Friday, April 23, 2010

Share the Wealth?

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of
any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it." ~~~~ Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Motivational Thought

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Charity Rocks

I had an interesting dialogue with a friend about the difference between social justice and charity. To her, the words are synonymous. To me, they are not. From her viewpoint, Christians should not judge others circumstances, but should give to everyone in less fortunate circumstances, as that is what Christ would want us to do. Afterall, she added, we are His hands, we are His feet.


Social justice and charity, while similar at first glance, are two totally different concepts. Social Justice is impersonal and requires the government to decide who to aid, while demanding citizens to turn over their hard earned money to fund programs. There is no choice, there is no freedom, there is no free will. Charity, on the other hand, is personal. It originates in the heart and motivates a person to donate, or take some sort of positive action, in order to help and care for others in need.

To understand the difference, let's say I am in church, and there is an important "cause" brought to my attention during the service. The pastor asks me to give an offering in order to help in this area. If I am touched by the cause, have some money on hand, and my heart is convicted to give, then I most likely will. However, I may also have reasons for not giving at that time, so I don't. Either way, it is no one else's business but mine and God's alone. I have the freedom to choose what action to take. Afterall, "...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." And, if I do give, I am acting out of charity.

On the other hand, let's pretend that I am in that same service, and the "cause" is brought to my attention. The pastor does not ask me to give an offering. Instead, he informs me that prior to exiting the building, all of us in the congregation will each be required to give $50 to the "cause". It does not matter if we wish to or not, we must give. Our reasons for giving, or not giving, do not matter. Even if we are currently helping in other areas, donating to other causes, or have personal reasons for not giving, we must each pay $50!

In addition, we will be required to give $50, each and every time we exit the building, from now until eternity. And, more than likely, the payment will be raised to $100 next month, and $200 next year! We, in the congregation, may not question whether the need was ever satisfied, may not inquire as to the intricate details of the situation or management of the funds, we may not question the authority of the church or its elders, and we may not ask for the decision to be repealed! There is no choice, there is no freedom, there is no heart. But there is social justice.

To take my analogy a step further, let's go back to the first example. Let's say I followed my heart, acted charitably, and decided to give to the "cause". As meaningful as that decision is, it does not mean that the person sitting next to me must give to the "cause" also. Just because I want to donate, does not mean that everyone should! Afterall, people are wired differently and everyone responds to causes in a different way. Just as no one else's "gifts" are the same, no one else has my heart. If I feel deeply about a cause, I will find a way to make a difference. But, just as I can not demand others to have my gifts, I do not have the right to demand that everyone else gives to the "cause" that touches my own heart.

In conclusion, think of the movie, The Blind Side. What would have happened if Leigh Anne Tuohy would have driven past a shivering Big Mike, as he walked down that cold dark sidewalk, and yelled out the window, "Hey, Big Mike, I'm going to write a bigger check to the government at the end of the year, so just hang on, okay?" Instead, what did she do? She stopped the car, got out, talked to him, assessed the situation, made a judgement, took him in, gave him a place to sleep, fed him, clothed him, gave him a family who grew to love him, and a future full of opportunities that the government could have never given him with a monthly check.

Charity rocks.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.