Bible

Do “The Least of These” Matter to Jesus Even Today?

Here’s a blogpost lifted by permission from another blog.

the least of all

I continue to question where poverty sits on the priority list in western culture. Rather than make the impoverished a priority, they are a scab to us and we do nothing about it. Life is sad.

It is easy to sit in my heated home with three fattening meals a day (often more than that,) and say that people chose to be like that. I do not agree with that idea but I have heard it many times from people around me.

The sin of blaming people for their situation is awful, but what about the sin of avoidance. People can just pretend it isn’t there and maybe poverty will go away, ignore it and it disappears… Well it doesn’t disappear does it?

The American Church has some of the nicest real estate available but people are sleeping in the streets and sidewalks outside these buildings. What would Christ say if He were walking on earth? We probably would not even let Christ sit with us.

This is truly an epidemic. Not only do we have this problem with forgetting the poor and homeless. Now mainstream Christianity wants to tell me that I am supposed to vote for people that cut spending on the poor. As a good American Christian I am supposed to vote for tax cuts for wealth earners and vote to quit helping those that are less fortunate.

How did the “moral majority” pull the wool over our eyes? I thought the last election was about moral values. Do not get me wrong, I value life in ALL respects and cannot condone the human decision to take life in any form. But how is it moral to cut programs like Head Start? Here’s news for all the conservative voters, living in their suburbs: these programs make a difference, and society needs them to function.

Christ calls us to do “unto the least of these” for a reason.

For those with a different religious perspective: Social programs are an investment in the future. In a free market we thrive on having working people adding to our economy. A child that was abused by ignorant parents is much more likely to spend time in jail and/or the courts (costing taxpayers much more money.) Why eliminate programs that are designed to help prevent those outcomes?

    Admin note: Here are three relevant quotes from highly reputable sources (one from theologian Forsyth, two from economist Galbraith the son of economist and diplomat Galbraith):

  • Societies that are more egalitarian find themselves willing and able to make consistently larger investments in education, training, infrastructure, research, and other public goods. -James K Galbraith
  • A high degree of inequality causes the comfortable to disavow the needy. -James K Galbraith
  • …. experts on the moral problems created by the economic life. Let the church discover such men and she will be well on the way to fulfilling her role of being a moral guide to society. -Peter Taylor Forsyth

 

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5 Comments

  • Evidently the previous responses come from genuinely good folks, Christians, who care about those less fortunate than themselves.

    I do think it is fruitful to ask oneself from time to time, “What would Jesus have done?”

    In this case, would He approve of those who profit handsomely from the suffering of others in the name of quality and efficiency, when their product demonstrably fails on both scores? In other words, would He endorse $20M annual CEO salaries and handsome profits to the shareholders of companies whose explicit objective is to deny care to those in need. I think not!

    I think Jesus would drive these profiteers from the health-care temple!

  • I think we need to be careful here. You are equating government programs to the ministry of believers either individually or corporately. A better context would be to direct your message to the church and ask them what they are doing for the least amongst us. Government programs are far from perfect. They can trap people in a cycle of dependency and give people a false impression that things come free. I am not saying these programs cannot do good, for they certainly can. But we really need to keep Christ’s message in context.

  • The thing is that we are looking at the situation from our own perspective. The fact of the matter is that many of the individuals and families that are in poverty are there for a reason. Not all, but many of these people are lazy. In the Word, it says that a lazy man will come to poverty. Don’t get me wrong, there are people that need help. There are others that are in their situation because of foolish choices.

  • It could be that those in power are forgetting what the Master taught..but there are many good people doing remarkable good in this country. I don’t bother looking to the top..it is useless…they are bought and wallow in their corruption.

    I simply do as much good as I can to as many as I can..

  • Hi!

    I don’t think Christ’s priorities have changed at all since He walked the Earth. What we do with “The least of these…” will be judged. Many Christians today want to use Christ’s name to further THEIR OWN causes, while thinking that somehow Christ will be brought around to their way of thinking. How arrogant! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

    When we get all caught up in these other causes and turn our backs on “The least of these…” we forget that He knows our hearts and our motivations. There will be NO excuse for not following His teachings. No matter how zealous or passionate we are about what we are involved in, if it does not address the needs of “The least of these…” it is for nothing.
    There will be NO excuse!

    God Bless,
    TammyJo58

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