the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised (Psalms 10:2).
The Bible is replete with passages telling us the wicked persecute the poor and enslave them for their own benefit. At the same time Scripture makes it clear that those who seek to please God will extend a helping hand to the poor.
Although our nation spends billions of dollars to alleviate poverty the fact is current policies result in sustained ill-usage of the poor. You see, civil government entitlement programs are not concerned with lifting people out of poverty but with keeping them subjugated and degraded. Devotees of power religion and the worship of Human reason find it useful to keep the poor dependent upon the God state; they treat him like helpless children and enslave them for the purpose of maintaining power.
Tremendous amounts of money are spent in the “war on poverty” in the United States. More than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government, not including Social Security or Medicare. For instance, 47.79 million Americans now depend on food stamps (when president Obama first took office the number stood at about 32 million). In the 1970s about one of every 50 Americans was on food stamps. Today close to one of every six American citizens participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This means more than one out of every four children in the United States depends upon the civil authority for his daily bread. All this without actually helping the poor.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau approximately one out of every six Americans lives in poverty. This is a level of poverty not seen since the 1960s. If we consider low-income Americans as well, the statistics become even more shocking; more than 146 million Americans are either poor or low income. This equates to about 20% of all children in the United States living in poverty, including 2.8 million children living on two dollars a day or less. Sadly, a belief that Uncle Sam will care for America's children is correlative to the fact that one out of every three children in the United States lives in a home without a father.
In a biblical economy help extended to the poor is designed to lift them out of poverty and enable them to stand on their own two feet. The Bible clearly teaches the principle of self-government under God and part of self-government is earning your own keep. As Paul said to the church in Thessalonica, For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Now, there are those who are unable to work at all and aid for them is provided for in the biblical principle concerning the care of widows. But even that need is supposed to be met by the extended family and in hardship cases by the Church (1 Timothy 5:3-16). At no point does the Bible say civil authority has the responsibility to extract wealth from the population at large in order to care for the poor.
Christians are called to bring their life and arena of activity under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. There is no part of life exempt from the authority of King Jesus. The war on poverty will only be won through the application of biblical principles. Thus we must develop a kingdom worldview. We must demand our elected officials govern according to biblical principles or elect representatives who will do so. We must begin this process as soon as possible.
ntil we do so (according to the objective standards of the Bible), we will fail to enjoy the full benefit of salvation and this world will be a poorer place because of it.