OK…Here’s a reason not to go to church

 

By Graham Smith
Last updated at 3:01 PM on 21st December 2009   Seattle Cops James Pitts and David Toner Pwned After Trying to Take Photographer's Camera by Thomas Hawk

 
 A clergyman has been criticised as ‘highly irresponsible’ after advising his congregation to shoplift following his Nativity sermon.

Father Tim Jones, 41, broke off from his traditional annual sermon yesterday to tell his flock that stealing from large chains is sometimes the best option for vulnerable people.

It is far better for people desperate during the recession to shoplift than turn to ‘prostitution, mugging or burglary’, he said.

The married father-of-two insisted his unusual advice did not break the Bible commandment ‘Thou shalt not steal’ – because God’s love for the poor outweighs his love for the rich.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1237470/Priest-outrages-police-telling-congregation-My-advice-shoplift.html#ixzz0aKuuGuVv

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What in  Heaven’s name is happening ?

My own church body (the ELCA) promotes fornication and homosexuality, so I’m not just pointing the finger at others.

I think a high up muckety muck in the Anglican Church just gave a nifty talk the other day extolling the virtues of the Taliban, for cryin’ out loud.

All I can say is , “Come Lord Jesus, come.”

PS- I know there are plenty of good pastors and churches out there. I am blessed to be in a faithful congregation with a faithful pastor.

Lord, please lead people to churches that are faithful to your Word.

 

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7 Responses

  1. I, likewise am blessed to attend a faithful ELCA church. But our Lord tells us to make the tree good(Matthew 12:33).

  2. “It is far better for people desperate during the recession to shoplift than turn to ‘prostitution, mugging or burglary’, he said”

    False Dilemma.

    “because God’s love for the poor outweighs his love for the rich”

    Vain Imagination. I wonder how much of God’s love he has earned. Anyway, there’s goes the “the world” in John 3:16.

  3. Guess that pastor hasn’t learned about freeganism…*: )

  4. “It is far better for people desperate during the recession to shoplift than turn to ‘prostitution, mugging or burglary’, he said”

    False Dilemma.

    “because God’s love for the poor outweighs his love for the rich”

    The next time a see a homeless person in the city centre, frozen, hungry and penniless, I’ll be sure to comfort him with that platitude.

    I wish I lived in a black and white world. Sadly mine is inhabited by infinite shades of grey.

    As ever the soundbite does not represent the thrust of what either clergyman was saying.

    • The next time a see a homeless person in the city centre, frozen, hungry and penniless, I’ll be sure to comfort him with that platitude.

      Nothing substantial here. Just an appeal to pity.

      But I do have a question. Why don’t you sell everything you own and hand the money over to this frozen, hungry and penniless, homeless person. Would that end homelessness? No. So on we go with the appeals to pity ad infinitum, or until the sun burns out.

      Or better yet I have a another Idea. Take control of the government, then take control of the schools and teach all the children that they are nothing more than advanced stages of pond scum and that they, and their miserable lives, are a meaningless peep hole of consciousness that will soon simply end along with all the other peep holes. Then when these children grow up and go out and live as if that is true, and amass untold riches by taken advantage of everyone else because there is no real reason not to, you can then shame them into thinking that somehow- and that’s an awfully big somehow- they ought to help those that they exploited by giving them back a pittance. And if they don’t, why you can make the wonderful Godless government do it by force and sleep well at night knowing that you are doing all you can do. And to those who disagree, you can impugn them and call them all kinds of names, and if they make a good challenge to your black and white thinking why you can retreat into your gray world of ignorance with your “how can we really know?” defense. I mean, who can argue with that? Sounds good.

      Hmmm The only problem is, the only thing that has changed is which peep holes are doing the exploiting. Those who exploit running big corporations, or those who exploit by taxation. It’s looking like the latter is winning to me. Yet the frozen, hungry and penniless, homeless people remain. Oh what to do? Kick more of the same up a notch should suffice, that’s sure to takes us marching gloriously in to “The New Utopia”. We shall see I suppose.

      But what if there is actaually a God? That fits into your gray world doesn’t it, I mean the possibility that there is? And what if he did reveal himself to his creation? I mean how can you know he didn’t? And what if in that revelation he wrote the words Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD ?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God”? And what if these words actually mean exactly what they say?

      Naaaa, that way too black and white.

  5. Nancy we have freeganism here too, and the homeless use it, but that is almost exclusively about food. What does the homeless person do if what they need doesn’t have a sell-by date? Things like sanitary protection, a toothbrush, over-the-counter medication or gloves?

    I really don’t think Fr. Jones is advocating wholesale theft and I think he was clear to make the conditions for such shoplifting very specific because he realised what he was saying is contentious.

    Living on the edge of a major city centre and seeing homeless folk regularly – often as a direct result of the work of the church – and recognising the limits of both local authority and voluntary help together with the opportunistic and dishonest nature of some of the beggars this is one of those moral dilemmas where I do not think there is a black and white. Who is honest? Who is in need? The moral judgement has to be God’s in the end. I can’t call it.

    Was Fr Jones wrong? Not in my view, but I think he was naive to have spoken out what many of us privately think (particularly to the Daily Mail which is not the most liberal-leaning of publications here). Unless, of course, he was trying to initiate a wider debate.

    Dan, I’m really sorry, but I simply don’t understand most of what you say, nor can I see it as in any way relevant. It’s just a rant. Pond scum? Peep holes? Big business? Your strange assumption that I doubt that God revealed himself to his creation? Still Chris is happy.

    If I approach a homeless beggar in my dog-collar and tell him that God’s love for the poor outweighs his love for the rich that is spouting platitudes of the worst order. What will that do for the reputation of Christ or the mission of the church. He would have every right to tell me to f**k off!

    Am I going to sell all that I have and give it to the poor? No. No more than anyone else has, but ulike the pharisee I don’t parade my good works for all to see, so you’ll have to speculate on what practical steps I might take out of obedient discipleship to help the homeless.

    The words you quote are directed at the people of God, (so I shan’t be shoplifting), but in my experience the homeless I encounter are not among the people of God. They are currently outside his covenant. What are they to do? Accept Christ? Of course, but they’ll still be hungry.

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