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Thread: Just Needing to Vent

  1. #1
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Just Needing to Vent

    Our Church frequently gets requests for help from people in the community, or those passing through.

    We have a central faith-based "clearing house" downtown (of which I am a board member) where we send people who need more than just limited groceries or gasoline or toiletries, and most of the Churches in the area fund this one center where they provide a wide variety of services, including food, housing, rent assistance, etc.

    Today, a black man (probably in his 60's) came to the Church asking for assistance, preceded with the obligatory "I just lost my sister in Dallas, died of cancer" (always starts with a heart string tug) and need some help... He listed some things he needed ($130 worth), the most pressing of which was a tank of gas to get to Dallas. I told him that we use [the name of the center] for distribution of goods, and recommended he contact them. (I was planning to buy him gas)

    When I mentioned the help center, he kinda went on a rant about the [N-word] that runs that place, and a lot of people in town don't like him, and he got run out of his previous city, and.......on and on....

    I told him, "look, even though you're black, you don't get to sit here spouting the N-word and bringing racism and profanity into this". He doubled down telling me "you just don't know that lying [N-word] and the way he operates...." (That "lying N-word" is one of my best friends, and was "run out" of his previous city by Hurricane Katrina - and a lot of people don't like him because he believes in a work ethic and not just handing out "free stuff" for the sake of handing it out)

    I finally stood up and said, "You know what you just did?" He looked surprised, and said, "no, what did I just do?" I said, "you are the first person in my 45 years of ministry to EVER talk me out of helping after I already decided I was going to buy you a tank of gas". He really looked surprised, and said, "I did that?" I said, "yes sir, you did that" and pointed to the door.

    On the way out the door, he was muttering "I just talked myself out of getting help?" I said, "yes sir, you did, and I'll let [the help center] know you won't be wanting their assistance either".



    Just needed to vent.
    I have called you my friends.... Jesus
    Jn 15:15

  2. Amen mossrose, Cerebrum123, Faber amen'd this post.
  3. #2
    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Sounds like he was probably just scamming for money and he already tried it with the help center and they caught on and turned him down, so he is going around to various other churches trying the same thing.

    I get some people like that downtown where I work. they always need $10 or $20 for gas or because their car broke down or something like that. And their car is always somewhere else where you can't take a look. And even if you give them money, they don't run off to go get gas, they just approach the next person they see and do it again.

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Sounds like he was probably just scamming for money and he already tried it with the help center and they caught on and turned him down, so he is going around to various other churches trying the same thing.
    Which, of course, is why we use a central help center - a lot of these people are just scammers, and they know they're going to have to provide details and comply with some basic requirements at the help center. If somebody tells me "I already went there and they turned me down", it's a huge red flag. Sometimes, though, the help center will call me and ask if they can send somebody over to our Church who "doesn't meet our criteria", but "is probably a worthy cause".

    I get some people like that downtown where I work. they always need $10 or $20 for gas or because their car broke down or something like that. And their car is always somewhere else where you can't take a look. And even if you give them money, they don't run off to go get gas, they just approach the next person they see and do it again.
    Yes, as I've said before, I'd rather err on the side of helping somebody who isn't legit (we can get fooled at times) than NOT help somebody who really needs the help. Bottom line - being good stewards with the Lord's resources.
    I have called you my friends.... Jesus
    Jn 15:15

  6. Amen Bill the Cat, One Bad Pig amen'd this post.
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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Sure enough, the senior adult group that meets at our Church includes one of our members who works as a secretary at the Methodist Church. This same guy had scammed them before coming to see me yesterday. They gave him a $40 voucher for gas!
    I have called you my friends.... Jesus
    Jn 15:15

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Which, of course, is why we use a central help center - a lot of these people are just scammers, and they know they're going to have to provide details and comply with some basic requirements at the help center. If somebody tells me "I already went there and they turned me down", it's a huge red flag. Sometimes, though, the help center will call me and ask if they can send somebody over to our Church who "doesn't meet our criteria", but "is probably a worthy cause".



    Yes, as I've said before, I'd rather err on the side of helping somebody who isn't legit (we can get fooled at times) than NOT help somebody who really needs the help. Bottom line - being good stewards with the Lord's resources.
    If I am in doubt I will watch for a while. If they get someone to give them money and then just ask the next person, I know they are a scammer. Or I might say, "I know something about cars, show me and I will take a look" or offer to take them to a gas station to buy the gas for them.

    I also know some of the regular homeless in the area by sight. So I know they are in need and can offer something once in a while.

    On a humorous note... Yesterday driving home, on the corner there was a guy begging and holding up a sign that said, "Why lie? It's for beer." - he didn't seem to be getting any sympathy or donations though.

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    If I am in doubt I will watch for a while. If they get someone to give them money and then just ask the next person, I know they are a scammer. Or I might say, "I know something about cars, show me and I will take a look" or offer to take them to a gas station to buy the gas for them.

    I also know some of the regular homeless in the area by sight. So I know they are in need and can offer something once in a while.

    On a humorous note... Yesterday driving home, on the corner there was a guy begging and holding up a sign that said, "Why lie? It's for beer." - he didn't seem to be getting any sympathy or donations though.
    My favorite one was a guy who used to stand under the 610 overpass in Houston with a sign that said "Bod Bless You for FREE!!!"
    I have called you my friends.... Jesus
    Jn 15:15

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    For awhile I was kind of struggling with the Bible verse about where if you see a brother in need and don't help them, you have no love in their heart, and wondering if that applied every time you saw a panhandler.

    But I considered a few things...

    1) I was driving my wife to work one day and saw a homeless man panhandling. She told me that he comes in to buy hand sanitizer all the time because nobody will sell him alcohol without a license (he's obviously over 21 but I'm okay with enforcing it in a case like that).
    2) There were no social services back then as far as I know. There are plenty of them here.
    3) I think the verse would apply if there was somebody in your church who was legitimately struggling; trying to work to make ends meet, and you just ignored them.
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

  11. #9
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    For awhile I was kind of struggling with the Bible verse about where if you see a brother in need and don't help them, you have no love in their heart, and wondering if that applied every time you saw a panhandler.

    But I considered a few things...

    1) I was driving my wife to work one day and saw a homeless man panhandling. She told me that he comes in to buy hand sanitizer all the time because nobody will sell him alcohol without a license (he's obviously over 21 but I'm okay with enforcing it in a case like that).
    2) There were no social services back then as far as I know. There are plenty of them here.
    3) I think the verse would apply if there was somebody in your church who was legitimately struggling; trying to work to make ends meet, and you just ignored them.
    Yeah, when you look at the NT verses like "if a man won't work he shouldn't eat" - I think it's pretty clear we're talking about the lazy, not necessarily the down-and-out.

    I think it's a balance -- just "helping somebody" by giving them free stuff can just be a way of enabling their laziness.
    I have called you my friends.... Jesus
    Jn 15:15

  12. #10
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Yeah, when you look at the NT verses like "if a man won't work he shouldn't eat" - I think it's pretty clear we're talking about the lazy, not necessarily the down-and-out.

    I think it's a balance -- just "helping somebody" by giving them free stuff can just be a way of enabling their laziness.
    or they just want beer.

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