Jeff: Eric, why does God care for the poor? And why should the Church care for the poor?
From the beginning of His efforts to change the world, Jesus set His sights on serving those on the outside of society: the poor, the disabled, the oppressed, the forgotten, the untouchables. Jesus calls all of those who follow Him to do the same. When we run to God, He sends us out! As the church, we represent Jesus to the world around us. In fact, Jesus’ invitation was not for what we could get, but what we could give to the world around us.
Jeff: For those not living in the inner-city, what advice do you have for those who are still itching to be more justice-oriented in their daily life?
First of all, it is important to realize that injustices take place all the time – even in more affluent places. Helping people overcome addiction to pornography or alcohol, creating space in our churches or ministries for people who are not yet followers of Jesus, or even getting to know the neighbors or co-workers who have emigrated from different parts of the world are all great ways of bringing justice in places other than the inner-city. There are people in our suburbs who have genuine needs.
Second, I would survey your church and your community to discover what some of the needs may be. Third, I would find all the people who want to put their faith into action and start serving. Short-term trips into the city or into other parts of the world can be a great way to open the eyes of others, but we should also make serving others a priority especially where we live. Finally, we need to create a community in which people belong before they have to believe. Even in cities with millions of people all around, men and women go through their day without one meaningful interaction or even human touch. Creating genuine community allows us to discover and meet real needs of people who become our friends.
Some other questions included:
To your knowledge, what are some ways that Christians are authentically addressing the needs of urban America?
When people’s faith wavers in the face of poverty and other human tragedies, how do you address that? How has your own personal faith grown or changed in the face of intense poverty and pain?
For those not living in the inner-city, what advice do you have for those who are still itching to be more justice-oriented in their daily life?
For the rest of the article, read here.