Monday, February 11, 2008

A Homeless Perspective

I recently began reading a blog written by a homeless man who blogs from free computers (either in libraries or McDonalds). It has been fascinating to read his thoughts on life and society, as he is incredibly articulate. Recently, he posted some thoughts on the Bible and Christianity, especially his experience with those who work at the rescue mission he frequents. While I certainly don't agree with all his thoughts--especially the thoughts about the unimportance of Scripture--he has a few solid insights for the Church.

Humility trumps arrogance: He speaks about how Christians often preach to him from the Bible with an attitude of arrogance or pride. With the Bible in hand, they assume that they are chosen harbingers of God's will to the homeless community. He says that he instantly tunes those people out. But when people approach him with humility and compassion, he will gladly listen. I find it interesting that God's Word can at times foster pride in people, even though it repeatedly speaks against pride and the wisdom found in being humble (just read Proverbs). Scripture should inspire humility in those who read it, that God would have enough grace to interact with humanity on such a personal level.

God is bigger than Scripture: While I truly value Scripture and hold it as the authority for my life, I also understand that God cannot be limited to what He has revealed of Himself to a book with covers. God is beyond the book covers; His eternal nature cannot be only contained in a few hundred pages. There are mysteries about Him we cannot even comprehend as broken, limited human beings. While I disagree with the homeless man's conclusion that we would know God better without the Bible, I also understand his point that it is possible to worship the Bible instead of the God of the Bible. I am not saying that the Bible is unimportant or is not the primary way we understand God; I am only saying that we need to be careful as Christians to approach God and the Bible with humility, instead of attempting to put God in a box.

Love equals actions: He seems frustrated with Christians who spend a great deal of time telling him about the Bible, but don't spend an equal amount of time seeking justice for the poor and feeding the hungry. When I read Matthew 25 about the sheep and goats, I pray that I am the kind of person who sees Jesus in the broken and marginalized and takes action. It is easy to tell people that God loves them; it is much harder to show them.

You can read the Homeless Guy blog by clicking here. Read his thoughts on the Bible here.


  1. Thanks for the mention. I would like to clarify that I believe the Bible is important, and that everyone should read and understand it. I just don't find convincing evidence that the words within the Bible were written by God, (even though they may have been inspired by God), or that the Bible is without error, (we humans have a tendency to screw up even the good things).

  2. HG-
    I definitely understand your perspective. It's hard to imagine Scripture as "perfect" when it's been translated from dead languages from 2000-year-old manuscripts that we don't have any more. I guess this is where faith and the Holy Spirit come in. I've really been challenged by reading your thoughts, and hope the conversation can continue!