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Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity's approach seen in New Testament

Parallels to the ecumenical homebuilding ministry's approach can be found in the Bible.
by Richard Mize Published: May 25, 2013

Habitat for Humanity did not initiate LEED — and while I do not know that any Habitat chapters resisted it, I do know that some people in the homebuilding business did.

LEED adds costs on the front end of a construction project; it took time for the first green builders to demonstrate that the energy savings soon make up for it and, in fact, add value to houses and other structures.

Habitat is now embracing LEED. In other words, Habitat was willing to learn a thing or two from someone outside its norms.

•  The Epistle of James 1: 22-25 and 2: 14-17 — faith and works.

Habitat for Humanity, as a Christian institution and with its volunteers and partners, lives out the famous admonitions from the letter of James:

“But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act — they will be blessed in their doing.” — James 1: 22-25.

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,' and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” — James 2: 14-17.

Thus ends my God talk about Habitat. The funny thing is I've written more about Habitat as Christian ministry than Habitat itself ever talks about — although it does not hide its Christian light under a bushel, so to speak. Habitat just usually lets its actions speak for themselves. Leave it to a seminarian to make it all so religious.

Amen, and I'm done.

by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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