We criticize Burger King, but are we doing enough?

Burger King is being criticized for its latest add campaign.  Follow the link below to see a video that discusses the controversy.

http://www.yahoo.com/s/1000014

While it may be true that Burger King could have been more sensitive to world hunger, we have to ask ourselves, “Have I done enough?”  It is easy to point our finger at others, especially when the “other” is an impersonal corporate entity, but we should all probably be pointing the finger at ourselves.

How can we claim to care about world hunger when we pass by the hungry in our own neighborhoods every day?  It is easy to say “they only want money for drugs” or “they probably make more money than me” or “they are just too lazy to work.”  How do we know?  Is it possible that some of the people we pass by each day are in genuine need of help?

Scripture is clear in its commands to care for the needy of our world.  I leave you with just one quote:

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17, ESV)

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10 Responses to We criticize Burger King, but are we doing enough?

  1. JC says:

    Good thinking, I agree with you I have some things to say from the book of James as well. Good word on hungry and hunger. I liked the PBS show in the 90s about Jesus and temptation. When the devil tempted him in the desert with “turning stones into bread” as a starving child. Jesus responded “ill trust my church to do that.

  2. Kelsey says:

    Thank you for bringing up this issue! It seems as though a lot of Christians ignore poverty here at home because it makes us uncomfortable, and we ignore poverty around the world because it seems abstract. We as Chritstians have a responsibility to the poor around the world, who are often victims of Western patterns of consumption. We should know where the products we buy come from and whether or not people are exploited in the production of that product. Those who are the most exploited are nearly always the poorest. Products from bananas to tee-shirts are often products of exploitation. Jesus calls us to solidarity with the poor (Mat. 25 and the Beattitudes). The least we can do is refuse to participate in exploitation of them.

  3. jonyork1958 says:

    I stopped at a roadside rest near the beach and was truly enjoying the scenery until I came around the end of the rest area building to see a scruffy guy smoking a cigarette and boldly asking me for spare change. I told him I didn’t have change for cigarettes and how did he get way out there 30 miles from any store? I asked him how he got that way and he spouted something unintelligible. I sat with him for a while trying to relate. He began talking about Revelations and voices in his head and how he couldn’t hold a job. He was obviously suffering some mental difficulties, who knows why. As we talked he didn’t let a soul pass without overtly asking for change. His predicament was possibly as a result of careless living. Or no fault of his own

    Society has pushed these people on the impersonal government sponsored welfare rolls and hopefully out-of-sight. This guy seemed to have no accountability and probably not representative of the “hungry” but he was taking advantage of our guilt for being prosperous. I could have tossed him my spare change and said to myself,” there I did my part.” But I think there is a more effective way to help these and not to pay them to remain dependent.

  4. Tim Farley says:

    Jon:

    You bring up a good point when you said the man you were talking to was obviously suffering from mental illness. In fact, an overwhelming majority of homeless in the U.S. are suffering from mental illness. I am sure the reasons for their illnesses vary greatly, but doesn’t this add to our responsibility to care for them since we know many of them are not able to care for themselves?

  5. jonyork1958 says:

    *** The homeless in the U.S. are suffering from mental illness. I am sure the reasons for their illnesses vary greatly, but doesn’t this add to our responsibility to care for them since we know many of them are not able to care for themselves?***

    Tim,
    Absolutely; what we do for the least of these, we do to our Lord. But, it seems to me that such an undertaking would be overwhelming if not done collectively, as a church body. If successful, it would be another shining example of the influence of the life of Christ on society. Just as relief organizations and soup kitchens, and missions to the world. These acts of Christian love speak quite loudly to the unbelieving world.

  6. Jeff says:

    I think BK is getting a bum wrap but I think the controversey it generated. Priorities are skewed in our society; the money I spend on coffee would probably sustain an impoverished family for a year in a developing country.

    Would it be possible to live on a salary of which 10% were tithed to church and another 10% went to end world hunger and other social maladies?

  7. Jon_York says:

    Just an aside … I wonder what the cancer rate is in those primative countries in the Burger King commercials; compared to here where we capitalize on processed food so heavily?

    Seriously … in the Lord’s parable he told of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37)who truly helped the individual who had fallen on hard times. But he didn’t just throw money at him. He paid to have the fellows needs met. And furthermore set up an accounts recievable for him. There’s a lesson in there somewhere too, about relating to our neighbor.

    And …Matt 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

    Who can’t do that? I guess it doesn’t have to be a big bells and whistles kind of thing.

    Thanks Tim; funny how one never really thinks about this kind of stuff. Life gets into a big blurr of activity, digging into ruts we make for ourselves and before you know it rewards can be lost caring about our own personal concerns. HA!

  8. Jeff says:

    This Christmas rather than giving less-than-perfect gifts to our friends, loved ones, and other obligatory gift-recipients, perhaps a donation could be made to the charity of their choice.

  9. Tim Farley says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone! All of you have really shared some great insights.

    Jeff:

    I really like both of your ideas – tithing 10% to different relief efforts and donating on behalf of someone else to a charity for a Christmas gift. What could be more in the spirit of Christmas than to care for the less fortunate of the world?

    While I think donating money to these efforts is great, I would also like to see more hands-on help happening. I think it puts a face on the issues and makes it more real for those involved.

  10. jonyork1958 says:

    Hey, hey, hey; what if Burger King had sent a reporter out back to interview dumpster diners on the too-big-to-eat-the-whole-thing-Whopper?

    There’s a whole freegan movement on throw away food that’s still good. Governmental out of date regulations necessitate the throwing away of all kinds of food.

    With the weather getting colder we were reminded in a safety meeting to check inside the dumpsters for sleeping dumpster diners. Especially the recycle dumpsters. The cardboard is clean and acts as a insulation from the cold. Even locking dumpster lids can be defeated.
    A driver was shocked when he had a couple fellas jump into his windshield from a bin he had picked up off the ground.

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