Staying On The King’s Highway

Ever since the first century church, there has been times when church practices and doctrine don’t match what Jesus taught. Even people who start out on the King’s Highway (a reference to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress) start going down the wrong road. 

The Salvation Army Levittown PA Community Center is an example of getting off track.  

After having fallen financially and spiritually early 2014, I entered the Salvation Army Community Center to get food from the food pantry. I was puzzled at the brusque manner in which the woman who ran the pantry treated the customers.  Her demeanor didn’t seem to reflect the image I had of Salvation Army people.   

Despite this experience, shortly thereafter I started worshipping at this center.  The church seemed to be theologically sound, putting the emphasis on scripture. I was going through a rough time. Broken, the church helped me put the pieces back together.   

But in time, I found the behavior of some of the folks there were not Christian, and the one in charge, whom I nicknamed Caspar Milquetoast, didn’t resolve problems when I was victimized when I volunteered in the food pantry.  The employee who ran the food pantry, whom one of my fellow volunteers called Queen Latifah, bullied me and other volunteers. On one occasion, when a young camp counselor spoke briefly on his way to get with the camp kids, the queen got in the kid’s face, saying something like “where you supposed to be; you best get their now!”, making street-like motions. She treated us three volunteers as if we were mannequins. But when it came to a counselor of her race, the youth helper had free run of the pantry; she didn’t inform us that the camp counselor had permission to go into a restricted area. 

Interesting, at a recent meal for the homeless and needy (not the homeless and greedy), one of the guests at my table said the food pantry head, who also hosts the meals, is “racist.” Many of the guests who attend the meals won’t go to the Salvation Army meals. Some poor, desperate souls have to go to the Salvation Army meal, and occasionally have to put up with abuse, condescension.  

On one occasion the queen told me that I wouldn’t listen to her because she is black. I responded “People have a problem with you because you talk down to people!” 

Another Salvation Army official, who is in charge of community relations and development, whom I’ve nicknamed The Countess of Carlisle, used her position to block an offer from someone I met at the center from regional to write for the Salvation Army.  During a conversation I had with another volunteer, where I said that I had a problem with the way the local library constructively aims to keep the homeless out of the library just because they are homeless, the Countess said the library should keep the homeless out of the library, simply because there are people who don’t like them there.  

This is not the historic Salvation Army that went to bat for the down and out and were attacked by those who didn’t agree with them helping drunks but they stood their ground for what is right. In contrast, today’s Salvation Army tends to kowtow to the politically correct! 

Recently, there was another church that hosted the shared meals that I found a big, conspicuous problem with. As my girlfriend and I were waiting to be let into the shared meal, she noticed different flags flying, but not the American flag. I noticed a “Black Lives Matter” sign, and then the homo promo rainbow flag. All lives matter! And scripture is clearly against homosexuality. We are all sinners but the church needs to set people on the right road, and preach what is right! As the preacher said at my father’s memorial service, God comes to us sinners and makes us saints! Evidently, this church is not Biblical. The hosts, however, were very gracious. 

Churches, like the people who visit them, need to act like Jesus, and should listen to their brothers and sisters when they (it is hoped), point out gently their error. I’ve been reading about this in the Recovery Devotional, which not only applies to addicts but to the rest of us, including me! 

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 

We need to remember this, and hold one another accountable to this standard!

To learn more about the homeless, focusing on Bucks County, PA, read: 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=IwAR2qT8c-IdV5tS_lDCYj3RGXcKvtvKBLfS2dJbPw857-W2fURTjVivU5UW8

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