Living in Two Worlds

In light of the recent church shooting last Sunday here in Texas (Church of Christ, no less – my people), it seems more than pertinent that we revisit this post from my blog. I note the author of the original story is Tony Campolo (beloved by many Protestant Christians) and it is found repeated in a book by Mike Cope (beloved by many within the churches of Christ!). Let’s listen again to these words which used to be safe when they were so hypothetical, but now have become deadly dangerous to us, and which we probably don’t want to remember anymore.

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

I found another OLD book on the shelf I thought I would excerpt for you.  Again, this is a small book, insignificant, really, and old.  Published in 1987 by Gospel Advocate Co., it has collected dust for many years on my shelf.  But I never forget one little vignette in it that I will now reprint here for you.  It is just the kind of sermon illustration I recall growing up with in the “good old days”, a kind I hear very little any more.  Perhaps I am just old and old fashioned, but honestly I don’t think the book over all is really worth much.

The book is called Living in Two Worldsby Mike Cope.  I am not recommending the book, but I think this tidbit from it will be worth your time.

From Page 54 and 55:

The kingdom of God, not things, should be central to…

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A plead to God’s people! D

Just found this blogger. I hope you will pay him a visit and hear what this post says. Very true stuff.

Is it just me, or is the world insane?

How do I express, and discribe the feelings God, and His word have laid upon my heart in regards to the treatment of the poor, and needy… the homeless of this country, let alone the homeless of the world?! Not to leave out the punishment, chastisement, and possible almost annialation, as in Israels case for transgressing God’s word, God’s truth. So this is also a warning to all believers, and even those sitting on the proverbial fence. Please, please find where this fits within your life, and reason with God…. for this is what He is asking from you and me!?

I have fought, and struggled with myself, with God, and God’s word, and with what I have not only witnessed, yet experienced in the last ten years among the various Christian sect’s I have encountered, and how their treatment of the poor does not line up at all with…

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This Just In: Jesus’s Cross Had A Cushion And Did NOT Hurt

Yes, you read that correctly.  Getting crucified by Romans with nails through the flesh and hoisted up naked and bleeding was a pain free experience for Jesus!

Yeah.  Some people believe that Jesus was divine and not completely human, thus it is just patent nonsense to think that he could or would feel pain and shame of crucifixion like normal people.  He was, after all, God through and through… outside of time and space.  He was above it all.  Transcendent and not in any real pain.

His divinity acts like a cushion on the cross.  It’s just that simple.

Don’t let a little thing like Jesus Christ affect your political views.

(Okay, I am being facetious here, of course.  But I seriously just read a blog post entitled “No, Jesus Was Not a Refugee and He Was Not Homeless.”  This blogger wants to defend his political views from Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg by dismantling these ideas, thus Buttigieg cannot be trusted.  The blogger claims it is “patent nonsense” and “just that simple,” and I think his blog post is patent nonsense which is just that simple.  So, I figured I would spring my own version of patent nonsense on my readers too.  I hope this blogger doesn’t find my post.  It will probably generate new ideas, which are dangerous for such people with access to the blog-O-sphere.)


The When-Helping-Hurts Decade (Review)


Can you believe it?  Waaaaay back in little ol’ 2009, a new outreach ministry book called When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert was published which set out to teach Christian ministers, churches, and regular Christian folk a more “effective” way to show compassion and charity to the poor.  And what a decade it has been!  Just two years later, this book was joined by another top selling and very influential outreach ministry book, Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton.  It also sought to criticize Christian charity, not for caring and trying, but for going about it all wrong.

These two books became mainstays of any church outreach, and certainly most churches of Lubbock, Texas (as far as my own experience shows).  And in recent years, Lupton joined forces with Corbett and Fikkert (and others) and put out a joint effort – a web-based seminar called “Seeking [$]halom” – to reach America’s churches criticizing the way they offered alms and charity to the poor and retraining us to think more carefully about “effective” approaches.  In both cases, these writers bring to our Bible class and Christian ministry training a decidedly “economic development” $trategy to caring for the poor.

Corbett, Fikkert, and Lupton all three bring to the table a lot of professional experience in the field of outreach too the poor.  Years of experience, in fact.  And all of them after spending years in the trenches around the globe, in some cases among the poorest of the poor, yet after discerning from first-hand experience that giving people money does not make their poverty go away, they set out to address this and discover more “effective” ways of reaching out.

This effort to be more “effective” appears to be driven by a desire to love hurting people and fix their problems – to truly fix them.  Otherwise, in so many cases, you can give your alms, maybe even feel good about yourself for having given, then walk away and no real change has been affected.  At root, this dynamic is what Corbett, Fikkert, and Lupton wish to address, and they do so drawing on their training in “economic development” strategies.

So far, so good, Right?

It would seem.

However, there are a number of ironies at work in the When-Helping-Hurts charity industry which have conspired, I think, to create the very harm these guys wish to avoid.  And here at Fat Beggars School of Prophets, the first and most important issue is whether Corbett, Fikkert, Lupton and friends are remaining true to Jesus and to the Bible.  If a best-selling Christian ministry book comes along which looks and sounds biblical and true to Jesus but which actually lures Christian ministers and churches away from Jesus and biblical teaching instead, then what is the point?  The new methods of charity these guys teach may well be meaningful for social workers and economic developers at a state school or a state bank, but what business, if that is in fact what is happening, do their methods have being taught in a church?

Pragmatic Review

YET, just because those of us here at Fat Beggars see it that way does not necessarily mean that is what matters to church leaders all over Lubbock (and it would seem a great many other places too).  So this post will start the review with the more pragmatic observations and then come to the biblical/theological concerns later.  (Delay the gratification, I guess, in hopes that I get a fuller hearing with this post.)

So, let’s start with the fact that the 2010s are the When-Helping-Hurts decade.

With a solid decade, now, of “effective” methods deployed on the city of Lubbock (and other places too) do we have less poverty now or more?

Ahhh…  Waste no time getting to the heart of things pragmatically, I say.

Just this last week, some of the biggest proponents of the When-Helping-Hurts methodology were featured on TV discussing how that the numbers of homeless people in Lubbock are growing all the time.  And I must say, this has been my observation too.  In fact, I don’t discern any meaningful reduction in homelessness nationwide.  Poverty seems to be increasing, not decreasing.

Now to be fair, Corbett, Fikkert, and Lupton have offered us a Christian-best-seller approach and have specifically targeted Christians with their books and seminars.  So they may be forgiven for not having stemmed the tide nationwide among governmental and secular efforts, since Christian charity is not the only means of addressing homelessness and poverty.  But surely we can say that in Lubbock, Texas Christian charity is at least as big, if not bigger, than secular charities and government agencies.  No doubt, the Christians take the lead, and even within those government offices and secular agencies, the staff there are largely Christians too.  Thus the exposure to the When-Helping-Hurts decade is more profoundly felt here, perhaps, than your average US city.

But in a decade of devotion to these “effective” methods, we are not enjoying the success we should be.  On the contrary, we are falling behind and losing ground.

Perhaps you read what Corbett and Fikkert tell us on page 56 of their book, amid a passage likening the discernment of charity practices to that of a doctor making diagnosis of a sick patient, where they say:

…the underlying diseases behind those symptoms are not always very apparent and can differ from person to person.  A trial and error process may be necessary before a proper diagnosis can be reached. … And even after a sound diagnosis is made, it may take years to help people to overcome their problems.  There will likely be lots of ups and downs in the relationship.  It all sounds very time-consuming, and it is.


A statement like that practically undermines the whole thesis of their own book!  Keep in mind, the charity industry these guys have spearheaded criticizes the almsgiving churches and Christians have engaged in for two millennia in favor of “effective” methods.  But you might not notice a difference in the outcomes for years, and that may be after countless frustrating attempts at trial and error and other ups and downs along the way.

Just pragmatically speaking, it makes you wonder: why bother?  Why write a book persuading people to make any changes if its not going to achieve any better success than this?  But when it comes to the Bible, which in numerous places instructs us and/or gives positive examples of people giving money directly to beggars and needy people, this approach becomes problematic at other levels too.  The prophets don’t criticize Israel for giving to the needy; on the contrary, they speak out against the rich for not.  But Corbett, Fikkert and Lupton too have criticized exactly that as being ineffective for poverty relief.

This has me thinking that the success of When Helping Hurts and Toxic Charity is not found nearly so much in their alternative outreach styles as it is in book sales!  I also sense that the reason for that success has more to do with the fact that these books offer a criticism of almsgiving with the look and feel of biblical teaching without the substance and which then effectively tells rich/middle-class American Christians just to keep their money rather than feeling guilty and giving to bums.  All of this seemingly endorsed by Jesus.  And that, I suspect, is a very welcome message to rich Christians who aren’t actually reading their Bibles much anyway.

Biblical/Theological Review

Okay, so let’s get to the Bible for a moment.

One passage that just jumps off the page at me when I think of Corbett, Fikkert, and Lupton is Luke 6:30 where Jesus says to “give to all who ask.”  Sure, we can deconstruct this passage a hundred different ways, and some of those are bound to be legitimate, but are they still relevant?

“Give to all who ask.”

That is pretty simple stuff.  No, he didn’t say give money to all who ask.  It is possible to give something else, I am sure.  Just consider Peter and John entering the temple in Acts 3 where they say they have no silver or gold, but they have something else to give!  However, based on the way they respond to this beggar, it sure appears that if they had the money, that is what they might have given instead.  Perhaps this beggar was blessed that they were too broke for that!  Hmmm…

And no.  “Give to all who ask” does not say give everything you have to the poor and come follow me, but Jesus does tell that to at least one rich man in Mark 10.  And he goes on to tell his disciples that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God (that should keep us up an night!).  And no, Jesus doesn’t address that instruction to everyone, just to that one man on that one occasion, but it sure looks like the church in Jerusalem, as we find in Acts 2 and 4, seems to have thought that command or something very like it pertained to them!

Look.  I can keep going with this all day if I need to, but this should be enough to rattle the When-Helping-Hurts cage!  Corbett, Fikkert, and Lupton never address any of these passages whatsoever.  But they should.  Yet, they didn’t.  And we, the Bible-believing consumer of their books and seminars, buy up this stuff without questioning it, and then we feel better about not giving to the beggar on the street who asks us for a handout.  Thus that appears to be the fake license these best-selling authors are peddling.

Stack all that on one side, and on the other factor in the advice Corbett and Fikkert give in the final pages of their book regarding microfinance institutions (MFI’s) and the method they champion of lending money to the poor at low interest yet enforcing payback of the loans even when that is hard to do.  This, they claim, is the most effective way to alleviate poverty, never mind the fact that the Bible in several places literally prohibits making loans – especially at interest – to the poor (see for instance Exod. 22:25-27; Lev. 25:35-37 or Deut. 23:19-20).  And let us not forget that right at the core of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the forgiveness of debts which appears to be based largely on the promise of Jubilee.  When Helping Hurts makes no mention of any of these foundational biblical principles as they preach their gospel of mammon and economic development.

And in the meantime, poverty grows worse as now even the church turns its back evermore on the poor feeling legitimated by these “effective” approaches which are neither biblical nor effective.

Look.  I am not claiming that if you sell all you own, give it to the poor, count your riches in heaven and then go follow after Jesus that the poor will stop being poor.  I never claimed that.  In fact, you mostly likely will join the ranks of the poor if you do that.  But that is the way of Jesus.  That is his instruction.  And it may well be that he thinks your sacrificial love for the poor is a witness to him and that is greater than any poverty alleviation.  After all, “the poor you will always have with you, and you can do good to them whenever you like” (Mark 14:7 (echoing Deut. 15:7)).

But thanx largely to Corbett, Fikkert, and Lupton, we aren’t talking, as a church, about those deep theological matters.  Instead, we are closing our doors as homeless people (at least 3) froze to death on the streets of Lubbock over the last decade, and we feel smug about our faith and Jesus’s lordship over our money.

And THAT is the When-Helping-Hurts decade in review.

Whooo! What A Day? Kick Back And Take It Easy Now.


The DAY AFTER Christmas!


It can be taxing.  All that standing in line.  Making returns.  Trading in all the tonnage of crap you didn’t really want or need that you got for Jesus’s birthday yesterday can be quite exhausting.

Hoping the givers of these gifts never know you actually returned them.  Hoping you don’t bump into them with your gift in hand, standing in line, waiting your turn to get the cash and then head off to get the blue one since you didn’t really want the red one.

It’s good to finally hit the McDonalds for some junk food and get outa there!

It can be so hard to get the right gift for the person who already has it all, and it can be hard to acknowledge that person is you.

But the DAY AFTER is almost done now, and you can finally get on with your blue one now.

You self-centered American Christian.  Honored Jesus, did you???  Helluva holiday!

How many homeless bums did you drive past on your way to do this business with your precious wealth?  That wealth you are sure would do them harm if you shared it with them… yeah.  That wealth?  Yeah, that harm.

Feel like you’ve been a good steward of Christ’s abundant life today?

Is that what HE would say about it?

Whooo!  What a day?  Kick back and take it easy now.

And start thinking about that diet and exercise plan you been meaning to get on.  You can get a good deal down at the gym this time next week.  Probably a good time to start preparing yourself mentally for it.

But for now, just kick back and take it easy.  You good steward of God’s money.  Kick back and take it easy.  You deserve all those nice things you got for yourself today.  And with Christmas behind us now, you can forget the homeless and the needy.  The photo ops for preachers and politicians down at the soup kitchen are all done now for another year (even though winter is only just begun).  We will mention it no more.

Nothing left now but a Happy New Year.  So let’s get this party started!


’tis The Season (yet again)

(The following is the Fat Beggars traditional Christmas Eve post. May it prompt readers to open their homes tonight. (Heb. 13:2))

It’s Christmas Eve now. A night filled with expectation. Expectation of God. Expectation of LOVE. The candles lit, the stockings hung, the Christ-child is in his manger, and all through the house… not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.

This is Christmas – ground zero.

Camp Jesus: Ground Zero

And my heart hurts for anyone who (like that celebrated Mother and Child of old) does not have a home to be in tonight. For anyone who is not with their family.

I really want you here with me, celebrating. We have a fire. We have some hot chocolate. There is room for one more.

It might be meager, but if you ain’t too proud, you can fit in here.

I am thinking of you just now, as the flames burn low and dim the light on mistletoe. I pray that like that child in a manger when there was no room in the inn, God comes into our world and expresses himself though you tonight. I pray that through your lonely suffering, we all see God and open our hearts to let you in.

It’s a cold, hard world out there. And as soon as we learn to let you in, that can change (Rev. 3:20). And then maybe, just maybe, we will have peace on earth and good will toward men (and women).

May the shepherds find you. And if not the crew, then may the Good Shepherd come to your aid tonight. I pray your heart open toward him. I pray he bring his Christmas miracle into your life. I pray you are humble in his presence and can see it and receive it. I pray you be healed. And I pray our hearts be made soft toward you.

Merry Christmas… to those of you who are OUT THERE tonight.

And may God be with you.



Funny, Isn’t It? (Politics and Power/Turn About and Deaf Ears)

Funny, isn’t it?

I don’t mean “funny ha ha” vs. “funny queer” – thank you Sling Blade.


I mean funny this is really sad.


Funny, isn’t it?

Funny how a politician who used to be in the power position muscling the power play the LAST TIME this issue came up when it happened to THEM then, but now that it’s happening to US, the same politician cries foul over the exact same power play?

Funny like that.

Funny, isn’t it?

Funnier still that those same politicians who were not in the power position LAST TIME this issue came up and were crying foul for all they were worth now have a chance to make the same power play, and so they do!  Turn about is fair play, right?

Funny isn’t it?

Funny yet again that those politicians crying foul now are warning that next time the tables turn, right and wrong be damned, karma is coming back around for another visit.  And we aren’t even facing the same issue NEXT TIME yet.


Funny, isn’t it?

That’s a lot of talk falling on deaf ears.

It occurs to me that ears in power seem to get hard of hearing.

I don’t know that such an observation is universal and always the case, but it sure seems to be a frequent problem.  Makes me think perhaps the church and Christian people should not be seeking power!

I mean, by way of example, as the shepherd told me personally at the church where I am a member, I can scream – that is the word he used, SCREAM – at the top of my voice, but the shepherds there are not listening.


Yes, and just this morning, I turn on the TV news and there is Pastor Bates from Lubbock’s Premier Homeless Pseudo Church (not it’s real name), the church that literally kicked me out with the threat that if I come back they will call the police on me (power play anyone?).  And at that time, the issue I was at the center of???  I was insisting that leadership at the HOMELESS church open their door to the poor when it gets cold outside and give relief.  But leadership, though meeting with me and corresponding with me, would not yield one inch.  And since I refused to accept that, I had to go.

Funny, isn’t it?

The issue now?

Well, no.  It is not EXACTLY the same.  There is some important difference alright.  Whereas I was insisting we let the homeless cold people come indoors to take refuge from the cold, Pastor Bates now wants the zoning board at Lubbock City Council to grant him a variance to build a parking lot for volunteers and staff at the complex where he heads his million dollar organization.  But guess what?  The zoning board opposes him!

The gall!

Funny, isn’t it?

Yeah, and turns out (like so often in politics) the issue there is NOT REALLY about the parking lot per se.  That is a smokescreen behind which deeper matters hide.  After all, as Pastor Bates duly notes on camera, several churches and businesses there in the immediate area of his complex have large parking lots.  This opposition is NOT REALLY about the parking lot; it’s about the HOMELESS.

You see the thing is that Pastor Bates heads a million dollar operation there in the proverbial backyard of those churches and businesses and private residents where he “serves” the HOMELESS.  And during Pastor Bates’s tenure as administrator of these services there, the numbers of HOMELESS have grown, not shrunk.  (BTW, Pastor Bates is a BIG proponent of the When Helping Hurts agenda, and though no one seems to have pointed this fact out, I must say that in the decade since that book came out, this observation is a huge indictment of that agenda!)  Basically, the people of Lubbock had in mind that Pastor Bates was going to make this problem go away FOR THEM, but he has not done that.  Now he wants a parking lot for his organization right there in Lubbock’s proverbial backyard, but Lubbock doesn’t want Pastor Bates’s HOMELESS cluttering up the place.

Mighty “Christian” of us all, don’t you think?

Funny, isn’t it?


I remember when Pastor Bates and his leadership team refused to listen to me.  Now the power play is working against him too.

Does it feel good to see Pastor Bates get his karma?


No, it does not.  I am no fan of karma.  And I notice that once again the REAL ISSUE underlying all of this is that the church is once again NOT opening the door to the poor and homeless.  The church has ostensibly let this become a “parking lot” issue.  Pastor Bates is trying to shame these churches and Christian business people and private residents for covering over their contempt for the HOMELESS and thus the Lord’s work, but even if Pastor Bates gets his parking lot, neither he nor the rest of the church of Lubbock are opening the door in hospitality to Jesus who claims he is “the least of these brothers” (Matt. 25:31-46) and that he is “knocking on that door” (Rev. 3:20).

Once again the poor lose no matter which way this political wrangling works out.

Funny, isn’t it?

More Love, Not Hate; More Trust, Not Suspicion; More Jesus, Not A Pistol-Packing Church That Shoots Back

(Due to events earlier just today, I am modifying the title of this post)

Our world is changing.  

Does anyone seriously disagree on that?

Good.  We have agreement on something.  (Miracle!)

Now, who seriously thinks it is getting better?


I am young enough to NOT REMEMBER the word “GAY” strictly meaning “happy” or heaven help us… “blessed.”  I AM old enough to remember old people using it that way, but not young people.  Today, I don’t think it has the old meaning anymore for anyone.

Our world is changing.

I am old enough to remember the word “SPREE” almost always accompanying the word “SHOPPING.”  But somehow it has begun accompanying words like “SHOOTING” and “STABBING.”



I see that phraseology on my TV News offered so matter-of-fact like with no sense that it is a new idea.

A stabbing spree.


You wanna know what just really kicks me in the jimmy?

The shooting sprees and the stabling sprees so often happen at the same place as the shopping sprees.


Now… when I go shopping and I find myself standing there in line dutifully NOT looking strangers in the eye, I have to wonder if they aren’t going to shoot or stab me or someone I love.  I go shopping at the store, a store I have visited FOR YEARS, and I find myself looking for the exits and the choke points if a stampede develops.  I wanna get me and mine outa this joint if one of the normal looking strangers around me suddenly “goes off”!

Things used to be simple.  Life was much simpler when I was young and went shopping and my biggest concern was avoiding eye contact with a homeless bum by the dumpster or at the edge of the parking lot.  I miss the days when I felt troubled by THAT and could so easily assuage my conscience with the notion that it is better to NOT give than to give.

That’s all sooooooo yesterday now though.  Things are different now.  Our world is changing.  Our world has changed.


This is definitely NOT “what the founding fathers had in mind,” and it definitely is NOT what the FOUNDING FATHER has in mind either!

(Are we still in agreement here?)

And the answer to this is not, I am sorry to say, found in the election of some Democrat or Republican or even an Independent or a Libertarian.  It’s not found in the election at all.

The answer is not found in the Navy SEALs, the county sheriff, mall security, your 911 operator, or your ADT home security.  It’s not, believe this or not, found in your conceal-carry permit either.

The fact is this: We are waaaaaaaaay past all that now.  If you have to call 911 because you are picking up a loaf of bread and a jug of milk, you need to wake up to the fact that OUR WORLD HAS CHANGED.

And we didn’t keep up with it.

This is a church issue.

The church is the embodiment of Jesus Christ in our world, and yet our world is NOT beholding Jesus Christ despite our fancy steeples and stained glass, our colleges and universities with their mission statements to change the world for Christ and all that are just flat out too little too late.

The world needs MORE LOVE, not less.  The world needs TRUST, and the only way we have that is if we have FIDELITY with God and each other.  And having that implies we pick up a cross and follow Jesus.

How about this…?

Instead of plotting an evacuation plan every time you enter the supermarket, how about you plan on GOING TOWARD the stabbing spree and offer yourself in place of another.  “TAKE ME instead of Mrs. Wilson there.  I already gave up my life to Jesus, and this will be his introduction to you and to the watching world!

Is that just a little too drastic for your faith?  Is that just a little too real for your discipleship?

Maybe you just AREN’T READY for that.

Well even Peter and the gang had to come up off the learning curve, so you are in good company.  But make no mistake; THAT IS OUR BUSINESS in the world and the world groans like as if in labor pains waiting for the revelation of the sons of God  (find that passage in Romans 8).

If September 11 fire fighters can carry hundred pound packs up Jacob’s Ladder in the World Trade Center, then you can take up a cross and follow Jesus.  This shooting-spree world is NOT MY HOME.

I bet it’s not yours either.

We are homeless here.

Now we have become the beggars at the shopping mall.  Begging for our very lives to 911 operators who do their best to dispatch help to us, but it’s too little too late.

We gotta get with Jesus on this.

Maybe, just maybe, if you wanna start down this road with Jesus taking baby steps, you might consider welcoming a bum into that fancy guest room you have going empty in your house night after night.  Start there.  If you do that, you will risk much, but you will introduce him to Jesus.  And he will introduce you to Jesus.  And both of you will find you are just barely getting to know this Man you have heard so much about.


The Gift of Neediness

Let this bake your noodle. You were made to be needy and neediness is important for God’s work in His creation. Hmmm… There is more value in the bum than it seems.

Bill's basement blog

“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Apostle Paul

“Lord, I need you, oh, I need you…” Matt Mahar

Last night Darlene and I watched Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways. It’s always fun to see people get gifts, that’s part of why we love Christmas so much. In the middle of the program something dawned on me…the greatest giving stories are always stories in which there is great need. It’s people with the greatest needs who enjoy their gifts the most. I’ve never seen a program in which they find someone who is living comfortably in a $300,000 home and surprise them with $200,000 to buy a $500,000 home. Last night, they found a homeless mom living with her two daughters in her car and gave her a new house. That’s what we want to see! In her case, it was good to be needy!

Actually, it’s always…

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In Today’s Sublines and Footnotes (Far Away From the Headlines)

In the Headlines

It’s COLD out there today.  Was last night too.  The night before that and expected for tomorrow as well.  People are suffering the cold from coast to coast.  (Global warming, probably.)  And anyone with a home, a car, a commute to work, and/or  an outdoor pet and plant is getting the news!  It’s cold.  It’s making HEADLINES!

I have yet to see the TV news castors put a homeless bum on TV with a mic asking how they handle the cold, but I certainly see how every commuter on the Eastern Seaboard suffers it.

In the Sublines

Meanwhile, one of my regular readers here at Fat Beggars sends me multiple links to stories about a SCOTUS decision NOT to hear the City of Boise v. Martin case, which is seen as a victory by homeless rights activists.  (They have activists???)

This means cities like LA, SF, Seattle and many other places where the streets are jammed with homeless people cannot kick people off public property and sidewalks for sleeping.  “Those people” have a right to be there unless affordable housing and/or emergency shelter is available to them.


This, IT SEEMS, puts pressure on municipalities to make such shelter available rather than just rounding up rough sleepers and ticketing or incarcerating them – or so goes the editorial wisdom.  However, the attorneys for the cities wishing to criminalize the homeless at just that point are saying they wanted to go to SCOTUS with this case so they can determine exactly what the cities are supposed to do.

In the Footnotes of History


The cities don’t know?

How about we go to city hall and say, “WWJD?” and clear that right up for them???

Oh, wait.  That will be meaningless to city hall.  Huh?  Due to separation of the Body of Jesus and State, city government can’t speak WWJD? at all.  They are deaf to it.

Well, that is what we find in the footnotes today.  I didn’t see ANYTHING about it on the national news TV this morning.  Not a peep.

So, it looks like to me that the cities are already making way for the IDK excuse.  I doubt this means they will actually throw up their hands and give in, but they will appeal to the IDK excuse as they kick the can down the road again.

In the GOOD NEWS of Israel’s God

Now for the footnotes to the footnotes.

You know what isn’t even making the sublines in this?

Your church.

Now if I go to your church and ask, “WWJD?”, then at least I have gone to the people who supposedly this question has meaning.  Surely the church speaks WWJD?  – right???   Do you think the church is listening?  Or is the church waiting for the city to act?  Is the church waiting for the city to offer directions on this?

Why doesn’t the church take the lead here???

Isn’t the church the very Body of Christ?  And isn’t the Body of Christ the very answer to the world’s problems??  And doesn’t that, if the church takes this seriously, provide salvation and good news to the city???

How about if the church moves out of the footnotes and into the headlines with the GOOD NEWS of Jesus?

I have read about this kind of thing in Acts 2 and 4.  The church takes care of the poor!  And the Good news we find making a small splash in Acts 2 and 4 keeps spreading and building steam until it reaches Rome.  And the last verse of that book says that the Good News there is UNLEASHED!

Look out world!  God is coming!  And the care of the homeless and poor is right on the cutting edge of his mission and message!

Come on church.  Read your book!  Show some faith.  The world is anxiously waiting for the revelation of the sons of God (Romans 8:19).  That is OUR job!  Not the city’s and not SCOTUS.  Ours.

Get the GOOD NEWS out there!