Government redistribution of wealth: Is it right?

Should the government take from the rich to give to the poor?

I am going to try to keep this as politically neutral as possible, but I would like to get some reader’s opinions on wealth redistribution. We had a guest post last week about Reverse wealth distribution that stirred up a lot of discussion, so I wanted to discuss it from a different angle.

Biblically it is very clear that we should be redistributing our wealth to help the less fortunate. But what role should the government be playing in this with our tax dollars? I have a few thoughts about it, but I really want to hear what everyone else thinks…

My thoughts on redistributing wealth

It encourages laziness.

Why would you work for something if you know you will receive it without working?

It sounds unconstitutional.

Not sure if it is – can someone confirm or deny?

Money isn’t the answer.

So many people believe that money will solve their money problems, nothing could be further from the truth.

We should be willingly redistributing our wealth.

We should be the ones giving. When the government takes from a rich person to give to a poor person. The rich person isn’t giving, but rather they are being taken from. There is a huge difference for both the giver and receiver. When you receive something from someone who truly wanted to give it, it is a whole lot different than when they are forced to to turn it over.

I don’t need to repeat the numerous verses from the Bible about giving to the less fortunate. As Christians, providing for the poor and less fortunate is our responsibility – regardless of what the government does.

The whole thing is a mess.

As I sit and try to think of a solution, it is kind of overwhelming. You have some rich people who manipulate the system to avoid paying taxes. You have some poor people waiting for a handout. And you have a government that does a less than stellar job of managing our tax-dollars wisely.

What is the answer?

I don’t know – you tell me in the comments below…

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  1. Scott Lovingood

    My personal belief is that the growing social programs in the Federal Government have reduced many Christians willingness to help the less fortunate. We see someone suffering and the first though is “Why doesn’t the government do something about that?”

    By taking over responsibility for these programs, government has psychologically removed some of the reasons behind having similar religious programs.

    Higher tax rates mean that many people have less left over to contribute to programs as well. And we are constantly exposed to people who try to game the system. It becomes a constant struggle to know who really needs help and who is just trying to be a con artist.

    God’s family should always be the first line of defense in helping others. We are commanded too and know the benefits of helping others. As I heard many times growing up, No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

    By letting government take more control over social programs we lose a tremendous opportunity to help spread God’s Word and his Kingdom.

  2. Jason @ Redeeming Riches

    Bob, great questions to wrestle with. I’m glad you don’t pretend to have all the answers.

    I struggle with these same things too.

    I agree, as Christians, we need to provide relief (giving money quickly and aiding in emergency needs), but we also need to provide development (teaching, educating, assisting and equipping) the poor to help themselves get ahead financially and make wise decisions.

    The problem with redistribution (in my opinion) is that we end up doing more relief work it seems and less developmental work.

    Also, the government’s idea of help (typically) is to create programs. Programs aren’t the answer. The answer lies in realizing that we are also the poor and destitute and yet Christ came to our aid and rescued us – we in turn should go and do likewise.

    Sorry no answers, just more questions. =)

  3. Eric

    God will show compassion to the needy. Either we can choose to give joyfully, or he can have governments take it from us. It is our choice. Keep up the good work!

  4. Jason Wier

    Seems the same people to tell us not to judge are the same people who judge if someone is rich or not. Wealth is a relative term. I can give on making much less than someone who makes more and chooses not give. How does one make that decision who is rich and poor?

    I do feel more like a tax payer most of the time and a voter every four years. It is only money and God is in control. Sorry if I am not helping, but I feel the answer in the hearts of people and not in the laws of the land. Change hearts and you do not need laws.

    Personally I will give to Ceaser what he asks for and I will share God’s resources that I have been entrusted with to share the love of Christ.

  5. Alex

    I don’t have all the answers but redistribution of wealth is not good, period. The government take from the fortunate and give to the less fortunate through social programs.

    How about when the few elite screw up the economy like the banks and insurance companies, aren’t the less fortunate forced to bail out the fortunate with higher taxes and more taxes (inflation)? Privatize profits and socialize costly big failures!

    Are there scriptures in the bible that talk about bailing out Irresponsible corporate thieves? I don’t think so.

  6. I’ll go with your last point, “The whole thing is a mess”.

    This isn’t Heaven, and it isn’t the restored Kingdom of God, not yet, so things are and will continue to be a mess. Not to be defeatest, but if we were to put together our best efforts to correct the situation, it would still be a mess, albeit a different looking mess for sure.

    As I see it, there are two fundamental problems with the current system of redistribution.

    First, the system is badly overextended in too many directions. It might be better if the system could focus on two or three basic problems, and solve them fully, rather than throwing money at every issue in the bushes. So choose to feed the hungry and provide BASIC healthcare for all, and let the rest go. Right now the system is a textbook example of “jack of all trades, master of none”, and it fixes very little on a long term basis.

    The second, as you mentioned in the post, is that does encourage laziness, but not just by recipients. People aren’t as generous with giving to the poor because the government is doing it in such a grand and costly way. But we’re still required by God to give to the poor on a personal level, so the current system is corrupting on a number of fronts.

  7. The Happy Rock

    I think this is an interesting discussion and there have been some great comments.

    I like the you started with the fact the Jesus calls us all to redistribute our wealth. For the Christians, especially in America, I would suspect that living out this principle as described in many instances of the NT would be a lot more radical than we care to admit.

    It goes against the materialistic pull yourself up by the bootstraps mentality the American capitalism fosters.

    It is rare the I meet a Christian who does anything more than give(over and above tithes) out of their excess. I am not yet one of them.

    Even when I do give, I often make giving more about me than I do the person in need and rarely do I give to the point were it effects my daily life. I think about tax implications and effectiveness and how it effects my bank accounts, rather than trusting and letting my love be the thing that dominates my decisions.

    Personally, I am not sure that the question of forced government giving is relevant to the Christian. I certainly wouldn’t want it to distract us from the radical giving and changed life that we are called too. I truly wonder what would happen is the Church(across denominations) sincerely tackled some of these problems with our time, prayer, possessions, and money.

  8. Craig Mostat

    If we collected all the wealth (money/assets) on the planet and redistributed evenly across the population, in time, and generally speaking, the same people that had more originally will have more again. Of course, the same people that had less originally will once again have less.

    We have to understand that there is a reason that some are rich and some are poor, and it is not good or bad luck. Sure there are exceptions – some have been born into a wealthy family – but they are of course, exceptions. (I am not talking about anyone that is handicapped in any way.)

    Giving to the poor does not help them in the long term. We need to help those who do not have, make decisions and use money in similar ways as those who do have.

    How do we do that? No idea. But if we focused on that instead of wealth redistribution, we could find all kinds of creative ways to answer the question.

  9. MIKE B

    At Last, I found someone who thinks like me.You are right this is not Heaven or the new heaven, it will continue to be a mess. Greedy corporations run not only this country but the whole world and the likelihood of that ever changing is negligeble at best. I think that as long as there are people suffering in this world that governments are going to have to be the main way for people to get help.

  10. Aaron Merrell

    Two things to keep in mind:
    -Thou shalt not steal
    -Thou shalt not covet

    In the U.S.A. our government is supposed to be based on government by the consent of the governed. As it was intended by the founders our government is a confederation of the citizenship. We consent to abide by the laws of our government so long as they don’t infringe on our rights (granted by our creator).

    You have no right to come into my house and take what’s mine (whether for yourself, or for someone of lesser fortune), why would a group of you (albeit very large) have a greater right to my property than one of you? Just because a group covets my property and you has the ability to bring more force than I could resist to take it doesn’t make it right.

    In the U.S. if you don’t pay your “fair share” you risk being violently apprehended, or killed in the process, and being thrown in prison. We are now governed by the threat of the loss of life and liberty. It is, but that doesn’t make it right.

  11. Ken

    I believe that God wants His people to prosper. I have lived in the desert and in the plush valley financially and the valley is far more satisfying. I have gone from being the recipient to being the giver. Their is nothing more satisfying to me than being able to give and sow into others lives.

    In the desert I would receive no government handout or bank loan. And yes we did qualify. My wife and I would trust God to provide for even our basic needs. And health wasn’t something we took for grant it, but were thankful for daily. We were confessing, believing and even sowing in the dry desert.

    I am convinced that God has His hand in prospering those whose heart is right towards Him. His people should be the richest people on earth. I don’t see where Jesus taught on redistribution of wealth in the Bible. He healed and provided for the needs of the poor and sick. But I don’t think they stayed in the state He found them.

    Government has stepped in because the Church has failed to fulfil their calling. As the previous responder from Russia has said, America is moving towards a more socialistic or communistic economy. Our freedoms are lost as we partake from the Government’s feeding trough. A “crises” is an ideal opportunity to push for more government involvement in business and the personal lives of its citizenry. Unfortunately this process is difficult to reverse when the crises is over.

    This is also true for repayment of the debt accumulated because of these new and expanded government programs. To this point policymakers have chosen to borrow and expand the money supply rather than increase taxes on its citizens. But that is shortlived. The value of the dollar will decrease and tax collection efforts will intensify.

    Government redistrubution of wealth is not compatible with a capitalistic society. It will stunt creativity and productivity of its citizens. It poses the ‘have nots’ against the ‘haves’ and the ‘haves’ will seek to assert political influence to change the system or seek a government that provides the flexibility to profit from the entrepreneurial spirit.

    • bob

      This is turning out to be a great discussion – keep the comments coming everyone!

  12. Nancy Morales

    A comment on wealth distribution. I agree that we are called to give to the less fortunate, but I also believe that there is a culture of people who are just too lazy to go to work and expect the government to provide for their needs. I think it is appropriate to provide for people who are disabled, for the elderly and our veterans who put their lives in the line for this country, but younger/healthy individuals who can be contributing members of society but instead stay at home waiting for a check to come to them, should not be enabled by the government. It is very easy in this country to abuse some programs and assistance. We need to stop enabling lazy people and instead create a system that will provide assistance for a short period of time (6 months maximum), help individuals going through difficulties with job placement assistance, etc and after that, hold people accountable. When there is a massive amount of people not contributing and doing their part, the ones who do, pay the consequences. I say, let’s me gracious and help one another but also hold people accountable for their life decisions.

    NM Miami, FL

  13. Aaron Merrell

    I’d like to throw this in the debate:

    “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10

  14. Whether we like it or not, this is a classic case of “Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”. The government has the right to take the money they tax from us (at what ever level they decide) and disburse it (for what ever purpose they decide), and we have to live with that until we’re so disturbed by it that we finally vote for real change. Real change won’t come until the majority of people have been made to feel uncomfortable about what is happening to them, and that clearly hasn’t happened yet.

    In the meantime, we’re still responsible to handle the money we have left in a Godly way, which includes taking care of the poor. If it’s any consolation, from my exprience in preparing income taxes, Christians ARE more generous than others, especially the non-religious.

    I agree with what the Happy Rock wrote his/her comments above that forced government giving isn’t really relevant to the Christian. But as far as our other financial issues as believers, we’re still in this world, with all of it’s problems, and those problems will be IN us as long as we’re in the world. Let’s thank God for the Christian influences we do have and the good we do, and strive to do better, knowing that perfection is quite literally beyond our grasp in this life.

  15. Steve Toschlog

    The Bible tells us that God loves a cheerful giver. I willingly and cheerfully give to families or individuals in need. However, I like the freedom to give to the ones “I” choose (as God leads). Usually, those are the ones that I know personally at some level and know they are truly trying hard to “make it”. The government does not have any sytem in place, to my knowledge, to gauge whether or not a person is really trying hard or if he/she is lazy. That is a problem. Even if there were such a government system of separating “true” need from laziness, most rich people probably still wouldn’t be too cheerful about “forced” giving, as someone has already called it. Then again, I’m not sure how many rich people would agree with the term “giving” even being used in the same discussion as wealth redistribution. Some rich may believe the term “theft” is more appropriate. The less government involvement the better.

  16. Mike Gray

    Regarding the question of Constitutionality, I have to say that a governmental redistribution of wealth at the federal level is completely unconstitutional. According to the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The power of redistribution of wealth has most certainly NOT been delegated to the government of the United States in the Constitution.

    On the issue of helping the less fortunate, I think the old saying: “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime” pretty much sums it up for me.

    The government forcefully takes from people and gives to other people. Yes, there are some token programs to help people look for jobs or create a resume and the like, but generally the money is a direct subsidy. Not to mention the massive percentage of overhead that is needed to keep any government bureaucracy alive.

    The government doesn’t do an acceptable job of teaching people to fish and it never will.

    Giving, in my opinion, goes beyond the transfer of wealth. If you give a man a fish, he eats today. If you give him ten fish, he’ll eat for a week. If you give him 500 fish, he’ll eat for a year. But eventually, he’s going to run out of fish.

    Someone mentioned earlier in the thread that if you evenly distributed all the wealth in the world among all human beings tomorrow, the wealth would tend to go right back to where it was. I believe that to be true because even if the poor man can now be taught to fish, in many cases, he has no desire to learn or belief that it is even possible.

    However we choose to help others in our own lives, I believe we do ourselves a favor by keeping these things in mind, especially when we try and look to government to fix problems with society and culture.

  17. Steph

    This has been a wonderful discussion…thanks for it. I agree with Mike Gray about the constitutionality of the issue. There is a story about Davy Crockett campaigning for re-election (I don’t know/remember if it was representative or senator). In those days, men had to literally go house-to-house to campaign. He stopped to talk to a farmer and asked if he (Crockett) could count on the farmer’s vote. The farmer said he would not vote for him again. When asked why, the farmer said that Congress had no authority to give money away even though it was for a good cause. I wish I knew more of the details of this story but apparently, there was a vote to give money to some group that had suffered from a natural disaster. The farmer reminded Davy Crockett that there is nothing in the Constitution authorizing Congress to give money to anyone! Of course, this was before the days of the federal income tax.

    I also agree with those who said that when government gives money to re-distribute wealth that it enables bad (laziness) behavior, takes the incentive away to give (hey, the government is going to take care of so and so) but we, as believers, are mandated in God’s Word to give. Unfortunately, with the irresponsible bailouts, our cost of living has increased, people are out of work and losing their homes, so we don’t have as much money TO GIVE.

    I don’t know the answers either but I appreciate the fact that we all know that it must be fixed. 🙂

  18. John F. Harrison

    On its face, the question is too broad. What alternative is there? All taxation involves wealth redistribution, and it always has. The government takes money from taxpayers and spends it — redistributes it — somewhere, and with someone. Foreign aid is wealth redistribution by definition. So is defense spending — tax dollars get spent with defense contractors, and trickle down to the employees of those firms. Education funding, such as federal college loan programs? All wealth redistribution. So it’s not the concept of wealth redistribution that is the issue, since almost all government expenditures literally involve wealth redistribution. The real issue is that people don’t approve of who is getting the money in a given scenario.

    Nor is the current debate primarily about welfare programs. I haven’t heard any talk of increasing taxes on the rich in order to increase the size of welfare checks. “People who refuse to work” are often a convenient, knee-jerk target used to obscure the real complexities of the issue. What about other beneficiaries of government largess? When the government provides unemployed people with extended unemployment benefits, that is also taxpayer money being redistributed. How many of us would refuse it on the grounds that wealth redistribution isn’t “right?”

    “Thieving corporations” are another easy target. Yes, if we had declined to bail out Citifinancial and GM, some rich CEO’s would have been justly served. But hundreds of thousands more everyday working people would have lost their jobs in our principled refusal to bail out the big corporation. Nothing is as simple as it seems.

    I do think some people see government orchestrated wealth redistribution as a way to eliminate poverty. That was clearly the idea behind such things as refundable tax credits for the working poor. Then the relevant question is not, “is it right,” but “does it work?” And I would have to say, based on history, that the answer is no. It’s like the cattle in Pharaoh’s dream: the skinny “poor” cows devour the fat “rich” ones, but do not become fat themselves. I think that will be the result of any government program designed to spread the wealth or level the playing field.

    Two of the earlier posts struck a nerve (thank you!). How many of us could sell what we have (as Jesus more than once told people to do) in order to give to the poor? If not, why not? That seems to be both a thornier and more important question than the Constitutionality of Cash for Clunkers, or the plethora of other government interventions into the private economy.

    Just food for thought. I’ve enjoyed reading all the posts!

  19. Matt Jabs

    According to scripture, Christians should give liberally and joyfully despite what the government, or anyone else may be doing…

    I believe the reason the gov’t is getting involved is because our country is beginning to experience the curses of increased ungodliness.

    Christians need to repent of their selfishness… get out of debt… and start giving as much as possible – not only of their money, but also of their time!

    Gov’t involvement in responsibilities of charity will always end in chaos.

  20. mbhunter

    Redistribution of wealth occurs silently every day in the form of monetary inflation. The dollar has lost well over 90% of its purchasing power since the Great Depression. Look to the Federal Reserve, originally set up by powerful bankers, for this redistribution.

    Social Security, Medicare, and the prescription drug benefit will be our downfall unless the government reneges on these promises. Any health care reform will hasten this. Things will get much worse. The recovery is nowhere in sight. We’re inoculated to ridiculous levels of debt. How many people really have a concept of a trillion dollars?

    Government redistribution of wealth is guaranteed to be substandard compared with what a free market would decide. We all foot the bill.

    Is the side I’m taking clear? 🙂

  21. AJ

    I think the framing of your argument limits the discussion and I think it shows the bias that capitalism engenders, of “mine” and “yours”. Choosing to spend tax dollars to positively affect the poor is different than re-distribution. Redistribution along with all of it’s Socialist comrades: Socialized Medicine, Dictator, Death panels, etc… are a scare tactic. Choices on spending are made every day and that is the question before us. What is important to us? Each year we give farm subsidies to farmers, accelerated tax breaks to the benevolent rich (so that they can give more to charity?), more war machines to fight “evil”. We’ll even take a billion dollar chance on Mars and the Moon before the poor. If a tax is redistribution, is not tithing?

    The very thing we clench with both fists, “our” money, is labeled in God’s name: In God We Trust. Does God tell us not to trust the government but only our own judgments? Does God say, don’t tithe if you don’t like the music director during the music campaign? Instead does he want you to buy something for the church and put your name on it so we can glorify you? As Christians we fight so hard to keep these words on our money and institutions, but we forsake the truth of those words. We lavish government money on defense contractors, war, sports teams and stadiums, and giant walls on our borders with advanced surveillance systems, but we continually ignore our schools and the poor. Is God not enough? Can we not trust in God when it comes to what he does with our money? Is the government so powerful and evil that it can thwart God’s plan?

    We neglect our responsibilities in our choice, we give unbridled control to bankers and when the system crushes the people that supply it the first thing we do is rebuild the system, not the people? As Christians, what do we want in our country, the unbridled ability to pursue money and keep it to ourselves, or do we follow our call and use it to help others?

    One more thing: You think that food shelter and reasonable health care create laziness? What do you consider the opposite of sloth? If you think exact opposite, I think you will find it is also a sin.

  22. I have to agree with Matt Jabs here, we have to be who we’re called to be regardless of the prevailing political circumstances. All kinds of political situations were going on during the first century, including the Roman occupation and oppression, yet the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus, Peter and Paul are largely silent on them.

    So we do what we’re called to do, then do what we can with the political situation within the context of the options available to us. If we aren’t satisfied with Democrats and Republicans, we need to take a serious look at third parties. Yet in every election, the combined vote % of third parties is in the low single digits. We like to complain, but we don’t like change apparently.

  23. Esther

    Most poor people aren’t lazy. I’ve known many poor people who have full-time jobs that simply don’t pay enough for them to have food to eat for the whole month. Others search for a job but can’t find one and end up homeless. They can’t afford to go back to school in order to get a more decent paying job. They can’t afford to go to the doctor when they are sick.

    If we as the church vote against using our tax money to let the government help the poor, we are leaving them without hope because, as it is, we aren’t doing enough to help them either.

    I know non-Christians who believe that Christians don’t care about the poor because they know that Christians vote against giving a little of their tax money to help them. Many Christians that I know don’t want the government to help the poor because they are afraid it will cost them more and rationalize that the poor can help themselves, which is often not the case. That’s a bad testimony.

  24. L

    Redistribution of wealth is not necessarily a bad thing in a capitalist arena. Today the news is that the CEO of United Health in Minnesota received a salary and bonuses of $103 million. That is what happens when human greed is unchecked. I’m sure this guy feels entitled to that huge sum regardless of how many people, even within his own organization, suffer so he can satisfy his overwhelming personal greed. Redistributing wealth doesn’t have to mean giving handouts to lazy people who don’t want to work. It could also mean giving the poor working stiff emptying his trash can and cleaning his private excutive washroom a decent enough wage that he can afford to buy his kids clothes and pay the tuition for them to attend college. I don’t see anything at all wrong with taxing this guy until he is left with a still handsome salary while limiting the damage his greed is doing to our society.

  25. Minda

    I agree with regulation, but not redistribution of wealth. For me there is a clear difference. Regulation could require companies to pay even their lowest employee enough to provide for the basic needs of his family. Redistribution, however, means taking the wealth that has been required by others and giving it to those who have not acquired it. I believe that in cases where the recipient isn’t completely disabled this is a bad thing both for him, the economy, and the tax payer.

    I think the best uses for government money is to protect citizens from foreign invasion, violence within our borders, and being taken advantage of be greedy people. I also believe that it should invest in things that will make our economy stronger (scientific research, college education especially in fields were there is a shortage, infrastructure, and protecting our natural resources including biodiversity).

  26. joe

    the answer is simple is starts with us as individuals, not the government. We must restore faith and all the virtues that made this a great country, things like honesty , good morals, decency , charity.and so on. We must demand these things from our churches and our leaders and when these changes within our society become restored we can once again become a proud nation.

  27. Miiko

    Hi Bob,

    Thought I could throw in this speech by David Crockett on “Not Yours to Give.” Good reading.

  28. al

    A reading of some of the framers letters show that many were in favor of an estate tax (which republicans call the death tax now) and a progressive income tax. Both ideas can be attributed to Thomas Paine or Jefferson. Madison and Jefferson were especially concerned about the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few individuals as it would jeopardize our democracy. Madison also claimed that of war, debt, or taxes war is the greatest evil of democracy as it leads to the imposition of both debt and taxes. (The US has been in some kind of war nearly nonstop for the last 40 years even w/ Eisenhowers admonishment to fear an industrial corporate takeover.) One of the primary problems our democracy faced early on was the funding of the Revolutionary War and the huge debt incurred…the framers had first hand evidence of this. Now our democracy has slowly eroded into a corpratocracy (essentially national socialism)…..we are being enslaved by a slow moving coup de etat with the expressed purpose of enriching only the corporate elite. Now the top 1% own 90% of the wealth of the nation and control 94% of all liquid assets. This is in stark contrast to the 70s when the wealthiest 1% owned 60%. Our middle class is disappearing! Since Reagan we have seen policy after policy systematically enacted to decimate the middle class and extract wealth and transform us into a 3rd world state of uninformed consuming idiots. Our nation was created for the people by the people of the people NOT for the rich by the rich of the rich. To believe otherwise is UNAMERICAN!

  29. Carol Ann

    Loved the comment from Miiko and the web site to go and read
    Davy Crockett’s speech to the House of Representatives. I loved it
    so much I emailed it to my state senator and representative. Now
    it’s their responsibilty to read it.

  30. Joseph Dooley

    On a theistic construction of morality—for example, Judaism or Christianity—redistributive schemes would be rejected if God issued an injunction against it. In Leviticus chapter 19, among various laws relayed from God through Moses, there is verse 15: “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly” (New Living Translation).

    This does not conflict with admonishments elsewhere in the Bible to tithe and give charity. The prominent 11th century Torah scholar Shlomo Yitzchaki wrote of this verse: “Do not say that since the wealthy man is obligated to help the poor one, it is proper for a judge to rule in favor of the poor litigant so that he will be supported in dignity. The Torah insists that justice be rendered honestly; charity may not interfere with it.”

    What Leviticus 19.15 addresses then is the impartiality of the law to people’s wealth and status. It asserts, in part, that it is wrong to manipulate the law in favor of the poor simply because they are poor. Thus redistributive justice, a twist on true justice, is forbidden to those who believe in the primacy of the Torah.

  31. Tharos

    There are many Biblical examples where God directs us to give to the poor either directly or via the Church. There is no Biblical example where God directs us to give money to government to give to the poor. God presents us with three general ways in the Bible to take care of the poor and needy: 1) through the family, 2) through the church, and 3) through individual charity. The applicable passages for these three ways are Deut. 14:28, 29, Numbers 18:24, Matthew 6:1-4 and 1 Timothy 5:3-16. Government’s role is to ensure the poor are judged fairly in the courts. The first duty of a judge is to execute absolute justice, showing the same impartiality to rich and poor, to Jew and foreigner. He is forbidden to accept bribes or to wrest the judgment of the poor (Exodus 23:6-8 Deuteronomy 16:19). He must not let himself be swayed by popular opinion, or unduly favor the poor (Exodus 23:2, 3).

  32. rICHARD

    there are rich people poor people and people for what ever reason truly cant keep a job or they dont have the skill or maybe even the coppacity to even get a skill to earn and decent living to provide even their basic needs.Then u have people who lets say a married couple the husaband works but the wife has a disability and she collects disability she worked long enough to get regual sdi security then u take a young person who is disabled has no onee and has not worked long enough to get regular disability so they get ssi the mininum well the lady on regular socail security has a husband and his income her disablity check and could even work enough to make about 1/2 of what she gets on dis she could also get an inheritence and keep the money and still get here disability now the young person who has not worlked enough to get regular dis gets the mininum cant work or they will deduct could not keep an inheritince with out loosing their disablity so they work maybe if they are lucky a few hours a week side jobe under the tABLE NOT TO BE GREEDY OR DISHONEST BUT TO SERVIVE I dont think this is fare.The rich are very lucky no matter how u look at it and I feel they should pay more I also think their will be greed coruption in every thing ffrom welfare to our police fource thats life I think the working poor should be given a chance to go to school to get e skill to make more and also well they are making mininum wage they should be given liie a a person disabled or on welfare medicade tax exement the rules for disablity should be the same for everyone rather if a person has only worked for two years of 20 and they become disabled they might not be able to have a day to day job to support themmselves but I dont think its greedy if they get their check and have nothing left to even save at the end of month and lert them work as much as they can and keep what they are abale to earn to a certain amount then deduct so that can also can have a meaningfull exsistance..And the rich should not be given the brakes and put the burdon on the middle class all I do know is I think some sort of a better system could be developed to make what people will do any way out of survival but make it legal economicly speaking..I think a persons social behavour speaks for its self I mean if a person claims they are disabled and cant work but they are running all over with their friends can drink smoke and have a jolly grand time then come one but if a person is claming that and they stay home al the time and just dont seem to be having a life then they probely stay hoje because sosmething is wrong their for why put another burdon on them and give only enough money to braly get by mayube they could do something a few days a month as when your on a 674 a month income with rental assistance rent is $169 utility $88 a month phone and cable $100 and personal househole items and food if they need a car payment 125 plus 75 insurance total 577 that leaves 100 whcih buys nothing now that if have rental substy if not where could one live on 674 another question.Some people really in america suffer because of no funds every day horibly.

  33. Smagistad

    I believe that much of this discussion misses a key idea when we speak of government having no role, but instead saying that as Christians we must be taking care of the poor through our personal giving. This key idea is: What if there are more people in poverty in the first place because they are victims of an unjust SYSTEM. Much of this discussion basically assumes our economic, political, and social systems are already operating completely in-line with God’s plan for creation – as if these are perfect systems. IE – Our job is not to question or change the system, but simply to address it’s impact on some poor people who are victims of the system. Do we really believe, in our hearts, that the ever widening gap between the very rich and the poor is evidence of perfect, just system in the eyes of God? We should not be afraid to question our systems. We should not separate our beliefs from our social, political and economic activities. All of it is part of God’s creation. I don’t think the free market system is good or evil, but I think it has weaknesses and government is the primary mechanism we have to address these weaknesses. Of course we give of our personal wealth to say thanks to God, but there is nothing wrong in my opinion with also advocating for policies that improve the fairness and justice of the system.

  34. Wade

    they are not taking in a sence of stealing and they do not covet they have permission it’s called majority vote !!!

  35. Dan in NH

    In 2 Thessalonians 3:10 it says: (King James Version)
    “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” Now to me that says no to welfare without work. As far as the passage that says the more we make the more we should help others. That is helping of or own free will as far as the government that’s stealing. Charity has to be from the heart. If you check it out liberals are far less charitable as conservatives. I bet you liberals think the Republicans are the rich folk. I’d hate to tell you but 60 out of the top 100 wealthiest people in America are Democrats.

  36. Steve in Mo

    I just want to say first the gov taking is not out of love.
    We are required to help the less fortunate, But we are not to blindly help and must remember who we help. 2 thess3 10.
    Also as a Christian in need you should try to get out of need. Ephesions 4 28.
    I would have to say our current system is not Christian. In 1 thess 4 10-12, we are not to be dependant on anyone. I would say that includes the goverment.

    • joe

      It really tickles me how so many self proclaiming Christians do not want to turn lose of controlling things and let God do what he said he would. What did Jesus say to the rich young ruler that wanted to know how to enter the kingdom of God? Cheat on your taxes? Under pay your employees? Charge unfair fees or interest? Oh yes!! He said part with your wealth and give it to the poor.He didn’t qualify how the poor became poor just quit depending on your wealth and start depending on God. Also for those that like the saying those that don”t work shall not eat. Have you not noticed that probably fewer rich people actually work than poor people do?


    • Steve in MO

      Thanks Joe, for your perspective. A few things to remember for the rich young ruler, that was his requirement, and not given to others. He was trying to buy his way into heaven, which is impossible.
      Their are several rich people who are displayed as righteous. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, Daniel, Joseph, Cornelious, Jason.
      One thing everyone needs to remember is that if you can view this website, you are most likely in the rich of the world. The top 5% in the billions of Gods people.
      God is in control, and we all must freely give as God leads. James 2 The question is if Government Aid is a false idol. Can people give it up and follow God? Are their family and church community neglecting their obligation and turning that over to the Government. 1 Timothy 5:8

  37. Jared

    I just pray that the politcians that want the wealthy to share with poor will sell their vacation homes and give the money to the indigent!