Last month I blogged about a panhandling homeless person and me Feeling Guilty When Anything Helps While Having Nothing To Give. Since I made mention of this panhandling homeless person I have seen him every time I drive by his regular location at the entry to the Target shopping center off Eastchase Parkway.
Last month, due to a federal mandate to do so annually, towns across America conducted a census of the homeless people living on the streets in their towns.
Many of the homeless people are veterans of one of America's ubiquitous wars, finding themselves abandoned and in dire straits, their situation ignored by the majority of Americans, who celebrate Veterans Day every year with a lot of ironic, pseudo patriotic hoopla.
While dozens of America's veterans commit suicide every day.
Below is what Father Nathan Monk had to say about opening doors to the homeless....
Earlier this week, I suggested that churches should open their doors to the homeless. I was lambasted by both the laity and clergy that this idea would be completely unreasonable.
The main talking point that was thrown around is that I don't understand the purpose of the church. However, James said that, "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God means caring for orphans and widows in their distress." As I began to argue these points, bizarre responses rose to the surface.
The first was that people questioned how churches could afford to do this. How is it possible that you can believe that God provided a way for Noah to build an ark, sent birds to feed prophets, walls came falling down at the sound of a trumpet, a virgin gave birth to God, food was multiplied, coins were found in a fish's mouth to provide for the apostles, and the list is never ending...but you don't think that if you provided shelter for the homeless that this same God would make a way for you to do it?
The next reason that I was given for why churches can't take in the homeless was that they might destroy the church building. I was always taught that the church was supposed to represent Christ on Earth. Jesus allowed himself to be stripped naked, beaten, whipped to the point of death, and crucified. You want to complain about a hypothetical destruction of a building that is supposed to represent a man who freely allowed himself to be destroyed?
Finally, I was told that my ideas were liberal and socialist. That the purpose of the church and following Jesus was simply to worship him. That both the government and charities supply homeless shelters and the poor can go there.
But Jesus said that how we treat those is exactly how we would have treated him. He even told us what he would say to those types of people, "Depart from me, because when I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."
I am not certain what I believe anymore about faith or religion, but I do know what the Bible says. If you don't want to be like Christ, just stop calling yourself the Christian.
A lot of people seems to think they know Jesus, seem to think they follow the alleged teachings of Jesus, as written by man long after Jesus was killed. A lot of those same people are right wing nuts who think a socialist minded Jew could not possibly become the American president.
The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex zone has hundreds of churches, with some of those churches being enormous complexes, one or two even have their own airports.
I know many of the D/FW churches help with the homeless people problem, via donations of various sorts made to the various homeless shelters.
But what if a lot of the D/FW churches did what Father Nathan Monk suggests, and find room in their church facilities for a few homeless people?
You know that is what Jesus would do if he were currently a Texan.....