I think I might be changing my mind about something

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Joseph_Botwinick, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    In the past, I have always thought it was the Church's job to take care of the needy, and that it should be solely the Church's job, to the exclusion of even the government. In defense of that position, I have always appealed to passages in Acts that speak of the early Church taking care of the needy and living a life of self sacrifice to help others.

    Recently, however, I read the following passage in the book of Romans that I have read many times, but didn't really notice this:

    Romans 13:1, 4, & 6

    It seems to me that this passage is telling us that God has ordained the government not only as his agent of wrath, but also as his servants of benevolence to help the needy. Further, it appears to me that God's Word even goes as far as to defend the principle of paying taxes to help the needy.

    What do you think?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't see anything about the needy. They are God's ministers of justice and government, not handouts.
     
  3. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    10,407
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joseph, I think that when we have disasters the scope of 9/11, Katrina and Rita; they are beyond the capability of the church to do it all. Besides, there is specific expertise needed, and it is not always available in the local church.

    That said, it doesn't preclude the church from rendering assistance to those in need.
     
  4. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    72
    Government's job is not just to take care of the borders; it is also to take care of its people.

    I don't know that this passage necessarily has to mean that, but I think it's a possible application of it.

    Then again, I'm a bit of a liberal on this matter.
     
  5. PamelaK

    PamelaK
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    3,504
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting Joseph...must ponder this for a bit.
     
  6. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    72
    Is allowing children to starve and families to be homeless upholding justice?

    We can talk all day long about how the church is the institution for generosity, but let's be honest--the church can't do it all.

    It is the government's job to ensure justice. I consider helping the needy to be a part of this function.
     
  7. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    When Paul said:

    what did he mean by "...do you good"?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  8. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very good Joseph. We should never ever be past God being able to teach us. And sometimes we must drastically change our minds to be in line with God.
     
  9. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    The theocracy that God instituted in the Torah is full of laws about caring for the needy (Deut 15), forgiving debt (Lev 25), leaving grain on the threshing floor for the alien (Lev 19,23), etc.

    Granted, these are commanded of individuals to perform but they were still commanded by the "government" or theocracy and not left to individual choice.

    [ September 28, 2005, 09:42 AM: Message edited by: Gold Dragon ]
     
  10. bapmom

    bapmom
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    thats a good point, Gold Dragon. They were required to leave the corners of their fields unharvested so that the poor could glean there.

    Perhaps it should be something that the gov't is involved in when the tragedy is so big that individuals alone can't do much good. I know our church tries to help its members, but we are not a rich church, and there are so many poor people who come to us asking for help. We cannot help everyone.....we just don't have the resources alone.

    I know part of my hesitance to give any of it to the gov't is because we've seen so much abuse of the system. But really, abuses aren't a reason to throw out the entire idea.
     
  11. TexasSky

    TexasSky
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    In the old testament, originally, there was no "government." There were only men of God that God ordained as leaders to care for the people.

    The people begged for rulers, and God gave them to men. The men who were rulers did care for their people.

    I believe Joseph is correct. I believe that God does use Governments both to care for the needy and dispense justice. Therefore, it behooves us to try to elect men who pray and listen to God.

    This is one reason the idea of "total separation of Church and State" bothers me. God never meant for government to be separate from Him. That is man's doing, not God's.
     
  12. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is where I think I would disagree with you. If God wished for the Church to do it all, then he would empower us to do so. It would have been impossible for Moses, on his own power, to part the Red Sea, or do anything that he did. It was only through the power of God that he was able to do so. I simply think that God chose the government to do so, along with the Church.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  13. OCC

    OCC
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Joseph, [​IMG]

    Larry, that is terrible talk coming from someone who is a PASTOR! I think the people who complain about tax money going to help the needy and say "it's the church's job", are the same people who probably don't help the church do the job.

    Either way the money goes, you are STILL giving money to help the needy. Or food. Or cheap housing, because as you know...everyone has the right to housing, even if it's cheap....if your Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc. MEAN anything.

    Since nobody ever addresses my question, I'm hoping you might since you are a pastor. Why did Joseph gather enough food for his people to last through a seven year famine?
    *this is about the 20th time I've asked this in the last few months*
     
  14. OCC

    OCC
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    TexasSky, good point on the separation of church and state. I'll have to ponder that.

    Someone mentioned that in Israel, even debts were forgiven. Could you imagine if our "godly" countries would forgive debt once in a while? If they would, I think I would take the "" off of godly.
     
  15. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    72
    This is where I think I would disagree with you. If God wished for the Church to do it all, then he would empower us to do so. It would have been impossible for Moses, on his own power, to part the Red Sea, or do anything that he did. It was only through the power of God that he was able to do so. I simply think that God chose the government to do so, along with the Church.

    Joseph Botwinick
    </font>[/QUOTE]Well, I agree, if God wanted the church to do it all, we could do it all. I just don't think that God wants the church to do it all. Therefore, they can't do it all. We're on the same page, I think.

    I agree with you that the church AND the government have been given these responsibilities.
     
  16. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    KJ,

    You are wrong here. I have always helped the Church do the job, even before I started changing my mind on this issue. It is not an issue of whether we should help the needy. It is an issue of how we think it should be done.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  17. bapmom

    bapmom
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    King James,

    Ive always wondered why Joseph would make the people pay for all that food. Yes, it was gathered and stored, but the people had to pay for it, too.
     
  18. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is an interesting issue. I believe that after the Tsunami, the president did forgive some of the debt in that area of the world. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Here is an interesting discussion about this very issue that I am having on a blog elsewhere:

    One big victory!

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  19. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    The Pharoahs were pretty good capitalists for their day, but the Egyptian government system was definitely not God ordained. That isn't to say that if it was, the grain would have been free.
     
  20. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gold,

    Joseph certainly had the authority, if he had wished to do so, to give it away for free.

    Joseph Botwinick
     

Share This Page

Loading...