Comment taken from Naked Pastor’s ‘An Appeal‘ Blog
“I don’t have the time or energy to serve the body of Christ. I’m too busy welcoming the homeless single dad and his teen son into our home (the family shelters are full in our city), and I’m too busy helping the Latino family down the street obtain legal immigration status. Forget serving the church. It’s forgotten us.” (Jerri)
I like what Jerri has to say – I think he gets/understands the ‘good news’. The church is too focused on itself in my opinion and overlooks people like Jerri works with – on an almost daily basis. Even if they do something foir the poor – it’s very menial and a side track – not something of focus for the church (or congregation).
I grew up in an inner city also with the problems Jerri also talks about – and I knew all the churches in the neighborhood – there was about 6 or 7. None of them really did too much for the poor or deal with the problems of these people. No one played Jesus for the poor in my opinion. People just are not willing to lay their lives down for this ‘good news’…it is good but not great for them.
I see where Jerri stands – I stand there with him. I have always helped people from the community I grew up in – even when the church did nothing or could do nothing (which was quite often) – or overlooked their problems as ‘meaningless’ (being not spiritual and all). But someone has to care for the people with ‘no hope’ in this world or the next…and someone needs to lay down their life so they can know it. Who is going to help the gang-member find self esteem? The abused spouse to find safety? The prostitute to find hope? The drug addict to find a ‘way out’? Churches cannot deal with these scenarios – they are scared to.
The church, to me, has become a middle class focused entity. It is now concerned with problems that effect the middle class – from theology to practice. It has become useless to me in that regard…I grew up poor and my heart will always be with the oppressed in society. The church always plays it ’safe’ – as far as I am concerned – everything is so…comfortable.