« time to pray | Main | tax cut question »



Ok, I'm going to stick my neck out and post something...

I can't figure out if I agree or disagree with you or not, Gregg. Probably something of both. Politically, I don't know that it is good to guilt people that voted for Bush or Kerry. In the church, I see quite a bit of guilting of people that didn't vote for Bush. There are serious moral and biblical issues with both the Right and the Left.

How should the church respond to the issue of the poor and disenfranchised? You are right that the church must be the ones to do this. But what does this look like, in your opinion?

Some interesting quotes from a book I'm reading. WITH JUSTICE FOR ALL by John Perkins (1982 Regal Books)

"When a person starts to criticize the people doing a certain job, when he is forever trying to persuade someone else to do it, more than likely God is calling him to do that job himself."

"If we are going to be the Body of Christ, shouldn't we do as He did? He didn't commute daily from heaven to earth to minister to us. Nor did He set up a mission compound which would make him immune to our problems. No, He became flesh and lived among us"

"Christ calls us to share with those in need. This calls for redistrubuting more than our goods. It means sharing ourskills, our time, our energy , and our gospel in ways that empower people to break out of the cycle of poverty and assume responsibilty for their own needs."

"In the face of such spiritual and human need, the church's flight to the suburbs cannot go unchallnged. How can we claim to be loyal to Christs's mission when we flee the mission field at our doorstep? When we forsake the inner city so that our lives will not be incovenienced by the sufferings of the neediest among us? We flee the mission fields we should be invading. We try to soothe our conciences with such token ministries to the poor as tracts and media--nice, safe "ministries" that do not require living or working among the poor, ministries that insulate us from sharing in their sfufering."
Perkins seems to say that for us to minister to the poor, we must become poor ourselves. We must live among the poor and work with the poor. This means we can't just send money, we can't drive across town to soup kitchen, etc. It means that we must fall asleep to the sound of gunshots and sirens--(so that their need for a safe community becomes our need), it means that our kids might have to go to school that will not prepare them adequately for college (so that their need for good supplemental education program becomes our need). So on and so forth.

Are we, as a church, willing to do this? Am I? Are you?



i am right there with you mike. i do think it is our indivual jobs/call to be there, so that their needs will be in our vested interest even...

again, i would ask...why have we made this the governments job, and why do we get so mad when the government cuts funding to programs that help the needy? isn't that our opportunity to do it ourselves?

at some point you stop wiping your babies bottom and you give him the chance, opportunity to do it himself. it has to be done, but not always by someone else.

look at me go, i used the a word (later changed to "fanny") and a reference to a babies bottom in this post and comment...my friend adam would be so proud.


We made this the government jobs because the church is too infatuated with living comfortably and safely.

There are a lot of other things, though that the Church tends to push onto the government (and the main reasons the church backed Bush). We spend all kinds of energy getting laws passed to make it illegal to marry same sex and have abortions--when if the Church was really doing its job these issues would be obsolete.

I also don't think that tax cuts are the answer either and I don't htink the governement should stay completely out of the picture. Look at Nehemiah. We see a guy that had a heart for a group of people that were living in the "slum" and a willingness to move there and make a difference. Without the government grant he was able to get, his own sacrifice would have been in vain. Today there are Christian organizations(that are made up of people that have radically altered their lives to take care of the poor) that do get government money, that could be affected by this cut.

For the most part, the better the economy and the less taxes we have to pay, the more stupid crap we will buy. The less taxes we pay, the less parks the community can build, so we need to have bigger yards so our kids can play, and 5 times the amount of money that we saved on taxes goes into lawn care for our yard and the extra gas it takes to because cities are so sprawled becuase of everyones big yard.



I Apologize for the soap box action at the end of my last post.




I hope you know I love you, but this email stirred some emotion in me.

What gave a prophet the right to speak prophetically was first having a word from God, consistent with God's revelation, and second speaking with what I'll call prophetic integrity.

Jeremiah could say what he said to the people of Judah, because they were clearly breaking God's laws. They were clearly being disobedient concerning things like idolatry. He also practiced what he preached. These two things are not exclusive, they are necessary for a message to be heard, and just as importantly, to have integrity. Were the prophets perfect? No, they were people like you and I. However, when their lives were inconsistent with their message, i.e. Peter regarding his actions towards Gentiles when Jews were around, they were/are called out.

Gregg to speak out against an organizations like Sojourners and the Church with language as harsh or harsher ("stupid" and "get off it's ass") than the biblical prophets, one must first amazingly examine their own lives. Not doing so is irresponsible and will impair a potential prophetic voice.

Jim Wallace is just a man, but has done more for the poor, widows and orphans and their cause than not just many, but most Christians. It is sad to see someone who admits to doing so little speak out against him and his organization. This organization will make the way for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, to have a clean cup of water, a warm meal, clothing, housing, etc. in the name of Jesus this coming year. Jim Wallace certainly has a prophetic voice.

I ask, in love, what have you done to earn a prophetic voice on the internet that is accessable to the world? Especially with such harsh language? What will you do in the coming days, months and years to earn one? I ask myself the same question.

When I am doing what Jim Wallace has done for the poor, when I am giving with great sacrifice to God's Church, and the poor, so I can earn a prophetic voice, then I will speak. Until then, I simply say, "Change me Lord."

According to George Barna, while the emerging generation/church, is most likely to speak out on such aforementioned issues, they are the least likely to do anything about it by a wide margin. The "Modern" church puts us to shame when it comes to giving to the needy. Rhetoric/talk is cheap, sadly we are cheaper.



“Click here to take action today” Was that too much to ask? It seems that there is someone out there trying to mobilize the church and when asked for such a simple act, it is refused and worse.

“Founded in 1971, Sojourners is a Christian ministry whose mission is to proclaim and practice the biblical call to integrate spiritual renewal and social justice.” What can be benefited by opposing them in their efforts to care for the poor? Yes, it is the job of the church – says Jesus over and over. This is the church doing their job and for a reason not known to me, you oppose them in their efforts. I think you should be careful to suppose that because, by your admission, you do nothing, that nothing is being done.

About the church interacting with government, weren’t we stating some expectation, some involvement when we attended the rallies and then cast our votes? Our voice was heard when we voted, now shouldn’t we take responsibility for our choices? As you put it “it’s really our money anyway.” – if that is the case should we not at least be good steward of that resource?

"Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." How have we gotten so far from that? I see much of the answer to your question in your own comments. We want those tax credits – at the expense of the poor if it must be that way. It won’t be our fault. We can blame the government. We don’t want to be inconvenienced. We don’t want to feel guilty.

In an article in September’s Sojourners Magazine, Brian McLaren has this to say, “religious people like us can unintentionally find ourselves playing on the wrong side—worshipping a shriveled "household god" (out for me and my kin) or a paralyzing "tribal god" (out for my country and its national interests) rather than the Living God who loves every person, whether "us" or "them." … Appeals to greed and fear tend to render their hearers into people who are (surprise) greedy and fearful. Tax cuts and national defense play well to people so rendered; care for the poor and love for enemies (surprise) do not.”


for clarity. i'm not standing up against wallace or sojourners mag.

i like what he & they do, but my only bone to pick with them would be this quote-

Paying attention to the poorest
among us is arguably the most central biblical imperative - not
increased spending on nuclear warheads and tax cuts for the

it seems to me that for a mag & man of such influence to use such a divisive statement is wrong. it villifies bush and his administration. generally speaking, democrats will read it and be fired up & a republican will delete it and write off sojourners forever, or put his opinions on a world wide forum like i have, in order to gain clarity.

as well. its not sojourners fault that the church sits on its butt, but when a large portion of it is conservative republican they should be careful about using statements that are nearly word for word the statements used by dems. during election years, if they intend on mobilizing the church.

when it comes to social justice. it is great that our government stewards any money to it at all. i just dont think it is in any way their job. we give to ceasar what is his. we cant now tell him what to do with it. if we want the poor reached then it should be us mobilizing the church to do it themselves, not mobilizing the church to tell ceasar what to do.

i love all of you...keep the comments coming. this is good



Oh how I wish we could just ban political parties and cause leaders to show their true heart.

Just because the majority of American Christians supports something, does not make it right. The Republican Party is just as fallible as the Democratic Party (and all the others). Being in a society where we are blessed with free speech, we should be looking critically at whatever party we happen to support.

I don't think Christians really look critically at the Republican party or GWB. So in that case, the church is united, but wrong. I guess what is worse--a Church that is divided, but actively seeking to find what is right and Godl--or a Church that is united without considering why or what they are united (and voting) for.

It is important that we hold our political leaders accountable. The church does this quite readily if Democrats are elected and should just as much if Republicans are elected.


People tend to think of nonviolence as a choice between using force and doing nothing. But the real choice takes place at another level. Nonviolence is less a matter of "not killing" and more a matter of showing compassion, of saving and redeeming, of being a healing community. One can only choose between doing good to the person placed in one's path, or to do him evil. To do good is to love a person; but not to do that is as good as killing him. To love someone is to restore that person physically, socially, and spiritually. To neglect and postpone this restoration is already to kill.

Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms. Laying down your arms, surrendering, saying you are sorry, realizing that you have been on the wrong track and getting ready to start life over again from the ground floor - that is the only way out of a "hole." This process of surrender - this movement full speed astern - is repentance.

The graves are still only half full.

There are plenty of places in town that would greatly appreciate the placing down of pencils and reading glasses and the picking up of a mop and bucket.


Well, I guess I didn't read this blog. I have to say I don't agree with, "We spend all kinds of energy getting laws passed to make it illegal to marry same sex and have abortions--when if the Church was really doing its job these issues would be obsolete."
No one has explained how the church was supposed to be "doing its job". The church is composed of people--people that are human and err and don't always hear from God. So saying that we wouldn't have "certain" issues because the church screwed up is fallacy.
Also, there was a certain "issue" since the time of Lot, and that was before there was an established church. I know that this is a sensitive blog subject, according to what I've read, but blaming the church-which is made up of US! is not the way to solve those issues. I think that we can present the subject at hand to the "church", pray that the "church" decides to be more Christ-like than human-like or just go do it ourselves. We can't control people, which is exactly why the "issues" are not obsolete. And I'm glad to know more than one person who would love to go do it themselves! Those quotes from Perkins are valid!
This a first for me---speaking my mind (clear or not?) on something, thanks Gregg for the opportunity.


it's funny, i was just talking to someone about this post the other day...and then you found it and brought it back...

thanks for the comments...
gregg...your bro

The comments to this entry are closed.