In South Africa, medical insurance is called medical aid. Whenever one joins a medical aid there is an extensive screening process designed to filter out those who are a high risk for the rest of the healthy folks enrolled in the scheme. If you’re a high risk situation then you won’t be allowed to join.
In the last few weeks I’ve thought about how a lot of churches function just like these medical companies; especially towards the poor – we just filter them out.
When we have the poor with us, then we’ll have to share our resources with them; in that regard they pose to most suburban churches a ‘high risk’. The question that this lay at our door is whether we can develop a space of love and redistribution in our communities? Most people will view having the poor with us as a liability. I think this is absolutely correct when one looks at the etymology of the word liability. It literally means : "bound or obliged by law" and reminds one of Paul’s instruction to ‘carry each other’s burdens, and in this way fulfill the law of Christ."
Are we also acting with a screening process designed to minimize risk? What are the similarities and differences between the church and medical aid companies?