Healthcare and other social issues

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset hates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lighting, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” – by Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)

NOTE: While France had provided the statue itself, American fundraising efforts like these paid for the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal. In 1903, sixteen years after her death, Lazarus’ sonnet was engraved on a plaque and placed in the pedestal as a memorial.

In this comment I am not discussing politics at all. This is about what the bible says, nothing more.

Did Jesus Christ commanded us to love one another… yes He did!

This is my commandment, that ye love one another. [Jesus, In John 15:12]

In the OT God commanded us to love our neighbour and to protect the helpless and the poor and the weak and to visit those in jails… yes He did!

The Bible contains more than 300 verses on the poor, social justice, and God’s deep concern for both. – Source

Ps. 140:12. I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor.

Didn’t Paul warn about walking past a beggar and helpless person and say “be filled with the Lord” and then walk on… he warned us against this… Paul made it abundantly clear that we are to STOP and intervene and help!

We Christians are to make a difference in this world. Salt and light affects everything around it. That is the fact of the matter. It is abhorrent to hear Christians who say we are to avoid helping those who do not have health care… if we do not help then who will?

It is a shocking disgrace to think that Christians refuse to help the underprivileged, refuse to help those trapped in poverty.

Deut. 15:7. If there is a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any of the towns of the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.

Where is your tithe meant to be going?

Deut. 26:12. When you have finished paying the complete tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and the widow, that they may eat in your towns, and be satisfied.

Lev. 19:19ff. Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God.

Prov. 31:8ff. [Commandment to kings.] Open your mouth for the dumb, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.

Is. 58:66ff. Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

Luke 12:33. “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys.”

Luke 3:11. And [John the Baptist] would answer and say to them, “Let the man with two tunics share with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise.

Please note that this is a not a political message, it is strictly a statement about the expectations that God has shown clearly in the OT, in Jesus’ command and in the NT.

Mt. 5:42. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

And the message is continuous. It’s in the Law (Torah); it’s in the Prophets and Psalms; it’s in the Gospels; it’s in the Epistles.

Prov. 22:9 He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.

Jer. 22:16 “Did not your father eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy; then it was well. Is that not what it means to know Me?” declares the LORD.

Deut. 15:10. You shall give generously to [your poor brother], and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings.

Prov. 19:17. He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his good deed.

Jer. 7:5-7. “For, if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.”

Is. 58:10. “And if you give yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness, and your gloom will become like midday. And the LORD will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”

Luke 14:12-14. “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Luke 12:44.Sell your possessions and give alms; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Mt. 19:20ff. The young man said to Him, “All these commands I have kept; what am I still lacking?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

The list goes on and on… here is a study on the bible and God’s words regarding the poor.

I must state once again that this is not endorsing one or another political approach. These are God’s words in scripture. If we have a chance to bring comfort to the people who are unprotected, then we HAVE TO do it. If it means selling some of our own property, then that is what we must do. We are commanded to share what we have.

Christianity is not a call to greed and me-first and selfishness… it is a call to giving alms, selling what we have and giving to the poor. , being blessed ONLY so that we are a blessing (Prov. 22:9 He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor).

God shared His only Son for us. He gives us (spiritually poor and needy people) real life and He gives us from His riches… He expects us to do the same and give to the poor and needy.

Does Jesus Christ bless countries and people who give generously?

Bill and Melinda Gates have a foundation/charity and are the largest donors in the world. Bill’s father (William Gates Snr) was a significant donor. And you wonder why Microsoft has done so well?

Google has a charity and to fund the organization, Google granted them 3 million shares during their initial public offering. Google has also pledged to contribute one percent of their annual profits to their charitable organizations.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is the second largest donor in America and was started by a co-founder of HP (Hewlett “Packard”) Computing. And you wonder why HP does well?

Warren Buffett Foundation started by Warren Buffett the worlds most famous investor. The foundation was renamed to his wife’s name after she died. In 2006 Warren became more involved with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

Do not confused… America saw the vision to have an enormous statue welcoming the poor and downtrodden… and the blessings of God made it a vast, powerful and blessed nation.

Any nation that refuses to bless the poor will not prosper.

Ezek. 16:49ff. “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.

Is. 10:1-3.Woe to those who enact evil statutes, and to those who continually record unjust decisions, so as to deprive the needy of justice, and rob the poor of My people of their rights… Now what will you do in the day of punishment, and in the devastation which will come from afar?”

7 responses to “Healthcare and other social issues

  1. Reading this, I find the example of Micro$oft a bizarre one. If you want to know why Bill Gates and co have “prospered”, try looking at what they actually did. That company has a long history of sneaky behaviour, stealing other people’s ideas, and using strong-arm tactics to exclude any competition from the market. Mark, you know this!. Do you really believe that God “rewards” people like Bill Gates?

    Now in general – I think a major problem we have in the world today is the large number of people who expect to be fed, clothed and sheltered, all at the expense of others, without themselves lifting a finger for their own help or anyone else’s. Quoting Bible verses about charity for “the poor”, without regard to those passages’ proper context and balance, is dangerous – its feeding the “Culture of Entitlement” that is responsible for so much of the poverty in the first place.

  2. I think you are creating a false dichotomy – no one here is demanding that our wealth be untouched. I support taxes for things I use, i.e. road work, snow removal, civil servant’s salaries etc.

    If we are expected to share, then by all means share. It is a good thing to do, as Christ taught. It is good to force someone to share? No. It has to be chosen freely in order to be morally good. Moral actions are actions of will, and if you remove the ability to act freely there are no good or evil actions, which is why you have free will to follow or not follow Christ.

    And when was America in a position of blessing? It gives more money in foreign aid now than ever. As far as I know, the economic model of the Republic was always a Capitalist one – based on free enterprise. I’m not sure when America fell from the position of blessing into the position of greed.

  3. Interesting stuff, Mark. I don’t know that I agree with everything, but I certainly agree with a lot of what you’ve said.

    Certainly there is a strong and consistent biblical theme on siding with, aiding, supporting, uplifting the poor, the widowed, the foreigner, the marginalized, the oppressed, the orphans, the needy… in short, the “least of these.” It is a biblical expectation front to back.

    I think we can reasonably disagree on how best to do that, but do it we must.

    My most recent post on my blog was asking the question: Tell me what you know about healthcare reform? I’m not opposed to using taxation to deal with health care issues IF it’s a responsible and workable approach and if we, the people, agree to it.

    However, we are not a Christian nation and I would not expect those who don’t believe in God or Jesus to go along with those who do and be forced to support some gov’t health plan merely because WE think the Bible supports helping the poor. On the other hand, if there are logical, civic-based and fiscally responsible reasons (ie, we have legally decreed that auto owners HAVE to have insurance and not without good reason), then the American people may vote for it.

    If we do so, the fact that some were opposed to it does not make this taxation “stealing,” as some on the Right like to say. In short, I think if some can make a logical, fiscally-responsibility-based case for health care in a way that’s understandable, that would be most helpful.

    Just some thoughts.

  4. H Neil

    God also judges *nations*, not only as individuals. Take a look at scripture…

    Ezek. 16:49ff. “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.”

    Is. 10:1-3. “Woe to those who enact evil statutes, and to those who continually record unjust decisions, so as to deprive the needy of justice, and rob the poor of My people of their rights… Now what will you do in the day of punishment, and in the devastation which will come from afar?”

    I’m sorry but we as Christians simply cannot stand back and demand no one touches our wealth. We are expected to share. America has got to take action to restore itself to a position of blessing, after many decades of filth and greed.

    God bless,

    • Hi Mark,

      You are conflating Israel with the U.S. and other people’s money with your money.

      You also perpetuate the false dichotomy that we either pass this health care bill or do nothing. There are a lot of other ideas that would help (tort reform, more competition, tax benefits for individuals instead of companies so people could keep insurance when they leave jobs, and more).

      What would really help the poor is to stimulate growth and provide jobs for them.

      Of course we should share. I share all the time — with my money.

      I find it bizarre that the health care proponents are typically pro-legalized abortion (hopefully you aren’t in that category) – and so much so that they want to take pro-lifers money to pay for the abortions. Do you think God is going to bless us for that? We’ve had decades of slaughter, also prompted by greed and selfishness.


  5. Of course WE should give. But you are implying that asking Caesar to take from neighbnor A to give to neighbor B qualifies as giving. It doesn’t.

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