Foley’s definition of ‘charity’ was way off base
October 31, 2013 11:03 PM | 972 views | 12 12 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

Kevin Foley’s Oct. 18 column, “Silence of Christian Leaders on Poor is Deafening” was a confusing one. In the beginning, he professes he isn’t a “churchgoer” and says he attended a religious high school and studied the Bible. Where in the Bible is it stated that government’s role is to achieve what charity cannot? Who is meant to decide this? What is Foley’s definition of charity? What constitutes “health care to the poor,” and what defines “the poor”? Is he intending to write another article on what it means to be “un-Christian” again soon?

Is Foley familiar with amazing service organizations such as the Salvation Army, MUST Ministries, City of Refuge Atlanta, the Atlanta Dream Center, the Good Samaritan Health Center or the Hope Clinic? Where do these organizations “fit” in humanitarian needs being met? This reader would welcome hearing Foley’s response.

Perhaps, instead of presenting a personal point of view that conveys “writer’s research” that included a shallow depiction of details for his protocol in reaching out to pastors at six local churches, quotes from various websites and personal opinions that cast a judgmental focus, why not share something more substantial? This reader would like to believe that Foley did more than spend time at his desk and computer, or in the driver’s seat of his car while counting churches on the side of the road in Cobb. Could there have been a bit more relevant research to support his commentary?

This reader is a believer of Jesus Christ. Because of this, this reader understands there is confusion about what the church is/meant to do, what a personal relationship with Jesus means and what the Body of Christ at work actually is. A church isn’t defined by its appearance, building, congregation, location, pastors, ministries, programs or services, nor is every person a Christian who enters a church or actively participates in a church. Only God knows the hearts of those who profess themselves Christians. The Body of Christ, or believers in Jesus, exist everywhere. Biblically rooted churches are meant to serve, equip, support and teach believers of Jesus, about what it means to serve, live and model the leadership style of Jesus wherever they may be. (Through relationships at home, at work, in family, in community, in leadership, etc.)

Mr. Foley, do you want to know more about Jesus? It seems like you do. He knows you, and He knows your heart. He knew you before you were born into this world, and He loves and cares about you. There is a reason you have chosen not to go to a church, and He knows that reason. There is a reason you chose to write about helping “the poor” and He knows this. This reader also believes that when you spend more time in His Truth, the Bible, the Lord will show you what Jesus (He) would do about taking care of the poor. Also, maybe you wouldn’t have to spend as much time looking for these answers in other places.

Mr. Foley, may we never find ourselves living amidst a forced deafening or silencing of this blessing of free speech being exercised within God’s abundantly blessed country, the United States of America. May we never forget that our trusting Him shines forth His best for us. Trust Him. You will be surprised by what you learn.

Karen Raymer

Marietta



Comments
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just sayin
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November 03, 2013
@ OMIPS

No one is trying to leave this problem on the doorsteps of the church. Christian conservatives need to realize that as a society we have an national obligation to the poor and hungry. The church is no more able to handle massive problems of hunger, education and sickness in our society than it is to provide real help in natural disasters or equip an army or navy. Conservative hatred of spending money on the poor and sick while giving tax breaks and subsidies to the wealthy is hardly a Christian principal. Abraham Lincoln said, "The legitimate object of Government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not at all, or can not, so well do for themselves in their separate, and individual capacities."



OMIPS
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November 01, 2013
@ Foley, just sayin, Lib in Cobb

The first question is... Why do we have 650,000 poor in the state of Georgia? The answer is... because they are either unemployed or under-employed. Yes, some are either sick or to old to work but not the whole 650,000.

The second question is... Why are these people unemployed or under-employed? The answer is... because they can't find work or they're too lazy to work. But the whole 650,000 is not too lazy to work so it comes down to the fact that they can't find work.

The third question is... Why can't these people find work? The answer is... because too many businesses have either gone out of business or relocated to overseas.

The fourth question is... Why have so many businesses either gone out of business or relocated overseas? The answer is... they can't compete with foreign companies so they either relocate or go out of business.

The fifth question is... Why can't American companies compete with foreign companies? The answer is... local, state and federal governments and it's agencies have created a convoluted and complex business environment where business and commerce struggles to succeed.

Thus, the root cause behind why we have 650,000 poor people in the state of Georgia is government. The "Big Government" that Foley, Just sayin, Lib in Cobb and others support. Big Government through taxes, laws, rules and regulations have put 650,000 Georgians in the poor house and y'all's solution to this problem is... even Bigger Big Government.

This aint' a Christian problem. This is a Big Government out of control problem. A Big Government geeking up the opportunity for people to get a job and get back on their feet. And then y'all have the gall to try to leave this problem on the doorsteps of the Church.

Our Man In Powder Springs
Lib in Cobb
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November 03, 2013
@OMIPS: Just when did our government get too big? A quick answer, it is not the fault of the Dems or the Repubs, it is our history. Historically, the government has been expanding by leaps and bounds for more than 100 years. The people elected to office, whether it be state, federal or local are called law makers. That's what they do, the create laws which have an impact on all of us. So, I hope you are not going in the direction of the Obama admin and placing all the blame there.
anonymous
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November 03, 2013
So right OIMPS we don't need no big government! This country isn't run by Christian principals unless we like them. Trap laws, trans-vaginal ultrasounds, tax loopholes, farm subsidies, racially motivated vote suppression are fine, caring for the sick and hungry is another matter.
D. Young
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November 01, 2013
I think Mahatma Gandhi said it best. "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
just sayin
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November 01, 2013
Christian conservatives are all about the "unborn", it's the "born" they seem to hate, especially if they need something as frivolous as food and health care. Watching their precious tax money going to minorities, the poor and the hungry (deadbeats) rather than bloated defense contracts and foreign wars understandably stretches their Christian compassion to the breaking point.
Kevin Foley
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November 01, 2013
Ms. Raymer - Jesus told us to care for the least of these. He didn't make any conditions on how we ought to do that. He just wants it done. You and others attempt to tell us what He "really" meant to justify your political prejudices.

As I noted in the column, all the ministries and charities in Georgia couldn't begin to address the need for critical and preventative healthcare services for 650,000 poor in the state. Here's the chance to finally do it and, sadly, you and other Christian conservatives, not to mention those Christian leaders I wrote about, remain silent.

This is why I am no longer a churchgoer.

Lib in Cobb
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November 01, 2013
Karen: If the followers of Jesus are supposed to support the sick and the poor and the hungry, then why do we have so many sick, hungry and poor people in the US. I will rely on humans, than mythology.
West Cobb
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November 01, 2013
That's an easy one, Lib. Not enough followers of Jesus to go around.
Lib in Cobb
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November 04, 2013
West Cobb: I think there are enough followers to go around, there are too many of those followers who believe that only the followers deserve help.

One can't pray their way to prosperity, health or enough food.
West Cobb
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November 04, 2013
Lib: True followers help the helpless, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the dying, and do what they can to alleviate suffering, wherever it is, whoever it is. Like any other group of people, there are poseurs; however, they are obvious. If they have to tell you they're Christians, then they're probably not. True Christians don't need medals or awards; the feeling one gets when helping others is rewarding enough.

I have seen prayer improve health, I have seen prayer provide food; we were never promised prosperity, only what we need.
Lib in Cobb
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November 07, 2013
@west cobb: You have seen people pray their way to health and food. You see that because you have faith that those things occurred because it was a god/jesus intervention.

Things happen for reasons, very good people die of horrible diseases who have faith. Very good people starve who have faith. I guess they are not good enough or they are not faithful enough. When the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 came ashore killing 250,000 innocent women, children and men who were doing nothing more than attempting to survive a self described good christian told me, "it's god's will". "Why would a kind god kill 250,000 people"? "It's god's will". No thank you.
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