Why Middle-class Christians Neglect the Poor

9 10 2007

“All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.” – Paul

Neglect of the poor is an embarrassing, dangerous failing of the modern church.  Our society is deeply divided by economic factors and its getting worse.  Our choice of restaurants, grocery stores, clothes, cars, beverages, neighborhoods, churches, schools, recreation and many other areas consistently breaks along economic lines.  We can now live happy socially active lives for decades without developing a single significant relationship with someone from a different economic strata.

So what’s the results?  We neglect the poor.  Not because we’re uncaring.  Not because we haven’t been transformed by the love of Christ.  I think the main reason is far more simple.  Far more subtle.  We don’t know them.  We don’t see them.  A lack of contact creates a convenient barrier between our blessed life and their deep needs.  And the church has quietly accepted this development in our culture as an unasked for blessing.

Faced with this reality you can do several things –

1. Push the whole unpleasant thought out of your mind with a few sips of Cabernet Sauvignon.
2. Feel a pang of guilt a few times a year and throw a bone to charity on occasion to medicate the sting.
3. Get involved in a ministry that helps bridge the relational gap and introduces you to a family in need that you can help in practical ways.

Members of our community’s outreach team are working to design a relational bridge and now we’re asking everyone – are you willing to walk across that bridge and develop an ongoing relationship with someone in need?



One response

9 10 2007

I know that the church I grew up in picked one of the first two choices. I remember getting ‘talked to’ about sitting with a guy that came in with a leather jacket and tattoos on his head. Being the little non-conformist I asked where in the Bible it said not to do that. They got even madder, because they couldn’t think of a place, and then talked to my parents who just said try to be more respectful but sit with whomever I want.


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