Friday, November 28, 2008

A Law Against Helping the Homeless?

In Brookville, PA, the First Apostle's Doctrine Church has open the parsonage to the homeless for the past several years.  The church is located about 80 miles from Pittsburgh.  Why does the church do this?  The pastor states that the church is attempting to following the Bible's teachings concerning the Christian responsibility to care for the poor, needy, and homeless. That would seem like a laudable goal.  If the church doesn't "step up to the plate" and help the homeless, who is going to do it?

It seems as if the city fathers don't agree.  The borough recently cited the congregation for zoning violations.  Although the church had been offering this service for some years, the city decided they had had enough.

Amazing.  In this time of economic upheaval and increasing homelessness, a city government would actually take away the only opportunity that some folks might have to find relief from the elements and perhaps a hot meal.

Still, this is nothing new.  I have seen battles in my own community over this very concern. Neighborhoods are concerned about safety.  While we must grant that the homeless certainly have an inordinate share of "problem people"-- many mentally ill (remember the Reagan Administrations little gift of dumping the very sick out on the streets in the 80's?), we are faced with the problem of what we are going to do with these folks?  I don't know about you, but I'm only stay a paycheck or two ahead of being broke myself.  What if we were in their shoes?  It's not impossible, you know (think economics-- think Great Depression).

It's been popular to ask, "What would Jesus do?"  If that is not just so much rhetoric, maybe it is time to ask.  What would he do?  (Matthew 25-- hint)

1 comment:

  1. THE CHURCH SHOULD BE ABEL TO DO AS THEY FEEL ABOUT HELPING THE HOMELESS, PEOPLE SHOULD LOOK AT IT AS THEY ARE NOT JUST KEEPING THEM OFF THE STREEST'S BUT GIVING THEM THE SECOND CHANCE THEY DID NOT RECIEVE FROM YOU....

    ReplyDelete