Sunday, February 21, 2016

Even the Homeless Have Rights

William F. Maddock
St. Louis can be a hard, cold place. The people here (the rich, the elites) love to uphold and declare themselves to be the very picture of a paragonwhile the poor die in the streetsand their towers of stone and glass and steel wage war against the consciences of men.
There is no reprieveand, it seems, no reproach—for there seems to be nothing that will reach whatever is left of that stone cold thing they claim to be a heart. While men get shoved around like so much verminous cattle they hide in their stone cold towers from the consciences of menand there is no love that I see within their souls.
Indeed, they remind me of the Pharisees of old, thinking themselves righteous because they hold the whip, thinking themselves pure because there are no scars of whips on them. They scorn, accuse, demean, belittle and beslander those whom they see as polluting their precious little view of life, while never seeing the poison that they themselves spew. They would cross oceans to convert another to their wayand then they make them twice the child of hell that they themselves are.1
There is, though, another power, one that they have no comprehension of which to wield. It is a power that they can never understand, a power that they will never accept for what it is, for they have rejected the Truth and cannot discern their lies.
Despite their best efforts, there is such a thing as the Law of Non-contradiction. You cannot be tolerant while at the same time being intolerant of that with which you disagree. You cannot be generous while at the same time working in such a way that the poor die in the streets where you live. You cannot be a man of Christian faith while at the same time refusing to do what Christ has commanded to be done.
Away from me, you workers of iniquity! I never knew you! 2 For I was hungry and you gave me no food! I was thirsty and you gave me no drink! I was a stranger and you did not invite me in; naked and you threw no clothes around me; sick or in prison and you did not visit me!”3
I say, to my shame, that when a ministering friend of mine forcefully requested that I give to the poor I got angry with her—because I thought I had nothing to give.
God has otherwise educated me.
I, therefore, did not get livid when my corporate vice-president brother claimed financial inability as his reason for refusing to help me keep my home. Since becoming a homeless man, he is the only member of my immediate earthly family to even attempt to contact me, inquiring as to how I was. Two of my other siblings had birthdays coming up, so I waited until those were both well past before I replied, so that they could not claim my reply as their gift.
When I did reply I told my brother that the appropriate help he could give me was to help the poor where he lives.
I have not heard back from him in the years since.
Such is the heart of the elite and the rich. They think of themselves as such wonderfully good peoplebecause they cannot discern their lies.
The rich man who refuses to help his own poor brother inquires as to the condition of that brother and gets told by that brother that his proper assistance would be to help the poor where he livesand he never replies back again.
Such is the heart of those who think themselves good. So effectively blinded are they that they cannot see their own wickedness. They cannot discern their own lies.
I have, however, mentioned a power that is beyond thema power that they cannot wield, for they have rejected it when they rejected the Truth.
What, therefore does the Scripture say?
I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. Not even one even turns in the general direction of the Father if not in Me.”4
When they reject the Truth, living in their lies, they reject the One who is the Truth, and thereby cut themselves off from the very one who could rescue them from the lies that, now, they are blind to and cannot discern.
Beloved, be not like them.
Do not be sucked up, dismantled and devoured by the lies of this world, as they have so willingly and blithely been, but be transformed by the power of the Truth.5
The Truth comes down to us from days of old through the teachings and writings of those who have faithfully researched and examined the writings and the lives of the Apostles, Prophets and Scribes of our Lord and Savior and King, Jesus Christ. Having looked to Him in faith, they now point us to His Light.
Out of the darkness He beckons us to flee, to flee out of our night of sin and into His glorious Light. He has made a path for us through the wilderness; a straight path that leads to the cross of Christ. He is the door, He is the gate,6 He is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and through Him we must go. There is no other way for us to go to heaven but through Him.4 As it is written in the gospel accounts, alluding to a dream of Jacob7 in the book of Genesis, Jesus Christ is the stairway to Heaven, and there is no other.8
How, though, does one demonstrate the presence of a genuine faith in Jesus Christ? That really is not something to be worrying about and strategizing over (for God, through you, will provide His own testimony about you—and you will not be able to thwart it), except, beloved, for this one thing: You are to be examining, or prosecuting, yourself to see that you are indeed saved.9 So, you are not demonstrating yourself (which the hypocrites do in seeking to be honored by men), but testing yourself, so that you may know of the reality of your salvation.
In our day and age the possibility of faking faith in Jesus Christ is being demonstrated quite well by those who want to appear oh so terribly egalitarian—while stomping all over the inherent rights of others who live according to their own beliefs rather than the beliefs that these wish to force upon them. Again, though, these have rejected the Truth, and, therefore, cannot discern their own lies.

As is abundantly clear from a simple, open minded perusal of the Constitution of these United States, everyone has the right, endowed by their Creator (in other words, not by other people, but by that higher, unassailable authority), to actually exercise the beliefs to which they hold. Those who seek to force their lifestyle on others frequently, and conveniently, forget that immediately following the Establishment Clause is the Prohibition Clause, which states with extraordinary and abundant clarity that the free exercise of religion shall not be prohibited. But they don’t see that because they reject the Truth.
Why go on this little side excursion? It is, part and parcel, the same thing. Those who shove people around as though they are nothing, who treat people like cattle, caring not whether they live or die, who scorn, accuse, demean, belittle and beslander, think themselves better.
They cannot discern their own lies.
Such people believe that they are worth more, that because of that their wishes (they might even mislabel them as “rights”) should quite naturally supersede those of others, and that those others should, therefore, be forced to follow the desires of those who think themselves better. After all, compared to them, you are worthless scum.
They think that they are here for a purpose and you are just window dressing. That is their view. And if you believe that they do not see you that way, then you are foolish and deluded. That is their view: that this is their world, it’s all about them, so you can either bow down and obey them or leave.
Well, no.
How high do you think Mount Everest looks from 30 billion light years away? That, metaphorically, is God’s view of us. So far is He above us all that our petty little differences pale into non-sequiturism. All are one10 in His sight, and even slaves have rights.11 Do you recall Jesus’ response when asked which is the greatest commandment? Do you recall the one He called second? “You shall love your fellowman as yourself.”12 And the word there translated as “love” is the Greek word αγαπησεις, which means that you sacrifice yourself for the sake of. You don’t treat them as rightless refuse; you don’t treat them as cattle to be herded about; you don’t treat them as vermin. No. You treat them as more important than yourself. You sacrifice yourself for their sake—even if they be a slave—because even slaves have rights.11
The irony here is that they want to portray an air of egalitarianism, but egalitarianism means that all are equal. As I have written above, they cannot discern their own lies.
God has a law, and those who refuse even the most basic implementation of it shall draw His ire, so do not stand with such people, lest that ire also consume you.
What is the foremost truth about the poor, the destitute, the vermin-plagued, indeed the homeless? They are people, and people have rights—rights that you violate at the peril of your own soul.
That simple assertion, “people have rights”, is a consequential one. You don’t get to choose whose rights you will honor and whose ignore. They are all people. They are all equal—and even the homeless have rights.

1Matthew 23:15
2Matthew 7:23
3Matthew 25:42-43
4John 14:6
5Romans 12:2
6John 10:7-9
7Genesis 28:12
8John 1:51
92 Timothy 2:15
10Galatians 3:28
11Colossians 4:1
12Matthew 22:39