The "WWJD" exam

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The "WWJD" exam

Postby John Bear » Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:44 am

The last posting in this forum was exactly six months ago. Because of the tradition that forums with no postings for six month are discontinued, I'll insert a place-holder here: one of the stories I found when I looked up urban legends about exams at

The story involves a final exam for a course in the life of Jesus that was given at a religious institution. The students arrived at the exam site, only to find a notice that the test had been moved to another building at the other side of the campus. As each student rushed to the other location, they were approached by a beggar (actually an actor portraying a beggar) who asked for help. Only one student stopped to help the person. That student received an 'A' on the course. The others failed the course because they obviously had missed Jesus' basic message. The beggar was the test!

This "legend" turned out to be based on an experiment done at Princeton University in 1970. Not exactly the same, but pretty similar.
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Postby Jimmy » Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:24 pm

There's a similar story, whether true or not, I don't know, of a pastoral candidate who arrived at a church in shabby clothing and very unkempt. He sat on the steps outside the church. The overwhelming majority of parishoners passed him by with some making critical statements about him. When everyone was inside, the "bum" went in, went up front, announced he was the pastoral candidate and had chosen to withdraw his application.
Rev. James W. Clifton
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Postby Little Fauss » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:46 pm

That's the test Yeshua set out for us: as you've done to the least, so you've done to Me.

We're about to move, so we're going to stick it out at our present church, but we're very disillusioned with the attitudes of some members, including clergy, towards Joe, a semi-addled old widower who attends. Many of them ignore him or pretty nigh sneer at him; when Joe speaks, the pastor's face compresses. He calls the parishoners and regularly stops by for extended chats. He tells long stories, forgetting the point midway through. He asks for rides often. He shouts "amen" a little too loud for the tastes of the average Presbyterian. He makes rambling, off-point comments in Sunday School. But at bottom, he's just lonely and old and he needs kindness.

It's easy to be nice to someone who's easy to be around--that's no test of what you're about. The test is how you treat the difficult. My wife got real pointed with the authorities over this at the last board meeting, but with no results; they don't seem to give a rip about what the Bible says when it happens to put them in an uncomfortable situation or makes demands upon them other than tossing money--which they have in abundance--in the collection plate or doing church activities with fellow beautiful people. Really sets me off. I suppose there are issues in me just as serious, but the kicking around of a person on the bottom has always put me on tilt.
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Postby nosborne48 » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:29 pm

Folks, listen:

Please do NOT give money to panhandlers!


Ask any social worker, any police officer, any Judge, ANYONE involved in the criminal justice system.

If you are (rightly) moved by the plight of the legitimately badly off, write a nice check to the local United Way, Food Pantry, Soup SCAM, Battered Women's Shelter or whoever. When people really NEED help and are willing to ACCEPT help, those are the places they go.

It took me a long, long time to learn to resist the highly professional appeals panhandlers develop. But believe me, you are doing neither the panhandler nor society any favor.

All you are doing is enabling the addict and supporting a particularly nasty group of predatory criminals.

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Postby Jonathan Whatley » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:44 pm

Distance learning hook: Consider giving money to the underheralded City Vision College, formerly Rescue College, the DETC-accredited grantor of certificates and B.A. in Missions degrees to students working in urban rescue missions or other approved organizations.
City Vision College wrote:The City Vision College curriculum is a unique distance learning experience that incorporates the actual operations of a rescue mission or other approved nonprofit organization as both "laboratory" and "classroom." The City Vision College approach places a great emphasis on "learning while doing" and requires various assigned tasks at approved training sites...

To fulfill this requirement, students with no current involvement with a rescue mission or other approved organization may participate in a one-year "on-the-job" training experience. Interns are assigned to training missions that are members in good standing of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, or to other approved ministries.

They are now a project of TechMission, Inc.
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Postby John Bear » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:13 am

Nosborne: "Please do NOT give money to panhandlers! "

John: I agree . . . but I am full of indecision with regard to Street Spirit, the quite readable monthly newspaper published in the Bay Area by the American Friends Service Committee. They either give them free or sell them for a dime to homeless people who in turn sell them on the street for a dollar. They require (well, strongly encourage) the sellers to be sober and non-aggressive. I generally buy it, and then wonder if even that dollar should go directly to an agency.
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Postby winter sky » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:42 am

... I'm getting a headache as I compose this response. For me, and I think for many other people like me, who didn't leave Washington, D.C. (or another city like it) during the many years that it wasn't popular but was difficult to live here, there was no bigger source of stress and anger than homeless people. Certainly not all of them cause problems, but enough have caused them to make it a huge problem. The situation here has improved considerably since the 1990s (the worst decade for the District), but it still isn't great, and it probably won't improve much more.

In the mid-1990s, when I lived in an older rowhouse in a densely populated, established neighborhood, I caught a homeless man trying to break in through the living-room window. I chased him away and called the police, but of course the man was long gone by the time the police showed up. That same year another homeless man parked himself in the alley behind all those rowhouses and screamed obscenities nonstop. I called the police (and appeared to be the only person to have done so) but of course the man ran away and eluded the police. Then there are the many homeless men (and a few women, some of them elderly) who have screamed and cursed at me and occasionally attempted to chase me, but not all of them were asking for money, so I'm not using the term "panhandlers."

In 2000, in a neighborhood considered extremely expensive, a homeless man knocked me to the icy pavement as I attempted to mail bill payments at a corner mailbox. I was fortunate that I wasn't seriously injured and that my glasses didn't break. I called the police, but again, he was long gone, etc. In this instance I think a few other people saw him from down the street but did nothing, but actually I think that was true of the attempted break-in as well.

The homeless people's newspaper here (I didn't know there were similar ones in other cities) is called Street Sense. (I once glanced through a copy I found; the quality was so-so, I thought; every article advocated more spending on the homeless!) The vendors that I see are sober and cheerful but loud and aggressive. They don't quote a price and encourage buyers to donate more than the dollar that it costs if you ask them the price. Most people (including me) don't buy it, but from what I see, those that do often pay five or ten dollars for it. If you are in one of the busier downtown areas, including many subway stations, during the evening rush hour and afterward, you can't easily avoid them.

I could continue. I won't, but I may be one of the few people in this group who is confronted with these problems so frequently.
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Postby Jonathan Whatley » Mon May 19, 2008 8:30 pm

Meera Bains of CBC News wrote:A church pastor in Abbotsford has been told not to feed the homeless in a city park after residents and businesses complained that drug addicts and aggressive panhandlers were overrunning the area.

Pastor Christopher Reiners of the Peace Lutheran Church told CBC News two or three volunteers from the congregation have been doling out cereal and hot coffee to about 20 people on Thursday mornings in the city’s Jubilee Park for the past six weeks.

Last week, three city councilors and concerned neighbours met with Reiners to ask him to stop...

While he’s ready to discuss solutions, not feeding the homeless isn’t going to solve the city’s growing problem, said the pastor, and for now, he plans on continuing his work in the park.

"For Christians not to care for the needy is simply not an option. It's part of our calling," said Reiners.

Stop feeding homeless in city park, Abbotsford councillors tell pastor (Meera Bains, CBC News, Thursday, May 15, 2008, 2:22 PM ET)
Peace Lutheran Church (ELCIC - I know, I know; sorry, Uncle J.), (link just for context; there doesn't seem to be anything there about the controversy as I write)
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