Because I’m a professor of New Testament rather than a pastor of a local congregation, I don’t work with local church decision makers or their budgets. Consequently, I’m not in a position to comment on what local faith communities might do to restore pre-K classes to kids in our county.
But as a NT professor I am able to say that the NT writers, and the Jesus about whom they wrote, would be scandalized and outraged by the series of budget decisions which lead to a loss of 82 pre-K classes for poor kids in Shelby County. Christians may debate many issues among themselves because of NT texts which support different perspectives. But there can be ZERO DEBATE over God’s call for faithful people to care for the most vulnerable among us (those interested can check such texts as Matt. 25:31-46; Luke 6:20-26, 14:12-14; Acts 4:32-37; Gal. 2:9-10; James 1:27, 2:14-17, etc.).
The decisions that lead to the loss of 82 pre-K classes don’t merely affect poor people. They directly affect poor children, who are the most vulnerable among us. If the Bible can be trusted, then God is outraged! Shame on you decision-makers! Shame on you!
I don’t know which Shelby County faith communities are able to help restore these pre-K classes. But all of us are able to express our outrage—and we should be outraged alongside God—to the decision-makers. In particular we should communicate with members of Congress and demand that they address the “sequester crisis,” which they created in the first place, like responsible adults. Their crisis is now affecting our children! The Bible is clear that that behavior is not okay with God. Surely it is not okay with us!!