The New Testament is brimming with demands that the Christian care for the poor and needy. Think of the parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matt. 25:31–46), the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37), or the story of Jesus and the rich young man (Luke 18:18–30).
How some politicians and religious leaders can juggle the hypocrisy is beyond me. I’ll grant that the Bible can be picked apart and made to say just about anything, but isn’t charity a prime demand?
[Jesus said:] Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. (Mark 10:21)
[John the Baptist said:] Anyone who has two coats should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same. (Luke 3:11)
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:17–18)
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)
Good Article! A question even I cannot answer, as a Christian. Honestly at times I cannot die the fact the lack of care and concern of my fellow Christians for our unlucky brothers and sisters.
It’s refreshing to be reminded that atheists have an enormous amount of overlap with many Christians.
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There was an article in this week’s Time about the different components of American conservatism, how they aren’t all singing out of the same hymnal, and how some of the cracks are starting to show. One segment of conservatives is the family-values branch, which is where you’re most likely to find strongly self-identified Christians. They probably ARE simpatico with all of those “love your nabor” imprecations of Jesus. Unfortunately, those admirable proclivities tend to get drowned out by the voices of the other factions within conservatism, the big-money guys, the neocons who want to squash anything that even LOOKS like a foreign adversary, the “no government is best” libertarians, and so on. And, regrettably, when we say “Christian” these days, the type of Christian that springs most readily to mind is the loud, politicized variety, not the kind who pray in their closets and do quiet, anonymous good works. One more excellent reason why church and state should be kept separate.
Indeed. You are correct. As a Christian, this has frustrated me so badly. How some people can call themselves “Christians” yet completely ignore all that the Bible teaches is beyond my understanding. Now the name of Christ has been defamed and abused where it might have been rightly represented. Though it is hard to die to ourselves daily, that does not mean we should not try. *sigh* I am sorry. It is just frustrating at times. Nonetheless, what is is what is….
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