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Why don’t Christians care about people who need health care?

Last week I posted a very long post explaining why I was against universal health care.  There was a comment posted that I’ve seen in various forms all over the place:

I certaintly don’t see any “christians” coming into the neighborhoods where I work offering a solution to why a mother of three who works 40 to 50 hours a week to support her family by herself is not entitled to see a doctor.

As a Christian, I don’t believe we’re entitled to anything.  If anything, we deserve everlasting punishment but by God’s grace through Christ we do not get what we deserve.  That aside, the ‘mother of three’ certainly can go to the doctor.  Who said she can’t?  Nothing is stopping her even now.  Unless we want our doctors to work for free, all we expect is that she pays for it.  And if she can’t pay for it, is it really morally justified to take money by force from others to pay for it?  If she really can’t afford it, is there a way to help her without committing other immoralities in the process?

This post is not about that, though.  I want to focus this post on the first half of the sentence.  There is no way to verify her statement here.  We don’t know where she works and we don’t know what the people actually believe who ‘come into her neighborhood.’  Moreover, if they were Christians (as I expect many of them are) we’d not know it if they took to heart Jesus’ injunction not to boast about our good deeds or even “let the right hand know what the left hand is doing.” (Matt 6:1-4).

It’s one of those devilish ironies where Christians obeying Jesus can be taken to task for not obeying Jesus.  (ie, doing good deeds in secret earns the ‘Christians aren’t doing good deeds’ accusation)

The Christian Church has a PR problem.

In the first place, any regular reader of this blog knows that I take the Church to task like the best of them.  The Church could, and should, do much more.  But let’s be honest:  they actually are doing quite a lot.

Historically, it has been the Church at the forefront in doing good works.  For example, Julian the Apostate in the fourth century realized that if he didn’t enact government programs to take care of the poor he’d never be able to make the claim that Christians were pernicious.  Slavery was ended by Christians standing up against other Christians.  Institutions of higher learning like Harvard and Yale (and hordes of others) were all founded by Christians.  Hospitals and medical clinics were founded first by Christians with Christian charity in mind.  What tends to happen, though, is all of the good things that Christians have done end up getting secularized.    You cannot call Harvard and Yale ‘Christian,’ any more.  Nor can you call the local Lutheran-in-the-name hospital in my area, ‘Lutheran.’

This has had the unfortunate effect of giving the impression that Christians don’t care about the needy and are not generous.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Some perspective is in order.

Start with this study of giving in America which asserts that Americans donated $307.65 billion to charity in 2008 alone.  These are private donations, friends.  This is people being generous with their own money, not the money of others.   To put it into perspective, we are told that the current health plan will cost 940 billion over the next ten years.  Americans donate 1/3 that amount almost every single year.   If this were to continue, the government will spend about a trillion in the next ten years while Americans will give, of their own volition and out of their own generosity, more than three trillion dollars.  No taxation necessary.

Of this figure, about 100 billion are directly to religious organizations, the highest recipient.  Health care organizations get about 20 billion every year.  Keep this figure in mind.  We shall return to it.

How do these religious organizations spend their money?  Well, readers of this blog know that I would say generally not very well and not generally on the right things, which ties into the PR problem we’re discussing here.  But even having said this, if we’re going to be fair we will discover that Christians actually are doing quite a bit.  I am not very knowledgeable about actual organizations but I could think of three right off the bat and offer them for your consideration:

Compassion International. As far as I know, this organization doesn’t take a single Federal dollar.  Yet last year alone, it collected more than $300,000,000 from Christians to ‘adopt a child’ and provide other social services overseas.

Catholic Charities. This organization paid out $25,000,000 in a recent year. In addition to this, Catholic Social Services organizations are incorporated all over the place at the state, county, and dioceses levels.  I am not a Catholic and cannot speak with full confidence but I believe these are each separate entities, too.  This already large number of 25 million is surely much higher when all organizations are tallied.

Lutheran Social Services. Here again, organizations are organized at the state level rather than the national level, so it isn’t easy to offer a one shot answer, but if we can extrapolate from the 2,500,000 given to LSS just in Wisconsin to the other 50 states I reckon we’d come up with something in the 50,000,000 to 100,000,000 range.  Their money, again, comes primarily from individual Christians or Christian organizations like churches.

The truth is that Christians actually are already pretty generous and continue to be active in social programs.  Even the money that they give to their churches ends up furthering social causes.  Many Christians are at the forefront of providing health services through distinctly Christian organizations.  I hate to say it, but it’s probably time that the Christian Church did more to set the record straight.

I mentioned that Americans already pay out 20 billion a year just for health care related causes.  I have heard that the cost to insure the people who actually can’t afford it (versus the uninsured who can afford it and choose not to, and versus the illegal aliens who are uninsured) isn’t much more than 20 billion a year.  20 billion is a significant but small proportion of a total number of 300 billion year.

What I’m saying is that the Christian Church could single-handily, out of its own resources and out of its own freely given funds, deal with every one of these people who are without ‘safety net.’

Note, I am not now issuing a defense of the Christian Church.  That was in the preceding paragraphs.  Now I am issuing a challenge:  while I know that there are many who don’t think the Church should be ‘about’ anything other than preaching the Gospel, there is a great opportunity here to show people that we really mean what we say about the Gospel, without taking a single Federal dollar.  There is also a great risk:  Julian the Apostate is at work even today, and if our good deeds are not evident to the world (1 Timothy 5:24-25) our message of good news will lack credibility- nor will we get any credit for the hundreds of years of continued care for the poor and needy that persists to this date.  Rather, the secular state will get the credit.

And if the secular state gets the credit, most people will reason there is no need for the Church.  Christian Europe gave its people universal health care, and now Europe is not Christian.

Think about it.



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  1. Anthony, you write “And if she can’t pay for it, is it really morally justified to take money by force from others to pay for it? If she really can’t afford it, is there a way to help her without committing other immoralities in the process?”

    What I find most disturbing about your question of morality is that it is focused on the use of your dollar instead of the well-being of a human-being. You are asking a Robin Hood sort of question and I think I am inclined to answer yes, take my dollar, even by force, for the sake of someone else if it need be. I don’t think I need to quote scripture or argue what Jesus’ response to your question might be- I mean seriously, what do you think he would say? Is it really immoral to take your dollar in this case? Have we made our money so sacred that we would withhold it at the expense of others.

  2. A few thoughts-

    “I certainly don’t see any “christians” coming into the neighborhoods where I work offering a solution to why a mother of three who works 40 to 50 hours a week to support her family by herself is not entitled to see a doctor”.

    1) It seems to me the generalities I have heard expressed by the advocates of the Universal Health Care Bill that so many are not getting health care may be exaggerated. Many are not covered with health insurance, yet, health care is available to all. I don’t know of a hospital that will turn someone away. Without health insurance, my family has had several ER visits and two surgeries (hernia and knee) and we made monthly payments or used our tax refund. In 3 different situations we had our hospital call us and offer charity care. And we live in a rural area. For 20+ years we have been eligible for aid through state agencies and we have not taken it simply because we didn’t believe we were that bad off that we couldn’t attempt to pay for medical services. It was a matter of personal conviction of making a choice that we could do something to help ourselves.

    2) I agree about your statements concerning Christians giving. I think that most are a humble bunch and do take seriously doing good in secret. As far as Christian PR, The Apostle Paul stated his defense so I think it is appropriate for Christians to establish their credibility in areas of giving especially these days.

    3) I’d like to add further comments on the word entitlement (*cringe* I’m starting to despise that word).

    I propose that generally speaking, today’s society in America would not have fared well in Early America where I don’t believe “entitlement” was in the vocabulary. This seems to be the word of the day whether spoken explicitly or implicitly. Well, to be entitled to something, someone had to work for it.

    If we are going to talk about America now, I think we need to take a look at America from then to see from whence we came. I think we all agree that to proceed forward we must look backward.

    Unfortunately, I have seen a casual and even apathetic response by recent generations towards remembering those who have established our country on truths and principles that are as certain as the law of gravity whether one wishes to acknowledge the source of those truths and principles or not. Throughout the Bible we see times when memorials were set in place. Why? It’s human nature to forget.

    Consider this quote from John Adams:

    “[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    This quote, along with many, many others spoken by our Founders expresses clarity and substantiates their intentions for what America would be built upon. For our country to deny this or to veer off this path is serious, with the potential of producing a weak country, or at worst, destruction.

    Let me state now that my comments are not to advance Dominion Theology or any other persuasion. I’m making a connect between the scriptures and what our country’s Founders had in mind through their direct quotes and writings to work through this word “entitlement”.

    Don’t you agree we have been a society that has moved the line over and over? The Christian faith wishes to establish foundational truths in daily living in order to build wisely; to draw the proverbial line in the sand and not move it because we believe in absolute truth. But those who do not adhere to this view move the line over and over to appease. Soon, the culture is the foundation- ever moving and changing- and not solid as either found in the scripture or in this case, America’s founding documents and the intentions in the Founders.

    Those who adhere to a “Living Constitution” will argue with me. Yet I wonder if they would like their heart surgeon to hold to this ever changing interpretation in his/her profession? We are a society that prides itself on tried and true methods as consumers yet we turn our nose up at the solid (and yes, Biblical) foundation of our nation? What part of this John Adam’s quote (and countless others) do we not understand?

    So, how does entitlement fit in all of this? It doesn’t. What I find is that work went into the building of America and work will continue to sustain it. There are no entitlements except for the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as listed in the Declaration of Independence (which came with a price), and the establishment of justice, insurance of domestic tranquility, provision for the common defense -all preceeding for the promotion of the general welfare- as listed in the Preamble of the Constitution (which should be valued in order to be sustained).

    My point here is not to argue the statements in these documents but to establish that these and these alone are provided as entitlements and they are available because of hard work and will sustain only because of hard work.

    As with anything in life, there has to be a foundation; a starting point. Buildings are built on strong foundations, milliseconds matter in who wins a race. How can we be so precise on these things yet nebulous with how the country should be run? The pre and early Americans knew the necessity of a strong foundation, thus, the Mayflower Compact was made before the Pilgrims set foot on land and following, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Whether one chooses a Biblical or secular world view, it remains that one only has to find the foundation or the starting point of this nation with a click of the mouse. It’s all there.

    The commenter who stated the mother of 3 who supports her children was entitled to see a doctor is a reflection of how far we’ve digressed from the clear intentions of the founding of America. On the contrary, her entitlement is to be a citizen in a free country that gives her every opportunity to own a home, land, education, start a business, find a job (even if it’s flipping burgers), and yes, get medical attention. It’s available. It’s just not free, as most things in life are not.

    The very people who established our nation did so with hard work in order to provide an environment for succeeding generations… not for us to settle down with our “entitlements”… but to model our predecessors with hard work in order for this Union to continue to grow and thrive. The very nature of our country follows the scripture found in 2 Thessalonians 3: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” which was also the rule of thumb for the Jamestown colony.

    Am I being unsympathetic and cold? No. I am saying we should continue to look at the foundation of our country the way it clearly seen and intended.

    • Anthony on March 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Hi Jason,

    You are probably right about what Jesus would have done. Check out this Bible passage. I think it will prove your point admirably. 🙂

    But seriously, you’re issuing forth an argument based on sentiment. Yea, I think you really do need to quote scripture. Remember, Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Part of the law was “Do not steal.”

    I don’t think your argument as it stands can stand scrutiny. All I have to do is start asking basic questions and I think we’ll start seeing some of the problems. For example, you won’t mind someone taking your dollar by force ‘for the sake of someone else.’ Well, let’s say that what the someone else wants is a vasectomy? Cosmetic surgery? An abortion? This ‘for the sake of someone else’ business needs definition. It gets thrown out there as though it is self-evident that an argument has been made, but it really isn’t. Moreover, out of curiosity, why would you need to have your dollar taken by force? What is keeping you from helping people now? You need the government to come in and make you be generous? Really?

    I would also direct you to the long post that I linked to that expanded on my long treatment on that particular subject. This post was explicitly not about ‘the use of dollars instead of well-being of a human being.’ It was about the second half of the her comment. I said ‘immoralities’ on purpose, because outright theft-by-government is only one immorality that I see being perpetrated by these kinds of endeavors. For example, notwithstanding the good intentions and high sentiment embodied in your willingness to be forced to be generous ‘for the sake of someone else,’ the people who are making those decisions may not share the same morals and agenda that you do. They may also be acting with good intentions and high sentiment, and yet they would call for the screening of embryos with birth defects and try to counter ‘over population’ by sterilizing people through the water supply (current ‘science czar’ John Holdren). I assume that you do not support these types of things: well, these are illustrative of other immoralities that I wouldn’t like to engage in ‘for the sake of someone else.’

    And what do you make of my argument in this post that for all the compassion you have expressed you as a Christian will ultimately not be thanked for it? We’ll all get together and in the name of Christ rob the rich of their wealth, distribute it by force through the government to those who need breast implants and nose jobs and the net effect will be… “Wow, the government is great! Who needs Christians?”

    Thanks for your comment!

    • Joshua on March 26, 2011 at 9:50 am

    “And if she can’t pay for it, is it really morally justified to take money by force from others to pay for it?”

    I agree. I also agree with you that if you cannot afford to pave a road that you take to work every day, you shouldn’t steal my taxes to pay for it. And if you can’t afford to drive your trash to the dump every day, don’t steal from me to pay for a dump truck to do it for you. And if you can’t afford to send your kid to a Christian school, don’t steal from me by trying to make me pay for it. And if you cannot afford to sanitize water and make it safe to drink, don’t expect me to pay for the city to do it for you. And if you can’t afford… etc.

    • Anthony on March 26, 2011 at 11:16 am

    That was a childish excursion into an argument from absurdity but it fails miserably. In the first place, it fails categorically. This is not like those. I mean, don’t steal from you to pay for your attendance at a Christian school? Really? I assume you are an American. If you are, you know that religious schools are not usually subsidized by taxpayers. In the second place, your examples appeal to an area where conservative constitutionalists (like myself) are inclined in many ways to agree about a proper use of government. You do understand the constitutional difference between the Federal government and the state, right? Furthermore, you understand the constitutional difference between the Federal and state government and local municipalities? What can be justified locally under the constitution- and indeed, is legal- cannot necessarily be justified at the federal level, or vice versa. These are important distinctions that your little exercise was oblivious to, probably because you yourself are oblivious to them.

    Now, your exercise in absurdity can be turned on its head. Apparently, the fact that we have public roads and clean water subsidized by tax payers, that means in your view that any other governmental measure is warranted, too. So, I say, let’s take government money and force people to get sterilized and require a government permit before they can have children. What? You object? Why, we have public roads don’t we? And sanitized water, right? I think we should appoint government agents to accompany every person to the toilet and help them wipe their arse properly so that they don’t injure themselves. What? You can do that yourself? The government can do it better, and besides, the government takes out the trash for you and how is this really different? The trash is coming directly from your body. Oh, you don’t like these ideas? Well, you certainly can’t object on any rational basis if you remain true to your silly and absurd reasoning.

    Now, as it happens, even though these local municipal measures are at least legal and justifiable under the constitution, I at least don’t think it necessary for even the local governments to provide these services. I’m pretty sure that things would work out just fine in most cases if we didn’t bring the government into the picture. They could be privatized and service would probably improve, probably, and the level of service with it. So your exercise from absurdity, besides being irrational and childish, fails to have any weight with me, because as it happens, I don’t think people should steal from others to allow them to put their kid in a Christian school and I actually think that we could obtain our own clean water if we wanted and I think we could probably take out our own trash, too. We don’t actually need the government to do these things.

    But again, it wouldn’t necessarily be stealing if the local governments did do that, for under state and federal law, it is permitted. More to the point, and the reason why it works (though even many local governments operate on tyrannical principles) is that one can realistically persuade 10,000 people to make a change if you feel strongly about something, whereas if something is Federalized you have to persuade 50,000,000.

    But I suppose that is exactly why liberals work federally. They know they can’t get what they want locally.

    • Timaahy on March 31, 2011 at 4:24 am

    “If anything, we deserve everlasting punishment”

    Umm… why, exactly…?

    • Timaahy on March 31, 2011 at 4:28 am

    “Remember, Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Part of the law was ‘Do not steal.'”

    Part of the law was also to never plow with a donkey and an ox yoked together (Deuteronomy 22:10).


    Sorry, I’m being facetious… but you see where I’m coming from. Stealing isn’t wrong because there’s a law against it… there’s a law against it because it’s (generally) wrong.

    • Timaahy on March 31, 2011 at 4:36 am

    I’m sure there are others… but:

    1 Timothy 6:17-19
    Ezekiel 16:49
    Hebrews 13:5
    Matthew 6:19-26
    Matthew 19:21
    Matthew 19:23-24
    Matthew 25:41-45
    Matthew 6:24
    Proverbs 11:4
    Proverbs 21:13
    Proverbs 22:9
    Proverbs 23:4-5
    Proverbs 28:27
    Proverbs 29:7

    But then, of course, there are verses that say the opposite, so…

    • Anthony on March 31, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Regarding your first question, Tim, I would wager that if you judged yourself honestly by your own standards and had 100% knowledge of your actions, you’d think you needed punishment, too. Jesus argued that even being angry with someone constitutes murder and even a lustful look constitutes adultery. On this basis, how many people have you murdered? I’ve murdered my fair share. 🙂 We would not be able to bear up under any thorough examination by God- or by our own selves. Fortunately, God has provided a solution that does not depend on our goodness but rather the goodness of another… it is only left to go along with it, or not. All this is to say that this idea that we ‘deserve’ things is absurd. We certainly are not entitled to the wealth of others just by virtue of existence.

    Regarding your second post, I wonder, have you ever heard of the Euthyphro Dilemma? You’ve just stepped in it. I can’t very well give much weight to moral pronouncements when these are nothing more than one man’s opinion- yours.

    On to your third…

    • Anthony on March 31, 2011 at 7:29 am

    This is going to be hard to say without communicating offense, but I am reminded by your last comment by something CS Lewis said: “If you cannot read books written for grown ups, you shouldn’t speak on them.”

    I am not like Stathei, who has heaped you wit accolades yet does not own a Bible and has never read it. I am one who makes a concerted effort to understand it and these last fifteen years or so have taught it in professional settings and defended it in various contexts. If you’re going to cite Bible passages to me then you’ve got to show a little respect for the subject and not issue lists like you did, which give the appearance of ignorance, arrogance, and just plain foolishness.

    The Bible isn’t a grocery store where you can wander around the aisles plucking cans at random to suit the argument you’re trying to make. Any yokel can open up cans and throw them in a pot and call that dinner. It’s more like an auto parts store where you find the parts are made for one thing and not another and you can throw the lot of them under the hood but that doesn’t mean your car is going to go anywhere. To make your argument from the Bible run, you’ve got to have some intelligence. You’ve got to engage the brain a bit. You need at least a little knowledge.

    Now, what you’ve done is taken perfectly decent car parts and thrown them into a pot, expecting something edible. Yea, you can eat off of the engine block but if you try to pass off the engine block as a dinner plate to me don’t expect to be taken seriously. Fine helping of spark plugs you got there, Tim. Maybe if you boiled them longer they won’t break your teeth when you bite down.

    I’m not going to work through your entire list or walk you through basic principles of interpretation. I could suggest some books on the latter. Let’s just take one of the passages to illustrate… next comment.

    • Anthony on March 31, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Let’s just take the 1 Tim passage. The following principles will apply to the rest as well.

    “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us wit everything for our enjoyment. Command them to be good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” NIV

    The insinuation of your list is that passages warning against the conceit of the wealthy and calls to share somehow justify coercing money out of them to do ‘good deeds’, apparently to fund broad and diverse social programs. The insinuation of your list is that the Bible is chock full with passages supporting that- though contradictory passages can likely be found.

    There’s only one problem: none of the passages support that insinuation at all. Can you imagine if an attorney tried to reason from legislation the way that you are from these passages? He would be laughed out of court. Let’s look at this one passage.

    First, ‘Command those who are rich not to be arrogant.’ Is this the ‘rich’ in general, or is the audience more narrow? The context of the entire letter and of the passage itself is that these are not just random rich people in society but the rich people within the Christian church. See for example 6:5 ‘godliness’ as ‘means to financial gain.’ Do atheists and agnostics see godliness as a way to make money? Not that I’m aware of.

    I certainly wouldn’t dispute that what Paul is urging Timothy here can be extended, on principle, to nonbelievers, but there is that important word, ‘Command.’ What people exactly does Timothy have the authority to command? Obviously, only the people under one’s authority can be commanded to do something. In sum, this passage must be seen as applying to those rich people who are under Timothy’s authority, ie, not rich people in general, but the rich people in the faith community.

    Ok, you say, so that means that we should go around taking money from Christians to support the ‘charitable’ aims of greater society. Not so fast. The command was that rich people not be arrogant or put their hope in wealth. There is no hint of a call for Christians to dump out their pockets on the tax collector’s lawn. There is no hint for a call for even nonChristians to happily be taxed to death. I just wish we could figure out what the command was! If only Paul would tell us!

    Oh wait, he did! There it is. “not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth.” Huh. Somehow these words don’t seem to support your insinuation. They seem to reflect one’s attitudes. But hey, that’s just me! It’s all just interpretation, right?

    So let’s go on.

    “Command them to be good, to be rich in good deeds…”

    Now we’re getting somewhere, right!?! We’ve explicitly moved beyond attitudes into the realm of action. Of course, the ‘command’ word is still there; this is a challenge to Christian rich people in particular. Timothy has no warrant from this passage to command nonChristian rich people to do anything. But since we know that we’re likely talking about just the Christian rich people, we should understand what is meant by ‘good deeds.’ Sad to say, what secular humanists think are good deeds may be different than what Christians think. The term needs defining, and other passages will do that.

    I doubt we will find any hint that ‘good deeds’ means the joyful forking over of our dollars to pay for government subsidized abortions. Sorry. Or condom distribution. Pick your favorite progressive cause and then look for bible passages describing it as a good thing I should be compelled to support.

    The passage goes on, “and to be generous and willing to share.”

    Now we’re getting somewhere, right? Not just good deeds, but actual sharing of their wealth, and out of a generous heart. Now, I know we live in different countries, but over here ‘generous’ and ‘sharing’ carry with them the sense of non-coerced giving of wealth and resources.

    Where in this passage does Paul say, “Tell the Christian rich people to give money for your favorite pet cause and if they don’t fork it out, go to their house and take it. If they refuse to give it, arrest them for tithe evasion and cast them into prison or confiscate their assets or garnish their wages!”

    You know what, Tim? It doesn’t say anything like that at all. Timothy is told to command them to do some things affecting both their attitudes and actions but no warrant is given to him to step in and do for them what they will not do freely of themselves. It isn’t there.

    The idea that from a passage like this we could support it as a Christian teaching that we can go out into society and tell people that they’re going to give to a good cause ‘generously’ or else is absurd and frankly downright stupid. I don’t have to be told that many Christians believe just this based on readings of passages just like this one. Well, we’re reading it together here and you see that the passage just doesn’t say what they say. It isn’t a question of interpretation here, it’s simple literacy. Again, if you took this passage into a court to try to prove that we should forcibly extract money from rich people you would be mocked. Everyone would have a great laugh. The words just don’t support the contention. Period, end of story.

    Indeed, when we begin to read the Bible like grown ups do, we look at the whole thing and keep it all in context and go no further than the words will allow. For example, we find in Acts 5 the famous story of Ananias and Sapphira, who donated a ton of money to the Church but were struck down. Was it because they kept back some of the money? No. Peter says, “Didn’t [the property] belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?” In short, the rich man was entitled to use his wealth as he pleased. Peter and the church certainly weren’t going to get it by coercion. So why were the two struck down? It was an attitude issue. What they told all their friends was that they had given ALL of the proceeds to the church, aiming to pridefully take credit for being generous, when in fact they had only given a portion. “You have not lied to men but to God.”

    But we see here that the personal belongings of the rich believers are at their disposal. The command is important, the attitude is important, but coercion is NOT an avenue for the Christian.

    Thus we see from looking at this passage that there is no justification for the proposition that one group of people can take by coercion the resources of another group of people for ‘good works.’ If anything, the passage implies that the rich Christians have the right to dispose of their property as they please, but the Church can challenge them to remember that this wealth is temporal, and passing, and could be put to better use.

    If you would like to pass a law telling all the people of the world that our wealth is a passing thing that we shouldn’t put our hope on, maybe I can go along with that. Legislate that they should all share, if you want. But put the teeth of enforcement in there and tell me that this is supported by the Scriptures and you’ll taken seriously to task.

    To note, I am not at all saying that ‘other passages contradict’ the ones you gave. That is not the case at all. The passages you give remain, only you didn’t bother to make sure that they supported any of the salient points that are in contention. You set out a car battery and told me this proves the food is salty and then sarcastically hedged by saying that other cans of food could just as easily power the car.

    In sum, the passages do not in anyway support your implications. There are not passages that ‘say opposite.’ They all say the same thing. They affirm that people have a right to the resources that they have properly earned and that they should joyfully and willingly use those resources to benefit those who have less and that at no times should someone put their hope in their wealth. None of these contradict at all. They all tie together quite nicely, in fact.

    But what none of them say is that society can extract by force of law and punishment the resources from some for the use of others- and call this ‘generosity.’ One cannot be generous with someone else’s money. One can only be generous with their own.

  1. […] organized Christians who have given generously year over year over year to causes great and small (100 billion a year in America alone), to the fact that the actual word in English for our most important care facility–the […]

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