Monday, November 12, 2012

Not the Governments Job!

To those of you who believe America is a Christian nation and that our founding fathers were Christian, who say "It's not the Government's job to give a hand up to people in need," and ask "Why should I pay my hard earned money out in taxes to help people who didn't earn it?" I've a few questions: How do you understand the story in Genesis 41:25-42 where Joseph by the instruction of God told Pharaoh to gather from all the harvest and store it to be redistributed to everyone in the land when there was need? How do you understand Exodus 23:6-11 (especially v10-11) where landowners were obligated by law to feed the hungry, or Isaiah 10:1-3 and Amos 5:11-12 where governments are instructed to show justice to the poor? Not only did Isaiah and Amos bring harsh messages from God to governments about how they should treat the poor, Jeremiah brought a scorching message (see chapter 22). How does your view of government square with Jeremiah?

While the story of Joseph and Pharaoh was regarding a particular event, doesn't it make sense, good sense to follow that principle? The law of Moses according to Exodus 23 institutionalized way of providing for the poor that did not depend on the good will of the individual. Yes, individual generosity was encouraged but, as a matter of law, part of everyone's produce or income was to be set aside to aid the poor.

While what we call the Old Testament is full of stories of personal and government responsibility to the least of these, Jesus had some important things to say about the subject: Matthew 22:37-39; Matthew25:31-46 

Jesus' commands to love and care for others were given as universals, without exempting any human organizations or institutions.  All human institutions, governments and businesses included, are responsible to care for others --- especially since individual or private charity can never be or do enough.

Isn't it time we stop justifying selfishness, greed, pride and the like?

Proverbs 14:31 reads, He who oppresses the poor reproaches his maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.

No comments:

Post a Comment