The topic of caring for widows and orphans keeps coming up in this thread. Is this in reference to the need for a welfare program and/or other state/goverment funded programs to help those in need? From a Biblical point of view (of course, my interpretation of it
), this is an interesting subject. I was reading in a mag the other day about how socialism and Christianity do not go hand-in-hand. This really got me thinking because I have always found myself to lean towards a socialist point of view - education for all, health care for all, retirement/senior care for all, etc. But, I also knew that I couldn't just go with what "sounded right" to me - as a (fundamental
Christian, I also needed to read what God had to say about it. So far, this is what has come to mind:
In Matthew 25:34-50, Christ separates the sheep from the goats, and His reasoning for doing so was that when He was hungry they fed Him, when He was naked, they dressed Him, when He was in jail, they visited Him, etc. They said, but Lord, when did we ever do these things for You? He answered by saying that when they did it to the least of the bretheren, they did them for Him. My belief is that this illustrates God's desire for us to care for those around us - feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit and encourage the downtrodden, etc.
But, I also believe that there are verses that express that we are to do something with our lives and not just assume that we will be taken care of ...
1 Thes. 4:11-12 admonishes us to lead a quiet life and work with our hands, that we may earn the respect of those around us and not be in need.
In Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the talents is told. In this parable, a man gives a talent to three different men and tells them that when he returns from his journey, he will check on what they have done with it. Two of them used their talents to earn more; the third man hid his talent and returned to the man with nothing more than what he was given. The two men who worked in some capacity were commended for doing something with what they were given; the man who sat on his talent and didn't do anything was dismissed with these words: “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’"
My perspective is that yes, we are called as Christians (and in my opinion, human beings regardless of religion) to care for those less fortunate. But, I also believe that as Christians, we are called to make something out of our life (the talent that we have been given) - something that is of benefit to the Man that gave us that talent in the first place. What does this have to do with politics? Well, to make a long explanation a little longer, I think that the socialist mind-frame of supporting everyone doesn't line-up as neatly with the Bible as I would like it to. I think it means that there needs to be moderation with the liberal-hand-out-money-for-the-sake-of handing-it-out practice that seems more indicative of the democratic party. I am a SAHM; my dh works two jobs to enable me to stay home with our children. Though I believe that public school teachers should make enough money to support their faimilies on ONE income, I also don't expect someone in government to give us more money just because I choose to stay home. I believe there needs to be a big over-haul of the welfare and unemployment systems. And so, I don't see it as a simple black-and-white situation of "Christians are called to support orphans, widows and those less fortunate, so therefore we must support Democrats because they are for social programs." I think there is much more to it than that.