Apparently Shane Claiborne (author of The Irresistible Revolution, which I wrote about the other day, and co-founder of The Simple Way) and Peter Greer (president of HOPE International and author of Mission Drift) had a discussion at an AEI event about “the Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan and the problem of providing immediate relief for compounding and overwhelming needs but still being able to make the transition to sustainable development.”
I love what Peter Greer says (and his sense of humour here) at the start of the highlight video:
“What would it look like if the parable of the Good Samaritan were happening today in Washington DC? And I think it would go something like this: The priest, the Levite and the Samaritan walking into a bar, and as they’re going in the see there’s someone with incredible injuries who’s just been beat up who’s off in a corner. And as they’re about to go into the bar they’re looking at eachother and saying “What do we do? How do we? What do we do to make a difference?” And as they’re having this discussion about what to do, they see that Shane Claiborne is already there, and he’s already taking care of the needs, and he’s already got the bandages, and somehow he found a donkey… as we have a lot of conversation, Shane is living it out.“
For the record, I think there’s room for a variety of avenues and methods of helping the poor – God seems to sure love variety and using people in ‘different’ ways. I think what Shane has to say and what he’s living out has to be given some attention though, in that we can sponsor organisations, we can give money/loans and other such ‘charitable’ activities, but it needs to come out of a heart of love for our neighbours, next door, in the street, across the world. And I think that love demands some sort of relationship, at least in the geographically near.
Here’s the highlight video:
And the full conversation:
Edit: Watching the full video there’s a lot of things to love, and to provoke thought.
One thing that amused me was the reaction of Iraqi Christians to Claiborne’s exclaimation when he met them “I can’t believe there’s so many Christians here!” – “Yeah, this is where it all started.”