***Update***: The church has finally responded with its side of the story. It certainly makes me feel more sympathy for what they’re going through. I encourage you to read their response here.
***Update 2***: There’s a response to the response. The Rescue Mission says the church leader mischaracterized how they operate.
The Merced County Rescue Mission in California is a Christian organization that provides food, clothing, and shelter to the homeless. You may disagree with the theology, but there’s no doubt they do incredible work.
They just won’t be able to feed the hungry in their long-time residence anymore, because it’s upsetting other Christians.
Executive Director Bruce Metcalf says the temporary closure was prompted after complaints about the homeless from the members of the Central Presbyterian Church, which is across the street. He added that the mission wants to be a “good neighbor.”
Metcalf: “Some of the people that attend there with their young children are simply uncomfortable with some of the guests that we serve.”
That’s left hundreds of people who rely on the mission for food everyday searching for a meal.
Homeless people who rely on the Rescue Mission workers for food are left to scramble because other Christians don’t want to be around that kind of riff-raff.
The other programs offered by the organization are still in place at the old location, but the food giveaways will have to happen somewhere else.
One commenter at KVPR’s website wisely points to Matthew 25:45, where God says, “Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” In other words, regardless of how uncomfortable they are by the presence of homeless people, how dare those churchgoers call themselves Christian when they’re getting in the way of helping the hungry?
Makes you wonder what the hell they’re even learning inside that church.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to David for the link)