Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yesterday's Jesus, Today's Poor

Shane Claiborne says:

If you ask most people what Christians believe, they can tell you, "Christians believe that Jesus is God's Son and that Jesus rose from the dead." But if you ask the average person how Christians live, they are struck silent. We have not shown the world another way of doing life. Christians pretty much live like everybody else; they just sprinkle a little Jesus in along the way.

Before you scoff at another young hippie, think about it: Banks and coffee shops in churches. Evangelists more about t-shirts and bumper stickers than the poor. TV hosts ignoring Galatians' call for unity. What percentage of the material-based middle class families that you know would profess to being Christians?

But I don't mean to point fingers here. I'm part of the problem myself, no different than anyone else. Claiborne also says that in a survey he did for his undergraduate thesis in sociology, nearly 80% of Christians said Jesus spent time with the poor (have the other 20% ever picked up a Bible???) but less than 2% acknowledged spending time with the poor themselves. There's a big difference between writing some group a check and giving an individual a hug - and it's been a long time since I saw the inside of a soup kitchen.

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