When I feed the homeless, it warms my heart when they say, 'thank you,' or offer a little change to pay for their meal. I, for one, wouldn't want to be around when the … They are human beings who bear the image of God (just like you and I do) and should be treated with dignity and compassion. Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow | Learn more... With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later! In fact, in Leviticus 19:33, God commands : "…IF A STRANGER SOJOURN [ meaning : "if he lives as a 'transient' "] IN YOUR LAND, YE SHALL NOT VEX HIM" [alternate translation : "ye shall not oppress him"]. The views expressed here are the author's own. And according to Scripture, He's got a LONG memory! As we view both our God and our society, we have a responsibility: 1. Note that Jesus quoted it to his followers : "For ye have the poor always with you..." (MT.26:11). "Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world" "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. It becomes clear that it is also God’s intent that we do what we can to care for those who are poor and are in need. b. Galatians 3:28 - There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. street. Very few available jobs - especially for someone without a shower or an address. To the sick. Read more about Human Dignity here. In ancient Israel, God had a system in place where those who had a loss of economic opportunity could sign on to work with someone for a period of time, trading their labor for a roof over their head and meals. Where do Jesus and The New Testament of The Bible stand on the question of the poor and homeless? There are also those who take the money they do receive from others and use it to purchase drugs and alcohol to feed addictions, or attempt to medicate their mental illnesses. (Gn 1:26-27) o The human person is made in the image and likeness of God. Are you curious where The God Of The Bible weighs in on this issue? The next step is to enter your payment information. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. Of course, when God says "live with thee", He is not suggesting that you move the transient into your home (although many Old Testament Jews did just that), but merely that you not molest him, persecute him or try to run him out of town. "Give food to the hungry and care for the homeless. Interact with the homeless by giving, and it will change your heart, too, not just during a specific time or season, but on any day of the year. Here's the good news. 2. In serving them, we serve Christ. I guess if Jesus had walked the streets of Venice, the police - under pressure from the City Council - would have first told him that he couldn't sleep on the Boardwalk, but that he could sleep on 3rd. The Bible also asserts that life according to the desires of the flesh that don’t withstand respect for other human beings is loss of and abuse of human dignity. They are in need of a helping hand to get themselves back up on their feet. In America you have the right to reject all religious ideologies, just as you have the right to decide for yourself which - if any - religious ideas seem true to you. Consider Leviticus 19, and its admonition to love others, including the elderly, widowed and poor, thereby laying some … Throughout the Bible are admonitions to care for the poor and to care for those who are in need. The question we must ask ourselves is whether we are truly helping, or whether our support is enabling and exacerbating an existing issue of some variety. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. Recently, we had the opportunity to interview Trevin Wax about his new book Rethink Your Self: The Power of Looking Up Before Looking In , which explores this very topic. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, … It can be very difficult to discern at times who is truly needy, and who is taking advantage of the generosity of others. You can cancel anytime during the trial period. The Bible tells us that God sees it all : "IF THOU SEEST THE OPPRESSION OF THE POOR, AND VIOLENT PERVERTING OF JUDGEMENT AND JUSTICE…MARVEL NOT AT THE MATTER: FOR HE THAT IS HIGHER THAN THE HIGHEST REGARDETH IT, AND THERE BE HIGHER THAN THEY." And therein lies the biggest difficulty with the homeless issue in America today. o Human dignity is understood as flowing from one’s relationship with God and is not earned or merited. 4. (Ezekiel 22:29). Ultimately you are going to have to answer to a higher authority than your desk sergeant or shift commander. I am a creature—I come from the dust. The Bible is equally clear about those who oppress, victimize and persecute the homeless and poor. Psalm 109:16 talks in disturbing tones about : "HE THAT…PERSECUTED THE POOR AND NEEDY MAN, THAT HE MIGHT EVEN SLAY THE BROKEN IN HEART.". It's a harsh, harsh existence and there's precious little relief on the horizon for these folks. Sorted by most helpful votes from the Topical Bible. ... Let no one imagine that he will lose anything of human dignity by this voluntary sell-out of his all to his God. However, the apostle Paul explained another aspect we must consider: “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10 2 Thessalonians 3:10For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.American King James Version×, King James Version). Since life belongs to God, humans do not have absolute autonomy over their own lives but are stewards of the life given to them by God. There are some who are legitimately in need—who despite all of their hard work and effort have fallen on difficult times. Answer: Any honest study of the Bible must acknowledge that man, as God’s special creation, has been blessed with certain “human rights.” Any true student of the Bible will be stimulated toward ideals … See the related verses below. What Does the Bible Say About the Homeless and... For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you will you may do them good: but me you have not always. Mark Ryavec would have submitted a blog to PATCH railing about how Jesus was a dangerous violent criminal and the residents of Venice weren't going to allow him to threaten their safety and serenity...and his hand-picked political agitators would have burned up Bill Rosendahl's phone lines demanding that he protect Venice homeowners from this dangerous derelict. This is true whether their own parents forsake them (Psalm 27:10), they … They are already victims of an economy gone bad, the last thing they need now is to be victims of hatred, fear, scorn and persecution on the part of the community. After a six-year period of service, they were released on the seventh year and received a jumpstart on getting themselves reset financially (Deuteronomy 15:10-11 Deuteronomy 15:10-11  You shall surely give him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him: because that for this thing the LORD your God shall bless you in all your works, and in all that you put your hand to. While it is understandable that local governments want to clean up the city, homeless people are not pests that should be removed. “For now, let us simply observe that the assault on human dignity is one of the prime goals of the visitation of fear, a prelude to the domination of the mind and the triumph of power” So, while the Venice - Mar-Vista PATCH site is in no way a religious forum, it is likely that most of us who come here embrace the Bible, its God and its teachings to some degree. We must agree that homeless persons deserve human dignity, invest in our social services and support reintegration at their own pace. The Bible admonishes us repeatedly to care for the poor among us. In Leviticus 25:35 (King James Version of the Bible), God tells the people (and tells us) : "THOU SHALT RELIEVE HIM, YEA, THOUGH HE BE A STRANGER, OR A SOJOURNER; THAT HE MAY LIVE WITH THEE". For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. Current Advocacy Position The Catholic bishops believe decent, safe, and affordable housing is a human right. Shelter beds and potential housing relief is available for MAYBE one out of five of them…the rest have no real way out for now. God’s glory, His weightiness, His importance, His significance, is what the Bible uses to describe the fountainhead of all dignity. What does the Bible say about Human Dignity? Human Dignity Quotes "At stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator" Saint John Paul II, Solicitude Rei Socialis "For, by his Incarnation, he, the son of God, in a certain way united himself with each man" Vatican II (Exodus 23:11). Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. American King James Version×). It directs us to have compassion and mercy on them, to give to them, to help them get something to eat, a toilet to use, someplace to clean up, some area where they can lay down overnight without being molested by the police or victimized by violent criminals or zealous community-vigilante groups, maybe some clean clothes, maybe some medical help, some counciling - and above all, some dignity and respect. Street between 9PM and 6AM - then later they would have trumped up some bogus accusation (such as "defecating in the rosebushes") and run him off of 3rd. A number of social programs in the United States and other countries have been developed that are designed to provide for those who are struggling. Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. While those opposed to feeding the homeless here in Venice have tried to convince us that it does not help, but merely "enables" them, God, in the Bible, does not seem to be aware of this. Additionally, every 50th year (that is, after seven cycles of seven years), was the Jubilee year when all outstanding debts were forgiven, and all properties returned to their original owners (Leviticus 25). The Bible recognizes that poverty, social injustice, and homelessness are real problems that constantly plague society (Mark 14:7). He taught from the Jewish Old Testament, nor did he deviate from its perceptions about God. Even those of us who do not will readily acknowledge that the Bible is perhaps the most influential book in Western Civilization - informing our society's laws, customs, values, morals and ways of thinking. Human Nature: Body and Soul. It appears that HE thinks that providing food to the poor and homeless is a good idea. Click the button below to continue. What about "transients" - the word that many of those who despise the homeless here in Venice use to describe the un-housed that they are so anxious to have us get rid of? It makes them feel a little more human to be treated with dignity. If you desire to help, there are ways to become involved. The Islam Texts Society puts forth the idea that human dignity is the basis of human rights. Each person is created in the image and likeness of God and therefore has a God-given dignity. doesn't pull any punches, commanding : "LET THE KING DEFEND THE POOR, RESCUE THE HOMELESS, AND CRUSH EVERYONE WHO HURTS THEM", " RESCUE THE WEAK AND HOMELESS FROM THE POWERFUL HANDS OF HEARTLESS PEOPLE", "…LORD, I KNOW THAT YOU DEFEND THE HOMELESS AND SEE THAT THE POOR ARE GIVEN JUSTICE.". Why not take a few minutes and read some of the ideas about homelessness presented within the pages of The Bible? John 13:16 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. United Church of God is a 501(c)3 organization. Send inquiries regarding the operation of this Web site to firstname.lastname@example.org. Discernment and wisdom is required, however, as it can be very easy for us to do more harm than good in our desire to help. "The poor shall not cease out of the land…"? As Christians we absolutely need to care for those who are in need—the difficulty is determining who is truly needy. "He that is higher..." - that's God, folks. From Mark Ryavec and his "Venice Stakeholders" - to Bill Rosendahl and Zev Yaraslofsky - to the Police tasked with making the lives of the homeless miserable - to the residents of this community who look the other way while these persecutions take place...the Bible makes clear that : "…THE PEOPLE…HAVE USED OPPRESSION, AND EXERCISED ROBBERY, AND HAVE VEXED THE POOR AND NEEDY: YEA, THEY HAVE OPPRESSED THE STRANGER WRONGFULLY." HOMELESSNESS IN THE (CHRISTIAN) NEW TESTAMENT. It appears from these examples in Scripture that it was not God’s intention that people find themselves indebted in such a way that they could never recover. Christians have a duty to speak about and toward those experiencing homeless in ways that recognize this God-given value. Jesus was 100% down the line with what God had said in the Old Testament about the oppression of poor and needy strangers and transients . d. To the needy who are unable to work. For instance, in the Old Testament book of Job, Job says : "…(because of God,) THE POOR HATH HOPE, AND INIQUITY STOPPETH HER MOUTH" [meaning that evil, itself, has nothing left to say] (Job 5:16 ), "…THE CRY OF THE POOR COMETH UNTO HIM (to God), AND HE HEARETH THE CRY OF THE AFFLICTED" (Job 36:6). c. To the parentless or abandoned children. To continue to be the church we read about in the New Testament. when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not … a. (Dt.15:9), "...THE POOR SHALL NEVER CEASE OUT OF THE LAND: THEREFORE, I COMMAND THEE, SAYING, THOU SHALT OPEN THINE HAND WIDE …TO THE POOR, AND TO THE NEEDY…" (Dt.15:11). John 13:16 ESV / 490 helpful votes. KING JAMES VERSION (KJV) WORDS OF GOD AND JESUS IN RED. (Psalm 10:2) : "THE WICKED, IN THEIR PRIDE, DOTH PERSECUTE THE POOR : LET THEM BE TAKEN IN THE DEVICES THEY HAVE IMAGINED" - Which means, "let the harm they have attempted to do to the poor fall upon them instead". I'm a believer, and I sincerely want to "serve my own generation by the will of God" (Acts 13:36). HOMELESS PEOPLE IN THE (JEWISH) "OLD TESTAMENT". Our service efforts cannot substitute for…just public policies, but they can help us practice what we preach about human life and human dignity. Human dignity is the starting point and central concern of Catholic thinking about human rights.  For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command you, saying, You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor, and to your needy, in your land. Whether you are "a believer" or not, wouldn't you like to know what the Bible has to say about our treatment of homeless people, and how God views them? You get to decide for yourself what YOU are going to do about it. I, for one, wouldn't want to be around when the lightning starts landing in the vicinity of those who have made a practice of abusing the poor and homeless just for their own personal political and financial gain. Just as homeless as that scruffy guy rolled up in a sleeping bag in the alley next to the pizza place on Main Street at the edge of Venice. What about those among us who make "victims" out of the poor and homeless…who use political pressure to criminalize them… condemn them…impound their vehicles and meager possessions and leave them destitute on the sidewalks…who oppose and obstruct the attempts of private individuals and groups to provide them with food, clothes and services…who whip up local residents into a hysterical frenzy against them and try to get them run out of town or worse? Is God the ultimate "enabler" so fiercely decried by them? But we want to begin to separate what some people claim is biblical from what the Bible actually says. This post was contributed by a community member. But I also can't help wondering about some of the "social justice" and "human rights" issues … However, as Christians we know that all human beings bear the image of God (Gen. 1:26) and thus have indelible dignity. 22:22). The Bible teaches that we are to be radically different from the world in how we view and treat our neighbors. The great thing about "Freedom OF Religion" is that it is also "Freedom FROM Religion". The current investigation is a planned, systematic study of dignity as critical to understanding the experience of homelessness and improving services and programs for the homeless. Adam became a living being by the breath of God (Gen. 2:7), and if God were to withdraw his breath from humans, they would perish (Job 34:14–15). Specifically, we conducted a thematic content analysis of interviews with 24 homeless men and women to identify their perception of specific environmental events that validate and invalidate dignity. It is inherent. As a matter of fact... JESUS IS THE MOST FAMOUS HOMELESS PERSON IN HISTORY. There will always be those who, as a result of their own actions, or actions that are out of their control, find themselves in dire economic straits and wind up with an inability to provide for their basic necessities. The Bible states that the poor will be with us always (Mark 14:7 Mark 14:7For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you will you may do them good: but me you have not always.American King James Version×). Psalm 72:4 (C.E.V.) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. No–Cost Webinar: Ask the Divorce Experts – South Bay, CA, New Years Resolutions and Your Divorce – Beverly Hills ~ No-Cost, 'You've Got Mail: Catalina Island's Mail Carrier History': Zoom, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING for TEENS & ADULTS, Science Tutoring (Biology and Chemistry) - Private School Only, Kaiser Announces Pledge To 10 SoCal Health Equity Organizations, Strong Winds Coming To Southland With Gusts Reaching 75 MPH, Here’s How Well Nurses Are Paid In California, Venice-Mar Vista Area Job Openings: Browse The Latest, Coronavirus Hospitalizations Inch Downward In LA. ", -- Isaiah 58:10 - Contemporary English Version of The Bible. speaks of people who : "…ARE SO GREEDY THAT THEY GOBBLE DOWN THE POOR AND HOMELESS.". 5. Homelessness and human rights "Homelessness is a profound assault on dignity, social inclusion and the right to life. "The Law" and "The Prophets" are references to parts of the Jewish "Old Testament" of the Bible (from which the above quotations are taken). Additionally, there were land Sabbaths built into the national system, and during those land Sabbaths while the land was not sown or worked, what grew naturally was to be gleaned by the poor, as it wasn’t harvested. This conviction is grounded in our view of the human person and the responsibility of society to protect the life and dignity of every person by providing the conditions where human life and human dignity are not undermined, but enhanced. Topical Bible Verses. God cares for the helpless. What is the Bible's perspective on such people? As you have probably guessed, I myself am "a believer", and I'll tell you : in times like this, when a handful of powerful and vocal homeless-haters are orchestrating a non-stop propaganda campaign of fear and loathing against the un-housed of Venice - while calling any of us ("believers" or not ) who have a heart for these unfortunate people terrible names, and publishing our home addresses so that their crazy violent friends can make threats against our lives, it is comforting to me to realize that there is one BIG and Extremely Powerful Friend on our side of the issue. Human Dignity Bible Verses. Eventually Rosendahl would have caved in to them, and leaned hard enough on the police that they would have impounded Jesus's cloak - and later they would have gambled among themselves to see who got to keep it. As Christians, we absolutely need to care for those who are in need. OK, fun is fun, but there's really nothing funny about the plight of the unfortunate poor and homeless in L.A. (in general) and Venice Beach (in specific). God, in the Bible, is pretty specific about how he wants us to deal with poor people, saying : "IF THERE BE AMONG YOU A POOR MAN…THOU SHALT NOT HARDEN THINE HEART, NOR SHUT THINE HAND…" (Dt.15:7), "BEWARE THAT…THINE EYE BE EVIL AGAINST THY POOR BROTHER, AND THOU GIVEST HIM NOUGHT; AND HE CRY UNTO THE LORD AGAINST THEE, AND IT BE SIN UNTO THEE." He would have been busted along with a couple of other homeless malefactors (who may have actually been criminals) and probably all three would have been made into public examples - to discourage other homeless from being in Venice. As Christians, shouldn't we just concentrate on evangelism? Paul is addressing the church in Thessalonica, where there were some who were idle and refused to work, instead choosing to be busybodies in other people’s affairs. Want to post on Patch? They are endowed with reason and Does this make God a member of what those who oppose aiding the un-housed call "The Social Services Mafia"? The ideas of human dignity and respect for all didn’t develop in a vacuum. Each member of the human family is equal rights because we are all children of … In some cases, those social programs are not enough and additional assistance is necessary. He taught in the synagogue, and the Jews who heard him teach called him "Rabbi". It is a prima facie violation of the right to housing and violates a number of other human rights in addition to the right to life, including non-discrimination, health, water and sanitation, security of the person and freedom from cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment." But what does the Bible have to say to Christians in the age of self help? And only God has eternal value and intrinsic (that is, in and of Himself) significance. The Bible admonishes us repeatedly to care for the poor among us. The lives of all humans, both their own and others’, are to be cherished and guarded. I don't know what YOU call it when you take some poor, un-housed person's vehicle (with all his belongings in it) because he has broken some trumped up, nonsensical "law" by using it as shelter against the elements and to protect himself from predators while he sleeps (actions which harm NO ONE), but I call that "robbing" and "oppressing" him. In ancient Israel, God had a system in place where those who had a loss of economic opportunity could sign on to work with someone for a period of time, trading their labor for a roof over their head and meals. He said : "Think not that I am come to destroy The Law, or The Prophets, I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill" (Mt.5:17). Individuals and churches should have the right to take action when they see someone in need. Over a month ahead of election day, Pastor Tony Evans urged U.S. citizens to consider the value of life — both inside and outside the womb — before voting, warning that ignoring what God says about human dignity … Catholic teaching supports the right to private property, but recognizes that communities and the government have an obligation to ensure the housing needs of all are met, especially poor and vulnerable people and their families. The views expressed in this post are the author's own. The Bible couldn't be any clearer on the subject. RESPONSIBILITY a. To the homeless. The Bible also teaches us that the human person is a unity of body and soul: “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). We recently witnessed a heated and lengthy debate in this forum between those who support the offering of food to the homeless and those oppose it. Question: "What does the Bible say about human rights?" Still, a 2011 Gallup poll discovered that, on average, 8 out of 10 people in America have some level of belief in the validity of the Bible and the existence of its God. Hounding them from one community to the other is no answer, neither is persecuting them or making them the object of hatred and fear among the housed community. Jesus was homeless. A "sojourner" is defined as : "a temporary resident", in other words a "transient". As for all the false statements and false accusations made by "the haters" against the poor and un-housed, consider Proverbs 21:13 : If there are any "Venice's Finest" reading this, please permit me to say something to you : Most of us who live here in Venice appreciate the risks you take and the job you do for this community, and I know that you are under authority, that you have to do what you are told to do - but when you are impounding a homeless person's vehicle because he broke a "law" that says he's not allowed to shelter himself or sleep in it, and when you are preventing it from being released to him until it has rung up such exorbitant storage charges that it must be abandoned by its impoverished owner (with all of his worldly possessions still inside it because he was prevented from retrieving them), bear in mind that in the Bible, God has said : "ROB NOT THE POOR… NEITHER OPPRESS THE AFFLICTED…" (Proverbs. 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