when the government does not need to develop programs


I may make you mad with this post, and if that happens, let me ask you to forgive me in advance.

I have spent my entire life being serious about my Christian faith, from the time I grew up in the Baptist church to now.  I dedicated myself to what I was taught about God.  And I made many hard, painful decisions because of what I thought God required me to do.  So, if I criticize people of faith, I am including myself in that mix.

So, what’s my point?

I believe that as Christians, we are called to care “for the least of these,” as referenced by Jesus.  It is a practical living out of our faith that is not just about saving souls, it is about sharing life and resources with our neighbors, just as Jesus explained when a lawyer asked him, “Who is my neighbor?”  He gave the example of the good Samaritan who had compassion for a man who had been beaten and robbed.  Both a priest and a Levite had seen the man and passed him by, but the Samaritan bandaged his wounds and took him to an inn, paying for his care.

What I’m saying is that following Christ is more than “saving souls.”  It is practical and can be personally inconvenient.  When enough of us who call ourselved Christians actually love our neighbors, government does not have to set up bureaucratic programs to do the job we have neglected to do.

I KNOW there are Christians who are actually working in this regard.  And you may be one of them!  However, I also know that there has been a great emphasis in too many churches on entertaining ourselves, building big buildings, and sending money to far away places, ignoring the needy in our own country. 

Many complain of government programs.  And they deserve complaints, since they are not usually very effective.  Government, though, sweeps in when there is an unmet need.

That’s all I’m saying.

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3 comments on “when the government does not need to develop programs”

  1. Had to say my piece:

    2 Thessalonians 3:10 – “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” And, true, the Bible says were to take care of the widow and orphan. And, I understand that unemployment is high.

    However, when our government “sweeps in,” as it has in this country since the early sixties, you and I, a.k.a. the few that pay taxes, have spent 9 Trillion dollars supporting the “needy” in our country.

    And, unfortunately, our current government “sweeps in” even when there is an “unmet need” that they have created in their social-welfare mindset: ie – “healthcare reform.”

    Having been one who worked in the areas of cities where welfare is the norm, it was commonplace to find big screen TVs and new cars in the driveways of welfare recipients. We would very often see three generations of the same family, all non-working, in front of one of those TVs. Drugs and alcohols are prevalent. Welfare without responsibility has bred four generations of people who have learned how to take- without accountability. Cable TV, new cars and cell phones are some things gained through hard work and should not be from monies given out indiscriminately by our government. Mothers have been inadvertently taught through this “system” that the more children they have, the more the government will pay.

    We are at a point where 40% of Americans pay 86% of Federal taxes. So, we are “taking care of the needy.” Unfortunately, it is steered by an inept government group of programs that hand out money at the drop of a hat.

    I agree with you on two points: that we should take care of our own community needs and that our government programs are ineffective.

    However, to identify the truly needy in our community so we could put our money there, the government-run programs should be revamped to encourage job-seeking and even employ such tactics as drug-testing for
    its’ recipients.

  2. Perhaps the government could “encourage job-seeking” by means of programs designed to create jobs (read “bigger stimulus” and unemployment insurance extensions”). All the actual data (as opposed to the dogma) show that tax cuts for the wealthy produce vastly fewer jobs than, say, unemployment insurance extensions. Getting money into the hands of people who have no choice but to spend it is the way to create jobs. Sniping at the unemployed and congratulating ourselves on being luckier than they are is satisfying to the ego, but it solves no social problems.

    Drug testing? You think THAT would save money, and be run effectively by a new government bureaucracy? If so, you have a poor understanding of the concept of “unintended consequences”.

    • Thanks for the comment! It IS a very complex issue. My issue is with some attitudes in my faith tradition, as I noted in the posting. I think we have to get “down and dirty,” but that’s just me.


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