All Talk, No Show

One of my blogging friends (“Filosofa,” AKA Jill) often posts about “Good People Doing Good Things” (something we need to be reminded of daily in this dog-eat-dog world we live in).

Recently she posted the following. As I read it, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of us would have done what this person did. And I especially wondered how many CHRISTIANS would have stepped in to help.

Anthony Johnson, of Sussex, England, was homeless, living in a tent with no job, no money.  But even so, Anthony wasn’t lazy … he really wanted to earn his own way, but life hadn’t been kind to him and he found himself in this situation.  Anthony posted a note at a local bus stop …

“I will do a trial for free to show how I work. I don’t take drugs or drink. I will also do dog walking/minding, window cleaning, shopping, gardening, car valeting/washing, housework, cooking. Anything to earn a living and make life seem worth living.”

Just so happened that a young lady named Charlotte Howard noticed Anthony’s note as she was waiting for a bus and sprang into action.  First, she photographed the note, and Mr. Johnson’s tent near the bus station, and then she posted the pictures on social media.  Next, she set up a GoFundMe account  that received more than $3,200 (£2,466) in just over 10 days.

Ms. Howard had planned to use the money to buy Anthony a small RV, or caravan as they are called on that side of the pond, but since a local charity was inspired to donate a caravan to Johnson, the money will now be used to provide him with supplies, food, and additional resources to make up for his last nine years of living on the streets.

But the best is yet to come.  A local landscaper, Nelson Smith, contacted Anthony and asked if he would be interested in starting a home repair business with him, so Anthony is now employed, has a place to call ‘home’, and has a job too!  All thanks to a young lady 16 years of age, who decided to step up to the plate and help another human being. Lots of thumbs-up to go around here, to Nelson Smith, to all the people who donated goods or cash, and most especially to Charlotte Howard!  See, folks, this is what it’s all about … people helping people.

There are people living on the streets in nearly every town across the globe. There’s no argument that many of them have turned to alcohol and drugs in order to face their dismal existence, but there are others (like this man) who need — and want — help to become a productive human being.

While we ALL can do our part, it is Christians in particular who have been commanded by their leader to love and help the less fortunate. But how many do?

Instead, (too) many of them stand on street corners, waving their bibles, and screaming to all that pass that they “need Jesus.” Or they go door-to-door with bible in hand to “convert the lost.” Or they become part of the blogging world and essentially do the same thing.

In other words, more often than not, it’s all talk and no show. Isn’t it time for action?

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18 thoughts on “All Talk, No Show

  1. “While we ALL can do our part, it is Christians in particular who have been commanded by their leader to love and help the less fortunate. But how many do?”‘

    I don’t usually comment on your anti-Christian rhetoric here, and while I heartily agree with the first part of your statement, the rest is just a sanctimonious cheap-shot at Christianity and a straw man at best. Of course, there are selfish people inside the church and outside, but there are MANY Christians who not only help the marginalized where they can but are putting their lives in danger doing so. Just a few examples, I have three close friends: one is in Pakistan (where you can be killed for being a Christian) getting children free from slavery (making bricks) and returning them to their families, another in Thailand rescuing children from sex trafficking and putting them in homes, and a couple in Ukraine helping orphans break free from the cultural stigma, training them and becoming self-supportive. We feed families on our community and have dug wells and built schools in various countries. This is just one small example.

    While it’s praiseworthy for this person to start a gofundme for one person, don’t try to think this makes you better than sincere Christians who are doing these very things and much more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Both sides can do good things, no doubt. And it isn’t my intent to ignore good deeds — on either side.

      Certainly there are Christians who are “on the front lines” helping people. But in my experiences, such individuals are in the minority. There are far more Christians sending “thoughts and prayers” than there are actually helping people in need.

      In any case, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You’re always welcome.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I know this post isn’t about politics, but it’s impossible to address this comment without pointing out that the most hard-core Christians in the US consistently vote for a political party which for decades has been systematically attacking the systems government has established to help the poorest people in society. This does far more harm to those poorest people than all the charity in the country can alleviate.

      Their desire to get government power to enforce their condemnation of gays and abortion, and their general arrogance and bullying attitude toward everyone who doesn’t abide by their barbaric taboo system, is clearly far more important to them than what concern they have for poor people.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I am apolitical myself, and you’re making a sweeping generalization here, basically talking about Fundamentalists. But I would essentially agree with you that, historically speaking, Christians have done a poor job of this, politically and culturally speaking. But you’re not arguing against the central tenets of Christianity, but against a small percentage of Christians behaving badly.

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  2. I no longer profess to be anything, but every year for the past ten or so (until my last heart attack) I would volunteer with Casas por Christos..which builds homes, schools, clinics, digs water wells, and pretty much any other kind of building that helps people in what we call “3rd world countries”. I have volunteered in Guatemala, Egypt, Mexico as well as some eastern and southern states in the US. These guys don’t talk about their faith, they go live it. They don’t deserve denigration just because they believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is not my intent to “denigrate” Christians who do good works. Like I told Mel, there are most certainly many who follow the exhortation of their Leader to love and serve the less fortunate. But in my experiences, they tend to be in the minority.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Perhaps your experience is coloured by where you reside. Here Christians are a minority and we have a reasonably good state funded social welfare system, but like any such system there are some (and currently an expanding number of) people who fall between the cracks, or otherwise find themselves unable to receive state support. In almost every case, it’s groups based on religion or culture that have come to the rescue. The religious groups are at the socially liberal/progressive end of the spectrum, and the fundamentalists are conspicuous by their absence. The only explanation of why there might be such a difference between NZ and the US is that for the most part, it’s not what you claim to believe that makes one a Christian, but for the majority, it’s how one models their life that makes one so, and they quietly get on living it.

        I don’t want to imply that atheists are less charitable than Christians, because, many of those working within Christian based support groups are non-believers, and perhaps it’s simply because there are very few groupings of atheists that make atheist based support groups impractical. One question being asked here is that with the declining numbers that liberal/progressive congregations are facing, who is going to take over the role these groups currently perform? While their numbers are falling, the number needing their support is growing. Funding needs to be moved from the churches to the wider community, but how?

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Unfortunately, my lack of belief in Christianity refrains me from being able to do helpful things for others. You see, because I’m not a Christian and an atheist, I have no moral compass, can’t tell right from wrong, eat Christian babies for dinner nightly, and have no idea why it is I should refrain from hurting and judging others every chance I get. Christians surely do not do THAT. I often stand in amazement as I see millions of Christians out there dedicating themselves to helping the poor, building empathy towards those less fortunate than they, and constantly doing wonderful, joyful, helpful things for humanity without preaching or asking for a thing in return. The moral compass of the Christian is there to see for everyone, and it is superior. Christians are truly beacons in a world far too filled with unbelieving, atheistic, cannibalistic, moral-less bastards like me. Truly, where would we be as a people if Christians weren’t here showing the rest of us how to lead kind, loving and caring lives without passing judgement on others? There’s an old saying that I heard once about Christians. It goes like this. “Thank God Christians help the poor, the sick, and the old because without them, such people would be left to die–alone and without hope for comfort or survival.” It is estimated that by 2022 Christians, doing as Christ has commanded them to do, will have wiped out world poverty and seen to it that all human beings will have decent comprehensive health insurance. God bless the Christians and their calling from Christ. It almost makes a demonic, atheistic, moral-less bastard like me jealous. Almost.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. From my experiences as a christian, and a non-believer, there is one big difference “most” christians have when helping others–the price of their souls. Even though I no longer believe living beings have souls, as such, a christian will at least want the being to listen to their sales pitch. “Give your soul to jesus, and we will help you however we can.” But if you don’t accept jesus, screw you…
    Anyone wants to tell me I’m wrong, go ahead. I’ll let my soul listen, but my mind will be on something else.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am curious as to the young lady’s motivation: compassion, religion, what? It is easy to project anything I might want onto the situation. In any case the action was laudable.

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    • You’re right, Steve. Since nothing was mentioned related to motivation, we’re at liberty. However, if religion is involved in any kind of charitable act, it’s generally mentioned. You know, they’ve got to get in their “commercial.”

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    • Humans and their ancestors have lived in social groups for millions of years and have evolved instincts to be cooperative and mutually helpful, at least toward members of the in-group and when those instincts aren’t overridden by some stronger contrary interest. Most people will make at least some effort to help someone else who’s in trouble as long as the costs to themselves (in time, risk, or social embarrassment, not just money) appear minimal. Some people carry the instinct to help further than others. But religion has nothing to do with it. You can see the same help/cooperate instincts in chimpanzees toward members of their own in-groups.

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  6. I live in a rural, conservative community. My neighbors all proclaim their Christian faith. (I especially enjoy the fellow in the Jesus tee who tells me how he threatened to beat up someone in a bar.) When I bought my house, I knocked on doors to introduce myself to each neighbor. I gave everyone my number and told them to please call if they needed anything. And I meant it. My parents raised us to always be there for neighbors.

    I have been in everyone’s home fixing computers and networks (for free, of course). I have bought BD gifts and graduation gifts, and Christmas gifts for their kids. I have cooked and shopped often for my neighbors who are ill. That, to me, is what neighbors do. Everyone needs help occasionally.

    I have now been disabled and quite ill for several years. Not one time has one of my Christian neighbors called or emailed. No one offers to pick up something at the store or help me get the heavy trash cans up the steep driveway to the street. I pass neighbors in their yards while I struggle down the street with my cane to walk my dogs. It wouldn’t occur to them to ask how I am or if I need help. I do still hear from them. When their computers break.

    Obviously these people don’t owe me anything. But what does it mean to say you follow Jesus if the only time you invoke his name is to judge and demean others. Aren’t Christians supposed to be shining examples for the world? I am underwhelmed by the ones I know.

    Liked by 2 people

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