Why CHRIST Calls: the Open Door Community and Catholic Workers

“During their three years in Greenville, Rob and Carolyn were increasingly frustrated by
the attitude of people within the local church. Rob relates that he and Carolyn kept
“finding ourselves the token do-gooders paid by the church to do this social work.” The
people of the church did not want to be personally involved with the poor. They were
satisfied to give money so that others could “manage” those problems. This approach
kept them distant from the poor. The best thing to do with the poor was to leave them in
the hands of experts, such as Rob and Carolyn were perceived to be, and mind one’s own business. The poor were objects of charity rather than persons who in justice should be enabled to fully participate in the life of the community. This attitude stood in direct opposition to Rob and Carolyn’s convictions formed by the new left critique and their Christian faith. They saw personal involvement with the poor and systemic change as inseparable components of Christian life and social action. The Christian faith led to
charity for those in need, but it also demanded work to end the injustice which caused
need. To separate charity and justice, the private and the public, seemed Biblically and
morally incoherent.”

Above excerpt from: Christ Comes in the Stranger’s Guise: A History of the Open Door Community [link below]

by Peter Gathje, 1991

This original history of the Open Door highlights the beginnings and early years in the life of the community. Writing from his experience as a volunteer with the Open Door for three years, Pete Gathje gives a sense of the people and places that have built and shaped the Open Door.




I encourage you to read the above ebook on the homeless and what one community organization did and does that models itself after the disciples of CHRIST as well as the parent organization behind it. While I may not agree with all they believe in or do [I have not agreed with any organization/denomination 100%, so far] it looks like they accomplish a great deal of good per what YAHSHUA/JESUS asked of us. It helps give one a different perspective, such as, how do you think you would feel begging for what should be everyone’s basic rights/needs as a human being [shelter, food, clothes, phone – communication, bus – transportation, work, etc]? I know some about this because I have been living it.

Another question it provokes is, how close are churches and their congregations to walking in CHRIST’S shoes and do they realize they will be accountable one day to the KING HIMSELF for all actions? “What we do for the least of these we do for HIM” as well as “what we do not do for the least of these we do not do for HIM” are both in Scripture [Matthew/Mattityahu 25:31-46] and HE obviously takes it that personally!

YAHSHUA/JESUS told us to get involved personally by doing HIS work: feed the hungry, give drink to the poor, give clothes to the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, give hospitality to strangers, throw a banquet for the poor/sick/lame, help the widow and orphan, sell possessions to help the poor and follow HIM, do unto others as you would have done to you. If we do not do this personally then we do not know or understand the true meaning of HIS words. Giving is easy but getting involved is a different matter and can be life changing!

Only ELOHIM/GOD knows who HE will be using for the changes HE wants to enact in HIS Will and Desire. May this information help move you into action to do more of HIS Will and Desire! Please pass this onto whomever you feel led.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *