***Update***: This story is from 2000, just FYI. Thanks to everyone who pointed that out.
Just read the headline:
The gist of that particular article is that Unity Truth Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba created a food bank to help feed the hungry — a wonderful gesture by any group of people — but they’re shutting it down for a couple different reasons.
1) It’s attracting unpleasant clientele:
… The church’s board of trustees made the decision to cancel the bimonthly food bank after receiving an e-mail from a sister church in Victoria.
“Most clients of food banks have not yet come to a sense of personal responsibility in life. They are still in denial, blame or seeing the world as owing them,” wrote Rev. David Durksen of the Unity Church of Victoria.
Unity Truth Centre’s new minister Charlotte Prossen says the notion that they’re shutting down the food bank because of unpleasant clientele is bunk. But she won’t elaborate on specific reasons it wasn’t working for them. Instead, she offers a different reason…
2) Prossen wants the church to get back to the basics:
Prossen says people in the congregation meant well when they first decided to get involved in the food bank.
But she says the group had been without a minister or leadership for years, and now, it needs to return to more spiritual pursuits.
“I don’t know why it would be hard to understand that we are a church and we must identify ourselves as that in our community. We need to use our space, to introduce our programs to the community.”
Ms. Prossen praised the work done by food banks, and said the church will still collect food for baskets but focus more on people’s spiritual hunger.
Right… Why feed the hungry when you can deliver sermons about how important it is to feed the hungry?
You know, far be it from an atheist to tell Christians how to be “better Christians” or how to run their church…
But I’m pretty sure you’re doing it wrong.
I’m not just saying that. Hell, you’re doing it wrong based on the very beliefs you espouse on your church’s website:
Unity is positive, practical Christianity, teaching effective daily application of the principles of truth taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ.
One Christian blogger is appalled by Prossen’s decision:
When I worked in the counselling office I saw 5 guests a day, and I didn’t throw them out if they weren’t my kind of person. As a Christian EVERY person is my kind of person. And they required not only spiritual food but also physical nourishment that their life circumstances couldn’t always provide for them. And we provided it for them. Not to say that I got any time off from Purgatory for this, or that anyone else did, for that matter. That’s not why this particular Christian church provided food for hungry people. It’s because that is exactly what Jesus expects of us.
You can eyeroll at the Christianese, but I’m pretty sure most church-going Christians hold that stance as well.
So to any Christians in Winnipeg who want to hear meaningless words, Unity Truth Centre has a service for you. But if you want to apply the principles you talk about in church, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
I suggest a Humanist group. At least they’re not interested in mere lip service when it comes to helping others.
(Thanks to Rich for the link)