It has been pointed out to me that I overlooked something in my "A Modern Christian Ethic" post, namely the all too common response towards the impoverished. While frequent generations of Christians felt compelled to minister to those in poverty, our modern response is to let the government undertake such charitable work...and then to complain that the government should not be in the business of charitable work.
I argued that the disdain for the poor that I had heard expressed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina came mostly from unbelievers; however, not everyone agrees with me. Christians are, at least some of them, too quick to behave with prejudice towards the poor. This, sadly, is not just a modern problem. Even in the New Testament church, believers had to be admonished not to give preferential treatment to the wealthy over the poor.
The words of Jesus can either commend us or condemn us, "I was hungry and you fed me...naked and you clothed me..." Certainly many in the church have reacted with extreme generosity to the overwhelming needs we see every time we turn on the TV of late. But, as it was pointed out to me, are we really supposed to depend on the government to do the work we should have been doing for years? Are we going to keep up the generosity as long as the need is there, or are we going to become weary in well-doing?