Skip to comments.More on Jesus and government programs.
Posted on 03/14/2009 7:08:56 PM PDT by freemike
We hear a lot about the poor and those going through hard times. I remember it wasnt long ago some politicians were attempting to use the name of Jesus to sell their government programs. Implying or outright saying Jesus would support government programs for the poor,, Jesus would tax the rich,, I even heard some were saying Jesus would drive a Hybrid.
The question is,, is it morally right to accept government programs when you know the money that is paying for those programs has been forcibly taken from another? A practical example would be,, to accept a stimulus check,,, morally,, before Jesus Christ,, is it right to accept that check when you have not paid any taxes yourself and you know the money came from those who have. In other words,, wealth distribution. The government taking money from one group,, the tax payer, and giving it to another group, those who do not pay taxes.
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Exodus 23:3 Nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.
Lev 19:15 You shall do no injustice in judgment, you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.
Proverbs 30:9 Lest I be full and deny you and say Who is the Lord? And lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of God?
Mark 10:19 You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal....
Ephesians 4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet your neighbors house; you shall not covet your neighbors wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbors.
[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. -James Madison More quotes from the founders: libertas
Envy is a Deadly Sin.
Also, Charity is what you do with your OWN money.
Lev 19:15 You shall do no injustice in judgment, you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.
Maybe this is why the Government, particularly the judiciary, don’t like the Bible. What do you think?
The POOR he said we’d always have with us. There will always be people who opt to be lazy, spend the whole pay check on beer, and gamble their wife the waitress tip money at the Casinos. Poverty is horrible, you got to get rid of it one case at a time, by people who have had bad luck start making some smarter choices.
I think there was a time in early America, that the work ethic and good limited government went hand in hand with the Gospel of Jesus. We are quick to point to how our hearts may have hardened to many other things in our culture, such as dress, modesty, social drinking, parental responsibilities, etc.,, but what about bad government verses good government? Have we convinced ourselves that God actually views legalized theft, wealth distribution through government handouts as true charity? Or is it not one more part of our culture that angers God as much as any other depravity?
That is a false premise. We have a representative republic.
Right. Communism is when you're forced to give up your money. Charity is when you give it up willfully.
Amen, amen, and amen.
I am a Christian, and I reject out of hand the claims of those on the left, especially liberal theologians, who claim that it is in-step with the social justice aspects of Christ’s message to accept government redistribution of wealth.
I cannot accept that Jesus would approve of a leviathan bureaucracy confiscating the fruits of the labor of the productive and distributing it to the unproductive. A leviathan government that takes the place of God in the hearts and minds of the masses.
Sloth is also a deadly sin. Between sloth and envy, it would appear that Big Brother government uses deadly sins to enslave the masses.
Christ taught us that we must want to help those in need.
It’s one thing to give out of a charitable heart. Entirely another to have it forcibly extracted by Fedzilla.
Is it really false??? So,, if I chose to not send in my taxes,, even if I could somehow calculate what tax was paying for the stimulus and hold on to just that amount,, I’d be Ok with the IRS???? Or would it be taken from me one way or the other??
Its one thing to give out of a charitable heart. Entirely another to have it forcibly extracted by Fedzilla."
You're absolutely right about that.
The problem is that what the government does with our tax money wouldn't normally be considered charitable giving.
Were we to rely solely on charitable giving, those who receive much of our tax money would be out of luck.
I just got back from a visit with my mother in Mississippi.
Had a great time on my home turf.
I dislike taxes as much as the next taxpayer, but it seems to me Jesus spoke of taxes fairly clearly.
15 Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested.
16 They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. Teacher, they said, we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and dont play favorites.
17 Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?
18 But Jesus knew their evil motives. You hypocrites! he said. Why are you trying to trap me?
19 Here, show me the coin used for the tax. When they handed him a Roman coin,
20 he asked, Whose picture and title are stamped on it?
21 Caesars, they replied. Well, then, he said, give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.
dang...wondered why u wuz ignoring me
glad yer back
Awwww...I’d never ignore you. ;o)
You are trying to reconcile this world you are in to the world Christ calls us to. The first problem is currently this world belongs to Satan until Christ returns.
So then how do we live as brothers in Christ? First, we have to live among non-believers, new believers and future believers. We have to recognize that the purpose of this world and of our lives is to glorify Christ.
To summarize the various parts of the new testament about how we are supposed to live, we are called over and over again to submit ourselves to the powers that God has put over us. We have different expectations when among Christians. As Christian’s we are called to give freely of our time and our talents (develop them as much as possible) and our money for the purposes of God. For each of us, the expression of that stewardship is different. For some, its living with and among the poor, for others it could be Pastoring and for others it could be creating a business that feeds, clothes or someway serves the people.
(God never wanted to grant his people a King. His design for us is much simpler. However, other non God fearing peoples created governments (kingdoms) and God granted the wish of his people.)
How then, do we live in a world with Non-Christians knowing they are not motivated by the same principles and desires that our fellow Christian’s are motivated by? Do we completely separate ourselves? Do we go rebel to anything foreign to how a Christian should live?
Surprisingly, God chose the most rebellious disciple to tell us this answer. Peter, if you recall, was the disciple who wanted to stand and fight the Romans when they came to take Jesus away. He cut off one of the guard’s ears. Even though later he hid himself, he was the most hot headed and stubborn of the bunch and his nature was not to bow down to any authority. So, what does Peter tell us?
1 Peter 2:
13 Submit yourselves for the Lords sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
16 [Act] as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but [use it] as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
You see, what you have is not yours. This entire world belongs to Jesus. You have no power except that which was given you by God and likewise the government has no power except that given it by God. But God has given the government power for His own purposes.
Changing the subject and approaching it from a purely secular view point, we have a representative republic. The people of which you are a part established this government. By birth or immigration we have inherited the rights provided by this government as well as the obligations. You are free to move to another government in another country because that is one of the freedoms you inherited.
If the people that are elected to represent you do not represent you, in this form of government you have several options. First, you can withdraw from the boundary of this government. Second, you may petition your rights. Yes, you can petition the courts to see if the a jury of your peers agrees with your withholding the tax, you can also change your representation with those who see as you do, you can object and accept the consequences of possible jail and finally you may attempt to overthrow the government.
But it is a false premise that in a representative republic that our government is forcing us as a whole to do something we don’t want to do. The majority has decided it unless the law impinges in your individual rights.
Glad you posted that verse.
"if anyone does not provide for his own"
Someone who does not provide for their own....(accepting stolen goods???...living off welfare???) has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever!"
Like I said before,, if you don't pay your taxes,, the IRS will show up in force. And as for representation,,, I am not sure there is a whole lot of that going on right now.
All I am doing is,, well,, stimulating some thought.
“What makes you think slothfulness is any more a deadly sin...?”
I was framing the argument on his terms. Reference to deadly sins raises the probability that the gentleman to whom I commented is a follower of the Church of Rome. You seem to reject Roman Church thought with your comments, which makes the following a bit surprising:
“We were born in sin because we have the Adam gene...”
This is VERY Roman Catholic dogma, which assumes each person is born with individual guilt as a consequence of Adam’s fall. Many Protestants choose to reject the notion that Protestantism splintered from the Church of Rome in the 16th Century and thus is left with a LOT of genetic material from that relationship.
“...and until we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we are all lost in our sin.”
Personally, I reject the notion that a merciful God can be accepted alongside the simultaneous notion that babies are born with a sinful stain, from which it follows logically that if they die before “accepting Christ” they go to hell. Do you (accept that notion, that is)? That would be an awfully cruel state of nature in which to live.
My family and I have begun the journey into Eastern Orthodoxy, which now colors my frame of thought and has a different view of the concept of Original Sin. This is among many differences, frankly that Western Christendom chooses to ignore - in many cases turning its back on 1500 years of Church history that occurred between Pentecost and 1. The Reformation, 2. The Mennonite Anabaptist movement.
Not ranting, just speaking my heart.
taxes are not the same as theft.
Even Jesus acknowledged the civil authorities had the right to tax the population in his “render unto Caesar” discourse.
You can make arguments about policies, but saying that taxation is theft is erroneous. The Government has the right to garnish part of your money for the public good-—it is the price of citizenship and it pays to keep order and protect the public.
I am not saying all taxes are theft. But,, they can be.
Some taxes are needed and good. But does that mean that no tax is evil??? At some point the bank gets broken!
My friend, you’re not going to talk me out of my position (which is that I can accept some answers have not been revealed by God), nor do I expect to talk you out of yours. And my own sins are far too great for me to stand in judgement of anyone. I hope and pray your ministry is a resounding success, and that you lead many souls to Christ.
However, let me remind you, brother, that the opposite of faith is not doubt. The opposite of faith is certainty. This is one of the many problems that I have developed with my Protestant upbringing. Many, many Protestants in my experience feel the need to have an answer for everything. If everything is known, the answer to every question, there is no room for God. If everything is cut, dried, and certain, ultimately we quit having faith. This, among many other things, has led me to Orthodoxy - that we have to accept some things on faith.
The concept of sola scriptura didn’t exist until the mid-16th century. So I would be careful citing Romans 3:23 - or any other individual verse - by itself to justify a position...let alone individual words within a particular verse. Because the next thing you know you’re handling rattlesnakes and drinking strychnine from mason jars...or stoning people to death for wearing cotton and wool at the same time. The key to Romans 3:23 was to whom Paul was talking and about what...that to live under the Law was not sufficient...obedience without faith is not sufficient.
My primary source of Scripture is the Orthodox Study Bible, which uses the NKJV for the New Testament (and the Septuagint for the Old Testament, as an aside), so to an extent we’re talking off the same page. There is an argument between varying schools of Christian thought about the proper translation of Matthew 1:25, and whether the use of the word “till” (or “to” as it is sometimes translated) implies that Mary and Joseph had relations after the birth of Jesus. The Greek phrase “eos ou” DOES NOT imply he necessarily did. So your assertion that he “obviously did” falls flat, brother. Unless you witnessed the act yourself.
The Church for over a thousand years accepted the verse not only to mean Joseph had not had relations with Mary - but also that state of nature continued on after Christ’s birth. The Orthodox Church still does embrace that.
Before there were Protestants, before the Schism, there was just The Church. And it was the Fathers of The Church who settled upon the Canon of Scripture so many seem to embrace as the only source of truth.
I’m not here to argue. I’ve said all I’m going to.
What will the Lord declare about you and I?
I don't see one there, though, that says,, "You didn't raise taxes or steal wealth from the upper class and distribute it to the poor!"
So,, until you find that one,, well, not sure what you are saying. I do see where I need to give and do,, but not where I need to make my neighbor give and do!!! Big difference!
The whole point of the goat and sheep is it is personal I am to do it you are to do it. Not your neighbor not the people down the street not the government not the charities that it is so easy to write a check to not the church but His body.