“Throughout the history of the church, Christians have recognized that we cannot pray ‘Our father’ together on Sunday and deny bread to our brothers and sisters on Monday. But we live in difficult days. The hungry are not just hungry. Often they are our enemies. Drug addiction and mental illness make many who are hungry hard to deal with. They threaten us. Others have been hungry for so long that they are angry, even at those of us who want to help. We worry about how to protect ourselves from them while at the same time feeling guilty for our complicity in their poverty. So we give to charities. And charities become the brokers for our compassion toward the poor. The problem with this is that we never get to know the poor. Though we have been made children of god together with them in Jesus Christ, we never sit down to eat with our hungry brothers and sisters… Many Christians are concerned about the breakdown of nuclear families (and rightly so), but we often just accept the breakdown of God’s family.” (Becoming the Answers to Our Prayers: Prayer for Ordinary Radicals; Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, 39)
1. What are you thoughts on the breakdown of the global Christian family?
2. Why is it so difficult for financially stable Christians to get to know the poor?
3. Is charity something that financially stable Christians use sometimes to alleviate guilt, while finding the easy way out? (The intention of the above quote or this question is not to state that anyone needs to stop giving financially to justice organizations)
4. What other thoughts on the above quotation do you have to offer?