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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Peter Heck on Christianity and Government "Charity"

More than a few Christians, especially young Christians, are confused on this point:
They tell us that obedience to Christ comes in the form of high taxes on the wealthy to fund social programs for the poor. Even if these programs weren't as miserably ineffective as what they are, look at what they foster: envy, greed, bitterness and resentment. Not exactly the motivations of love and altruism that Jesus said were to be at the heart of our goodwill.

In truth, there is not one recorded instance of Christ advocating government confiscation and redistribution of wealth in the name of charity.

Jesus did say: "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:40)

Jesus did not say: "The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you forcibly took from the masses through taxation in the name of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

Jesus did say: "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Matthew 19:21)

Jesus did not say: "If you want to be perfect, go, get elected to high office and then use the law to confiscate the property of those who have, and give to those you deem more worthy of it. Then claim you are following me."

You get the point. Barack Obama's social gospel of government sponsored theft is a flat contradiction to what Jesus taught.
In my experience, the way this argument usually unfolds involves blatant equivocation, although the person making the argument doesn't realize that that's what he's done. People say things like this: "But MOTW, don't you agree that we need to help the helpless?"

Well, sure. The questions, though, are, "Who are 'we?'" and "Exactly what is 'helpless?'" If you don't get those answers spelled out clearly and mighty dadgum quick, you will find that instead of talking about the church and people who legitimately cannot work or who have been diligently looking but cannot find it, you are talking about government and any body of people from whom votes can be bought for the price of some public "charity."

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