The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

August 12, 2013

What I don’t see

Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — To the editor:

In reply to Dorothy Poole “Planning for the long-term” letter of Aug. 9, 2013: I will address one item specifically in your letter.

In closing you said: The Christians are saying “get the homeless shelter on go” so can you explain why it is always the Christians who are asking others to do it? In Greenville I see several massive churches with huge sanctuaries, numerous classrooms, state of the art kitchens, dining areas that would hold over 100 people, yet they don’t have a single cot for a person in need to lay their head, nor do I see them feeding the homeless from a nice kitchen where meals could be prepared and provided.

I don’t see the church classrooms filled with homeless learning life skills, getting counseling, etc. In my experience it is always the old not-in-my-house thing. Since when does a ministry or church need the city council’s approval or permission to help the needy when it was the Christians’ responsibility to be doing that all along according to scripture? Had the churches and Christians in the United States been following scripture about helping the needy, there would be no homeless problem anywhere in our country except for the few who choose that lifestyle.

Now to answer your questions regarding my qualifications. Yes, I have been homeless. Yes, I have helped people, groups, shelters, organizations and charities; I do all the time and do give away coats, bicycles and more. I have yet to read a Bible verse that says; Go ye forth unto the local politicians and seek thee permission to help the needy. When I was young and we had no food, it was members from our local church who brought baskets of food to our front door. Drove us to church on Sunday, helped my mother pay bills when she had no money and checked on us throughout the week to see if we needed anything like clothes for school, shoes, etc.; and I don’t think they needed permission from the city council back then.

My editorial was from concern. I don’t support creating a crisis to fix nor do I support half measures that avail nothing. I do support the right kind of help that helps and the right kind of program that can accomplish that. I fail to see where the city council has anything to do with either. A church is equipped to do both. Why haven’t they?

Mitch Vaughn