How does one square pro-life and anti-welfare?

35 Questions

This is part 6 in a series of 35 questions. It is based on a series of questions answered by John Hawkins for here, and here.

6. How do conservatives square a pro-life abortion policy with persistent attacks against the welfare state?

I have a hard time squaring the idea that these two things are related in conversation. Apparently, liberals feel that it’s justifiable to kill a human being that may be born into a welfare system. Is being dead better than being poor? Is that what you think about poor people? They would have been better off had they been aborted by their mother? Seriously, has no person ever escaped the welfare system? This isn’t a caste society. The two are unrelated, and it sickens me to hear this argument.

Killing an unborn, defenseless human being is wrong; regardless of the reason. The only permissible time is when the mother’s life, not her mind, is in danger, for example, in the case of an ectopic pregnancy.

The welfare system is wrong and abortion are wrong. Using one wrong to justify another wrong is evil.

New SCIENCE on when life begins: Science, Embryonic Autonomy, and the Question of When Life Begins | Public Discourse

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Stop Using Jesus To Justify Welfare

I told them, feed the poor. I also told them, "Go and make disciples of all nations." Where's the fiscally irresponsible government bureaucracy for that?
Go and make disciples of all nations.

It’s amazing how many people quote Jesus when it comes to feeding the poor. And I’m sure you’ve seen the memes making fun of Republicans, Christians, and conservatives who supposedly don’t care about the poor.

But did you know that he said other things as well?

So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” (Matthew 19:17-19 NKJV)

Where’s the outcry against adultery?

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, (Luke 14:12-13 NIV)

How many people do you know that throw parties and invite the homeless instead of their friends?

How about this one?

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV)

Here’s my proposal:

Since so many people are more than happy to justify the use the government to do what Jesus said, i.e., feed the poor. I think it’s time to start another government program aimed at spreading the Gospel. We can shorten the saying to just “Save the Lost.” Quite honestly, there are probably more lost than there are hungry since Jesus also said, wide is the path to Hell, and narrow is the path to Heaven. And I would argue that this is true, because Jesus also said He is “the way, the truth and the life.” (emphasis mine).

Based on that, we should be able to earmark a truly massive amount of taxpayer money for this effort. We can establish a bureaucracy that is too big to be efficient, and fiscally irresponsible, just like most other government entities.

But what about Separation of Church and State, some may ask. Liberals and Democrats are already using Jesus’ commandment to further their agenda, so they don’t have a leg to stand on. They’re already pushing for more irresponsible spending in order to help the poor, in the name of Jesus, so precedent is set. We can set up more irresponsible spending to save the lost.

Um, no. When Jesus said to help the poor, He meant for YOU to help the poor. Not push your responsibility onto some nameless, faceless, government agency. He didn’t say set up a Robin Hood government to take from the rich, and give to the poor. He didn’t say redistribute wealth. And He didn’t say, demonize the rich.

He did say, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15 ESV). There is no Gospel in welfare, which means there’s no Christ in welfare, which means welfare is not a Christian program.

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Welfare: Undermining God

There seems to be a misunderstanding of what the mission of Jesus’ Church is, and this misunderstanding is not limited to non-Christians. Many think that the mission of the Church is to combat poverty and help the poor, but this simply isn’t true.

The Mission

Jesus didn’t come to end poverty, He didn’t come to end sickness, and He didn’t come to end sadness. While He did those things, among others, that was not His purpose. God had a bigger goal in mind. He came “in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17 ESV). He came to save. He told his disciples in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (ESV).

No where does Jesus say end poverty, end sickness, or end sadness. Those things are not the Gospel message. The Gospel message is the Good News: the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. That is the message we are supposed to be spreading. Yes, we are supposed to help and care for the poor, sick, and downtrodden, but we’re supposed to do it while working our primary mission: spreading the Word of God.

Undermining the Message of the Gospel

It used to be that people in need came to the Church, now they go to the government. Getting help from the government wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, but it’s the message that they’re getting that’s the problem. The “good news” coming from the government is that it can help you with all your needs; you can rely on the government. Those turning to the government for help, aren’t hearing the saving message of the Gospel. They’re hearing the saving message of the System, and they’re placing their faith in Uncle Sam instead of God. And by supporting these programs, Christians are pushing people away from the Church.

Welfare is a system where money is taken from some who have and given to others who don’t. Sounds like charity doesn’t it? It’s not. Welfare is collection through taxing “those who have” and giving to “those who don’t.” While collecting taxes for the government to do necessary business is fine, it’s the extra “stuff” that becomes questionable. While the list of questionable is long, it’s “helping the poor” that I’m concentrating on. The War on Poverty. While this is a noble cause, it’s a fruitless cause. It isn’t working. If you look at the numbers, you’ll find that we haven’t really made any improvements. We spend more and more tax payer dollars, and enact more and more programs, but the number of people in poverty hasn’t really changed in forty years. Sure there’s evidence that it’s getting worse, but I’ll let you Google it. It’s not the point. The point is we’re not winning, and it appears that we’re not gaining either.

So, if we’re not gaining and we’re not reaching people for Christ, why are we supporting this? Because it makes you feel good? Taxes are not voluntary, therefore, they are not charity. Welfare takes money from people who have it, forcefully, and gives to those who don’t. Don’t think its forceful? Try not paying.

When you take take money from someone who doesn’t give it willingly, it’s stealing. It doesn’t matter what the reason is. It doesn’t matter if the thief is trying to put food on his table, or an organization is trying to put food on people’s tables, simply taking it is wrong? But taxes aren’t stealing, you say? It’s legal? Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right. Maybe that’s part of the reason liberals don’t want the Ten Commandments in government buildings. They don’t want to constantly be reminded: Thou Shalt Not Steal. For the government to take anything outside of what it requires for its own Constitutionally approved needs is stealing. It is taking from the citizens it is supposed to protect and giving it to someone else. The person on Welfare can’t steal from someone else, so the Liberals get the government to do it.

Getting Back to the Message

It’s time for Christians to stop supporting this nonsense. Welfare sounds like a grand and noble idea, but I’ve said it before. It’s an idea that has the fingerprints of Satan, the Father of Lies, all over it. It sounds like a grand plan and it has that little touch of truth to make it sound legit, but it steals from God’s Glory and pushes people from His Son.

The biggest shame in all this, is the number of Christians that are pushing this false gospel: the Social Gospel. I can’t think of any reason to push welfare the way they do, other than it makes them feel good. It makes them feel compassionate. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with compassion. Compassion is Biblical, but when we place compassion as our priority over that of His priority, we are working against God. We are working for ourselves.

We need to remember why Jesus came here. He came here to save us from sin. Not to save us from poverty. His constant message throughout His ministry was how His Kingdom was at hand. Along the way, he healed people and fed people, but He never asked for donations, and He never forced people to help. Christianity is about loving your neighbor, and loving your neighbor isn’t about forcing your neighbor. It’s about giving willingly, and it’s about spreading the Good News, not spreading the wealth.

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Is Giving Always Good?

When I first approached this topic in Three Kinds of Poor, I knew what I wanted to say, but really didn’t know the best way to go about it. The result was an article that I thought was weak. The original intent was to provide an extended definition of who the poor were and weren’t as opposed to an argument supporting a point of view, but it didn’t work very well. I posted it anyway, which turned out to be a blessing. I had a good discussion regarding the topic, and was pointed to another article that had been posted a day later. I decided the article would have to be rewritten. This is the rewrite.
Continue reading “Is Giving Always Good?”