saddled with carrying on His mission to the ill, the poor, the fringe, the despised, the hated, the widow, and the sinner. Notice where I put “sinner” in that list! It’s last!!! Believe it or not, we have God-fearing brothers and sisters in Christ who fit into every other category mentioned in that sentence! What are we doing about them?! I’ve personally known pastors who would rather push them back onto the ill-fated hands of the government system than pick up their own hands and make drastic beneficial change in the lives of others. I am grateful I’ve also known other pastors who realized the folly of such behaviour and sought to reach out in whatever way God granted them, making amazing advances in the lives of those they touched. Advances in health, income viability, social rehabilitation, self-rehabilitation, spiritual renewal, etcetera.
Unfortunately, these pastors are not as plentiful as I would like. Some lead congregations where the lifestyle of the congregation is to reach out to those around them. However, this too brings up some righteous indignation as I discover increasingly that these congregations seem more bent on giving hand-outs than they are necessarily giving hand-ups! There’s a difference! Food banks, free clothing stores and benevolence offices that hand out bus passes, rent cheques and grocery cards are all examples of hand-outs. As yet I do not see too many church congregations offering hand-ups by employing those no one else will employ, training those who can’t afford college course fees, and teaching life skills to those who were left to fend for themselves.
It was and still is a dream of mine to get congregations working together in their various locales to begin taking these tasks back and doing everything they can to rescue society’s cast-offs! I even partnered with a prayer warrior in my area to reach out to as many pastors as we could, just starting out small hoping to build a benevolence database to help churches with meeting the needs they face while dealing with those who have learned how to scam the system just to survive. Yes, even the scammers deserve to receive the practical love of Christ in their lives, because scamming has become their method of survival. There are healthier and more productive ways to survive than by taking advantage of others’ goodwill.
Well, eventually one’s passions, one’s points of righteous indignation, one’s observations of the world around them reach critical mass! As a born-again believer and follower of Jesus Christ, and a firm believer in the fact that prayer has feet, I am often heard telling others to a) be careful what they pray for, they just might get it, and b) not to pray over any issue for which they are not willing to act if God calls them to carry His answer to that prayer! I now have someone living in my home that could very easily become one of society’s cast-offs if I didn’t step in and decide to act. In the natural, I don’t have the room nor the income to engage in this endeavor, but when God tells you to act, you act no matter how you might be feeling at the time, and the day this person entered our home was a bad day healthwise for me.
A week into having this person in our home and I realized it was time to quit talking about teaching others how to budget and use their money wisely. It was time to knuckle down and write! “The Poor Man’s Budget” will be available as both an instructor’s manual and workbook soon, as it is currently going through the editing phase. Three weeks into life with our permanent house guest, and it became abundantly clear that their time in the foster system was not kind to them, and while they are older than my youngest child, they are younger in many surprising aspects. They are of young adult age, but not ready to be an adult yet for a variety of reasons. Many of those reasons have already had others in their life give up on them, level unfounded accusations against them, and cause others in the community not to give them a chance. Who is going to give people like this house guest a break? Who will speak into their lives and prevent them from becoming another statistic on the streets?!
One of the things my prayer partner talked about, was the need to house such people as this house guest. My partner spoke of how churches should give serious consideration to taking in such people so as to give them a hand-up while getting them in touch with resources that could help them prepare for life on their own again. I even drafted a brochure that was to be handed out. It was given to a small handful of pastors several years ago and to my knowledge, nothing has come of the desired endeavor. I realized today, that I have done this without even realizing I was now living out part of my own dream for the larger church body in my area.
Our culture of death should not be influencing decisions by the individual members of the Body of Christ. Our throw-away society should not be influencing how we view God’s prize creation when they are at their lowest level. We need to remember what sin has done to how mankind views itself, and that as new creations in Christ, we should not be holding each other in the same view. There are no rejects in God’s world! There should be no rejects in the world of God’s ambassadors either. Christ tasked the disciples to carry on His ministry to a hurting world. I know what I’m doing about it, and I’m now engaged in two prongs of that effort. What avenues has God called you to in reaching out beyond the culture of death and human collateral damage? What role has He asked you to fill? Are you doing it???
Remember what the Scriptures say…
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
James 2:14-18 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.