This just in…
A regular reader recently brought to my attention an update to the Wikipedia summary of the book When Helping Hurts that has a significant development in it.
According to Wikipedia, Brian Fikkert, co-author of When Helping Hurts, confesses that a drawback/regret he finds with his book is a phenom called “When Helping Hurts paralysis”. It turns out that after reading his book, some people get so keyed up about getting charity wrong that they just stop helping at all.
Actually, there are far deeper problems than just that, but of course acknowledging even that much is a start. We can hope, anyway. I won’t get into all of the complexity he could address in this post, but just point out that even the top proponents see the mess they’ve made of loving the poor. The result is that in trying to act like we really judge our own “misguided” (even if it happens to be perfect obedience to Jesus) way of showing love to the poor, we really wind up judging the poor as unworthy of our love.
Get a smokescreen up, create a fog in people’s minds about giving to the poor, and a significant number will just throw in the towel and quit giving altogether because trying to sort out what is really helpful or not is just too hard.
Go figure. That alone should be enough to send these guys back to the drawing board. Wish they would spend more time actually watching and listening to Jesus.