Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'compassion'

God Hears the Compassionate

“If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.” Proverbs 21:13 I remember being very young and hearing a minister dramatically describe the flames and fires of hell in a sermon. Continue Reading...

Faith, Funding, and Substance Abuse

Why might there be “increasing participation by religious organizations in offering substance abuse treatment funded by federal government vouchers”? Perhaps because, at least in part, “A program’s faith element relates to the people they serve and the type of help they provide, as programs with more explicit and mandatory faith-related elements are likely to be substance-abuse programs.” Thus, the more explicitly faith-filled substance abuse programs will increasingly face a special temptation to take federal funds for such purposes. Continue Reading...

Myths Christians Believe about Wealth and Poverty

Dr. Jay W. Richards Dr. Jay W. Richards gave an impassioned address at the heavily attended Acton Lecture series yesterday titled, “Myths Christians Believe about Wealth and Poverty.” This topic was especially relevant for me because I graduated from a Wesleyan Evangelical seminary, which constantly preached and proclaimed so many myths Richards addressed, especially “the piety myth.” This was a big problem in seminary, as the gospels were often linked to promoting the modern welfare state, and its goals of wealth redistribution. Continue Reading...

CARE Says ‘No’ to Federal Money

From today’s NYT: “CARE, one of the world’s biggest charities, is walking away from some $45 million a year in federal financing, saying American food aid is not only plagued with inefficiencies, but also may hurt some of the very poor people it aims to help.” “If someone wants to help you, they shouldn’t do it by destroying the very thing that they’re trying to promote,” said George Odo, a CARE official who grew disillusioned with the practice while supervising the sale of American wheat and vegetable oil in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. Continue Reading...

In Service with and for Others

While I was in seminary in Kentucky, students were required to complete a relatively extensive service project that assisted and helped the poor and marginalized in our community. My group volunteered at a teen pregnancy center, others at nursing homes, or with organizations like Habitat for Humanity. Continue Reading...

Visit to Project Hope

This morning Karen Weber and I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of pastors and church leaders organized by a local ministry, Project Hope Annetta Jansen Ministries, based in Dorr, Michigan. Continue Reading...

Poverty and the Christian Left

There is clearly a "Christian Left" growing among evangelicals in America. We have heard a great deal about the "Christian Right" for more than two decades. I frequently critique this movement unfavorably. Continue Reading...

The Greatest Mercy

Words of prudential wisdom from Richard Baxter: ‘In doing good prefer the souls of men before the body, ‘cæteris paribus.’ To convert a sinner from the error of his way is to save a soul from death, and to cover a multitude of sins [James v. Continue Reading...

Kristof on Kiva

Today’s NYT has an op-ed by Nicholas Kristof recommending the work of micro-finance organizations, like Kiva, whom we’ve mentioned before. Kristof writes in “You, Too, Can Be a Banker to the Poor” (TimesSelect) that “Small loans to entrepreneurs are now widely recognized as an important tool against poverty.” He also rightly observes that “Web sites like Kiva are useful partly because they connect the donor directly to the beneficiary, without going through a bureaucratic and expensive layer of aid groups in between.” This is an aspect of globalization and the connectedness of the Internet that we rarely hear about. Continue Reading...

Creating Freedom, not Dependence

Via CrossLeft, which promises to bring “balance” to the Christian voice, this short and interesting piece from Larry James’s blog Urban Daily, which documents his reflections as “president and CEO for Central Dallas Ministries, a human and community development corporation with a focus on economic and social justice at work in inner city Dallas, Texas.” Says James, “If your goal is community and human development, you look for ways to avoid the creation of dependence or a neo-colonial approach to relief and compassion efforts.” Of course the realization of freedom, which revolves around asking the question, “Does a program prepare clients for independence, or does it keep them dependent?,” is one of the hallmarks of effective compassion. Continue Reading...