A church located near one of the poorest cities in the country is building tiny homes to help aid the recovery of drug addicts, according to the Christian Post, but their act of “charity” may not be as generous as the article would have you believe.
Crossroads Community Baptist Church in McCreary County, Kentucky, and its pastor, Grant Hasty, are constructing a community of tiny homes that will assist a county that has been hit hard by the ongoing opioid epidemic in the U.S.
WBIR news reports that the project comes as 32 percent of McCreary’s population lives below the poverty line.
The pastor explained that the church currently has about 13 acres of land on a horse farm, about half of which will be used for the development of the tiny homes. Along with helping the addicts stay clean, the program aims to incorporate a job training element to help them get back on their feet financially.
Program volunteer Vicki Kidd told WBIR that those struggling with addiction need a place to go where they can “start new.”
It’s a black mark on religion that stories of Christians making a real, positive difference in their community seem so rare these days. But hats off to this church for practicing what they preach.
There is a fairly obvious question that we have to ask, though: What strings are attached to this charity?
The church wants to help opioid addicts, but what is expected in return? Since a Christian church is running the program, is it safe to assume that proselytizing or Bible-reading are prerequisites and that atheists or Muslims suffering from addiction wouldn’t be eligible for help?
We don’t have a clear answer to that question. Instead, this is the statement on the church’s website:
Our God sized vision is to build 20 tiny homes ranging from 400 to 600 square feet. These homes will be a safe haven for individuals and small families to regain traction in life. Each person living in the community will have expectations and responsibilities. Our goal is to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ.
Days ago, trying to get a straight answer to the question of what those “expectations and responsibilities” were, I emailed the church via the contact page and asked if evangelism was part of their process.
I still haven’t received a response.
I want to believe that religion isn’t being used as a dangling carrot stick in front of the addicts, who would have to pledge allegiance to Jesus to get the help they need, but I can’t rule it out. The fact that “Phase 1” of their plan involves building a prayer chapel is telling, though.
The church has every right to set its own rules. But real charity shouldn’t require the recipient to accept a specific theology in order to be considered worthy. Jesus didn’t require it, either.