What Harm Can It Do to Study the Issue? by Alan P. Medinger

What Harm Can It Do to Study the Issue?

Alan P. Medinger on Homosexuality

Francis Osgood and several fellow clergy, along with several leading laymen, approached the Reverend Hugh Benchley, the head of their denomination, with a proposal. They believed that the church should study whether or not it would be appropriate for their denomination to cut off all assistance to the poor and needy. They threw out a few reasons having to do with the modern economy—jobs were available for everyone—and the fact that some modern studies showed how much people are damaged psychologically by receiving charity, and they offered a few references to Scripture, including the one that said if you didn’t work, you shouldn’t eat.

Benchley was shocked. “This is ridiculous,” he said. “We are not going to cut off all of our programs for the poor and needy.” “No, no,” cried Osgood. “I am not saying we should cut them off, just that we should study the subject. After all, how can we know whether or not we should do this if we don’t discuss it? We have new economic and psychological understanding now—knowledge that wasn’t available 2,000 years ago. We really don’t know what God is saying about charity. Let’s just keep an open mind and enter into dialogue about it. Appoint a commission of experts in the field and let’s see what they come up with. What harm can it do?”

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