Archive for the ‘compassion for the poor’ Category

I used to think I was poor.

September 16, 2009

I used to think I was poor. Then they told me I wasn’t poor, I was needy. They told me it was self-defeating to think of myself as needy, I was deprived. Then they told me underprivileged was overused. I was disadvantaged. I still don’t have a dime. But I have a great vocabulary.

Jules Feiffer

This reminds me of the politically correct brigade who change the words of (usually negative) things (e.g. ‘fat’, ‘self-indulgent’, ‘greedy’ etc.) to cover reality – rather like the Emperor’s New Clothes.

He impoverishes himself out of love

September 10, 2009

(a Christian) impoverishes himself out of love, so that he is certain he may never overlook a brother in need, especially if he knows he can bear poverty better than his brother. He likewise considers the pain of another as his own pain. And if he suffers any hardship because of having given out of his own poverty, he does not complain.

Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 190, misc. bk.4, ch.7

The gospel of generosity and peace

September 10, 2009

We who used to value the acquisition of wealth and possessions more than anything else now bring what we have into a common fund and share it with anyone who needs it. We used to hate and destroy one another and refused to associate with people of another race or country. Now, because of Christ, we live together with such people and pray for our enemies.

Justin Martyr, First Apology, ch.14

Generosity to the poor

August 24, 2009

As Whitefield rode with a friend through the wild Border country…they met a widow woman whose goods were about to be distrained for debt, so George gave her five gold guineas. His friend remonstrated, saying it was more than he could afford – the reply, ‘When God brings a case of distress before us, it is that we may relieve it.’

They rode on into the hills. A highwayman sprang out at them, pistole cocked. They had no escape. The highwayman cantered off with the pockets of their pockets – was it not better that the widow had those five guineas than the thief? Then the highwayman returned demanding George’s coat in return for his tattered garment. Ten minutes later they heard hooves coming again but they fled reaching safety – inside the coat was a purse containing a hundred guineas!

John Pollock, George Whitefield, pp.185-186

Compassion for the poor

August 23, 2009

This is also theft, not to share one’s possessions.  Not to share our own wealth with the poor is theft from the poor…

For our money is the Lord’s, however we may have gathered it. If we provide for those in need, we shall obtain great plenty. This is why God has allowed you to have more: not for you to waste on prostitutes, drink, fancy food, expensive clothes, and all the other kinds of indolence, but for you to distribute to those in need. Just as an official in the imperial treasury, if he neglects to distribute where he is ordered, but spends instead for his own indolence, plays the penalty and is put to death, so also the rich man is a kind of steward of the money which is owed for distribution to the poor,

St John Chrysostom, On Wealth and Poverty. Trans. Catharine P. Roth (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1984), 49-50.
John Chrysostom (c. 347-407)

Generosity

August 23, 2009

That bread which you keep belongs to the hungry; that coat which you preserve in your wardrobe, to the naked; those shoes that are rotting in your possession, to the shoeless; that gold which you have stored away, to the needy. Wherefore, as often as you were able to help others, and refused, so often did you do them wrong.

Basil of Caesarea (c. 329-379)