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the words of larry norman

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a note from larry - 1986

Christian morality should be continual, reflecting the eternal concerns of God. With the constant outpouring of "gospel" books it seems like Christian emphasis changes from season to season. Or maybe it is our own, personal callousness which makes us indifferent to issues that seem overly familiar.

When I sang about poverty in the 60's and 70's, spoke out against abortion, questioned the human value of the multi-billion dollar space program and other things, I found myself in trouble with those in "authority". Many seemed to feel that a nice Christian wouldn't be so negative and keep talking about poverty, or mention the social disease named in the second verse of "Why Don't You Look into Jesus". Of course, today, everyone talks about AIDS and comments on the condition of world hunger. After the recent disaster which tool place aboard the Challenger, others are questioning the importance of the space program.

This seems all very well. But my concern is this. What will happen if poverty is no longer in vogue as a topic for conversation? Will people stop thinking about our brothers and sisters dying in foreign lands? When Mick Jagger and Tina Turner and dozens of other rock stars appeared on satellite for Live Aid, what did they really give besides a little free time. It's true that they weren't paid for their performance. But their airplane tickets, hotels, meals, and limousines were all paid for. What did they personally give. I KNOW what they received; multinational exposure to millions of people who had never bought one of their records before. None of them suffered to be present at the Live Aid event. None of them LOST record sales. So let's become honest. What did they GIVE?

But let's even be MORE honest. What have you given? Have you given any money to a charity organization? I don't mean "did you buy a Live Aid t-shirt?" I mean have you, as a Christian believer, made a commitment to God to enter into a supportive relationship to the poor. Do you donate money to the Calcutta Mission? Do you support Compassion International? Do you give any money on a regular basis to any Christian support group? I don't mean "do you give an offering on Sunday morning?" When we stand before Christ in Heaven, he shall say to many of us: "You did not feed me. You did not clothe me." And many os us shall say, "When didn't we feed you and clothe you?" And Jesus shall look at us and say, "You did not feed me and you did not clothe me when you did not feed and clothe the least among you!"

If you claim to love Jesus then you must feed Him and clothe Him. If Jesus came to your house you would invite him in to stay. You would prepare food for him, let him sleep in your best bed. Give him your clothes, even the shirt of your back. But if the poor came to your house you would probably turn them away. What Jesus is saying to us is VERY important. If you want to find favor in His eyes the you must feed and clothe the least among you and it will be accredited unto you as righteousness. If you do not share your money with the poor, to purchase them food, shelter, clothing, medical attention, then you are turning Christ away from your door.

What will you say to Christ when you stand before Him? Will He say to you "Well done, good and faithful servant"? Or will Jesus say to you, "Why didn't you feed me? Why didn't you clothe me?" Please. If you really love Christ, love your brothers and sisters in the way that He commands you to. Feed the poor. Clothe them.

God bless you as you become more obedient to His Word.

Love in Jesus,

Larry Norman