Guest Post: It’s Not About The Food

I “met” Katherine online a couple of years ago via WordPress. I think I found her on Freshly Pressed, clicked over, and was hooked. We began to read each other’s blogs and comment. Conversations sprang up via email, and a friendship has grown.

She responded kindly, via email, to my post “What If Our Rights Don’t Matter?” She pointed out some things I hadn’t considered, and I spent a lot of time thinking about it as a result. Certain portions of the message, such as the priority God commands that we place on helping “the least of these” in the family of Christ, I thought were self-evident, but I didn’t make that clear enough.

So, I invited her to turn her email into a guest post I could put up on my blog for my readers to consider as well. Without further ado, Katherine’s words. Take them to heart, consider them, and join the discussion in the comments section!

Image shared by Katherine T.

Image shared by Katherine T.

I learned a lot in the Sunday School of my folks’ church. Bible stories stuck in my brain, waiting, like seeds, in the desert of my being.

Many parched rebellion years later, the rain fell. Sunday School stories grew into real life.

I had a lot of Bible memorized, thanks be to those who had required it of me. Every bit of it bore fruit.

Almost every bit of it was contrary to most denominations, including my parents’.

Even non-denominations held pet beliefs tightly, beliefs that countered the Bible.

I know, I know, your denomination is different.

Sadly for us, that’s what they all said.

My husband and I, as we grew in faith, sought a place that believed the entire Bible. Although willing to put up with lots of style differences, we did not find this place. Wherever we went, we also found that if we acted as if we believed the entire Bible, we were ostracized.

Completely.

So, having plenty of children to fill our “pews”, we home-churched. This did not satisfy, of course, as the Bible says we are to be accountable to others (Hebrews 13:17) which our little home church did not allow. So, back we would go to yet another pointy-roofed place, to try again.

It is sad.

I love that Tiff has invited me to guest post about the things we see from a life of digging for the truth unaided, except by each other. I long to share, and pray someone out there really needs to hear this.

Here are a few of my pet peeves about untruths surrounding the Bible.

Censoring the Free
Something that bothers me lots, about the popular teachings of today, is the idea that Peter taught civil disobedience. Every time I hear that my brain scrambles. I do not believe it’s so.

I was taught that when Peter said, “We must obey God rather than man,” (Acts 5:29) he referred to the fact that he HAD freedom of speech, which Rome had granted. It was the spiritually weak/dead religious crowd that tried to force Peter into silence, flouting the laws of the land, and usurping authority.

Peter did not break the law when he spoke; the Pharisees broke it when they censored free speech.

I was taught that we are to obey the laws of our land (Titus 3:1) and not to follow those who disobey them. Following a “church” leader violating the established law would lead to total chaos, which God hates.

Financing the Drugs
It also kills me to see God’s money given to people we know spend it on drugs and other slavery. This is patently wrong.

  • It accessorizes drug violation, pornography, prostitution, and child slavery.
  • It wastes funds, given in good faith, on activities I am sure no
    rational person approves.

This happens in the name of helping the poor.

I just shake my head.

We are helping them BE the poor.

I see movies where pastoral types give money to hoodlums, trying to win them to Christ. Ridiculous! They mark us for the easy marks we are.

I KNOW! Jesus said, “…unto the least of these…” (Matthew 25:40) Did YOU know He also added the words, “…my brothers…” which means this verse aims at relieving the poverty of the Christians?

That is what the early Church did. (1 Corinthians 16:1)

If we read it with Christian wisdom, instead of worldly humanitarian mind-speak in our heads, we realize the Word says “brother” when it speaks of monetary aid in the New Testament.

Why the differentiation? People who relate to Christians as brothers in the faith are open to correction. Giving to them will not help them destroy anyone. Flagrant giving to others would be very wrong. Giving God’s money to His enemies would be treachery.

I was taught that in the Old Testament, everything it said about feeding the poor, in general, was speaking TO Israel as a nation and ABOUT Israel as a nation. (Proverbs 19:17, among many) They were the embodiment of God’s will on earth then, punished for not being Godly, and like the church and like the family, if they did not take care of their own, they were worse than unbelievers.

The Bible gives us a 3-part picture of caring for your own, presented first in Israel, second in the Church, and third, in the family. (1 Timothy 5:8) If you don’t take care of them, who will?

Talking About the Weather
I was taught that just as God causes His sun and rain to benefit the unrighteous as well as the righteous, (Matthew 5:45) we are to offer the gospel to the difficult, as well as to the easy-to-love. If it will help, then in those cases, it is Christ-like (Matthew 14:13-21) to extend a hand to go with it, such as the church I attended once, that offered “In the Word Luncheon” at noon every Wednesday. The food brought folks in, but while they ate, the preacher taught for 15 minutes.

How MANY Christians just give stuff, or even food, but without showing the source, the door, which is Jesus! He said, “The poor you will always have with you,” (Matthew 26:11) and “You… are looking for me because you … ate the loaves and had your fill.” (John 6:26-27)

Jesus, on that occasion, went on to say it was ALL about the Spirit. He then cranked up the teaching some, after which many fell away. (John 6:60-66) They were already believers, see, were originally there to listen, to be prayed for, to get the higher things.

He deliberately taught something difficult to triage even the believers who were just there for the food.

It’s not about the food.

~Katherine T.

Click here to visit Katherine's blog, "Home's Cool."

Click here to visit Katherine’s blog, “Home’s Cool.”

Katharine is a writer, counselor, retired educator, professional mom, who’s been happily married for 44 years with six grown kids, and 10 grandkids, counting the one due any day. She loves writing, gardening, herbing, cooking, eating, and old movies with popcorn. She blogs over at Home’s Cool and The Conquering Mom, both of which I try to keep up on.

She has begun to be a formative influence in my faith, especially in regard to my home life as a wife and mother. She encourages, exhorts, and even gently rebukes in a humble spirit of love I find impossible to ignore. Not that I would want to.

As a young woman, I find her willingness to say the hard things refreshing, if tough to swallow at times. Still, if I don’t remain teachable, if I don’t search Scripture for myself, if I don’t listen to wise counsel, then what’s the point?

What are your thoughts? Please join the discussion, but keep it civil. I will delete any comments that attack another person’s character in any way. As long as it’s about the issue, have at it.

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Guest Post: It’s Not About The Food

  1. Pingback: Guestpost at Tiffany’s! | Home's Cool!

  2. “I was taught that we are to obey the laws of our land (Titus 3:1) and not to follow those who disobey them. Following a “church” leader violating the established law would lead to total chaos, which God hates.”
    There are still places in this world where being a Christian is against the laws of the land. What do Christians do about that?

    “It also kills me to see God’s money given to people we know spend it on drugs and other slavery. This is patently wrong.” I’ve never understood why drug tests are perfectly fine for the working, but not for the welfare recipient. We agree on this point.

    “Giving God’s money to His enemies would be treachery.” Who are His enemies? The poor, the needy who do not consider themselves Christians. I can not imagine this what you meant, but it most definitely read that way.

    “How MANY Christians just give stuff, or even food, but without showing the source, the door, which is Jesus!”
    The very act of giving is showing the source of love that is Christ. To say you can only eat if you allow us to preach at you is not charitable in any way. It’s proselytizing.

    Christ did not come here to be with the “Godly”. He did not only feed like minded people, he offered love, compassion and healing to those that needed it and asked nothing in return. This is why is he remembered. Being a Christian is not about what roof you sit under on Sunday, or what you make of the Bible as a whole (filled with many crazy ideas regarding slavery, execution and persecution of woman to name a few). Christianity is about being Christ like. If you are truly Christ like, no one would mistake you for anything but just that. Taking care of God’s children, all of them, is what is demanded of us. Segregating ourselves from those who disagree is not being subject to one another. It’s segregation. Which was abolished thanks to civil disobedience.

    I am truly sorry I clicked on this post. The thing about blogland is one post can speak to my heart like a kindred spirit and the next can destroy that. This is one of those post.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, and for your honesty. I encourage you to read my original post to which Katherine was replying. This may also help bring some clarity.

      I am just thankful we can have civil discussion, and as long as we each remain teachable, we can each grow in our knowledge, wisdom, faith, and in grace toward each other.

      Thanks again for commenting!
      -Tiff

  3. Dearest Deidre,
    Wow. I feel as if I did not make my points very well. Thank you for your calm comments, which I appreciate very much, coming from someone who finds this post heartbreaking. I don’t want to appear argumentative, but sincerely hope to answer according to what I perceive are miscommunications on my part. I pray I do no further damage to your heart.
    1. There are still places in this world where being a Christian is against the laws of the land. What do Christians do about that?
    This question is hard to answer because I do not know the laws of every country on earth. I do know the laws of Russia and the Islamic countries, though, so will cover them. Russia’s constitution gives freedom of religion. Its leaders are among the classic persecutors of Christians, though, so ignore their own laws. What the Christians in Russia and in its satellites do about it is they suffer. Period. In Islamic countries Christians should find complete acceptance because everyone there is supposed to follow Mohamed, who wrote that Jesus Christ was one of the great prophets. Again, we find leaders ignoring their own proclamations of faith and bearing down hard on the Christians. Again, what Christians do is they suffer. Just as in Russia, and in Jerusalem of the first century, they suffer and die most calmly and inspiringly, often much as Paul and Silas did.
    2. I’ve never understood why drug tests are perfectly fine for the working, but not for the welfare recipient. We agree on this point.
    Actually, I really did miscommunicate, here, for I was not writing of welfare or even of drug testing, but of Christian charity and of what the Bible actually teaches. The Bible teaches, in 1 Corinthians 13, that it is possible to give EVERYTHING I have to the poor and still miss the mark. I was trying to write about that, about how it’s not about what I give, but about how and why. We do not give only because someone is poor. We should, instead, do everything we do because it is God’s will, as expressed in His Word, which is often misquoted almost hopelessly. I was trying to address that constant misquoting and the accompanying misteaching.
    3. Who are His enemies? The poor, the needy who do not consider themselves Christians. I can not imagine this what you meant, but it most definitely read that way.
    I will grant you, I hesitated to use the word “enemies”. I also was not sure about “flagrant”. May I illustrate? Our church, pictured above, is near a ghetto caused by drugs and much other law-breaking. Our parishioners are poor. At any given meeting, the combined pocket money of everyone present would not likely exceed maybe $25. Yet, aggressive beggars visit us often, with false stories, which at first we believed. Then, one week, three different folks came for money for gas with the same story: to take a daughter to a state hospital 2 hours away, and we learned they had visited all the nearby churches and thrift stores with the same corporate story. These people were not friends but enemies, viewing the Church of our Lord as something to be mocked and robbed. Enemies. Giving to them is wrong, even if we were not Christians. Yet society requires Christians to feel guilty about stopping this dole, even when we are peacefully minding our own business inside our own building. Were they poor? Probably. Did they each have injured daughters? Of course not.
    Our church does have a reputation for helping people, though, and we have recently helped a woman who wanted to get off drugs, by paying her way into a rehab place, helping her move, and storing her furniture for her while she was there, plus providing many car rides to places she needed to go while her car was broken, and providing for her child for the duration. We provided what she needed in good faith that she really was trying to go straight. Big difference, one we could scarcely afford, but gave willingly because we believed God was telling us to make this sacrifice. Not because she was poor, but because of God. We HAD given her money,. Before but learned she had lied and was using it for drugs, so had stopped giving her money, frankly disappointed. It was when the money stopped and she was truly starving that she turned to rehab. We have not given her a penny since, and she is clean and employed, supporting her child.
    4. The very act of giving is showing the source of love that is Christ.
    No, people who are very anti-Christian quite often give.
    And people who are Christian often are refused permission to give, or even are allowed to give but disallowed to include even a single Bible verse with the gift. I am saying that is illegal, and we should not participate.
    5. To say you can only eat if you allow us to preach at you is not charitable in any way. It’s proselytizing.
    Here, I’ve missed it again, somehow, and I apologize. I think maybe I failed to anticipate your viewpoint, which I certainly can grasp. However, The IW Luncheons were aimed at the town’s merchants, who came freely, eyes open to the fact that it was in a church, that preaching would be included, and repeatedly returned with great willingness. The food was a tool, only, and it was not about the food, which is the point of this post: It’s not about transient things such as food; it’s about Jesus Christ. Anyone who wanted to come to these luncheons was welcome, Christian or not, rich or poor.
    And Jesus Christ, Himself, was against proselytizing, if by that you mean “buying converts”. He only provided the food because they had willingly been with Him all day and it was a long distance to any food, which probably would have been scarce. And he scolded those who might have been converting only because of the food. He did NOT want that.

    It’s more, really, about those who absolutely refuse to eat, if the food is in a church. There are so many of those out there. It’s hard to believe anyone who is starving would skip food if it means Christ.

    6. Christ did not come here to be with the “Godly”.
    No, He came only to the lost of the house of Israel. But he did promise that His followers would do more than He did. And they did take salvation to the Gentiles.
    7. He did not only feed like minded people, he offered love, compassion and healing to those that needed it and asked nothing in return.
    No. He did largely feed like-minded people. The crowd who gathered in John 6 were followers, believers. They liked Him or wanted to know more about Him. And He did ask for repentance, in return for physical healing.
    8. This is why is he remembered.
    No. He is remembered because of the miracles, because His people keep His memory alive, and because He is the only one who ever arose from the dead on His own power; things like that.
    9. Being a Christian is not about what roof you sit under on Sunday,
    True. But this article is not about that.
    10. or what you make of the Bible as a whole (filled with many crazy ideas regarding slavery, execution and persecution of woman to name a few).
    No. The entire Bible, once believed, is easily seen as essential to Christianity. For instance, once believed, the truth in the Bible clearly liberates women, has the potential to eliminate all executions, and limits slavery to seven years instead of a lifetime.
    11. Christianity is about being Christ like.
    No. It is about absolutely believing everything He taught is really the truth, and walking in it, following His truth, taking up our own cross, following Him.
    12. If you are truly Christ like, no one would mistake you for anything but just that.
    Many mistake Christians for devils. Even in Bible days that happened. They even thought Jesus Christ, Himself, had a devil.
    13. Taking care of God’s children, all of them, is what is demanded of us.
    Yes. And it is to them that believe on His Name that He gives the right to be called His children. (John 1:12-13)
    14. Segregating ourselves from those who disagree is not being subject to one another. It’s segregation. Which was abolished thanks to civil disobedience.
    But the Bible says, “Come out from among them and be separate,” and “Bad company corrupts…”

    I know it hurts to be disappointed, but there is such healing to be had in understanding what I really meant, when I wrote this. I pray I have not further hurt you and that you can gradually come to understanding.

Comments are closed.