Monday, 25 July 2011

I don’t believe in Social Action

Too often social action is described as a project to meet a need.  Some projects and organisation to meet objectives are really helpful, important and necessary, but the poor and needy are not projects to be managed, they are people we are to love and be responsible for.   We cannot, we mustn’t think that because we’re involved in a socially minded project we have fulfilled our obligation to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, heal the sick.  Instead I believe a better terminology would be social responsibility.   It means being aware that our neighbours and strangers we meet have needs, and that we are responsible for meeting those needs. It is to our homes that we are to welcome the stranger, to our table the hungry to be fed, to our wardrobe that the naked are clothed, from our businesses the poor find employment.

If we are blessed with a place to rest our head, with food in our cupboards, with clothes on our back, with employment to earn a living we must not hold it only to ourselves. There is much good that can come from employment and having possessions to share, but we must not become consumed with self advancement or only benefitting our family or our friends. We must walk with eyes open to see where the needs are among our communities.  Galations 6:10 says that ‘as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…. that doesn’t sound like a project environment to me, instead isn’t it a readiness to respond to needs as we discover them.  What then do we need to do differently to be in a responsive position?  Perhaps it might be that we purchase extra food so that we can bless our poorer neighbour (do we really need a food bank to do this? – though again they can really help) it may be that we cut the grass for all of our neighbours. Maybe we take out all the bins. Maybe that we take people shopping or offer to do laundry.  Maybe we look after people’s children so they can go to work? Maybe we help them organise their money?   Whatever the needs are around us, the peril for not responding is clear…  Ezekiel 16:49 tells us that The sin of Sodom was that they were proud, well fed and comfortable but “did not help the poor and needy”..    I hope I can become more socially responsible!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Love: Decision or Emotion?


Adrian Warnock suggests it is a decision.

Dale Krebbs argues it’s a decision and an emotion

So who is right?  Is there another view?

  1. Does it matter as long as there are actions?
  2. Does love proceed or precede the action? – to put it another way, can you ‘make love’ by acting loving towards people you don’t yet have feelings of love for?
  3. Does our understanding of love work for all of love’s applications (romantic, brotherly, plutonic etc)
  4. Does love grow or is it a feeling to be protected?
  5. Does God choose to love (decision), or does he love (feeling)?