The Evidence of a True Christian™

From the local newspaper —

As winter draws closer and temperatures begin to plunge at night, the Warming Center at the First Presbyterian Church’s Dream Center prepares to open for the season.

The Warming Center opens when at least three major weather sources forecast temperatures 0 degrees and below or 32 degrees with snow. People who stay the night can also have breakfast in the morning. All the food is donated.

Volunteers go out into the community on the first and third Saturday of each month and offer people on the street lunches, clothing, hygiene kits, rain gear and tents.

In an effort to accommodate an expected increase in people coming to use the Warming Center … cots will be placed in the main congregation room and balcony of the church.

*******
Think about this, folks.

The homeless will have food and shelter available to them during the winter months because a group of people are fulfilling the commands of their Leader:

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in (Matthew 23:35, NIV)

On the internet, it’s extremely easy for Christians to defend their position. They will quote relevant scripture, often referencing their favorite apologists and/or philosophers to support their stance. They will describe their personal experiences of answered prayers … physical healings … changed lives.

Yet how many actually carry out the (very clear) instructions indicated in the above scripture?

The evidence of a True Christian™ is displayed in both faith and action.

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23 thoughts on “The Evidence of a True Christian™

  1. The interesting thing, perhaps, as I see it, is that they’re doing it not because they are Christian, but because they see a need and fill it. Christianity gets the credit.
    Not denigrating what they do, I think it’s exemplary, but these sound like the kind of people who would do it anyway.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Not denigrating what they do, I think it’s exemplary, but these sound like the kind of people who would do it anyway.

      Spot on.
      They are many people both christians and non-christians who wouldn’t exhibit this kind of behavior
      So these actions speak more of the nature of the person than his or her religion

      Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly. These are decent people doing the right thing to help those who need it. It has NOTHING to do with an invisible guy. Just take the invisible guy part out and say, “We need to help each other. It’s what I would want should I need help.” Once the invisible guy gets tossed in, all kinds of other nonsense comes along with him. “Ya ain’t gots no morals without believing in my invisible guy! You’re gonna burn cause ya don’t worship my invisible guy!” Ridiculous! The people helping at this church are good people simply because they are good people helping others. That they should believe they are only doing good because an invisible guy claims they must is disingenuous, false, and, quite frankly, bullshit. They’re decent, good people. Period. Invisible guys need not apply.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In my opinion, if there is ANY one or two denominations of the Christian religion that should be the front-running leaders in charity, the first-responders to disasters and catastrophes domestically and abroad, it should hands down be the Roman Catholic Church — one of the wealthiest Christian denominations in the world — along with the new trendy, charismatic, Pentecostal non-denomination styled Protestant churches of the infamous Prosperity Theology/Gospel. In fact, with the enormous excessive wealth these two Christian denominations possess, there should hardly be ANY dire needs of freezing homeless, disaster-victims, and fatalities of simple exposure of the elements and/or starvation. Period.

    But guess what? The world and the U.S. essentially STILL have all the suffering, poverty, and useless deaths it has always had while most of the staff/priesthood/cloth of these two Christian denominations have numerous (plenty of!?) MEGA-wealthy, high-living homes, Learjets, automobiles, yachts, properties, and missionary-VACATION tours around the world, along with unprecedented tax-exemptions and free write-offs. This I know because my ex-wife, her husband, and my own two children grew up in one of Joel Osteen’s split-off churches in Conroe, TX. Have seen it and experienced it with my own eyes and have asked my kids PLENTY of questions about “evangelical methods” utilized THEY see as innocent and successful. 😦

    https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/9/1/15951874/prosperity-gospel-explained-why-joel-osteen-believes-prayer-can-make-you-rich-trump

    Liked by 4 people

    • I was quite impressed by Dennis Osteen, Joels father back in the day. A few years after reading some of Dennis’ work I thought I would catch up on what his son Joel thought. At this time I was still a Christian, and I still remember my reaction, ‘this is not a Christian work, it is in essence a self book like the power of positive thinking’.

      Among Christians I respected Joel Osteen was seen a charlatan. And the prosperity Gospel was scorned.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. What I found interesting was that ‘Bible believing Christians’ tend to emphasise the morality and faith parts of the Bible. Whereas the more ‘liberal’ Christians tend to emphasise the helping other parts of the Bible.

    Obviously this is a broad generality, but I studied a unit in Christian Missionary activities which essentially confirmed this observation.

    Whilst I am no longer a Christian, whilst I persisted in the faith I was greatly impressed by the short book by Henry Drummond called ‘The Greatest Thing in the World’ which emphasises that love is the mark of a ‘True Christian’.
    https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1801-1900/drummonds-greatest-thing-in-the-world-11630607.html

    Liked by 5 people

    • Peter, I think you’ve nailed it re: the liberal and the more “evangelical” type Christians.

      The latter seems to be more intent upon “bringing others into the fold” through such tactics as threats of hell, selective scripture quoting, condemnation of lifestyles, etc, etc. (They are also the ones that seem to take joy in castigating atheists.)

      Whereas the former, not being so tightly tied to the doctrines and dogmas of “the church,” seem to have a more ministerial way of living and showing their faith. For them, it’s more about love over fear.

      Others here have commented that some people are just attuned to helping others. And I agree. But the point of my post was to show how so many who claim to be Christians tend to wrap themselves in the dogma of their church and ignore the very scriptures they profess to live by.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I see where you are going, Nan, and it sounds like a good place. But what is really a true Christian? I could say, one who loves their neighbour, but don’t most of us do that–and we are not christians of any ilk. No, I think it takes more than that. IMO, a true Christian would be one who never sins. I do not know that I have ever met a Christian who never sins. Has anyone?
    Meanwhile, not sure where you live, Nan, but how often do the temps get below 0, or 32° F with snow? A person can still freeze to death at 20° F and no snow. Woe is she or he who is homeless, but the weather is not cold enough to get them a cot. And what time are they forced from the warmth in the morning. When I lived on the streets, it was 7 AM. There is not much to do at 7 AM in the winter…

    Like

    • I think I can say with 100% certainty there is not a single person living on this planet who fits your definition of a Christian. And based on that, we could safely say the whole concept is simply a matter of conceptual semantics, i.e., misguided thinking.

      As to your points about temperatures … you probably have a point. Without warm clothing, it doesn’t take much to freeze to death. I suppose they felt they had to set some kind of guidelines to prevent being overwhelmed … ?? As for when they must leave, no idea. The article didn’t address this.

      Certainly the plan isn’t perfect, but at least these Christians are making an effort, which is more than many others who claim the title. And that is the point of my post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • As I said, I could see where you were heading, and it is a good thing someone is doing something. But sometimes the rules homeless shelters have do more for appearances than actual help. I have been on both sides, and I have seen people die of freezing from both sides. Numbers cannot tell the whole story, but to many the whole story does not matter. Rules are rules and are not to be broken. As a homeless person I was turned away from warm shelters with no one in them, and as a shelter worker I have been forced to turn people away becausde while an outer door was open, an inner door was locked. I pushed rules as far as I could, but I hated that part of the job. Then, as a board member of a shelter I pushed for leniency, but another board member always refused to budge. There is no happy solution. There is seldom money for fulltime shelters, but there never seems to be enough money to be decent human beings. The shelter I was on the board for eventually got closed down. The money just dried up. Why, because it was mainly aboriginal people being helped, and not enough whites. My outlook is bad, I know, but people are people, unless they aren’t white.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I imagine that a mere fraction of the profits the NRI makes could be used to house and feed every single homeless American.

    In fact, a barely noticeable portion of the US Defense(sic) Budget would not only house, clothe and feed the homeless, but with a bit of a stretch, would also likely be enough to develop a healthcare and education system for the entire nation and create gainful employment, doing away with three of societies worse issue in pone fell swoop.

    ”But we need them guns, y’all”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ark ..

      I’m assuming you meant NRA?

      Of course they … and the U.S. defense budget … could essentially do away with the homeless problem. As could many other organizations (and branches of government), but hey! First things first! Gotta’ put $$$$ in my off-shore accounts first and foremost. And gee, after that, there’s just enough to live the lifestyle to which I want to be accustomed. But I’ll be praying for these poor unfortunate folk!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nan,
    There are a few things I found interesting about this post.
    1. You seem to be saying that this church is doing a good Christian thing and they are for sure, but Christian bloggers do not seem to be doing similar things so they are either not good Christians or all talk and no action, so to speak.
    Am I wrong here?
    If that is indeed your thesis, what are you basing it on? Do you know for a fact Christian bloggers do not serve in the same way the church does? Or, are you just making baseless assumptions?
    2. Someone in the comments said that a true Christian is one who never sins. Why didn’t you, as someone who knows the faith, correct the error? Is it OK to let this disinformation stand unchecked?
    3. About the NRA and defense budgets of the U.S. being used to stamp out homelessness. Are these serious suggestions you or anyone commenting on this post have put any thought into whatsoever or are you just spit balling?
    For example, how much money does the NRA have?
    And, essentially doing away with national defense? Really? On what planet would this be anything but an absurd idea?
    Even if the U.S. did decide to get rid of the DoD and funneled all the money formerly spent on national defense to initiatives to eliminate poverty and homelessness, do you have any confidence our government could come even close to succeeded? If so, based on what?
    4. Why did you not think to ask your godless readers what they do on a routine basis to help those in need? Is this something only the religious are called to do? Yes, I know the godless can be outstanding citizens who go out of their way to be charitable but, in the sake of fairness, you should highlight how the godless contribute.
    Surely there would be one godless group of people helping the needy for every church, huh? I mean, if we don’t need God to do good works, godless groups (call them secular if you will) who serve should actually outnumber churches by 4, 6, 6 to 1 or more.

    Like

    • Hello Mark,

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. I always enjoy hearing from those who are walking a different path. As to your questions/remarks …

      1. Obviously I have no idea what Christian bloggers are doing in their spare time, but the anger and contempt that some of them display towards non-believers truly makes me wonder if they even have the capacity to show compassion and concern for the less fortunate.

      2. I believe I did address the comment related to Christians and sin. Look again.

      3. The NRA is a sore spot for many of us. I’m aware the organization started out much differently, but over the years it has pretty much “sold-out” to the gun manufacturers and it’s original philosophies have been considerably corrupted.

      As regards “doing away” with national defense — I don’t think this is the intent of the comment. In fact, if you read it again, it says it would take “a barely noticeable portion of the US Defense(sic) Budget” to clothe and feed the homeless. IOW, there are many who feel the billions and billions of dollars now being channeled in this direction are a bit of “over-kill.”

      4. Of course I don’t ask my “godless readers” what they do to help the less fortunate! It’s none of my business (although several have mentioned performing charitable acts on their own blogs). But yes … to answer your question, helping the less fortunate IS something the religious are called to do (please note the quoted scripture) and that is the point of my post.

      But to take it a step further, when push comes to shove, it doesn’t truly matter if you believe in a supernatural power or not — to ignore the plight of those who struggle to survive is cruel and heartless. We all should be better humans.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nan,
        I would argue that what your non-believing bloggers do in their spare time is your business. OK, perhaps not but when you frame the debate in terms like “…but the anger and contempt that some of them display towards non-believers truly makes me wonder if they even have the capacity to show compassion and concern for the less fortunate…” while, at the same time, giving non-believing bloggers who are every bit as angry and contemptuous as Christian bloggers a pass, your complaint seems disingenuous at best.
        I am not a blogger myself but I have seen countless non-believing bloggers who spend an extraordinary amount of time online mocking faith. How is it they have spare time to help anyone? Could be they do but it should make one wonder.

        Also, making the NRA is boogeyman forces everyone who sides with them, even casually, to take you less seriously. Same goes for vilifying Fox News. Sure there are valid arguments against both but putting people on defense immediately is not good a good debate practice.

        Like

        • I agree … it works both ways. There are many “non-believing bloggers” who spend a great deal of time “mocking faith.” However, many Christians make assertions about “what atheists believe” that simply are not true, so it’s natural for them to defend their stance as well. Overall, it’s an endless debate that will most likely go on until one side “wins” (you can take that whatever way you wish).

          But as far as who is the more exemplary in caring for the less fortunate, I go back to my original point. The Christian is commanded to help the less fortunate by their Leader. Yet isn’t it interesting that it becomes a “newsworthy” item when they actually do so?

          Re: the NRA — and Faux News — I’m not here to “debate” their core principles. I’m well aware that hundreds of people support both of them. I just happen to not be one of them.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Regarding the article about Christians helping others etc. I think one of the most important things about the article is the ‘unseen’ in the article. Perhaps society is too busy and too blinded by trying to find out if Christians are doing the right thing for the right reason, for a large part of that society sits by and does nothing for any reason. My note is just in general; we read so much today both online and in other places about the real motives of Christianity, but to me, I have to stop and wonder, who are these people who find this (the way that Christians help or donate) the most interesting thing to write or read about. I came across your article accidentally, and as I read it, I saw that I’ve read this one before. True giving is true giving. One gives without strings, and yes, one gives without expecting anything back, and without looking to see if anyone is ‘looking’. Peace. artfromperry

    Like

    • Thank you for stopping by, artfromperry, and taking the time to offer your thoughts.

      I suppose the reason people “spotlight” events like this is because so many Christians seem more concerned with “winning others for Christ” (often by any and all means necessary…case in point, the young man who wanted to convert the natives). They will spend time handing out tracts, preaching on street corners, reviling against non-believers on social media, refusing to bake cakes, etc., etc., rather than reaching out to the less fortunate.

      I have no doubts there are many believers who give of themselves regularly and do so without fanfare (in fact I know a few). And I agree, true giving is done without strings or publicity. Nevertheless, what does it hurt to shine a light on these individuals now and again? In a world that seems filled with negativity, it never hurts to promote the “good things.” Wouldn’t you agree?

      Like

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