I saw this meme this morning (thanks Episcopalians):
Whilst I agree with the general sentiment of this meme the fact that it locates helping the poor as the very center and heart of what it means to be Christian has absolutely zero biblical warrant.
Sure, we should help poor folk. But we should also preach the Gospel, worship God, live in the power of the Spirit, pray, study scripture, and obey God. Indeed, the center of the Christian life is living in absolute dependence on God in gratitude and obedience. Helping the poor is ancillary to that and rather a result of the former things rather than a cause of them.
You don’t, in other words, demonstrate your Christianity by helping poor folk. Any pagan can do that. You demonstrate your Christianity by placing God at the very center of your existence and then everything that flows from that act is a demonstration of who you really are.
It does Christianity zero good for Christians to portray their faith as little more than a social aid club. It exceeds that by millions of miles. The social gospel has been around for a very long time and it has done absolutely nothing to make the world a better place. Only actually converted Christians can do that because only God at work in human lives can do that.