Wednesday, March 2, 2011

For I Was Hungry And You Fed Me


 I was shocked to read this report yesterday regarding the banning of charities in the London Borough of Westminster, running soup kitchens for the poor and homeless.  The council also want to  make it an offence to sleep rough and they are proposing to cut £5 million from the budget to fund hostels.
Westminster council, one of the richest in the land, wants to bring in a bylaw making it an offence to “give out food for free”, punishable by fines. The twisted move blows apart David Cameron’s Big Society boast that an army of ­volunteers will flock to help those worse off.

Reverend Alison Tomlin of the Methodist church in ­Westminster said: “The proposals are nothing short of disgusting. This bylaw punishes people solely for their misfortune and belongs in a ­Victorian statute book, not the 21st century.”

But Westminster’s Daniel Astaire risked provoking further fury by declaring free food “keeps people on the street longer”. He added: “Soup runs have no place in the 21st century. It is undignified that people are being fed on the streets. They actually encourage people to sleep rough with all the dangers that entails."

When did these so called policy makers look at the Bible.  It speaks clearly of the duty of those with, to give and care for those without.  Ideally there would be no homelessness, no metal illness, violence and abuse and poverty  that have led to the huge number of homeless on the streets, but while there are homeless, there needs to be support and love shown to them.

“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
  “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?  Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.  For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink.  I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’  Matthew 25 v 31~45.


1 comment:

Deborah said...

Perhaps they should listen to Keith Green's The Sheep and the Goats?!! I think this is apalling and like you say totally blows apart David Cameron's 'Big Society. While I agree it's bad that people are sleeping on the streets people don't do this out of choice...I think they'd rather have a home to live in.

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