Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Poverty: The Ripped Bible

What I've done is probably going to cause a lot of controversy amongst my readers.  Some of you guys may be shocked and angered.  You may call me a hypocrite, and you may say that what I've done is sacrilegious and blasphemous.  On the other hand, I think that a lot of you will be positive about what I have done, and you may even want to do this yourself.

What I've done is cut up a Bible.

It was an old King James Bible I got when I was about ten years old.  It's been sitting on my shelf for years, gathering dust.  I prefer the New International Version and I have a newer Bible that I read each day instead of my older Bible.

Now before you start to feel indignant, I would like you to stay seated and keep reading what I have to say.  I did not cut up my Bible because I was angry with God or because I disagreed with things that the Bible has to say.  No, the reason I cut up my Bible was to make a point.

I cut out every verse in the Bible that has to do with poverty and helping the needy.  The reason why I did this was partially to prove to myself exactly how much importance that God places on serving the less fortunate.  I also did this so that I could have tangible and physical evidence to show people and be able to honestly say, "Look at what our Bible is, at what our faith is, without us serving the poor and the destitute."

I suspected that there would be many sections chopped out of the Bible after this experiment- big holes eradicated from God'sWord- but I was shocked to discover what was left of my Bible after I had removed the verses about helping the poor and the needy.  My Bible was completely tattered.  There was little left of its pages.  It was unreadable, unusable.

When Christians do not serve the needy, we are not putting into practice what the Bible so strongly emphasizes that we need to do.  We are ignoring these huge sections of God's Word when we should be obeying them with every fabric of our lives.

The Christian church today does not put nearly enough emphasis into service .  Don't get me wrong- some churches are focused on helping the needy in their communities and around the world, but most churches are more focused on other things.  These things are also important, but Christians too often overlook the needs of so many people across the globe, and that gives Christ a bad name.  There are people dying of hunger, thirst, lack of medical care, and poor sanitary conditions every single day.  There are so many people who are living without shoes or a home and who are going through life without an education.  This is a huge problem.

As children of God, we should be following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, the One who said, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me."  (Matthew 25:40, TNIV)  Service was so important to Jesus, and this is reflected throughout the Bible, in the New and Old Testaments.

What makes me cringe is the fact that there are so many more secular efforts to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless than there are Christian efforts.  Why do the big rock stars who are into drugs and sex and worldly things do more for the poor than we as Christians- who are supposed to do what Jesus did and live how He lived on earth- do for the poor?  This puts Christians in a bad light when people think to themselves, "I'm doing more to help the hungry than the people who love God do.  Why would I want to be like them?"  This needs to change right now.

Over the next several weeks I am going to be expanding on this vitally important issue.  I am going to be talking about the greatest needs of the world today in regards to poverty.  I will also talk about what you can do as a Christian, right now, in your community and around the world.  Don't allow your faith in Jesus to be tattered and torn like my Bible because of the fact that you ignore one of His most important commands: to help those who are in need.

What do you think about this topic?  Do you believe that the church has been greatly apathetic in regards to helping the poverty-stricken people throughout the world?  What do you think about my physical evidence (the ripped Bible)?  What do you plan to do to serve the needy in your community?


  1. What makes me cringe is the fact that there are so many more secular efforts to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless than there are Christian efforts.

    This is simply false. Religious people and organizations do more to fight poverty than nonreligious people and secular organizations.

    Arthur C. Brooks, writing for Stanford University's Policy Review, found that 91% of religious people donate money to charity while only 66% of secularists do. 67% of religious people volunteer at a charity while only 44% of secularists do. In fact, religious people are 25 percentage points more likely to donate to charity than a secularist is. In fact, Brooks found that whether you were religious determined whether you would give money to charity more than any other factor (such as political ideology, income, or education).

    And when it comes to amount, Brooks also found that religious people give more than secularists. The average secularist donates $642 a year while the average religious person donates $2,210 a year.

    Religious people and organizations do more to fight poverty than nonreligious people and secular organizations. That doesn't mean we should just pat ourselves on the back and go on with our business. Yes, Christians give more than non-Christians. But are Christians giving as much as they could? No. Are they giving as much as they should? No.

    So Christians could and should do more to fight poverty, but it is simply untrue to say non-Christians are doing more than Christians to fight poverty.

  2. Matthew, that article is far too old to be relevant or accurate.

    Her point is this - the church doesn't go out into the world, but they are indignant that the world come to them. We invite people to churches to eat meals, rather than bring them food to their feet. We offer to clothe them if they show up for a rummage sale, rather than giving them the coat off our back. Jesus demands more than the church gives.

  3. You know....there is a part of the bible that says that anyone who takes from or adds to it will be cursed. Just saying...its something you might wanna think about...

  4. I love this! Think I'll cut mine up too:)

  5. Absolutezero, you're taking that verse out of context. I assume you mean Revelation 22:18-19, which says: "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll."

    First of all, this verse is discussing the prophecies of the book of Revelation, but most importantly, it's talking about changing God's Word and truly taking verses out of Scripture (or adding them) and teaching like they were never there. I wasn't cutting anything out of the Bible that I disagreed with and I will never teach from that Bible. I actually still kept those verses in a little box so I could show people an opposite example: look how much was written about helping the needy. I was using the Bible as an emphasis of how much is missing if you ignore what the Bible says about helping the needy.

    I hope this can help you (and anyone else who was wondering the same thing) better understand. :)

  6. Wow, this really makes you think!

  7. this was absolutely beautiful! =)

  8. This is amazing. I can't wait to read more!

  9. That's an interesting way to make a point, cut it out and show us how little is left. I think reaching a helping hand out to those in need is very important and thank you for the encouragement. =]

  10. wow, you cant read it now? that sure does prove something.
    ill i can think of is donate to the salvation army.
    small, and i dont give much.
    but mabey one day i will serve soup.

  11. your blog was cool