There is a serious environmental pollution that has affected the poor and the oppressed and it’s the pollution that has filtered through to the followers of Christ. James said this talking to the Church ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Orphans and widows are often mentioned in the concerns of the early church because these were the most obviously “poor” in first-century Israel. The widows, because they had no access to inheritances in Jewish circles, were very much on the outskirts of society.
We have become polluted when we think we've done enough by paying taxes, we've become polluted when we start to say things like "nothing will change, this is how its always been and will always be" (good old Solomon eh, nothing new under the sun).We have succumbed to the the toxic temptation when we start to delude ourselves that our worth is in what we have and own.
Not only have we become polluted but we now have a massive chasm between the first century church and the 21st.Instead of being the hope of the world we have become the fortress from the world. We have left looking after the widow and the orphan (those on the outskirts of society)to agencies and para church organisations and I thank God for those people and at the same time wonder where and when the Church dropped the ball.
Maybe the watching world would take us more seriously if we looked after the poor, the homeless, the elderly. Now the bottom line is that it takes money and resources but that's part and parcel of being a follower of Christ; where your treasure is there is your heart.. I had a conversation with a guy in our Church a month or two ago, talking about the local Church and I loved his honesty when he said "is the Acts 2 Church a realistic expectation for the local Church to be today". I think we could do more than the first century church, we have more resources now than ever, we have sacred scriptures that makes life alot clearer, is there any reason why we can't?