About your community project: It’s true that I don’t know all that’s entailed there, but I am most likely in complete disagreement with it. I believe there are already many projects –both government and church help– available to the poor. They provide food, clothing, and English classes –free or at a very low price. I am opposed to churches using their funds to do these things, except for helping truly hurting people who are already a part of the Body of Christ, whether they go to any certain church or not. (Like an elderly or sick or paralyzed shut-in.) Otherwise, there are ample government resources available.
Money, time, and man-power the church derives from its parishioners should be used for furthering the Word and the Gospel, not to volunteer to help the government provide social services. Community centers that house “faith-based” social services are cunning ploys to replace true Christ-centered ministries, silence the Gospel in the name of unity, tolerance, and diversity, and force compliance to federal / global rule rather than obedience to the “intolerant” Word of God, the Bible. You mention Matt. 25:35-40. However, we are all to fulfill that on our own through the leading of the Holy Spirit, not by having to compromise our beliefs in order to gain financial assistance. A “Christian” organization that consistently provides social services for the general populace is part of government or eventually succumbs to its interventions and control. Government and church are to be separate. Otherwise, the secular government and/or secular corporations that are donating funds inevitably win in influence over the church, and the church then becomes diluted, lukewarm, and compromised. As Jesus says in Luke 16:13, it is impossible to serve both God and the world, yet that is precisely what many are foolishly trying to do.
It is shocking that Christians are falling for this infiltration. But they bring the strong delusion upon themselves by refusing to love and read The Truth. Why? Because being too enamored with the world, they make themselves spiritually clueless by using up their time watching movies and sports, indulging in entertainments and comedies, trying to expand their egos as they use chat rooms to show off how hip and culturally relevant they are, shop like they don’t have a house already bursting with junk, and drive here or there on mini-vacations just so they can say they went. Such are the activities of most of today’s “Christians”, yet they complain that they don’t have time for God’s Word. Nor do they know God’s will for their lives, they whine, so when someone comes along and tells them to find their purpose in life by volunteering alongside of them, the “guilt-trip” causes a gullible person to say, “Oh, ah, –okay.” Thus they follow a charlatan, rather than getting to know the God of Scripture and hear what His Spirit teaches.
Church leaders are the ones mostly to blame. They are the ones who say they know God’s Word. So then why are they not sounding the alarm that all this “faith-based” implementation is only a precursor to help bring in the end-times totalitarian regime that converges from such as “The New World Order”, UNESCO’s plan for the 21st Century’s Spirituality, the UN’s “Agenda 21”, Rick Warren’s Global P.E.A.C.E. plan, the agenda of the Roman Catholic Church, and the agendas of the World Christian Movement and other Dominionists? Do they not see that these social services are only masquerading as services of compassion when in reality they are creating a mass data base of information on every detail of one’s personal life –from their held beliefs, values, opinions, and lifestyles, to their financial, medical (physical and mental), and all other background records? How foolish can the church be?! Can it not been seen that once Christians have invested much into these faith-based programs, the government, once it has them completely reliant on their funding, will demand values-teaching that is anti-Christ? Do you think whoever funds these things is going to let you teach for very long that Jesus is Lord and the only hope for their lives?
Well, aside from all that, I also do not agree with the use of peer pressure or intimidation of any kind to get people to volunteer their time to something “for the cause of Christ.” Everyone is to seek the Lord, and yes, everyone is to serve the Lord. But it is not to be accomplished through pressure tactics. People will be eager to serve the Lord once the Word of God is uncompromisingly preached to them, they truly believe, truly repent, and then truly become filled to overflowing with His Holy (yes, compassionate –and powerful) Spirit. Then they will naturally do what God calls them as individuals to do specifically, and they will be empowered to do so by HIM –as they are consistently getting fed the Word of God. THAT, as well as to live holy, is the job of a preacher. We are to use Scripture to teach about God, His ways, His expectations, sinful man’s predicament, to promote holiness, etc., but there is a difference with that and when Scripture is quoted to further one’s own agenda, popularity, or ego. Used for any of the latter, it is just plain “spiritual abuse.”
If a ministry uses the name of Christ to advertise its charities, then nothing but the teaching of the Word of God is to be placed in top priority and top authority. And if the ministry (or “project”) mixes with anything that is of the community’s government (or with secular corporations –private or public), then it is just that: A mixture. And in trying to mix God’s ways with the way the world does things only incurs God’s wrath. But sadly, the apostatizing church is so deceived now that she cannot distinguish the difference.
Of course everything we volunteer for need not be Christian, but you sent out an email saying you felt, “This IS a GOD thing.” To say such a thing in order to get people to come out and help is remarkable. Not only is it not necessarily true, but to say such a thing is a statement of intimidation. “Oh dear,” thinks a person who doesn’t well know his Bible, yet does want to please God. “I better get in on this, because if it’s a ‘God thing’ and I don’t, then God isn’t going to be pleased with me.” Thus, such a statement is almost akin to forcing some people to get out and help.
Also, I do find it strange that “benevolent” American churches and communities continue to think they need evermore assistance to meet their friends, relatives, and neighbors “felt needs” while the rest of the world goes without a full meal a day and has no Scripture in their own language. Sure, it’s not as self-fulfilling and prestigious to send one’s money and efforts to those who can’t repay or provide easy opportunity to control them, but what does that say then about the purity of the “benevolent” motives?
Another area of concern I have involves this weird talk about goals and accountability and teaching… Teaching them what? Life skills? Again, that is not the church’s job –except as it relates strictly to growing in holiness and spiritual maturity. If it has anything to do with jobs, career, etc., that again is for the government. If you guys are baiting people with helping them get their physical needs met and then switching to holding them accountable to “obey God’s Word”, that too I find deplorable. You either give people something free with NO strings attached, or don’t advertise it as free aid. It is good to disciple people in God’s Word, but to “mentor” grown adults or hold them “accountable” –especially with the lure of physical aid– not only does it not change hearts, it’s simply not Scriptural. In fact, the so-called “mentor” only causes reliance on himself while trying to boost his own ego and importance, taking away people’s reliance on hearing from The Counselor for themselves. Certainly many families are not righteous, but we aren’t to try to make them righteous by feeding and clothing them. We feed and clothe them, OR we preach the Word of God to them. We can do both, but only as long as the two are kept from any coercive means whatsoever of relating to each other.
Well, this is my firm opinion on these matters, believing that faith-based programs create danger, distraction, and compromise to the furtherance of the true Gospel of Christ Jesus.