There is an accusation for several years, maybe even decades, that churches are not blessing the society around them. They are not taking care of people within their communities, and part of the ills of society are because the church is failing to care for the poor and weak. This accusation is usually coming from those who wish to dismantle christianity.
First, let me state that this could absolutely be true. This needs to be examined on a case by case basis among each and every church. My intention here is not to defend every church, but the universal church as a whole. You could find one, or even dozens of churches who fail in this area, but that doesn’t mean that the universal church has failed.
Second, many churches are involved in social work. I know several churches giving out food, clothes, volunteering at homeless shelters and the like. Just because there are the poor and needy out there, doesn’t mean that no one is helping them.
Third, there are many churches helping people within their own church community. This is not selfish, but is commendable. We always help those who are closest to us. Galatians 6:10 says, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
I can’t tell you how many hundreds of times I have watched church folk care for each other – giving meals, money, gifts, rides to appointments, etc. Just because you don’t see it publicly doesn’t mean it is not happening. These people are part of society, and they are being cared for internally whether you are aware of it or not.
Fourth (this is an important one), they are helping in unseen ways that sometimes people at church aren’t even aware of. They are teaching, encouraging, and practicing the proclamation of living out the Gospel as God-given families. I’m not saying that all are perfectly following God’s way, but let me just give one example.
According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, there is great detriment to those who grow up without a father figure in their home. Children that grow up in a home are 4x greater at risk of poverty, 2x more likely to suffer from obesity, 2x more likely to drop out of high school, 7x more likely to become pregnant as a teenager, and the list goes on.
The church encourages fatherhood. The church calls men to stay with their families, and care for them. In other words, the church is part of the preventative work of caring for people. Children who grow up in these homes statistically have a much more fulfilling and cared for life. Those who are both being taught and living out their faith are part of caring for society.
Fifth, some people don’t want to be cared for. I don’t mean they don’t want to receive blessings. But they choose to continue to live in a way that is detrimental to them. There is a point in time when people need to care for themselves. You can’t blame a church if someone refuses to repent of things which are hurting them.
Lastly, the church can’t take care of everyone. That shouldn’t be a cop out, or an excuse for doing something. There is a reality where we can’t help everyone. Even Jesus knew this reality. In John 12:8a He says, “for the poor you always have with you.” It is a reality of life.
In conclusion, if you are a part of the crowd that says, “The church isn’t a blessing to society,” I ask that you take some of these things into consideration. I also think this may be a time to step back and assess ourselves to see how we are helping. Start with those in your immediate vicinity -.your spouse, your children, your church, your community. There is always someone to help. Don’t be overwhelmed by the needs of society. Just try to love and care for one person today.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.