Jesus Was Against State Welfare and Entitlement Mentality
Ramon Arias | October 8, 2012
Thousands of years should yield great knowledge of what works and what does not work in helping the poor and those with different needs. Here we are in the 21st Century and what have we gained with all the trillions of dollars that have been poured into solving the problems? Nothing positive, and the nations with their human programs based upon men’s ideas continue to produce more corruption, immorality, misery, class warfare, hatred, jealousy, social instability, wars, civil wars, or should we call them uncivil wars?
The socialists, Marxists, humanists and ill-informed Christians (biblically ignorant) misunderstand the role or responsibility of the individual, society, non-governmental organizations, the church and the civil government; but they have with them those who are classified as less fortunate due to their monumental needs. Yes, I am implying that there are solutions to bring the poor and those with many needs out of their condition. These solutions are not traditionally accepted even though they have proven to work effectively. Personally, I know they work. I have seen them at work as I have shared them in many nations. Of course, it would be naïve or presumptuous to think I can present step by step all the solutions in this short write up and yet I hope and pray it will cause you to do your research and arrived at the same conclusion as I have and then begin to share it with as many as you can using all the means available to you.
First things first, as believers in the sovereignty of our God and Father we know that the world and everything that is in it belong to Him. He is the rightful owner, not man.
Secondly, we know that He is not the author of man’s misery, nor does He enjoy the suffering among them. He created all things perfect and commissioned man to administer the planet. The world was created in such a way that it can sustain life regardless the level of population. Thirdly, it was man’s rebellion to God’s ethical and moral law that brought on all this devastation and suffering. We must understand that the real human problem is not scarcity but the sinful nature inherited at conception. It is sin that totally destroys humans from the inside out. In spite of man’s obsession with sin, God has made provisions by giving a blue print of what man and nations should do to restrict the evil nature from taking over society. In His divine plan He reveals how to make the nations blossom with peace and prosperity if His blue prints are implemented.
Man is so arrogant in thinking all problems can be solved by their own wisdom and they have fallen into the trap by thinking either God does not exist or He is so far away from the planet and He has no interest in what takes place in the here and now. Both perceptions are not only wrong but destructive. Then there are those who misinterpret what is revealed in Scripture causing people to be guided into hopelessness giving up their faith in the God of the Bible and placing their trust in sinful man, only to find out what a terrible mistake that is.
Let us consider how out of context Jesus’ teachings have been taken. We hear from Christians and non-Christians alike how Jesus commands us to care for the poor, needy and afflicted. We are to do justice to those who are oppressed, to feed and clothe those in need; the social list of things His followers must do is extensive. The light as well as the hard-core socialists and Marxists take advantage of certain actions and teachings of Jesus in order to apply them to their twisted, corrupt and mortal worldview. They will never tell you that Jesus was against the state welfare programs and an entitlement mentality.
They have used what you already know about how Jesus fed the multitudes. We read in the gospels how in two occasions he fed five thousand men and then four thousand not including women and children (John 6:1-14; Matthew 15:32-39). What they will never mention is Jesus’ refusal to feed the people when they expected to continue to be fed. In John 6:22-24 we read, “On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.” Human tendency is very clear when they think they have figured it out on how to get benefits without the labor input.
Jesus’ reaction toward them is very revealing. The following verses, 25-26 we read, “When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” Jesus knew their intentions of having him permanently provide for them not because they were doing the right things but because they developed an entitlement mentality. Jesus exposes them to the dangers of their thinking and how easily they can allow men to exploit them and enslave them. He also reproved them for their lack of interest in the teachings that proceed from God’s revealed truth that liberates mankind from their sinful nature and makes them productive and fulfilled individuals by doing His will.
When corrupt or ill-advised individuals see themselves as the means to save people thinking people are too stupid for not understanding how to help themselves out of a precarious life they will use their position as public servants to confiscate the hard earnings of the productive class to sustain themselves in power and be the beneficiaries of such evil.
Jesus revealed what God had already established in His law on how to effectively help the poor (Deuteronomy 15:7-11). He never went after the rich to make them poor and join the ranks of welfare or of entitlements. To the rich young man who was seeking the way of eternal life told he him to keep God’s Commandments. The young man said, “I keep all of them,” I must be lacking something, what is it? Then Jesus hit him where he was enslaved by requesting him to sell everything and give it to the poor and to follow Him. The young man left his persistence in wanting to obtain eternal life; he was chained to his wealth.
Then we have the story of the rich chief tax collector, a Jew detested by the Jews to whom Jesus paid a visit and the result was that after understanding how God’s principles work and the purpose of wealth, Zacchaeus told Jesus he was going to give half of his wealth to the poor and any fraud made to others he was going to restore it four times (Luke 19:1-10). Two rich men, two different reactions to Jesus’ teachings that reminded both of them what God has revealed in Scripture. In no way do God or Jesus endorse the State to have power to take from the ones who have wealth to give it to the poor. Nor does God expect the civil government to do the work that belongs to society in general.
Let’s face it; the federal government has done everything to eliminate poverty only to find we are in greater peril. Rejecting the Biblical alternative will lead to further despair and social confrontations. The federal government has spent trillions of dollars in programs that far from liberating people from dependency have chained them generation after generation robbing them of their dignity and God given talents for productivity and self-respect.
In The Bible we find the only blueprint to develop man and society with a work-ethic that inspires individuals to acknowledge they’re created in God’s image and likeness to become the most successful in industry and productivity due to the self-reliance in their Creator. The principles to accomplish such alternatives are found in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Ruth, Proverbs, the apostle’s letters and many more places throughout the Bible. The Bible delineates the why, when and to whom charity should be given to. It also reveals the proper use of tithing and alms giving, the proper way for lending, how to discern others dishonest intentions and so much more which makes God’s people truly wise in all dealings. The Bible is the only and most effective document with perfect models, structures, and systems to effectively transform poor people into productive citizens.
God and Jesus are against State welfare and entitlement mentality and so should we. But we should also be willing and diligent to follow their instructions to turn back the onslaught of all humanist thinking. Let us no longer ignore the Great Commission given to us of discipling the nations. In the past others confronted the evils of their time and so can we in our time. Let us never forget that we have The Father, Son, Holy Spirit and the Scriptures to give the answers to a nation and world in cultural darkness. With the Trinity on our side we can do great and mighty things for their glory and our fulfillment.
I pray that you and I will be among them and glorify our Father who is in heaven and rules Supreme in the world!