Too often when I point out that charity is a personal responsibility, not the responsibility of government, I am attacked for my lack of compassion.
Is the charge true? I suppose it is. If Jesus is our model, I certainly cannot match his compassion. All I can do is study the Bible, consider that I am commanded to love my neighbor, and wonder how I am supposed to do that.
What am I called upon to do? These days that too often begins by understanding the difference between greed and charity.
When government redistributes our wealth, we call it charity, but it does not qualify as charity. It has more to do with greed. When government runs anything, we see:
1. A huge waste of money. This is always the case when people spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. Because charity comes from the heart and we see the suffering of those who lack, out of charity we abhor waste.
2. Displays of greed. Various constituencies are always forming striving to concoct ways to tap the wealth of the Federal treasury for personal benefit. Hence, government “charity” is more akin to thievery than charity.
You want to see a huge hissy fit? Threaten the sanctity of an “entitlement” program.
There are many warnings in the Bible about giving in to greed and longing for riches. Jesus warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal… You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:19 and 24). Did Jesus pursue the acquisition of money? No. On the contrary, He became poor for our sake (2 Corinthians 8:9) and had “no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). The only disciple concerned with wealth was the embezzler Judas, who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
Greed and a desire for riches are traps that bring ruin and destruction. “The love of money is a…
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