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The Lord's Commentary on Poverty in 2014

Posted by mlksac on January 10, 2014 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (2)

The Lord’s Commentary on Poverty in 2014

 

“The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them anytime you want. But you will not always have me.” (Mark 14:7 NIV)

As Jesus sat at banquet at the home of Simon the leper in Bethany, a woman anointed his head with a flask full of spikenard (very costly fragrant oil). The disciples present were outraged at this obviously blatant act of extravagance and condemned her action as wasteful. Jesus defended the woman’s benevolence as a, “Good Work.” Then without the slightest doubt, he says, “The poor you will always have with you…”

In a word…Ouch! While it might seem somewhat casual, even cavalier, Jesus looked across time immemorial and prophesied, you will always have poor/needy people that need help. No matter what page we turn to in the annals of history, we will find the wretched poor in every society. As always, Jesus was dead on point.

Is it that people want to be poor? Do some people have a poor mentality or is it somehow more noble to be without in a climate of greed and ill-gotten gain? Why are the poor overlooked and sometimes even blamed for not having enough and being a burden on society? Where do poor people come from? Is poverty a generational curse that some people can never escape? Two thousand years after Jesus walked upon the earth, the question remains what shall we do about the poor?

Fifty years ago this week, Lyndon B. Johnson in his State of the Union address declared an unconditional war on poverty in America and set out to enact legislation like Medicare and Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Earned Income Tax Credit, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) aka Food Stamps, Pell Grants and Head Start. The unconditional war on poverty has been waged on many fronts and yet today’s economic disparity is wider than before Johnson’s declaration of war.

The wars cease fire has been signaled by the cutting of food stamp allotments to low income families, decrease of unemployment benefits and refusal to raise the minimum wage for our nation’s working poor. So our Lord’s chilling economic forecast was not essentially about the poor. It was really about the continued disenfranchisement and perpetual confinement of poor people to third class citizenship in a climate of prosperity. Jesus was speaking to our attitude about poverty.

When Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” in 1967, he sighted what he called the, “Triple Evils of Poverty, Racism and Militarism.” He said, “There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it. The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty. The well-off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation.”

Lord help us to have mercy and compassion on the broken, weak, vulnerable and poor so that our living will not be in vain, so that we may reign with you some day.

Dr.  George B. Jackson

Chairman Martin Luther King Social Action Committee

January 9, 2014

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. 26th National Holiday Observance

Posted by mlksac on December 25, 2011 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

                                                                  PRESS RELEASE

                                                                  December 19, 2011

                                      Martin Luther King, Jr. 26th National Holiday Observance

The Martin Luther King Social Action Committee (MLK-SAC) announces the schedule of events for the 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday celebration in Thomasville, N.C. Saturday, Jan. 14 through Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. The celebration will mark the 26th Anniversary of the King National Holiday and the 11th Anniversary of the local event. The local theme is “Remaining Hopeful through the Storm.”

The committee is also happy to announce the recipients of the 2012 MLK Community Service Award: Ms. Jane Wilder, Marketing Director of Thomasville Medical Center and Mr. Deboy Beamon, Principal of Thomasville High School.

The highlight of this year’s celebration will be the 11th annual “Oratorical Contest” on Saturday, Jan. 14, 6 p.m. at Rich Fork Baptist Church, Thomasville. Dr. King’s great speaking tradition will be continued by juniors and seniors from eight Piedmont area high schools competing for over $6,000 in scholarships and awards this year.

Join us on Monday, Jan. 16 for the 2nd Annual MLK Holiday Classic featuring the Yellow Jackets of Carver High School in Winston-Salem versus the Bulldogs of Thomasville High. The ladies play at 2 p.m., the men play at 4 p.m. Tickets are $5.

For more information, contact Miranda L. Bolton, Executive Secretary/Treasurer at (336) 476-7218 or e-mail at [email protected]

The following is a complete listing of the three-day, six-event celebration:

Saturday, January 14

3rd Annual MLK Peace March (featuring THS Scarlet Regiment Band)

Martin Luther King Drive to Amphitheater – 11 a.m.

11th Annual MLK Awards Dinner & Oratorical Contest

Rich Fork Baptist Church – 6 p.m.

(Tickets $30 for adults, $15 for children under 12)

Sunday, January 15

11th MLK Liturgical Dance Concert & Arts Festival

T. Austin Finch Auditorium – 5 p.m.

(Tickets are $5)

Monday, January 16

9th MLK Community Health Fair

Thomasville Medical Center (TMC) – 9 a.m.

2nd Annual MLK Holiday Basketball Classic

Thomasville High vs. Carver High

Girls – 2 p.m. Boys – 4 p.m.

(Tickets are $5)

26th MLK National Holiday Observance

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Thomasville, NC – 7 p.m.

Pastor Van R. Johnson, keynote speaker

Preaching is still relevant

Posted by mlksac on August 2, 2011 at 12:57 AM Comments comments (0)

In the biblical classic of Jonah in the belly of the great fish, we see an obscure Galilean prophet attempting to run from God. The prophet went to a port city named Joppa to purchase a ticket on the fleetest ship sailing for Tarshish was the farthest point to which sea fairing vessels could travel. Like Jacob, (in Genesis 28), Jonah thought that God was territorial, confined to Israel. Jonah soon found out that the God of Israel was indeed universal. He even controls the elements of nature. The great fish that swallowed the castaway prophet validated this truth. God is inescapable.

Many people have called Jonah hardheaded or stubborn. While this statement bears some truth, it fails to shed light on the complexities of Jonah’s situation. He was a preacher who did not want to go to unexplored territory to start a new church. He was confortable where he was and complacency caused him to run in fear from the command of God.

One of the major themes of the Holy Bible is preaching. There are 137 references to or about preaching in the scriptures, dating back to Nehemiah in 426 BC, Jesus the Christ in the Gospels and concluding with the Revelation of Saint John in 100 AD.

Preaching has long been controversial, a virtual hot bed for contention. Solomon, the third King of Israel, called himself Ecclesiastes; or the preacher, declaring; “Vanity of vanities, … all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 12:8). The message of the preacher is not always popular or received with open arms. Because of his preaching, Jeremiah of Anathoth was cast into prison by Pashur. When Ezekiel (during Israel’s captivity in Babylon) preached, Pelatiah the son of Benaiah fell dead. Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans was murdered the same night that Daniel proclaimed that the handwriting was on the wall. Amos the shepherd preacher from Tekoa was threatened with death and kicked out of the royal sanctuary at Bethel for his uncompromising preaching. Ten of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ were martyred for preaching the gospel.

Yet with all the adversity that the art has faced, preaching is still essential for salvation. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth; “For after that in the wisdom of God the world of wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (Corinthians 1:21).

The preacher must be cognizant of the fact that everything is on the line when he stands behind the holy desk to preach Christ and Him crucified, dead, buried, and resurrected on the third day morning. The church cannot expect to draw lost men to Jesus without powerful, dynamic, soul stirring preaching. Edward T. Hiscox said, “The true object and design of preaching is to bring people to Christ and to help them grow in their Christian discipleship. Instruction may properly be said to be the first object of preaching. Most emphatically it is not to entertain an audience, not to crowd the house with hearers, nor to build up wealthy and fashionable congregations, nor to replenish the treasury, nor to teach literature, science, or art, but to save and nurture souls by an exhibition of Christ crucified. For this purpose our Lord designated ‘some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ’” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

While the pastor of a church has a multiplicity of responsibilities ranging from the executive to the custodial, there is nothing more important than in-depth, effective, well-planned, goal-oriented, Holy Ghost anointed preaching. Church members need constant motivation. They receive such when their fearless leader stands up to preach. My father has told me on several occasions, “Son, never be found guilty of not preaching.” So here is a word of encouragement to all proclaimers of the Gospel who at times get weary along the journey, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).

Dr. George B. Jackson,  Pastor, Citadel of Faith Christian Fellowship, Inc.

America's Forgotten War

Posted by mlksac on February 6, 2010 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I wrote an article January, 2010 "America's Forgotten War" please read below... I would like to know your thoughts, ideas, and/or comments about poverty and the poor! Thanks for your comments...Dr. J

 

America’s Forgotten War

“You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me” (John 12:8).

Jesus used these words to cut the tension in the air at the home of his friend Lazarus in Bethany. Six days before Passover while Jesus sat at the table Mary (Lazarus’ sister) took a pound of spikenard and anointed the Master’s feet. When the full aroma of this expensive perfume filled the house Judas Iscariot (the treasurer) became disgruntled. He attacked Mary’s display of humility as wasteful and untimely. He complained “Why was this perfume not sold and the money given to the poor?” Jesus defended the woman’s actions as being prerequisite for his pending burial. Then he added in a “matter of fact” way, “The poor you will always have, but you will not always have me.”

His imminent demise would seem to be the focal point of this conversation but we must not blink at his social commentary. He said, “The poor you shall have with you always.” Was this prophecy, revelation or condemnation of man’s agreed and indiscriminate inhumanity to his fellowmen?

Two thousand years ago he who witnessed all that ever was and knew all that will ever be declared that poverty is a foregone conclusion. That announcement troubles my soul and I know it troubled Martin Luther King Jr. who realized that equal rights without financial stability is shallow and deficient. What shall we do about the poor in the richest democracy in the world? They won’t go away. We can’t seem to hide them under the cloak of anonymity or sweep them under the rug of indifference. They always seem to pop up at the most inappropriate times like when someone is preaching one of those “prosperity” or “name it and claim it” messages.

When President Lyndon Johnson declared “unconditional war on poverty in America on January 8, 1964 I’m sure he had no idea we would yet be at battle with this insurgent 46 years later. After countless social programs, wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq we still cannot find the silver bullet to kill poverty.

Dr. King died on the battlefield fighting poverty with sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. He was scheduled to leave Memphis and travel to Washington DC, to lead a mass march for radical redistribution of economic power. If we really want to honor this great American we must lift up the banner that fell from his hands on April 4, 1968 and continue to fight the forgotten war on poverty.

God in His infinite wisdom knew that the homeless, hungry, and less fortunate would need special consideration and protection. So Moses told Israel, “Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor, in your land “(Deut. 15:11).

If we fight with all of our domestic resources to triumph in the war on poverty many of the other national skirmishes (drug abuse, crime, health care, and education) will be won decisively. America has the weapons to defeat poverty. The question is, do we have the will?

Dr. George B. Jackson

Chairman, MLK-SAC

January 13, 2010

Social Action for Social Change

Posted by mlksac on July 24, 2009 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (0)

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