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. The Bible couldn't be any clearer on the subject. 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. This is true whether their own parents forsake them (Psalm 27:10), they … 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 lives of all humans, both their own and others’, are to be cherished and guarded. 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. Each person is created in the image and likeness of God and therefore has a God-given dignity. Human Nature: Body and Soul. Psalm 72:4 (C.E.V.) Question: "What does the Bible say about human rights?" 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? I am a creature—I come from the dust. c. To the parentless or abandoned children. "The Law" and "The Prophets" are references to  parts of the Jewish "Old Testament" of the Bible (from which the above quotations are taken). Is God the ultimate "enabler" so fiercely decried by them? He taught in the synagogue, and the Jews who heard him teach called him "Rabbi". HOMELESS PEOPLE  IN THE (JEWISH) "OLD TESTAMENT". 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. The views expressed here are the author's own. Send inquiries regarding the operation of this Web site to webmaster@ucg.org. Here's the good news. To continue to be the church we read about in the New Testament. The Bible teaches that we are to be radically different from the world in how we view and treat our neighbors. You can cancel anytime during the trial period. 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. It's a harsh, harsh existence and there's precious little relief on the horizon for these folks. RESPONSIBILITY a. In some cases, those social programs are not enough and additional assistance is necessary. But I also can't help wondering about some of the "social justice" and "human rights" issues … © 1995–2021 All correspondence and questions should be sent to info@ucg.org. The Bible admonishes us repeatedly to care for the poor among us. To the homeless. 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? 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. Does this make God a member of what those who oppose aiding the  un-housed call "The Social Services Mafia"? And 1 Samuel 9:18 (Contemporary English Version) says about God : "YOU LIFT THE POOR AND HOMELESS OUT OF THE GARBAGE DUMP...". Topical Bible Verses. Starting with the book of Exodus in the Hebrew "Old Testament" (the first half of our modern Bible), we find God telling the Jews not to plant or harvest their fields, olive yards or grape vineyards every 7th year, but to just let the lands produce whatever residual crop they will on their own, and then to allow "THE POOR OF THY PEOPLE" to eat that crop. 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. In serving them, we serve Christ. The Bible is equally clear about those who oppress, victimize and persecute the homeless and poor. We must agree that homeless persons deserve human dignity, invest in our social services and support reintegration at their own pace. On the other end of that spectrum are those individuals who have chosen not to work, instead choosing to panhandle, or solicit funds from passers-by. d. To the needy who are unable to work. HOMELESSNESS IN THE (CHRISTIAN) NEW TESTAMENT. 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." Christians have a duty to speak about and toward those experiencing homeless in ways that recognize this God-given value. 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. b. Each member of the human family is equal rights because we are all children of … "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. http://www.gallup.com/poll/148427/Say-Bible-Literally.aspx?utm_source=ta... 36th Annual Celebration of the Rev. National Guard Vetting Underscores Inauguration Security Concerns, 'Almighty Dollar' More Important To NCAA Than Health, Coach Says. 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). What is the Bible's perspective on such people? What does the Bible say about Human Dignity? speaks of people who : "…ARE SO GREEDY THAT THEY GOBBLE DOWN THE POOR AND HOMELESS.". He used to call himself "The Son Of Man", and he is reported to have said : "…the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but THE SON OF MAN HATH NOT WHERE TO LAY HIS HEAD." We must advocate for human life and dignity at every turn; not doing so means we are unfaithful in preaching the whole counsel of God’s word. 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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 [10] 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. 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. 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. when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not … While it is understandable that local governments want to clean up the city, homeless people are not pests that should be removed. Let us reach out personally to the hungry and the homeless, to the poor and the powerless, and to the troubled and the vulnerable. God’s glory, His weightiness, His importance, His significance, is what the Bible uses to describe the fountainhead of all dignity. 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). The Bible is equally clear about those who oppress, victimize and persecute the homeless and poor. "Give food to the hungry and care for the homeless. 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.". (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 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. Read more about Human Dignity here. They are in need of a helping hand to get themselves back up on their feet. 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. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, … 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 . What's your perspective on issues like feeding the hungry, fighting abortion, helping the homeless, and working to end slave trafficking? Human dignity is the starting point and central concern of Catholic thinking about human rights. (Ezekiel 22:29). They are human beings who bear the image of God (just like you and I do) and should be treated with dignity and compassion. 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. "The poor shall not cease out of the land…"? Where do Jesus and The New Testament of The Bible stand on the question of the poor and homeless? 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 … 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. Our service efforts cannot substitute for…just public policies, but they can help us practice what we preach about human life and human dignity. Search popularity is shown in blue using the scale below. 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. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. 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 … You get to decide for yourself what YOU are going to do about it. The great thing about "Freedom OF Religion" is that it is also "Freedom FROM Religion". KING JAMES VERSION (KJV) WORDS OF GOD AND JESUS IN RED. To the disabled. 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." He was making clear that he was not teaching anything which contradicted what the Old Testament said, but rather that he was the embodiment of it and had come to fulfill its prophecies . And therein lies the biggest difficulty with the homeless issue in America today. 2. But we are also admonished not to contribute to those that refuse to work. ( Ecclesiastes 5:8). Jesus was homeless. (Gn 1:26-27) o The human person is made in the image and likeness of God. "He that is higher..." - that's God, folks. Want to post on Patch? ... Let no one imagine that he will lose anything of human dignity by this voluntary sell-out of his all to his God. 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. 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. 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. The Bible admonishes us repeatedly to care for the poor among us. 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