The word ghetto originally referred to a section of town within which Jews were compelled by law to reside. The term has now been extended to include any section of town in which members of some minority group are restricted by economic factors or social discrimination.

Paradoxically, most programs designed to alleviate the suffering within the ghettos have the exact opposite effect. These programs do not change the ghetto but, rather, merely empower its members to escape. When the talented, educated, economically viable families leave the ghetto it gets worse, not better. Convincing an escaped ghetto resident to return to the ghetto is nearly impossible, especially after attaining an education, a nice family, and a home in Suburbia.

Indeed ghettos, and the social forces that create them, present social reformers with an intensely challenging dilemma. The more socially dysfunctional a person becomes the less likely she is to ever come into contact with someone who has the ability or the desire to help her.

We can argue all day about whether the social system we have constructed (or at least the one we follow—blindly or otherwise) contributes substantially to the creation of ghettos. But I wonder, “Can it be that the spiritual system we have created (or follow blindly) contributes substantially to the creation of spiritual ghettos?”

When we convert a person from the world, do we immediately empower him to go back into the spiritual ghetto from which he has been rescued in order to minister to others? Or do we enable him in his exodus so that, within a very short time, he no longer has any influence in or even any contact with the old neighborhood?

The more sin-damaged a human being becomes the less likely he or she is to ever come into contact with a person who knows Jesus Christ. This is not an indictment—it is a fact. We are witnessing the development of spiritual ghettos all around us. The question we must ask ourselves is this, “Is the Church ministering the gospel to or is it unwittingly contributing to the creation of Spiritual Ghettos?”

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