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Wednesday, January 24, 2007 

The 30 Hour Fiasco

One of the benefits of chairing the Bored of Education is I get lots of junk mail for all sorts of “causes”. Last night I stopped by the church office to clean out my mailbox and there was a big honking package waiting for me. Inside was a free t-shirt and promotional material for the 30 Hour Famine. What’s a 30 hour famine you ask? The website promoting said famine described it like this;

“youth group members raise money through donors and sponsors to help the millions of starving and hurting children in some of the world's poorest countries, offering them a hope they could not otherwise have. The groups then go 30 hours without food, so that they can have a real taste of what hunger is like. During this time they engage in different activities, from community service projects to volunteer work to study, depending on how each group plans their own event. Afterwards the money raised is sent in to World Vision, and we put it to work in areas like Kenya, Sudan, and here in the United States.”

Now, according to the packet that came with the shirt, the little ragamuffins can enjoy not eating, living in cardboard boxes for a night, and even participating in a game of “tribes” where decisions are made about what to do with not enough resources for their different groups.

I liken this nonsense to Hollywood movie stars sleeping on the street to bring attention to the plight of the homeless. Of course, the same stars always seem to be dressed in thousand dollar suits and dresses before we see them again at the next red carpet event. If they really wanted to help they would give Matt Harrison at LCMS World Relief a buzz and donate something other than a can of cream of mushroom soup that had been sitting in the pantry for eight years aging to that ripe old age suitable enough to be used as a generic Botox.

Anyhoo, one of the things that just had me just rolling on the floor was a testimonial that stated;

“The 30 Hour Famine has given our youth group the opportunity to expand their horizons through activities and events within our community. This event gets the youth to step out of their comfort zones at least once a year, which allows them to be vulnerable to the Lord.”

Yep, they really said “vulnerable to the Lord”. No kidding and no joke. I don’t know what that means, and I don’t want to. All I do know is that this “Christian” organization conveniently forgot to mention Christ. And since any good work, without Christ is nevertheless likely to be a mortal sin. (Heidelberg Disputation, theses 3) and to also say that works without Christ are dead, but not mortal, appears to constitute a perilous surrender of the fear of God, (Ibid, theses 9), I'm pretty sure no children in my congregation will be going hungry or living in a box anytime soon.

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
  • Confessional Lutheran
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