Friday, 25 April 2014

On Charity (Part 3)

My apologies for the hiatus between posts. I was away for Easter, that special time of year in which Christians are reminded that even (or perhaps especially) when we lose, we win.  Anyway, on with the bloggage!

Again, there wasn't supposed to be a third part to this little series of posts, but I saw something the other day that bears thinking about.

As I mentioned above, I was away for Easter, and I got back on Wednesday afternoon, arriving at Milton Keynes Central station.  Outside, as there often is, was a little group of Jehovah's Witnesses with a little stand set up from which they were attempting to disperse their literature to passing travellers.  A little annoying perhaps for those not observant enough to give them a wide berth, but hardly a problem.  In many ways I admire them for their tireless attempts to evangelise, being willing to put themselves in the way of rejection, hostility and abuse in the name of their faith.  'Good for them', you say.

But look again.  Outside the station that afternoon were no less than four homeless men, huddled against the station wall.  One of these was barely ten feet away from where the Witnesses had set themselves up.  He didn't look at them, possibly for fear of being evangelised at.  What struck me though, was that they didn't look at him.  They weren't talking to him, and I don't mean they weren't evangelising, they weren't even talking.  Now, it could be that they had tried, and had received a mouthful of abuse, and left him alone, I don't know.

But what I saw, and what numerous travellers and commuters saw, was a group of supposed Christians trying to spead their faith, trying to persuade others that they had something worth exploring, worth sharing in, and ignoring the very obvious needs of those whom we have been told to clothe and feed and shelter.  I can't speak for the other travellers, but it left me cold.

There are many ways to evangelise, and giving out leaflets is not the most effective.  The best sermons are not printed, they are not even spoken.  They are acted, and lived, and don't even require an audience.  Those Witnesses had the finest opportunity for evangelism that they could have imagined, but instead they stood there and ignored it.

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