Friday, November 30, 2012

Poverty, Christianity, and Freedom

It’s not often, lately at least, that I decide to promote a book here at Liberty’s Torch, so take note—especially those of my Gentle Readers who are Christians.

True Charity—Replacing Flypaper with Freedom

Mike Melin makes a brilliant, Christian case for casting off the veil over our eyes as it concerns poverty, for “poverty” as the world defines it is a mirage. True poverty is poverty of the mind...the identity...the soul.

One way to summarize the message of this indispensable little book is that the world, in assessing “what we’re doing to help the poor,” resolutely totes up material inputs while ignoring characterological outputs. But “help” of that sort literally imprisons the poor in true poverty. It does nothing to make the poor man other than poor, and gives him additional reasons to remain so!

The legions of Hell sing a seductive song in our ears: “Help the poor! Don’t trouble yourself about their characters. Just cut them a check.” And as Reverend Melin writes, it will be their acolytes among us who’ll howl loudest when we turn from that path and resolve instead to free the poor man from his true poverty: the conviction, whether conscious or not, that he cannot or should not try to help himself, and must become comfortable in his dependence upon other men.

With God, all things are possible...but look: God is no longer welcomed at the charity-kitchen table! And we wonder why, with all the largesse our society showers upon the “needy,” their number always grows.

Highly recommended! Thank you, Reverend Melin.


lelnet said...

"And we wonder why, with all the largesse our society showers upon the 'needy,' their number always grows."

Poverty, it turns out, is just like everything else in the world...subject only to the innate limits of a finite material universe and a finite human lifespan, you can have (and will get) as much of it as you're willing and able to pay for.

Mark Butterworth said...

This is why I quit volunteering to work in a local soup kitchen and an organization that provided vouchers for light rail, bus tickets home, some motel rooms for emergency housing, and referrals to various agencies.

Nothing was ever asked of these people in return, nor were they evangelized in any way as to their folly and fecklessness.

Rather, they felt entitled and were angry if they couldn't game us out of money and bus tokens.

We never said, "Here's a broom. Sweep the yard." or "There's our vegetable garden. Weed it."

We merely sustained them in their poverty of spirit.

SiGraybeard said...

As a fellow Christian, you will understand when I say you pierced my heart.


My pastor has been kicking on that spot, too. It's convenient to tithe - yes even more than the 10%. It's less comfortable to go out where Mark Butterworth is going.