Toxic Charity…

Every once in a while I come across a book that makes me stop dead in my tracks.  I pause.  I pray.  I reflect.  I dialogue.  I change directions.  Robert Lupton’s Toxic Charity is one of those works.

In fact, I hesitate to even blog on the book so quickly after completing it.  First, I need to think on it.  For months.  Secondly, there is so much to be done.  What right do I have to expound on a topic that I have not yet fully experienced?

So much of these ideas and insights just resonate me.  In my context.  My heart is for Blue Bridge Church to quickly and quietly (at times slowly and strategically) turn our communities right-side up again.  Being truly Incarnational – going where the people are no matter the cost to ourselves – is rarely easy but almost always rewarding.

For example, the author proposes, “When we do for those in need what they have the capacity to do for themselves, we disempower them . . . For all our efforts to eliminate poverty – our entitlements, our programs, our charities – we have succeeded only in creating a permanent underclass, dismantling their family structures, and eroding their ethic of work.  And our poor continue to become poorer . . . Giving to those in need what they could gaining from their own initiative may well be the kindest way to destroy people” (2-4).

With every work of nonfiction, the reader has to show discernment.  There will be propositions and conclusions that you will agree with and others that you are very uncomfortable with.  Regardless, you will be grateful that someone decided to begin the difficult conversations.  Churches will be better for it.

Check the book out and let me know what you think.

Toxic Charity…

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