If I was going to go to a church, I wouldn't want to have to hobnob with the riffraff.
This brings to mind an old church that I used to attend. Often, street people would venture in seeking food, suckers to give them money, and/or money from the church. The pastor used to say that he was not in the business of "feeding devils" and he would only feed those who wished to turn their lives over to Christ and attend the church!!
Contrasted with this, there was a large Catholic church downtown who daily fed 2000 people with no strings attached. Critics would say that it bred co-dependence, but I wonder which of those two churches was more Christlike to the urban refugees seeking a meal?
On a personal level, I can see both arguments. If I see a homeless man looking as destitute as possible with a cardboard sign, I usually don't give them any money. I have learned that begging can be a lucrative business.
Am I wrong in my approach, Robin? Do you have many beggars in the town you live in? How do you treat them?
“There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way”--C.S.Lewis
If somebody is missing limbs, I might give something. Otherwise, I ignore them.
Yes, me too! I always use the classic Christian Litmus Test WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) Based on my understanding of how Jesus was/is, I would assume that He would know the intentions and the motives of any wouldbe street beggar. Jesus also would be looking at the heart of the giver.(us) If I were wasting my money on vices and yet being stingy to those with an outstretched hand, I may be judged on my behavior and attitude regardless of the motives of the beggar, don't you think?