Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My Letter to a Friend

My old time friend from the Jesus Movement, Michael Cristiani, is a compassionate Believer who feels the hurts and pains of people in need. He often writes about our Christian responsibility to care for the hurting among us. Below is a note I sent to him tonight in response to an article he sent me.

My response to Michael is partially in response to an article I read by Ron Sider of Evangelicals for Social Action. Ron is a wonderful man who has worked to help the poor for generations. He believes strongly that high earners should be taxed at very high rates to give directly to the poor. He calls it "biblical justice" but I call it "forced charity" which is not charity at all.

Dear Michael,

It seems to me that the very worst thing a government can do is to give direct payments to poor people without also interacting with them in an up building manner. For over forty years I have tried to help the poor, the broken hearted and downtrodden. I learned very early in the process that poor people are of two types. The situation ally poor and the chronically poor.

We can assist the person with money who is poor because of sickness, job loss or a weather catastrophe. However, the chronically poor ought not receive direct payments from taxpayers. They must also have someone work with them to teach them better living and financial habits. Otherwise they will not be able to alter their lifestyle and, as Jesus said, "You will always have them with you".

This is the same with an addict. Direct aid to an addict moves them deeper into the addiction. They will simply ingest more of the toxic substance. Change from addiction to sobriety can rarely be achieved unless loving persons enter into the world of the addict and walk with them through the pain of recovery. This is also true of the chronically poor.

When we over function for the poor, the addicted or the under performing we condemn them to further pain. The current Obama Socialism approach to helping the poor is poorly conceived and will move poor people further into poverty. Placing higher taxes on workers to pay the poor directly is stealing from the productive to place higher burdens on the unproductive chronically poor.

IWW. (It Won't Work!)

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