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I think I might be changing my mind about something

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

  1. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    I grew up in the southern Appalachians. No one really had anything. The "richest" folks in town wouldn't have been better than upper middle class elsewhere. But there was a difference between the working poor who refused to take welfare while they could support themselves and those who took it. Human dignity. Healthy pride. Morality. Industry.

    Work doesn't just pay money. It pays self-respect.
     
  2. bapmom

    bapmom New Member

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    Absolutely Scott.

    Which is why I believe our country would do a whole lot better if we required some sort of community service for the able-bodied, while they are on welfare.

    Then they have so much more chance to gain some self-respect, because its so demeaning to get a hand-out, believe me, I speak from experience.
     
  3. OCC

    OCC Guest

    Yes, work pays self respect. That's why I gots ta find a better job. I am a security guard and I've been told my job is a joke (by a guy who's car was getting towed) lol.
     
  4. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    Remind yourself that God is your master and not some man on the street.
     
  5. OCC

    OCC Guest

    Yeah yer right.
     
  6. Soulman

    Soulman New Member

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    I agree that in a perfect world the churches and the governments have their roles to play.

    Jesus said we should love one another. If all men did, we could just jump in and get the job done. However, many governments are run by the unsaved and are corrupt. As well intentioned I think our government is, there is alot of corruption within it's ranks.

    I think a good government should try to help it's people without enabeling them to live a life of poverty. Love knows when to shut off the handouts so people will recognize opportunities.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    Please stop misrepresenting what I say. This is now into nine pages of you continually doing this. I never said I'd rather look the other way. It is unacceptable for you to continue in this manner. We do not disagree on whether or not we should help someone. We disagree on what is the best kind of help to give them.
     
  8. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    I didn't read all nine pages, so if this has already been brought up, I apologize.

    The role of government is summed up in 1 Peter 2:14. Governors are to punish the evildoers, and praise them that do well.

    And don't forget the miserable failure that has been every welfare state in history.
     
  9. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill New Member

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    King James that was funny.
     
  10. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    Pastor Larry wrote,

    Apparently Larry has never read the first seven verses of Romans 13,

    Rom. 13.1. Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
    2. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
    3. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;
    4. for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.
    5. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.
    6. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers/ are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.
    7. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due;/ custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

    Or maybe Larry didn’t study civics in high school. The government of the United States, the individual states, and the local governments all regulate financial relief for the needy. Personally, I am thankful that a large portion of the taxes that I pay go to help others who need the money MUCH more than I do. For a Christian, paying taxes is not a burden—it is a privilege.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    CBTS,

    As usual, you enter with a lot of bombast and not so much substance. My point in the initial post was about Romans 13:1-7. Joseph read this passage and said he might be changing his mind on whether the governement should hep the needy. But, whatever one might think about the government helping the needy, it cannot be substantiated from this passage.

    There are two different issues at stake here:

    1. What does Rom 13:1-7 talk about?
    2. Should the government help the needy, and if so, how much and in what way?

    To the first question, as a mere matter of exegesis, Rom 13:1-7 says nothing about the needy (either for helping or against helping). The point is on law enforcement--practicing evil vs. doing good. It says absolutely nothing about whether or not the government should help the needy. Surely in your 238 commentaries on Romans, you have figured that out. Remember, the task of exegesis is to determine what the text says. Something might be a good idea, and not be found in a particular text. This was a discussion about what Romans 13:1-7 said.

    Now, if you think Romans 13:1-7 says something about the needy, please use exegesis to show us that.

    As far as civics, yes I studied it. I was not commenting on that in my initial post. Later, I did comment on my personal views that the government is not helping people in the best way. That is a view shared by many, including economists, politicians, academics, and journalists. You may disagree. That is fine. Many certainly have. I personally don't like the fact that my money goes to pay for women to have babies out of wedlock, for people to stay at home when they can and should be working, for drug addicts to have clean needles and health care, etc. To me, that is not how you change behavior. I believe all of those people should be helped. But the manner in which we help them, so far, as not been working. I think it is time for a different approach.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    And BTW, your attempted emphasis on Rulers and due didn't come out. You have to put the slash inside the brackets.

    But even at that, I am not saying we shouldn't pay taxes, or obey rulers. I am one of the few here who has consistently stood for following the law of the land in many cases. IN the politics forum, I took great heat for my view of this passage. I was called all sorts of things.
     
  13. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    Pastor Larry wrote,

    Larry,

    You have apparently misunderstood my post.

    In Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, he was addressing the church in Rome which was under the authority of the Roman government. Paul wrote that everyone, Christian or not, was to be “in subjection to the governing authorities,” that is, those in charge of the Roman government, which was “a minister of God for [their] good” and that was “established by God.” Paul did NOT distinguish one part of the government from another. Therefore, the Roman welfare system WAS necessarily included in the government that he wrote of which was “a minister of God for [their] good” that was “established by God.” And needless to say, Paul wrote what he did because many Christians in the church did not like this or that which the Roman government did and they found many excuses why they should not be in subjection to it. Nonetheless, the Roman government, including its welfare system, was “a minister of God for [their] good” that was “established by God.”

    My purpose in mentioning high school civics is that in such classes one is taught the meaning of the word “government” and a few details about what governments do.

    The Roman government, in all of its parts, including its benevolence program, was “established by God” and, therefore, Joseph had his head screwed on straight when he wrote,

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    I was not attempting to emphasize the word “rulers” but rather put the word in italic type as it is in the NASB from which I was quoting. I know, of course, where the slash needs to be, but I was using such small type that I “missed the mark.” My quote of Romans 13:1-7 should have appeared as follows:

    1. Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
    2. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
    3. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;
    4. for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.
    5. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.
    6. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.
    7. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. (NASB, 1995)

    Paul’s point here is that the Romans should pay taxes BECAUSE their government was “established by God” “for [their] good.” Joseph is correct in applying this passage from the Bible to those living in the United States and other countries because Paul expressly wrote, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”

    And, of course, this applies to all branches and parts of government, INCLUDING welfare programs!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    Perhaps you misunderstood my post. I was not arguing that anyone was not under governmental authority. As I pointed out, I have taken great heat here for my position believing that we are under governmental authority. My point is that the passage does not specify welfare as a governmental role. If a government takes it on, then we are to submit to it. And we are to pay the taxes they require. But to use this passage to argue that a government should have welfare is exegetically inaccurate.

    There was certainly no doubt about your mention of civics. It was misplaced since I know what a government it and what it does.
     
  16. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    Pastor Larry wrote,

    :rolleyes:

    No one is arguing such a thing!

    This is what I wrote,

    • The government of Rome, including all of its parts—including its welfare program—was “established by God.”

    • “There is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”

    • The welfare program in the United States was established by God.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    I read something meaningful the other day that went something like...

    A hundred years ago, Americans didn't look to someone else for employment. If their business failed, they had no choice but to start a new one or starve.

    Funny thing is... people were more free, the Feds got by on 7% of GNP, we didn't have an entitlement class, we didn't have masses of people starving in the streets, and in general people saw the welfare of those around them as a personal responsibility... and not something for government to do.

    BTW, your job is not a joke. It is a noble thing to work for your own means. My dad filled candy machines and took pride in doing it to the best of his ability.

    If I were in your shoes, I would look at starting a business.

    A few years back coffee street vendors in Seattle were clearing over $60k. Cleaning offices at night can be profitable. Decent landscapers can make a good living. I don't know what your interests are... but more than likely you can make money on them if you apply a little creativity. Who knows, start a security guard service. Maybe someone would like to have someone but can't afford a service whereas they could afford to pay someone going solo.

    We are looking at striking out on our own now too. However, I have a wife and 3 kids to be concerned with so breaking from a reliable income and benefits is difficult.
     
  18. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    The people who wrote the Constitution would have rightly opposed wealth redistribution as a perverse system that punished the productive and rewarded the idle.
    Funny definition you have of "help others". It isn't good for people to teach them that others are responsible to pay for their poor choices, laziness, and moral failings. It is even worse to enable someone to continue in a self-destructive lifestyle the way social programs often do.

    I have seen it first hand. I don't need someone else's account. I have known people who were in nearly identical material situations... one worked, the other lived off of the system. Those who earn their own way are always happier and more hopeful.

    I don't see how you can consider it "helping" people to destroy their spirit.
    Huh? How so?
     
  19. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    Most of the “Christians,” especially the “evangelical Christians,” in the United States are so dead in their trespasses and sins that they would rather pay $40 to go to a football game or the golf course than they would to buy a needy child a pair of shoes. For this reason, God has found it necessary to appeal to the hearts of “non-Christian” folks to pass legislation so that the needy child can have a pair of shoes so that he can go to school.

    Should the child’s father have been more responsible? I don’t know his father; but I am more than willing to pay taxes so the boy can have a pair of shoes. And when I see a boy who has slipped through the cracks and needs a pair of shoes, I am more than willing to skip a few meals if I have to (and no, this is not just a literary expression!) so that I can buy the boy a pair of shoes.

    Right now, as I am writing, there is a needy family living in my vacation home because they can’t afford to pay rent. My vacation home is VERY precious to me, because it offers me a very much needed opportunity to get away from the pressures that I daily face, and giving up that opportunity has substantially decreased the quality of my life. But having a very nice place to live in a very good neighborhood is giving this family a chance to get back on their feet while their children are going to some very fine public schools. And this family knows for certain that it is only by the grace of God that they have such a fine place to live, and their faith in God and His word is being strengthened mightily by this.

    The problem is, however, that I have only one vacation home, and there are very many families!

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    :rolleyes:

    No one is arguing such a thing!</font>[/QUOTE]
    Hmmm ... That was the point of this thread, as Joseph argued in the OP. He said 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.

    Then he followed it up with What do you think? And I responded. You came late to the conversation.

    Romans 13 does not talk about the needy. That was the original point. Welfare might be fine; it might not be. But whatever it is, it isn't in Romans 13.
     
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