We Are Therefore Christ’s Ambassadors

At the shared meal last Saturday at the Lutheran Church of God’s Love in Newtown, PA for the homeless and those in need, the pastor and two other hosts sat at our table to get to know us and were open to our concerns. They also socialized with the other guests. We were warmly welcomed and made to feel at home.  

There are other churches that hosts the meals who also warmly welcome and socialize with their guests, such as the Second Baptist Church of Bristol, Harriman UMC, Restoration Church, Calvary Baptist, Saint Marks AME in Newtown, and Calvary Full Gospel. 

There are other churches, however, that at some point became a bit callous towards the homeless and those in need. The Levittown Salvation Army Community Center is one of them. Most recently, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the guests were herded in and out like cattle!  The guests had to wait in a long line, like the soup line people had to wait in during the Great Depression in the cold to get into the meal. Finally, a few minutes after the six pm. set opening, guests were herded in. It took a while, as the host took people’s names. A host that one former Salvation Army volunteer nicknamed “Queen Latifah” escorted the party I was in to assigned seats, as she did others.  

It took some time for most guests to sit down and eat. I must have been after 6:30 when they could start! Yet, about 7 p.m., AHTN rounded the herd up to get in the bus. The queen parroted the order that it was time to go, quite augustly and vocally. You would think that AHTN would give the homeless riders more time to enjoy their meal! 

After experiencing abrupt rudeness and condescension repeatedly from the queen years ago, I stopped going for quite some time. I heard there was new leadership and that maybe the new leaders would put a leash on the queen, a member of a spurious aristocracy. As evidenced at the Thanksgiving meal, the status quo is pretty much still in place. I don’t plan to go back to the meals.  

The Levittown Church of God is another church that does not treat their guest right. Although we who come to the free shared homeless and needy meals appreciate being fed, some of us expressed outrage with the attitude of the host, namely the pastor, at a meal there back in February, 2019. Some people, including myself, have decided not to go back there. 

We he opened, he bragged that the church itself provided the meal.  “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” Matthew 6:2.  

“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2  

The host started taking up table cloths, chairs, and even tables not much past 6:30 p.m., as people were still eating. The meal is scheduled to run from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. Guests were not let in until 6:05. One of the guests asked if the meal was supposed to end at 6:30 p.m.   “Don’t you see, everyone is leaving”, the pastor snapped.  Shortly thereafter, as I sat, wiping my mouth with a napkin, the pastor, standing opposite me said something like “hope you had a good meal; we’re breaking it down…”.  As I finished wiping my mouth, he flipped the table, abruptly folding it up, almost dropping it on my lap!    

As we moseyed towards the door, some of the hosts subtly pushed us out, as if we were cattle!  Movin’ movin’ movin’. Keep them doggies movin’. Keep them doggies movin’, rawhide…  Move ‘em out!  

Except for graciously and generously offering the guests food, the hosts did not interact with their guests as they have in the past.  In the past, the pastor and other hosts have reached out to others. On one occasion long ago I talked with the pastor about a problem, which was later resolved. 

Most of the churches that host the shared meals are gracious with their guests and socialize with them. The shared meals are an important ministry, where hosts can reach out to show Jesus to their guests and help people experiencing problems. 

In my book, the shared meals are one thing I write about.  https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR2x3SKmaynu1NpSSlpiXlxRhJ_Rd0csXzhmoCc5UHDifcHVRLbAbpmVZok 

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” -2 Corinthians 5:20 

Today’s Truely Oppressed

In my last blog, I argued that some people, including some churches and Christians, don’t get it that today blacks and other so-called minorities now have equal rights. I reference my first-hand experience, using as an example from my Navy days in the early 70s, the fruit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s labor. 

Some entities, mostly backed by the government, are on a witch hunt to quixotically go after those who threaten life and liberty of minorities. They continue to attack windmills.  

Over time, different groups were discriminated against – the Irish, Italians, Germans…  Today it is the homeless. From personal experience over the past four and a half years hanging out with the homeless in lower Bucks County, PA, I witnessed first-hand and through reliable sources the prejudice perpetrated against the homeless. It’s similar to Jim Crow and the black population, although, to my knowledge, no homeless people have been lynched. The liberal establishment’s modus operandi is a way to constructively destroy and keep out of sight and mind the homeless in Bucks. 

I haven’t visited the Levittown public library as much as I have in years past. It seems that, as was the case with the civil rights movement, we have overcome the past gross discrimination against the homeless in the library. Just as the song urges us not to be afraid of the reaper, the establishment no longer needs to be afraid of the blog.  https://youtu.be/lceVpWkhJ9w 

A reliable source told me recently what I suspected in the past. Because the Friends of The Library help the library, they thought they own the public library and can, by fiat, turn it into their private country club where they can exclude the homeless. When I volunteered in the food pantry at the local Salvation Army, an official there overheard me talking to another volunteer, challenging the harassment of the homeless in the library as a constructive way to get rid of them. The official chimed in that there are people who visit the library who don’t like the homeless there and she was OK with the library discriminating against the homeless in order to cater to the elites. When I challenged the official, she spouted the stereotypes about the homeless being dirty, eating in the library, etc.  The Salvation Army traditionally helps the downtrodden.  

When I asked the Salvation Army representative if she ever went to the library to see the homeless for herself, she got dismissive and that was the end of the conversation. But that wasn’t the end of it. When I had to go through her after being offered an opportunity by someone from the Salvation Army regional office to write for the SA, like a Sandinista, she used her position to punish me by blocking my opportunity. The second time I approached her after a few months delay, she snapped “I don’t have time for that!” 

Many people, including myself before I got to know the local homeless, don’t really understand them. The name “Skid Row”, unfortunately gives some people an image of the homeless – raggedy looking drunks rummaging through trash cans, lying drunk on the street, etc. In my experience hanging with the homeless in lower Bucks County, PA, I found that this is not the case here. You’re not going to show people who the homeless really are by making a video, using actors while the homeless stood by and were treated like mannequins, as AHTN did. The video did not tell it like it is! 

The homeless group Picture The Homeless has a slogan “Don’t Talk About Us; Talk With Us.”  Spot on!

In my book “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless” I focus on my experience hanging with the homeless in lower Bucks County PA to tell it like it is! 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR0gPVr_CAM7L0hyxu92hll8KTsLWTUmr1nIEamgTnuc_Hi4yDafBYGcMqs