I've read 'open letter of apology' which tinluke posted and it raised some questions. It would fit in that topic better, but I think it would make it go offtopic. Hence this new topic! :-)We are to help the poor, have a merciful heart to the poor, help them, etc. Thats a theme that runs from the OT to the NT.On the other side we have this thing called 'humanism'. Everyone knows about beggars, and usually its annoying cause they want your money. In my city the beggars/homeless sell magazines so they can get some money and have something to do.Are we to help them by buying these magazines? It will probably not bring them to God.Thats where I get reluctant to give them money. Also that you always encounter them at the wrong time. :-P You just bought something or you need the last few euro's to buy something you planned to do.But seriously, did Christ give money to every beggar he would encounter? I'm often not in a position to really help. I would love to send more money to the organizations I recently started to support. And if I have some extra cash I would rather give it to Christian organizations then to some beggars on the street. But this is not helping the beggars is it? One could argue that it would not help either if you would buy a magazine from them.. but what about love? Or humanism? I've already thought about the possibility to give a tract in return if I buy a magazine. But I think that they would only accept the tract because you buy something from them. Even then I could only do it once or twice before I seriously have to sacrifice things for myself. And thats what I will rather do for the christian organizations.Since I cannot give to all I am being selective and the beggers with their Impuls magazine lose from the christian organisations who are not going to help these beggars in my city. If I would able to give to all should I just buy a magazine from every beggar (and give tracts) and hope that atleast one sees the light?If I could help rebuild the lives of the homeless with alot of cash it would just change them from poor sinners to a not-homeless sinner.Wouldn't telling them the gospel while giving them a chance to rebuild their lives just be accepted due to the cash? I know that Jesus healed a lot of people. Not all of them would really come to serve the Lord.For example Luke 17:12-17. Only one returned. Is that the risk we have when we try to help all?Is it Christlike to not reply when a beggar or homeless guy asks you to buy his magazine?Is that loving? Or..If anyone can shed some light on this. :-)
i dont know if this give you some light, but often times there is a man who is a drug/alcoholic addict and he often comes to my church, he always asks for money, since i used to have those problems i know what he needs it for, people do buy him somethings to eat and offer him cofee and so on, and some give him money but most people just walk by him, i know there is a passage where it says we should cloath and feed people and im all for this, but this man even when feed and cloathed and money in his pocket is still going to hell.... so when he asks me , i told him...i cant give you anything...but i can tell you about christ...about jesus... and then he left....i belive we should give to the poor...feed the hungry... but we cant feed them all.... we cant give them all clothes...but we can share christ whit them, and when doing that can we feed someone thats wonderful, this is one of thoose things we need to be walking in the spirit... the spirit will guide us to do what is right just at that time... if we should give or if we shouldentchristian
Over 10 years ago, I was in Newark, NJ and a man came up to me and ask for some money because he was hungry. Since I had just started the job I was doing as a truck driver, I didnt have very much money. During this time I was eating out of cans to be able to have something to eat until pay day. I told the man I could help him with his hunger and then went to the cab of the truck and brought out my supply of can food. The man told me he didnt want that.Over the years as a truck driver I have been duped quite a few times by people who told of a need and really were lying. Once, I stopped at a service area on I-95 in New York and a man came up with a note that said, Dont be afraid, I am deaf and need money to get back home on the train. About a year later the same man approached me with a note the same way. This time I didnt give him any money. A few minutes later, while sitting in my truck, I watched this guy empty another drivers pockets that was across the lot. I dont know if he was really deaf or not.Ive seen this at a truck chapel ministry too. Many road people have stories to try to get money. The best way to identify who you are talking to is to ask questions. Some people are legitimate and some arent. Its my opinion that we arent going to help someone by going along with their lies, so it is important to be able to discern the lie and let the person know you dont believe him or her. Again, you often can do this by asking questions.There are people who really do need help and lie to try to get help. Even if the person has lied, you try to help the person if you can. If you can look at the person and think that the Lord brought him or her to you, it is easier to help them. By realizing that man is made in Gods image and that the Lord would have no one to perish, it is easier to help those that are filthy with sin. Praying with them is the best way to help them whether you have any substance to help them with or not. Remember, your steps are ordered by the Lord.Heb 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.GaryE
There is another story that I should share. Over 25 years ago, while I was a volunteer at a mission, there was a man with one leg that told me that every bit of money he gets he spends on booze. Weeks later this man approached me on the street outside the mission and ask me for some money. He said he was hungry. Of course I remembered what he had said about the booze and I hesitated to do this. I ended up giving the man the little bit of money I had at the time. The next time I saw this man he was reading a bible. Who knows what the Lord is doing.GaryE
There is a man that I see quite often walking up and down the street as I wait for the bus asking people for money. He comes to me once and a while and he makes up an extravegant story each visit perhaps to soften me up so that I will emathize for him. My brother wondered if he used the money for booze so he asked him and the homeless man said that he quit a long time ago because of a bad experience. He said that he uses the money for Coca-Cola. Shoot, I don't know whether he is lying about it or not but I thought it would be a good idea to buy a case of bottled pop and give one to him each time I saw him. I don't know what will happen, we'll see I guess.
Mat 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Who knows what the Lord is doing.
Hello, just dropping in. I have been lead to really study the sermon on the mount lately and I believe that Jesus means what he says. Mike Bickle in a sermon shared that God was bringing the church back to this very thing. Go the extra mile, give your coat too, turn the other cheek, etc. I think that in place of giving money to street people it is much better to take them a meal or give them warm clothes if they appear cold. If they are alcoholics it will only more firmly entrench them in their bondage to give them money. Love is practical. Maybe a job is in order if that is possible. Just my opinion. kathy
I remember giving a homeless guy in SXM some bananas. He ate them and trew the peelings on the street. :-( One time I asked why he didn't get a job. He said something about work papers not getting in. Seemed as a lie to me, but I was not sure. A housemate of mine suspected he was on drugs. I saw that he really bought food from the cash I gave so thats why I gave him cash when he asked occasionaly.At times I find myself ignoring him just pretending I didn't see him. This seems unloving to me.Perhaps it is the extra mile what is required.As for the homeless guys who sell the magazines.. I guess I could buy a magazine each month and give a tract when I buy a magazine. Now I only need to design a tract and print them.Thank you for the advice, experiences and the bibleverses! Keep getting them in. :-)
My brother and I know a homeless guy in our town where we preach open air, we always talk to him, he has had every tract we've written, and we gave him a bible. I often give him money even when I don't have a lot myself (spare, that is). I have never asked what he does with the money and we don't pester him about Jesus, he hears us when we preach, he knows we are there twice a week, if he wants to know more he will ask us.My belief is it's better to give ten liars a pound or two, than to miss one genuine needy person. This does't mean not to ask questions or to avoid the ones we know are fakes. I also go along with buying food and clothes for those who need them. There are so many people out there, we are not asked to help them all but if we don't help any then we are failing in our calling.May I add, we also have to be careful which charities we give to, I used to collect for one which calls itself 'Christian' and 'non political' but I found out on the internet, some of the money it had went to Islamic groups, and it was quoted as being anti-Israel.We must be good stewards of our money, if we are faithful in a few things we will be faithful in much.Ste
I have not come to a conclusion about how to deal with panhandlers or beggars. However, I'd like to add a couple things to this thread.First, when Jesus sent out His diciples (72 was it?), he told them not to bring any money with them. I believe that this way, the only thing they had to give was the gospel. My wife and I are trying to become a family that gives so much to organisations and our brothers and sisters in Christ that we will honestly not have any money for questionable characters.Second, and I guess this kind of conflicts with my first point, but to give a gift in Jesus name when we can't afford it pleases God much. The woman who threw two coins in the temple offering gave more in Jesus eyes than all the others who gave.What a difficult problem to resolve!