Tuesday, September 4, 2012

When Helping Hurts

While 40 percent of the world's inhabitants struggle each day to find nourishment, North American Christians are presented with an enormous responsibility to demonstrate compassion to the poor.  John's first letter states, "If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?" (I John 3:17).  We need to have a deeper awareness regarding the poor and desire to do something to alleviate it.

I had the chance to talk with Brian Fikkert, founder and executive director of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development, who has released a revised edition of his book When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself about the need to go beyond just helping meet immediate needs and move to bringing the poor back into a right relationship with Jesus.  To listen click here.

Churches and Christians have faulty assumptions about the causes of poverty and many times those wrong assumptions lead to ministry strategies that do more harm than good.  This powerful book addresses these assumptions and moves the reader to a better understanding of the causes of poverty.  As Brian as said the church is need of "welfare reform."

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