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Friday, July 19, 2024 at 6:23 PM

Faith and Life -- a column from local faith leaders

What is our national vs. personal responsibility to the poor?
  • Source: Reverend Dawn Blundell, Epworth UMC
Faith and Life -- a column from local faith leaders

Author: Courtesy of Stan Lattin

Once per week or so, Fallon’s faith leaders offer their thoughts on faith and life. Any church or faith community of any kind is welcome and encouraged to participate. If you have ideas for topics we should write about, or if you are a faith leader and would like to participate, please call Pastor Dawn Blundell at Epworth UMC, 775-423-4714. If you’d like to talk more about anything you read here, or if you would like prayer or a listening ear, we hope you will reach out to one of us. If you don’t already have a church home, you are invited to join us for worship, too! You’ll find contact information and worship times below.

 

Pastor Brennen Behimer, Parkside Bible Fellowship

www.parksidebible.com, 775-423-3855

Sunday School at 9:00am, worship services Sunday mornings at 10:15am

The government can provide a safety net for those who fall into hard times. However, providing assistance to the poor comes with a responsibility to ensure that a net does not become bondage. Too often, so-called “welfare” initiatives are not designed to get people out of crisis as much as to enable them to persist in it. That is neither helpful nor loving to the poor. According to the Bible, though, a greater tragedy than physical poverty is undiagnosed spiritual poverty. That is why Jesus’ primary ministry to the poor was preaching the gospel. The poor in spirit are blessed, indeed, but only if they realize their spiritual poverty from sin and believe in Jesus, who became poor that they might become spiritually rich.

 

Rev Dawn Blundell, Epworth United Methodist Church

www.epworthfallon.org, 775-423-4714

Worship Sunday mornings at 9:00am, sermon at 9:30am on Facebook Live and KVLV AM980

We humans try to rationalize our way out of it, and our efforts are partial and flawed, but the Bible is clear that we are to care for the poor. The prophets repeatedly condemn leaders and governments that neglect the poor and the stranger; the Torah and Jesus’ teaching and example tells us it is our personal responsibility, too. In the earliest church the apostles cared for the poor, so we have their example...and around the world, schools, hospitals, and programs to feed and care were founded by churches and adopted by good governments. It is critical that we continue to learn, improve, and sacrifice for the sake of others, and to hold our nation to account in caring for the vulnerable.

 

Nathan Dahl, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Bishop, Sheckler Ward, www.churchofjesuschrist.org

Is it my responsibility to care for the poor? Yes.  As a follower of Christ I have not been asked to judge who is worthy of my efforts and resources and who is not. I have been asked to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and come unto the imprisoned. As Jesus taught in Matthew 25, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Jesus is the perfect example of serving those less fortunate and lifting them up. 

A strong economic case can be made about the desirability for our Government to reduce poverty.  Cutting poverty strengthens our democracy, increases our long-term competitiveness, and strengthens the middle class. Economic advantages are not however the most important reason our government should care for the poor. Our Government should prioritize caring for the poor because we, the citizens they represent, have placed such a high value on this principal. It is important to me that the local, state and national leaders I vote for represent this important principle and take this charge seriously.

 

 

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