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Monday, November 16, 2009

Charity Begins ...

They tried to tell us, "Healthcare Reform is a Christian matter." They tried to tell us that Jesus would support the government taxing its constituents to provide healthcare to its people. It's a Christian thing! They tried to tell us that the Bible would be in favor of such a thing. And I tried to say, "No." (Eloquent, I know.) My position was that the biblical standard for doing good deeds was that they were by choice, not by force. Well, they disagreed.

Imagine, then, my surprise when I read this from Paul's letter to Philemon:
I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord (Philemon 1:14).
Hmmm ... I suspect that some of those who were arguing that Christians ought to endorse compulsory taxation for government-provided healthcare because the Bible supports it didn't read their Bibles close enough ...

Biblically, it would appear that charity begins in the heart, not in the government's legislation, programs, or tax codes.


David said...

But you see now, most Americans aren't Christian, and so in order to make them be as charitable as we should be, we must enforce charity through legislation, otherwise it won't happen. But then, I guess we could start by giving the example and be charitable ourselves, but what's the point since it won't make a difference. Although, that would assume that Christians are reading their Bibles and living that out in their lives, oh wait, most Christians in America don't even open their Bible in church on Sunday, so how would they know what the Bible has to say about anything. (Isn't sarcasm fun?)

Jim Jordan said...

It does raise the question of why in a Christian nation we can't be moved to take care of our own. "God is love" in Greek is "Deus caritas est" which can also be translated "God is charity". We obviously don't have enough God in America these days.

Don't forget that Paul still wrote the letter asking for Philemon to accept his former slave as a brother. Perhaps we should send letters to filthy rich Christians asking them what they plan to do with their cash. What do you think of that?

David said...

Quick thing Jim, "Deus caritas est" is Latin, not Greek.

Marshal Art said...

We ARE moved to take care of our own. At least according to Arthur Brooks' book "Who Really Cares". In it, he shows that conservative Christians are very giving of both our time AND money for causes religious and secular. This group of people was shown to give more than other groups that are more to the left and less religious.

What's more important is to have a gov't that understands who really provides the jobs and economic growth in this country and then stays the hell out of the way so that prosperity can return. Then, fewer people will be in need to test our degree of charitable giving.

Danny Wright said...

There are a lot of bad assumptions in the pro healthcare argument.

1. People are without health care through no fault of their own.

2. Government healthcare is free.

3. Government can solve problems in a society that doesn’t believe there is such a thing as sin.

4. Government cares.

to name four right off the top of my head.

Charity does not begin by intervening in the realities of sow vs. reaping. This seems harsh but a man’s heart is what God is after, not his comfort and security. Man is not basically good and given the leeway to act any old way with out fear of the consequence of those actions will only encourage him in worse behavior. That said, we are not to turn our back on our fellow man either. One thing is for sure, an impersonal government program chocked full of government bureaucrats is in no position to make any assessments one way or the other. They have their own kingdoms to protect as do the politicians. For this reason government programs never end up helping anyone but the people who confiscate and redistribute wealth and quite often end up making things worse then using that degradation to demand more taxing and spending. I shudder to think where all this is going to end.

Stan said...

Dan, I'm shocked. You're suggesting that the government isn't an all-loving entity that is looking out first and foremost for my welfare??? How could that be????

Actually, very good points.