For the Lord your God is a God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality or take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt (Deut.10:17-19).
Welfare has been the Trojan horse used by the Messianic state, to steadily and quietly assume greater responsibility, control and political manipulation over the West’s citizens. Its been going on for generations. The price has become a fearful one in a number of ways, for not only do we feel liberties being stripped from us, but State bankruptcy looms. When a government has unfunded liabilities of $221 trillion, as the US government does (according to Laurence Kotlikoff), bankruptcy becomes a statistical inevitability.
In stark contrast, the Bible says a lot about the issue of welfare, but with an important difference: it is to be voluntary and private, not a task of government. That means it is a responsibility for individuals, families and churches. Our tax dollars were never to be used for welfare. This means a lot of change is necessary over time, and it will have to begin amongst God’s people.
Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian (Henry Ford).
Welfare should always be decentralised and personal. How can a State department truly care for the needs of the widow next door to me, other than by giving her indiscriminate amounts of money? That widow may (or may not) need some kind of care extended from others, but the first responsibility toward her should be from her family, which knows her needs better than anyone, and has the heart to care for her. This is the Biblical expectation.
If she is a believer, her church may need to care for her, too. But the financial support of the church should only be extended to her if she has no family to care for her, and she fulfils certain specific conditions (see I Tim.5:3-16). This is specifically because “…the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed” (v.16). Paul’s blunt advice was,
I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach (v.14).
For individuals, families and the church to accept over time the responsibility for welfare, will require a massive change of attitude, and thousands of very willing Christians and others to work. That can seem rather off-putting. But this is the alternative to us employing through our taxation, thousands of bureaucrats who sit in air-conditioned offices in Canberra and elsewhere, deciding what will and won’t take place, from a moral base that most of us find horrendous. It is such a massive change, it may take generations to accomplish, but that doesn’t matter.
And we should be aware of this: don’t think those bureaucrats will be indifferent, for they know that if this cat gets out of the bag, that will be the end of their careers. That means their jobs, along with that promotion they were hoping for, the work-car, long-service, superannuation: all gone, down the plug-hole.
Thus this kind of social reconstruction will be vigorously opposed by these people, who will be able to mount all kinds of very plausible arguments because of the “barbarism” of what is being proposed. The only “barbarism” they are concerned about is the thought of losing their jobs.
The Canaanites didn’t welcome Israel when they came out of Egypt. They fought against them, and so it may seem we are involved in an ideological war, with no holds barred. That’s exactly what we’re involved in. But what should we expect: that they would accept this, lying down?
Over 90% of the church today, would say, “I don’t want anything to do with all this.” So, there will be opposition from outside the church, and from inside. This is the normal pattern for church change. That unbelieving generation that came out of Egypt that was used to slavery, and in their heart wanted to return, complained against Moses incessantly. They didn’t want freedom and responsibility and thus they all perished (apart from Joshua and Caleb), and it was their children who took the promised land. This is why what we believe and act upon, is always absolutely critical.
Nehemiah had exactly the same issues to deal with when it was time to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem: enemies without, opposition within. He had to be determined, and prepared for these problems to eventuate. It surely came. With Jesus, it was the same.
But the Bible says that “He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet” (I Cor.15:25). And as the Bible shows in so many instances, power flows to him who takes responsibility. There are no victories without a battle, and few victories where there isn’t a risk of defeat.
About the time we got married in 1979, I heard a saying that has stuck with me: men of action have satisfaction.
Christians cannot expect the world to get better, without the determined and vigorous prayer and work of a remnant of God’s people, who know what they need to do in terms of fulfilling the Biblical patterns for welfare, and then set about to make it happen in their locality. The implications are out of this world.
Do you want to be amongst them?