I have been meaning to post this article I wrote back in September...it's a goodie:
World Hunger: The Church's Responsibility
This blog was created so that you had the option to read the full length 1000 word article that I wanted to post in the Chimes...but they made me had a 800 word limit. It does not make me happy that other things could have just been excluded to address REAL issues in the Christian world today. I hope that if you are reading this blog that you will not give up on the Chimes. I hope that you will continue to read was is published and fight against anything that is not glorifying to our Lord Jesus Christ. Our school newspaper represents us and I think it should be something we are proud of. Thank you for taking the time to read my article in entirety, and I look forward to any questions or comments you may have. There is obviously a lot more to say about this subject. Please visit this site:
to read the article that inspired this article. Thank you.
Imagine yourself walking leisurely around a lake and suddenly you hear a furious sound of splashing; you realize that there is a child who has fallen in the lake who apparently can’t swim. You are able to swim. What do you do? Do you jump in and save that child or do you turn your back and keep on walking?
I think we would all say that we would jump into the lake and save the child. It would seem to be the natural thing to do, especially if we are able to swim. I am using this analogy to bring into the light an issue that we all too often turn our back on, the issue of world hunger. In my research and countless hours of prayer over this issue, I have come to the conclusion that world hunger is the church’s problem. We should not be relying solely on the government. Jesus Christ has called us as Christians to take action against world hunger and I believe the church has the resources to solve the issue.
Did you know that hunger kills 24,000 people a day (foodforthehungry.org)? Five times as many people die from hunger every day than there are students at BIOLA. World hunger is moving at a rampant rate throughout the world and it seems as if no one is recognizing the statistics. As I start my senior year here at BIOLA, I think of all the money I have spent coming to this school and I feel sick to my stomach. I often cry out to God, “Please Lord, forgive me if I have it all wrong!” I feel this way because when I sit down and read the gospels, these are the things that cross my eyes: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Matt 19:21 NIV). We also see in Matthew 16:24, Jesus is telling us that “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (NIV). There seems to be a pattern here; one of first denying ourselves and selling what we don’t need to survive, and only then following after Christ. Matthew chapter 5 tells us to “give to the one who asks of you” (NIV); I believe that the scriptures clearly are telling us that world hunger is the church’s responsibility.
I am convinced we are missing it. I think churches are wrong when they only use 10% of their tithe for “missions”. I think we are kidding ourselves it when we treat our money like it actually belongs to us. I recently read a paper written by a Ray Mayhew titled, “Embezzlement: The Corporate Sin of Contemporary Christianity”, and was astonished at what his research had found: “In the latest edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia, the estimated personal income of Christians world-wide (Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox) was around $15 trillion. The amount given to the church and Para-church bodies was in the region of $276 billion – not nearly what it should be, but still a lot of money. The United Nations has calculated that for $35-$40 billion per year, basic social services could be provided to all the poorest people on the planet. This includes both primary schooling and basic health care and nutrition” (relationaltithe.com). Apparently Christians had the resources and the ability to provide for the worlds poorest people! Where did that $276 billion dollars go? It’s really not that hard of a question to answer. I look around my church and see big plasma TV’s for my viewing pleasure, soft chairs, air conditioned room, and free breakfast. Then I return to school and see signs of men from the 1950’s blown up and hanging from our gym and I am encouraged to give my opinion on whether I think it’s okay to spend $8,000 to throw a birthday party for BIOLA. Can’t we just make a cake and send the spare money to some brothers and sisters in need? Seriously, where is the money going? Not only is Christ calling us to the issue of world hunger but we, as the church, have the ability to solve the problem!
I am not trying to be a hypocrite. I claim to follow after Christ, but I will still buy a new jacket any day (even though I have about 10) rather then sending my extra cash to people in need. Materialism can be a hard habit to break. This article is not about making you feel guilty. I don’t expect for you to tithe more than 10% or coerce you into never buying new clothes. The point of bringing my opinion to you is so you can become aware of the situation so we can fight this battle together. You have read the statistics and you now know that we have the resources to help. I dream of the day that Christians can step up and take responsibility for what Christ has called us to do. I want to see the headline that reads, “Christians end world poverty”. Dr. Mickey Klink reminded our class the other day that we need to be asking God for wisdom. The money issue for Christians today is so incredibly hard to understand. Therefore, just as Dr. Matt Williams has encouraged us to take a jump this year, my prayer is that we will address the problem of materialism within the Christian world in America. I hope that we will be praying for wisdom in dealing with the issue of world hunger, and that we will be able to see the church take hold of her responsibility and unite together as one body to make this issue a priority. We are turning our backs on a sea of drowning people while we are holding life vests in our hands. As the next generation of Christ followers, it’s time to jump in to help.