As an introduction to new folks at Evergreen and a reminder to long-time members of our community, we want to take some time working through our values and beliefs. Part Two continues with one of our core values:
The Bible says that whoever oppresses the poor insults their Maker, but those who help the poor honor Him. In a world full of AIDS orphans, poverty and starvation, and people desperate for hope, the Church can no longer remain indifferent. We must allow our hearts to be broken by the things that break the heart of God.
The Evergreen Community aims to be a group of people who honor God the way that He wants to be honored, not necessarily in the way that is most comfortable or convenient for us. And that means actually doing something for the poor, because that’s what God wants, even if it pulls us far outside of our comfort zones.
The reason we call this “justice” rather than charity is because we have a responsibility. We have been commanded to give out of our wealth to the poor in their poverty (1 John 3:17, James 1:27, 2:14-17) . This is therefore an obligation, not a gift. It’s uncomfortable to think of it this way, but we owe God our obedience… and we owe the poor our help. Thus, when we give or do acts of charity, it’s only what is right, what is just. Justice.
We need to realize how easy it is to fall into the trap of “doing church” and becoming useless to the world around us. Sharing the love of Christ is about more than sharing the “Plan of Salvation.” It’s about loving people the way that Jesus loved them- giving them what they need physically, loving them unconditionally and sacrificially, all the while sharing the Good News of the Kingdom.