Deambulantes: La Raíz Del Problema y la Solución


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Llevo 27 años trabajando en trabajos relacionados a Trabajo Social y 23 años sirviendo en diversos ministerios en la Florida, Carolina del Norte y Alaska. Mi corazón ha estado muy apegado, particularmente, al ministerio de deambulantes (Personas sin hogar); específicamente en la Florida y aquí en Alaska.

Este problema de deambulantes es unos de los temas principales aquí en los Estados Unidos. No es un secreto que el problema existe primordialmente en estados y ciudades liberales. El estado de California, por ejemplo, que ha sido liberal por generaciones, tiene los problemas de deambulantes más grandes en la nación; particularmente en ciudades como Los Ángeles y San Francisco. En estas ciudades los deambulantes se adueñan de las calles, hacen sus necesidades físicas en las calles, tiran su basura por donde quiera, abuso de drogas y alcohol y, peor aún, la violencia está completamente fuera de control.

Esto puede que suene raro a mis hermanos de otras de otras naciones; pero en los Estados Unidos los deambulantes comen desayuno, almuerzo y comida todos los días a través de diversos ministerios y organizaciones. Entonces, es apropiado preguntarse ¿cual es el problema? ¿Por qué sigue aumentando el problema de deambulantes en los Estados Unidos? En mi opinión hay dos razones fundamentales: 1) Creo que, por lo general, con pocas excepciones, la falta de valores bíblicos es lo que ha llevado a mentalidades reprobadas (Romanos 1:28). La excepción son veteranos de guerra que han sido traumatizados y personas con problemas psicológicos severos. Otra causa para esta epidemia de personas deambulantes en los Estados Unidos es, 2) La adaptación de ideologías socialista que promueven la idea de que otros tienen que hacer por nosotros lo que nosotros tenemos la capacidad, con la ayuda de Dios, de hacer por nosotros mismos. Esta ideología ha causado que la dignidad del trabajo se pierda. Tenemos a mucha gente que, literalmente, esperan que el gobierno les resuelva todos sus problemas.

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Estas ideologías y falsos valores están en oposición directa a lo que nos enseña la Biblia. Segunda de Tesalonicenses 3:10 nos dice, “Porque también cuando estábamos con vosotros, os ordenábamos esto: Si alguno no quiere trabajar, tampoco coma.” (Reina Velera 1960). Entonces, ¿Por qué seguimos dándole comida gratuitita a personas que simplemente no quieren trabajar? Esto suena falto de misericordia; pero Segunda de Tesalonicenses es claro… “…Si alguno no quiere trabajar, tampoco coma.” Por otro lado, Primera de Timoteo 5:8 nos dice, “porque si alguno no provee para los suyos, y mayormente para los de su casa, ha negado la fe, y es peor que un incrédulo.” (RVR 1960) De estos versos concluimos que parte de las ordenanzas apostólicas eran:

  1. Trabajar por su propio sustento y el de su familia.
  2. El no trabajar y proveer para su familia era equivalente a negar la fe.
  3. Toda persona con la habilidad de trabajar para su sustento era responsable de su propia comida. Esa responsabilidad no era delegada a nadie; por eso el Apóstol Pablo nos dice, “…Si alguno no quiere trabajar, tampoco coma.”
  4. Una persona que haciéndose llamar cristiano no proveía para los suyos era considerado PEOR que un incrédulo.

Podemos decir que estos versos bíblicos son muy duros, que no tienen compasión. Mas tenemos que recordarnos de que Dios es amor y el sabe lo que ayuda y lo que no. Lo cierto es que muchas veces nos encontramos creyendo que estamos ayudando cuando en realidad estamos haciendo más daño. Para hacer este punto considere lo siguiente; en enero del 1964 el presidente Lyndon Johnson en su “State of the Union Address” le proclamó la guerra a la pobreza.  Desde entonces, en los Estados Unidos el gobierno ha invertido más de 22 trillones de dólares en diversos programas para combatir la pobreza; tres veces la cantidad de dinero que los Estados Unidos ha invertido en todas las guerras desde la Revolución hasta hoy. Ya han pasado más de 50 años desde esta proclamación; ¿cuál ha sido el resultado? El progreso ha sido mínimo[1]. De hecho, una parte significativa de la población no parece tan siquiera considerar su habilidad de lograr costearse sus propios gastos de vida. Han adoptado la mentalidad de que esa responsabilidad le pertenece a otras personas.

Como seres humanos nuestra dependencia solo deber ser en Dios y, a su vez, Dios nos ha dado talentos y habilidades para trabajar, para proveer para nuestras familias y para ministrar. Dependencia en gobiernos y, aún ministerios, para nuestro sustento diario, no es de Dios.

En su libro “Toxic Charity” (Caridad Tóxica) Robert B. Lipton describe este proceso tóxico de caridad.

  1. La primera vez que das lo reciben con gratitud.
  2. La segunda vez que das creas anticipación. (Ahora ya esperan que tú le des lo que ellos pueden proveerse ellos mismos.)
  3. La tercera vez que das creas expectativa lo que quiere decir es que ahora su esperanza no está puesta en Dios si no en ti.
  4. La cuarta vez que das creas un sentido de que ahora es un derecho que ellos tienen de que tú le des lo que ellos tienen la habilidad de proveerse ellos mismos.
  5. Para la quinta vez que das has creado total dependencia en ti. Ahora ellos dependen en tu trabajo, en tus habilidades, en tus ingresos, en el gobierno, en programas, etc.

Lamentablemente este proceso tóxico y demoníaco ha infectado nuestras propias naciones y aún nuestras iglesias y ministerios. Nos creemos que estamos ayudando cuando en realidad estamos haciendo daño. Por eso es por lo que el socialismo no ha sido efectivo en ninguna parte del mundo. Entonces la pregunta es ¿cómo podemos verdaderamente ayudar a los pobres? Después de todo, tenemos que recordar que ayudar a los pobres es una obligación cristiana.

El problema no es la ayuda al pobre, el problema es las formas que hemos adoptado para proveer dicha ayuda; la cual no es ayuda, sino la creación de más problemas. Para proveer dicha ayuda nunca debemos ignorar Segunda de Tesalonicenses 3:10 ni Primera de Timoteo 5:8, sino que deben servir de fundamentos bíblicos para dichos ministerios. Otro verso bíblico que tiene que servir de fundamento bíblico lo es mateo 4:4, “…No sólo de pan vivirá el hombre, sino de toda palabra que sale de la boca de Dios.” (RVR-1960)

La vida de un ser humano no depende solo de alimento físico, sino también del alimento espiritual. El problema del hombre es primordialmente un problema del alma. Nosotros como Iglesia no estamos llamados a resolver problemas sociales, estamos llamados a un trabajo aún más profundo, la transformación de almas. La transformación de almas afectará familias, vecindarios, pueblos, ciudades, estados y países. Ese ha sido el resultado en todos los avivamientos del mundo. Dios es bueno y cuando Dios toma control los resultados son obvios y positivos. Cuando el hombre toma control con sus ideologías baratas, los resultados también son obvios, pero negativos. Esta encomienda de transformar almas no se puede llevar a cabo sin Dios.

La transformación de un alma requiere el cambiar la forma en que pensamos, lo que a su vez afectará nuestra toma de decisiones y, por consiguiente, nuestras emociones. Esa es, exclusiva, la obra del Espíritu Santo. Nuestra parte como ministros es asegurarnos de que estamos discipulando, manteniendo a Dios y a su Palabra en el centro. En conclusión, cuando ministramos a los deambulantes y a los pobres en general debemos de tomar los siguientes puntos en cuenta:

  • Nunca ayudar a nadie quien tiene la habilidad física y mental de ayudarse ellos mismos. El hacer por otros lo que ellos tienen la habilidad de hacer por ellos mismos no es ayudar, sino llevarlos a depender en hombres, promover irresponsabilidad, promover vagancia y ultimadamente quitarle la esperanza en Dios y ponerla en hombres; esto es una forma e idolatría.
  • Hay que recordar que estas ayudas deben ser temporeras y que el plan no es continuar su dependencia en programas y ministerios, sino en la transformación del alma, de nuestras formas de pensar, toma de decisiones y emociones.
  • Tener mucho cuidado y discernimiento con proveer servicios gratuitos. Todo cuesta, por lo que aún los que no tienen ingresos para pagar por servicios, deben pagar con algún tipo de trabajo voluntario para que aprendan a ganarse la vida. Es una de las formas de eliminar la posibilidad de caridad tóxica.

 

 

 

 

 

[1] https://www.heritage.org/poverty-and-inequality/report/the-war-poverty-after-50-years

 

Replacing the Holy Ghost


 

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God gave each one of us a spirit. Our spirit is the inner most part of who we are. It is within our spirit that we worship the things we value the most. It is because of our spirit that we are alive right now. Genesis 2:7 tells us, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (KJV)

The moment our spirit leaves us, our flesh dies. On the cross we see that Jesus died the moment he gave up his spirit (Matthew 27:50). Make no mistake about it, the story of Babel teaches us that the human spirit is indeed powerful. God knows that when we make up our minds to do something, nothing can stop us but God himself; good, bad or ugly. That’s why God needed to stop the Babel Project himself.

I want to make the point that we can accomplish much without the Spirit of God. Yes, we can! Have you taken a closer look at the many millionaires, highly educated and “successful” people out there who do not acknowledge God in anything they do? Furthermore, some even deny the very existence of God. So, having property, money, fancy houses, fancy cars, big buildings, fancy clothing, etc. are not evidence that God is there. Actually, throughout the Old Testament we see that the most powerful and rich nations were always ungodly. The Psalmist in Psalm 73:3 complained about this by stating, “For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (KJV)

Beloved, you don’t need the Holy Ghost to have material prosperity. Your own human spirit is enough for that. Sadly, I see many churches who want a piece of the pie of prosperity and are willing to do whatever it takes to do so. The problem is that to accomplish that goal they are compromising by 1) removing the activity of the Holy Ghost and, 2) adapting a form of godliness while diminishing the importance of the manifestation of the true signs of the power of God. These two compromises are accomplished by:

  1. An insensitive approach to the move of the Holy Ghost during our services. Very little mention of the Holy Spirit.
  2. An entertainment-like, stand-up-comedian-like and TV-Like atmosphere during the service.
  3. Time-limits during the service.
  4. Short messages, not too heavy on sin, doctrine or theology.
  5. Messages focus on the growth and prosperity of the church. Sometimes is almost like they want to keep people excited about the church, but in a carnal way, with activities and programs.
  6.  Horizontal messages with very little teachings about the character of God.
  7. No transparency from ministers. You would think they are perfect!
  8. No divine interruptions; services are the same!
  9. A hyper focus on evangelism, with a water down gospel, while exclusively ignoring the Apostolic and Prophetic office.
  10. Love to get validation from political figures, successful businessmen and Hollywood.

We have learned from the more traditional denominations that by ignoring the work of the Holy Spirit, you can gain credibility in the world, look more dignifying, sophisticated and, actually experience a great deal of prosperity. That is, big buildings, prestigious schools, colleges, titles and, great wealth.

I am amazed to see even Pentecostal churches adapting this approach. You can sit in a Pentecostal service and never know they are Pentecostals because nobody is speaking in tongues, there is no preaching on deliverance, no casting out demons and no physical healings. All of those things are considered outdated and offensive; nevertheless, the Bible tells us in Mark 16:17-19,  

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (KJV)

I am even more amazed to see what some of our women are wearing in our services. Even from the pulpit we see women with tied jeans, with leggings and in general, very seducing clothing. It seems like we went from the extreme of legalism to liberalism. We have now become experts in quenching the Holy Ghost and have “grown so much” that we now despise prophesy; we are now replacing the Holy Spirit for the human spirit. We still focus on Pastor-Teachers, and we have some good ones out there with good hearts. We also welcome evangelism as that gives us church growth, but there is no room for the apostles and no room for the prophet.

The disorder we see today is because of the lack of apostleship in the church. When you read through the apostle’s letters in the New Testament you can’t ignore that the apostles were constantly dealing with sin in the church and protecting the church from false teachings. But we have become so politically correct that we are afraid of offending people with the truth. Never mind that it is the truth that can make us free (John 8:32). When we lack the manifestation of the prophetic office, we also hurt the church badly as the prophet comes to edify the church. In First Corinthians 14:4 the Apostle Paul stated, “Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.” (NIV)

The prophet brings edification to the church by strengthening, encouraging and comforting the saints (1 Corinthians 14:3). These three blessings are missing when the prophet is not allowed to use his gifts. That is why Paul tells us, “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.” (I Corinthians 14:4-5) The argument I am trying to make here is sealed with the words of Paul in First Thessalonians 5:19-20 “Quench not the Spirit. “Despise not prophesyings.” (KJV)

In conclusion, I am not speaking against the full expression of the pastoral gift or the evangelist or the teacher. I am passionately standing against the omission of the apostolic and the prophetic office and the quenching of the Holy Ghost. By divorcing the apostolic and prophetic office and, most importantly, by quenching the Holy Ghost, we are wasting our time and we are doing things by our own spirit and not by the Holy Spirit. How dare we do such a thing?

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22 (KJV)

 

 

 

8 Dimensions of Wellness Scale: How Are You Really Doing?


The 8 Dimensions of Wellness Scale

Name: _________________________________
Date: __________________
Score: _________________

The origin of the 8-dimensional model of wellness was credited to Dr. Bill Hettler in 1976; he started with 6 dimensions. Dr. Hettler is the co-founder of the National Wellness Institute (NWI).

I created this scale using these dimensions of wellness with the intention of assessing our overall satisfaction or dissatisfaction with life in general. John 10:10 tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (NASB). The Word “Abundantly” is the Greek Word perissós, meaning “Over and above, more than enough.” In Luke 17:11-19 the Bible tells us the story of the Ten Lepers.

And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. (KJV)

The word Cleansed in Luke 17:14 is the Greek Word katharízō meaning “To cleanse, free from filth.” The lepers asked to be cleansed from Leprosy, that was one specific thing. Many times, we focus on one aspect of our lives, but our lives are more complex than that. For example, we decided that we want to lose weight. After we lose the weight, we feel physically better, but overall, we may still have a sense that something is still missing. That is because we may be focusing on our health, while ignoring our social wellness. Maybe we are doing well in our financial wellness, but not so well in our spiritual wellness and so on.

Out of these 10 Lepers, one came back to give glory to Jesus and only he experienced wholeness. The word Wholeness in Luke 17:19 is the Greek word, sṓzō; meaning “To save, deliver, make whole, preserve safe from danger, loss, destruction.” Wholeness is more than just one aspect of our lives, wholeness involves the entire complexity of the human experience.

I believe that as we take a look at these eight dimensions of wellness, we get a good practical picture of what an abundant live look like. Wellness is not only about losing weight and having money; there are a lot physically fit and financially stable people who still feel miserable. Wellness is defined “as an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.”

It is my hope that as you sincerely approach this Wellness Scale that you become aware that God desires to give you a life that is abundant and whole. It is my hope that you do not settle for misery. It is my hope that you experience fullness of life by surrendering to God and making better choices on each of these categories of wellness.

1. Occupational Wellness:

Personal engagement with one’s work that is meaningful and rewarding.

• Scale of 1 to 10: _____

Total: _____
Comments: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. Physical Wellness:

Physical health and well-being through physical activity and helpful nutrition.

• (Nutrition) Scale of 1 to 5: _____
• (Physical Activity) Scale of 1 to 5: _____

Total: _____
Comments: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. Social Wellness:

Recognizing and engaging with one’s interconnectedness with nature and with others for the betterment of community as a whole.

• (Nature) Scale of 1 to 5: _____
• (Family) Scale of 1 to 5: _____
• (Friends) Scale of 1 to 5: _____
• (Involvement in Community) Scale of 1 to 5: _____

Total: _____
Comments: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4. Spiritual Wellness:

Aligning one’s belief and values with one’s worldview to establish meaning and purpose in life.

• (Prayer life) Scale of 1 to 5: _____
• (Study of God’s Word) Scale of 1 to 5: _____
• (Church membership) Scale of 1 to 5: _____
• (Ministry involvement) Scale of 1 to 5: _____

Total: _____
Comments: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5. Emotional Wellness:

The expression and management of one’s feelings to cope and thrive in relationships and pursue acceptance for one’s emotions.

• (How do you actually feel?) Scale of 1 to 5: _____
• (How do you cope with your emotions?) Scale 1 to 5: _____

Total: _____
Comments: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

6. Financial Wellness:

Establishing healthy financial habits and planning for the future to ensure financial stability throughout a lifetime.

• (How is your debt level?) Scale of 1 to 5: _____
• (How is your saving habits?) Scale of 1 to 5: _____

Total: _____
Comments: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

7. Environmental Wellness:

Seeking surroundings that promote personal safety and encourage and support all aspects of personal wellness.

• (How satisfy are you with the country you live in?) Scale of 1 to 2.5: _____
• (How satisfy are you with the town or city you are a part of?) Scale of 1 to 2.5: _____
• (How satisfy are you with the neighborhood you are a part of?) Scale of 1 to 2.5: _____
• (How satisfy are you with your place of residence?) Scale of 1 to 2.5: _____

Total: _____
Comments: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

8. Intellectual Wellness:

Engaging in activities that stimulate and challenge mental faculties to enhance one’s mental fitness.

• Scale of 1 to 10: _____

Total: _____
Comments: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Now that you have the results of your 8 Dimensions of Wellness Scale you have a better picture of why you feel the way you feel about your life. This is a good start! My score the first time was 53. Your next step is how to increase these numbers on each category, one number at the time. Take small steps and give yourself some time! Remember, it is God’s will for you to experiences abundant life and wholeness. With God’s guidance and better choices on your part, you will experience a much better life than the one you are experiencing right now.