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Christians and Social Action

Notes & Transcripts

Some Christians feel little or no sympathy for those outside the fold. Let it be suggested that help be granted to some unfortunate human and the question is instantly asked, “Is he a Christian?” or “Is he worthy of our assistance?”

This attitude is wrong for a number of reasons and altogether beneath those who call themselves by the sacred name of Christ. If we are to help only the worthy, who then can qualify? The Christian can hide his goods away with a pure conscience, safe in the knowledge that he would help the poor if he could find any worthy of it.

In the sixth chapter of his Galatian epistle Paul settled forever the scope of our Christian responsibility: “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). This is in harmony with the truth found in the widely known story of the Good Samaritan, where it is established that our “neighbor” is anyone who needs us, whether or not he is of our kin or nationality. I do not see how we can escape the force of this double witness; and to tell the truth, I do not believe any honest person can.

That we should do good in Christ’s name no one can deny. How to do it without letting our right hand know what our left hand is doing (Matthew 6:3) is an art not many have managed to learn.


Source: A. W. Tozer and Harry Verploegh, The Warfare of the Spirit (Camp Hill, PA.: WingSpread, 1993), 27.

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