WARNING:
May burst into random acts of sarcasm, political rants, and independent thinking.. Read at your own risk.

Monday, October 10, 2011

How government welfare contradicts Christianity


"Welfare is not a program but the essence of the gospel. It is the gospel in action. It is the crowning principle of a Christian life".  Spencer W. Kimball

Having a large family we are often asked how do we afford our children. To which I reply"children are not expensive lifestles are expensive". Stop to think of the bulk of your necessary bills. Rent/mortgage remains relativly the same.. Infact I pay less now for rent than I did when I had two children. Almost 50% less. My electricity and water are the average of what most everyone else pays.. sometimes less as we do not run air conditioning and such. We are frugal with our groceries and clothing. We buy food when it is on sale and most of our clothing is from donations from freecycle or people we know or yard sale finds. We live simply.
But usually the comments arise about government welfare programs. I think it has to do with the fact that large families are a thing of the past and Satan has convinced modern day parents that they cannot afford to accept blessings from Heavenly Father. My husband and I are as morally opposed to such programs just as we are opposed to pornography, alcohol and abortion. Obviously not all on the same platform, but you get the idea. Affording our children is not all that difficult, provided we are given the opportunity to do so. 


Welfare is more than just financial needs. When a person or family needs welfare they need more than just a way to pay a few bills. Something has gone awry that prevents them from being able to take care of themselves. Whether it be illness, injury, death, divorce, job loss, or just bad personal choices they are in need. Throwing money at the problem only helps them temporarily. There is so much more that individual or family needs. They need much more than a fish. If a widow is lonely offer your company. If a person is ill or injured offer them your time and help them to do the things they cannot. If a father needs employment help him get his foot in the door. If children need help coping with death or divorce spend some time with them and help them feel speical. Do not shun the person recovering from bad habits because they made those choices. Work to inspire them to do better.
The government welfare program is dangerous to our society. It creates a replacement for compassion. We no longer seek to serve our neighbors. We just say "oh there is a government program for that" we feel that we paid our taxes we have done our part. But we haven't. In most cases the taxes you have paid barely cover your portion of basic infrastructure. The taxes that go for these programs usually comne from those in higher income brackets, those usually labeled as the "elite" or "uber rich", you know the ones who are labeled as greedy and selfish. They are demonized for their success. This is how we justify taking this money. If those who had the money are evil, then we feel better taking their property. Their money. They are bad people who don't deserve it. Somehow they haven't earned it and they owe you. This gives people the illusion that they are entitled to someone elses property... we then give the government power to seize thet property by force and violence if needed. This sounds more like Satan's plan than one designed by Heavenly Father.


So what do we do with those that need welfare. We do what Jesus Christ would do. We help them. Not by forcing someone else to do it but by doing what we can ourselves. We must become like Him. To sacrifice what we have. To give all of ourselves in service.
Welfare, charity and service all have a dual purpose. To help those in need and to help those who serve. How charitable to do you feel when filing you taxes? Now think of how you felt the last time you helped someone. I bet the feeling was much different. By allowing charity to be done via politicians and IRS workers we deny everyone the blessings of charity and service. The ones in need do not feel the humbling gratitude of asking for help. We all feel a bit powerless when in need. Many, including myself, feel weak when I need the help of someone else. Its very hard to say I need help. It is always a growth experience for me to do so. Whether its financial, spiritual or physical, I have to stop and reflect on what is is that got me to that point. If I feel entitled to that assistance, I am excused from  that feeling of weakness. And I lose the growth experience.
Its very common that when I have asked for help, charity is diverted to the government. If I am short on money for groceries it is suggested I apply for food stamps. If I am struggling with homeschool it is suggested I put them in government schools. When concered about a recent layoff we told we should apply for government unemployment.
We have come to a place where we have paid the government to do our service work for us. Its no longer our job to care for those in need. "That's what government is for."

Jesus didn't establish a government. He established a church.
If we are to be more Christlike we must take back our spiritual responsibilities from the very government that seeks to destroy His word.  We cannot allow this distance to grow between us. We need to be able to lean on each other. We need to carry each others burdens. 

5 comments:

  1. Another member actually told me last week that the Church's council for sources of help were: first, family; then, government; finally, the Church.

    I told her to send me her sources 'cause I had a talk from Elder Bednar she needed to read. She hasn't sent me anything, and I won't be looking for the talk I referred to. It would just be a wasted effort if you know what I mean.

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  2. LOVE this! What an amazingly articulate way to convey this important message. Thank you for writing it!

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  3. Couldn't have said it better and totally agree!

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  4. That's why the Church has so many programs to help people. The Church does not keep on helping if you have the means to help yourself. We 'teach you to fish'. But those who have no means to support themselves, like those in India, Haiti, Africa, etc., we are there for them with basic necessary things, prayer, love and hope. Those are the things Jesus would give to us.

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  5. I just came across this blog post while in search of what church leaders had said about it. I recently had a "discussion" on facebook with a member who was sadly mistaken on it. Anyhow, your post is so very well written and I just wanted to let you know :)

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