Skip to comments.Pregnant and homeless on the doorsteps of a Christian megachurch
Posted on 10/06/2012 5:45:50 PM PDT by Morgana
One night over dinner, a friend of mine told me that he had seen a very pregnant homeless woman on the corner of a busy Austin intersection. I knew the intersection he was referring to there is a huge non-denominational church on the corner. I felt confident that she had probably received some assistance from them. Maybe they were in the process of trying to help her find resources.
One of the friends with us at dinner, Heather, is the executive director of the Austin Coalition for Life, a non-profit group who holds daily vigils outside of Austins four abortion clinics. Their goal is to connect abortion-minded women with pregnancy resources in the area to help them choose life for their child. I was about to deliver my own baby any day, so I was limited with what I could do to reach out to this woman. Heather said she would continue to go by the intersection until she found her.
After several days of unsuccessful attempts, Heather was finally able to connect with her. She explained that there were several pro-life agencies in town that could help her with housing both before and after her baby was born. They could also help with expenses, pre and post natal care, labor and delivery, food, clothing, and all of her other basic needs. She talked to her for a long time and found out that she was running from an abusive relationship and was trying to protect her unborn child from the father.
Heathers next question was a pretty obvious one had the megachurch a few hundred feet away offered to help her? Instead of asking the woman and putting her on the spot, Heather decided to go and ask the church if they knew anything about the woman. She was startled at the response. Well, one of our members took her to the Target Café to share the Gospel with her. So, no material assistance was offered for her or her baby? No resources offered for where she could receive assistance? No phone calls made to maternity homes or pro-life groups in the area? No, the woman responded. Just the meeting at Target to talk about the Lord.
Well, isnt that fantastic. Im sure the Gospel will help her find a hospital to deliver her baby in. Im sure the Gospel will help her with food to nourish her body during the last few weeks of her pregnancy. Im sure the Gospel will help keep her safe from harm as she sleeps outside night after night.
Their answer made me disgusted. How can we expect to nourish someone spiritually when their physical needs arent met? How can we expect someone to be receptive to the Gospel when they go physically hungry during the day? How can we expect someone to believe in the power of Christ when they dont know if they will be forced to deliver their baby in alley somewhere? This is Christianity? This is how we treat those in need of help? Certainly not. That is not what faith is about. James clearly states that faith without works is dead. What is faith if we are not willing to step out of our comfort zone and get our hands dirty in service to Christ? We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ, right? That means service to those who need him not just words actions.
When we say we are pro-lifers, what does that mean? Does it mean that we just dont like abortion? Or does it mean that we are willing to go that extra step? Are we willing to take a young pregnant woman into our home to care for her when she has no one else? Are we willing to give sacrificially to those who have nothing? Are we willing to set our superficial judgment aside and truly be Christ-like? Are we willing to show mercy when others condemn? Are we willing to get our hands dirty?
Being pro-life isnt always pretty. And its not just about saving babies. It is about saving the person the woman, the baby, the man involved, the family. It is sometimes about putting someone elses needs above our own. It is about stepping out of the comfortable and moving into a place that is unfamiliar.
Is it comfortable to talk about abortion? Not always. Do people always want to hear about it? Not usually. But silence breeds apathy, and that is what we are soaked in. APATHY. The greatest breeding ground for apathy seems to be in our churches. Why is that? Its not like the sanctity of human life isnt all over Scripture. It isnt as if God didnt make it pretty clear that life is sacred. We arent scared to talk about a slew of other hot button issues but we tend to be silent on the number one issue that has invaded our churches. According to the Guttmacher Institute, seventy-two percent of women seeking abortions come from the church. I actually think that number is low. We performed very few abortions on women who proclaimed to be atheists or agnostic. No, many of them brought their bibles and/or rosaries to their abortion appointments. Many would ask if we would pray with them before the abortion procedure began.
APATHY. It is what keeps these churchgoing women coming to the abortion clinics over and over again. The churches are silent. The majority of clergy are silent. And their silence is deafening! By not speaking up they are telling those in their congregation who are suffering in silence that their sin of abortion is too big for God. That is a LIE. Clergy who are silent on this issue are not doing any one any favors. They are doing their congregation an incredible disservice. With seventy-two percent of abortions coming from the church, a sermon once a year during the Sanctity of Human Life month is not enough!! People are hurting! They are in desperate need of healing and they have no idea where to go because the church is silent. We have become so concerned with offending others that we have forgotten about how much our apathy offends God.
If you are in a church where your pastor/priest actively speaks on the sanctity of human life, I encourage you to thank him, and thank him often. It is not easy, but it is right. If you are not hearing the message of abortion and healing from the pulpit, I strongly urge you to go to your pastor and ask why. Share why this is important to you. Share these statistics with them. Share your heart. Just because your pastor is silent doesnt mean you have to be. Stand up for life. Stand up and speak up. Lives are depending on it. It is time for the church to STAND UP.
Faith with out works is dead! James.
The gay activists and adult club owners occasionally protest my church.
Our pastor takes cold bottles of water out to them. They don’t come as much anymore.
“Non-denominational”+Megachurch= watered down Christianity afraid to offend the Godless.
The good news, without the inconvenient repentance part.
My niece told me that the house next to the church the husband died and the pastor went over to express his condolences.
The widow said you never once came over when he was sick and in need, so get the hell out of my house.
She said it was the most moving sermon she had ever heard, the man was broken by his lack of “getting to know his neighbors”.
She said he decided that every house with in a square mile from the church would be visited personally by him, because that widow was right and he had failed her and her husband.
Anyway, I not sure it is the mega church is the problem but people can lose themselves in the crowd and they escape personal involvement. They can go to church, be a regular, give a dollar or two and think ‘that’s all they need to do’.
More is asked of us.
Could be ~ maybe it isn't. There is insufficient evidence in this piece to condemn that particular megachurch, but let's say they believe in abortion in there ~ they'd not really be Christian in the first place, so the rant is wasted.
Anyone have any real information on this story or is it just something written according to a formula.
Not to be cynical, but we are asked to condemn these people on third or fourth-hand testimony.
I can assure you that my “Non-denominational” + Megachurch is not watered down Christianity and we are not afraid to offend the Godless. Sounds like you are judging us all. Sad!
With out say exactly who, (small town, one room baptist churches) have often told me they are upset with these mega churches because they, the mega churches are stealing all their members. Most of these small town churches are lucky to seat 50 people (mostly family or somehow related) on a good night, maybe 200 during a week long revival. I am not sure of the reason/s as to why the mega churches are attracting these people but to be honest I believe they just want a change from the small town inbreed incestuous church they left.
I am not saying it applies here but...
There was a woman and she was living in a women’s shelter here in the states with her three young boys. She was from Africa and had been married to a fairly wealthy German, she was fleeing an abusive husband in Germany. That’s how she ended up in the USA. So the story goes...
While in the women’s shelter, she met another woman who was staying at the women’s shelter who was also from Africa but had become a nurse and a citizen of the USA. When the abusive boyfriend was cleared from the citizen woman’s home, she left the shelter and returned home, taking the other woman and her 3 kids with her.
This African/German woman and her three kids made the other lady happy, as she has no children and she thought they could all be like a little family. She could help them as the African/German lady went to school and the children could be in a good school and stable environment.
This that and the other happened and the African/German lady started complaining to a church she had started attending. She said the other lady was cruel, crazy...you name it (it was quite a story). Of course the church was worried for this woman, so they helped her move out of that house and found a church member who was able to house the lady and her children.
Once at the church members house, she didn’t want to care for her children, became demanding about being taken here there and yonder, wanted to drive the vehicles even though she had no license. Wanted internet hooked up to the garage apartment, instead of using the library computers. Had a strange man come to the house late at night. You get the picture.
Turns out the school overlooked needed paperwork for the children, to ensure they could be in school and because they wanted to help, just like the church. A US man had paid this woman’s way and shipped her stuff here to the USA. She had done this before— it was France that she had run off to before. The German father was looking for his children. She had kidnapped them (parent abduction).
She had other stuff going on with the courts here, too. She had somehow married the man who paid her way here but she had said he was abusive, too and she was trying to get that annulled or he was...it was all just crazy. Oh, and it turns out that the stuff the church helped the lady move out of the home of the other woman, well some of it belonged to the other woman. So the church helped this lady with theft.
Were the men abusive to her? I don’t know. I do know that this was abusive to others that she came into contact with, that were just trying to be Christian and helpful. She took advantage of everyone and wanted more. She was neglectful to her children. She was a scam artist.
They endangered a older, single woman church member in doing this. The church changed their policy on how they help. Churches do need to be careful as well as helpful.
My experience has been this: a new church forms and the new pastor is young and the music is the entertainment and live band praise chorus style that the small town churches have yet to adopt. At first, a few young families leave to join the new church, then the trickle becomes a flood as the young people all follow their friends to the new church. The older church is left with the aging faithful, struggling to afford a full time pastor.
The new churches offer a gym and basketball and all sorts of programs for the kids because they have the numbers.
Wow, small Christian churches are places of incest and inbreeding?
and that doesn't sound stereotyped at all, lol
This is the problem with mega churches, they are entertaining their congregation rather than preaching the gospel/cross and saving the congregation.
What, you mean you’ve never been to the Tuesday Night Incest Services or Wednesday Night Orgies? The coleslaw is excellent, by the way.
Christian maternity home and program founded by Christians in Ocean County, NJ to provide a place for women like this:
Yup, I’ve been in two churches now where similar things have happened. We have to be wise as a serpent, gentle as a dove. I used to run a Food Closet for our church for the neighborhood, and I got to know the clients. Some few would hang around church on Sundays looking for money/ handouts, telling ‘sad tales.’ People would ask me, ‘Should I help him?” And I’d say, “I can tell you, word for word, his story. I personally do not believe it.’
Sentimentality can get one in so much trouble.
Which reminds me of that great old quote from Oscar Wilde, "Sentimentality is loving people more than God would."
You’d almost think so. Some church here are composed of mostly family and in-laws. Kinda like Westboro baptist is. No joke! It is hard being in a church like that because you make someone angry and the whole place is P!ssed at you. It is incestuous and you come up with retards.
Sentimentality can get one in so much trouble.
Indeed. It can also be harmful at times just handing out money. Some people are in shelters or programs and they are getting help. When given cash they may abandon the help they were receiving for drugs and the street.
I think it is always handy to have a few printed cards of places to get help, shelters, food, and such. Share the good news, offer to arrange for them to get to or contact a source of help. Donate to the places that specialize in this help.
Could be ~ maybe it isn’t. There is insufficient evidence in this piece to condemn that particular megachurch...
Or, put another way, “judge not, lest ye be judged”.
Look me up if you are ever in my area. I will take you to one such place.
She prayed. And God sent her you.
Painting with a pretty broad brush aren’t you?
My church has 3 or 4 requests per week from people who say they are stranded or in some emergency but when they are asked for some reference say from their home church they are unable to provide one name or number. The truth is there are many, many scam artists who go from church to church asking for money....We are not hard hearted but have grown wise....
For some, I think they want to be lost in a crowd and not have to bugged or asked to serve.
We have a lot of small churches like that, we call them Hayes churches. They had 22 children and they started a church and then some disagreed and started their own church and it still goes on and on. There are probably 15 or 16 churches and most of them have about 15 members and most of them are related.
Wow, you really are quite amazing.
I work in a church and while we use our own judgement sometimes we mostly send them to a clearing house type charity that we donate to.
These women who are pregnant and homeless need to come to a Catholic Church. Most cities have shelters for pregnant women so they can keep their babies.
Depending on the age of the mother, the mother and baby may stay there until she gets her feet back on the ground. My church often donates food to the three shelters in our city.
We understand the salvation formula as:
DEEDS => LOVE => FAITH => SALVATION
Salvation is at the end of the path, not at Baptism.
Been there, done that regarding local missions, at small and big churches.
As others have noted, scam artists appear quite often. Some of my friends caught TB from street missions. We offered to help with several pregnancies, and a local doctor offered rooms in a private clinic, not the county hospital.
Very few took us up on our help. Our strings - no drug use, no alcohol and take vitamins every day. Meals provided if they would show up.
We also tried family intervention ministries - with cops who attended our church. Turned out that one of our detectives recognized several of the people we were trying to help as gang bangers, professional thieves and serious druggies.
Heather, before you criticize the church, talk to them. Perhaps no one thought to talk to the “lady” as you did, or maybe they did not see her - it took you several single minded attempts to discover her story.
The only “ SINS “ that the works based, hellfire and brimstone, preach against “ SIN “ preachers don’t preach against is his or her own.
Or maybe they are just unregenerate self-absorbed worldly people who prefer an entertaining social club over worshiping the Lord.
not really. there might well be something to ‘judge’ in this but the evidence wasn’t presented. most likely this is just another attack on megachurches ~ or cathedrals ~ I can hear the peasants of Beauvais rallying under their torches and pitchforks ‘Zoot alors ~ zee Cathedral will take all the good priests and who will attend st wilhelmina’s chapel in the future’?
WOW! Talking about throwing the baby out with the bath-water. How about this: If you are interested...freepmail me and I will give you the website of my "mega-church." There...you can watch our teacing pastor from just Wed night (or any night) offend the Godless. You can also watch our senior pastor as he offends the Godless...by preaching the gospel the way the apostles did. OR...if you are in the area...you can come into our connection center. PRETEND you are Godless and see if you don't get offended.
Sitting in a small church where the preacher does nothing but preach the same sermon to "the choir"...and doesn't reach anyone for the Gospel doesn't make you right. I hear SO MANY people talk like you.
I simply ask them: How many people have YOU led to Christ this month? This week? How many people have placed their faith in Christ because of YOU? For me...in the last few weeks its been 5. I am in touch with all of them and discipling them. One of them was gloriously saved after a suicide attempt (a real one...not a fake-out).
Are you leading people to Christ...or just being critical?
"What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself."
NO cheers, unfortunately.
Try reading the chapter "Protestant" in Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon Days...
The more I think about this story, the more it sounds like a hit piece.
It’s very vagueness is suspicious. These women could be discussing any church in Austin and I believe that is the idea behind the story. As in “all Christians are selfish phonies”. Not for a minute do I believe any chuch would stop with taking the woman to lunch then allowing her to go back out on the street.
I am even questioning the likelihood of the woman wondering around the church and making no effort to find help for herself. Unless she is mentally challeneged people just are not that ignorant.
Finally, the story about the pastor who vowed to visit every home within a square mile of his church is also questionable. In reality, that is not humanly posible in an urban setting; he would have time for nothing else.
I’m still trying to figure out how a pregnant and homeless woman is that church’s fault.
Yes, that is part of the reason I said it. It was an attack. We all serve the Lord in different ways and some will be left with more than others as their works are tested by fire. Some will escape with only their eternal soul. 1 Cor 3:15