Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Problem with I Believe...But...

"I believe no child should go hungry, but not if it comes out of tax dollars."

"I believe no one should go hungry, but not if it comes out of tax dollars."

"I believe no one should go hungry, but if they are on food stamps, then I should get to dictate what they can and cannot buy."

"I believe no one should go hungry, but if they are on food stamps, then they should get drug tested."

"I believe...but...." 

Stop right there!

I believe. STOP! No buts allowed. 

What would Jesus do? What does Jesus say?

Feed the hungry. PERIOD.

Take care of the poor. PERIOD.

Take care of the sick. PERIOD.

Take care of the widow. PERIOD.

Visit the imprisoned. PERIOD.

Clothe the naked. PERIOD.

Shelter the homeless. PERIOD.

Yet oddly enough, many so-called Christians try to set conditions to taking care of the least of these (Matthew 25:31-46). 

Why?

When you, a Christian, say, I believe, but, you are saying I do not believe God is capable of doing his will unless I make conditions for how His will should be done. You place limits on God. Stop doing that!

When you die, you will face your judgement. What will you say when you are asked if you believe in Jesus? Will you say, "I believe, but?" 

Let your yes be yes, and let your no be no. There is no BUT allowed. 

You either believe that no child or no person should go hungry or you don't. You cannot place conditions on how that is done. After all Jesus didn't. 

I am still trying to picture Jesus when he handed out the loaves and fish saying go pee in this cup then I will feed you. No. He would have just said, "here is your food. Peace be with you." Or, "here is your food. Now to in peace." 

To all the lawmakers, media reporters, church ministers, or other Christians out there reading this, stop demonizing the least of these. We have a voice just like you do, and we have the right to the same basic dignity and respect that you do. Either be compassionate because you do believe that is what you should do, or don't. No more half-wit attempts. 

What we do and do not eat does not affect you personally. It never has. It never will. 

Stop cutting SNAP because you think that is what God would want. Stop cutting Social Security for the elderly or the poor and the disabled because you think that is what God would want. Stop cutting veterans benefits because you think that is what God would want. Stop trying to repeal the ACA because you think that is what God would want. Just stop. If you are a Christian and involved in politics, then you have one job, and that job is to figure out a way to strengthen the social safety net programs that exist to help the least of these. And THAT is what God demands. 

No strings attached. Take care of the least of these and you will be rewarded. Fail to take care of the least of these and you will be punished. "For how you treat the least of these is how you treat Me." Jesus basically said that twice. That means it is important. 

God, I believe. When I feel tempted to say, "I believe, but," stop me and remind me that my yes is to be yes and my no is to be no. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!




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