War on Poverty.
During his State of the Union address on 8 Jan 64 President Johnson introduced the notion of what eventually became the "War on Poverty". This was actually passed by Congress and signed into law on 20 Aug 64. Since that time untold billions of dollars have been spent on social programs and handed out to the nations poor in order to eliminate poverty. While early on there was some measurable benefit to the "Equal Opportunity Act of 1964" however, largely especially since the early 1970's the number of people who continue to remain at or below the poverty line remains about the same. So why is that? Could it be the reason we have lost this war on poverty and we should surrenderer before any more tax payer money is wasted is something as simple that it is found in the bible?
In Matt 26:11a when confronted about money that could have been used for the poor, Jesus is quoted as saying "For you always have the poor with you ...". I believe that a closer study of this passage from the bible and other passages relating to taking care of the poor (needy) in comparison to His teachings on self reliance can be cause for great bible study discussion. I do think that throughout scripture Jesus was teaching us to care for the needy, but not the unwilling as there is a difference.
In II Thes 3:10 the Apostle Paul writes about idleness in that "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." Many socialists movements throughout history have used this passage as a motivation to declare that the wealthy or "bourgeoisie" have earned their wealth immorally and that capitalism in general should be abolished. I do not believe that is what this passage of scripture is about at all. I believe that the bible is very clear and very simple there that no one should be forced to give money to those who are unwilling to work for it. Welfare and charity should not be a life style to be cherished and I should not have to pay anyone elses bills unless I choose to do so out of the goodness of my heart as God (and not congress) directs me. In other words, do not expect someone else to provide you your basic living requirements when you are unwilling to earn them for yourself.
So why is it that over the years that we, the voters, have allowed congress under any number of Presidential Administrations over the past 50 years to continue to confiscate money from on group of citizens and give it to another class of citizens who are unwilling to work? Have we allowed the government to become our god in lieu of the one true God? What I find amazing is how the separation of church and state crowd seems to be silent about government taking on the role of church or god, I.E., providing for the needy, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick etc etc when these are clearly identified with Christian teachings.
I am one who would contend that America because of its early great success has become lazy on a number of fronts. As Christians many of our fellowships have the mindset that evangelism and Christian service is the role of the paid clergy and not that of the individual member. As Christians many have not had strong biblical teaching in five or more decades about what the real meaning of the Separation of Church and State should be. We have "allowed" our government to take on the role of the local fellowship in serving our neighbor because we have found it more convienent than doing what Christ has called us individually to do. To reverse this trend it going to require people to first return to solid biblical roots to understand what scripture, not what a "church teaches. And second people of great moral courage and strong backbone to elect and then support those representatives at all levels of govenment to begin rolling back the sea of entitlement. America can not and will not survive on the current path she is on otherwise.
I am reminded of, and close with this.
When the thirteen colonies were still a part of England, Professor Alexander Tyler, a Scottish historian,wrote about the fall of the Athenian republic over 2000 years earlier. He said:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence:
- from bondage to spiritual faith,
- from spiritual faith to great courage,
- from courage to liberty,
- from liberty to abundance,
- from abundance to selfishness,
- from selfishness to complacency,
- from complacency to apathy,
- from apathy to dependency,
- from dependency back to bondage.