No Christian Beggar
Never did I attempt to sound so scholarly in any of my posts. As much as possible, I see to it that my choice of words are simple. My aim in each post is to communicate clearly simple ideas and basic truth. From time to time I would throw a couple of bible verse, not over explaining it, allowing the word of God to speak for itself.
Let me admit from here that I am most influenced by Pastor Francis Chan, a Chinese pastor pastoring an American church. His down-to-earth way of persuading his readers and listeners has been adopted by my system.
In this post, allow me to talk about Psalm 37:25 and Acts 2:42-47. You may correct me if I got the verse wrong and may criticize if I’m out of context.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
25 I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his [a]descendants begging bread.
This psalm is by David, the 2nd king of Israel. Some commentaries say this is an observation of David. If you read the whole chapter you would notice that David is speaking of truth. He is speaking of how God delivers His people.
Is David saying that you will not go hungry if you are a child of God? Does this mean that no christian should be literally poor?
I think about our present situation after Typhoon Haiyan left us homeless. Being the only christian in the family requires a lot of faith to keep your family hoping and to keep yourself believing. For a couple of times in my mind I was saying ‘David must be wrong’. You can’t just say to your family ‘we’re gonna be okay’ and to your friends say ‘our family is fine’.
Does people in my church knew my circumstances? Yes. Did anyone offer help? No. Did anyone ask if I needed something? No. Do I have to proactively beg to them for help? I don’t know. It’s funny how people from Canada and US inquires of you sincerely yet none among your church does. Am I bitter towards the church? No. Our church is a helping church. Every week we bring goods and stuff to be given away in our scheduled outreach program coupled with a medical mission.
Churches today are like that. Giving has become a program and not a habit. I think about the early church and how they took care of each other.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and [a]to prayer.
43 [b]Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and [c]signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed [d]were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread [e]from house to house, they were taking their [f]meals together with gladness and [g]sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding [h]to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Verses 44 and 45 is offensive to our individualistic culture. Keeping in mind the psalm of David I think the early church has understood this psalm very well. They understood that no child of God should be begging or lacking anything for God provides through the generosity of the church. If this early church practice is something we think not applicable to our generation then I think we should stop calling our selves church. We are not suppose to grab anyone to become member of the church and not be willing to love and care for that person. A sympathy should not be enough for the church is a body. A mouth doesn’t say to the hurting stomach, ‘I feel for you’ and not take food to ease the pain.
David saw it, the early church did it, our generation however says we can’t be it. If we can’t be it let’s not be a church. If we are a church then we can definitely be it.
This might be my last post for the year and I’m not sure when can I post again. I would come visit and do some reading when I get the chance. For now I’m leaving you dear readers with my trusted co-authors. God bless you and may you meet Him soon.