Giving To The Poor

Q. I can tell you why I voted for Obama even though I am a Christian. First let me say neither candidate was a Christian. Then I asked myself whose policies show the most concern for the needy as God has directed as I do not see churches being able to carry this burden totally and in fact most do very little in this area. What do you think?

A. I’ve received a lot of letters like this from Christians attempting to justify voting for Obama, and most of them say the same thing. They voted for him because he helps the poor and the churches don’t. It’s a noble thought, but lets consider a few things. First of all government reports show that the US will record its 5th consecutive trillion dollar annual deficit in 2013. How long do we think we can keep doing this? And another gov’t report said last year they spent over $60,000 per welfare family to provide them with less than $30,000 in benefits. Do you see what’s happening here?

One reason churches don’t carry more of this burden is because unlike the federal gov’t churches can only spend what they take in. Some surveys report that as many as 40% of born again Christians have yet to give their first dollar to their local church, and of those who do, the average giving is only about 3% of their income. The inescapable conclusion is that many Christians don’t put their money where their mouth is when it comes to helping the less fortunate, even though the Bible promises we would be better off if we did (Luke 6:38). You can’t blame “the church” for that because we are the church.

In many cases we have a legitimate beef about how church leaders spend the money they do receive, but the bottom line is if we as believers contributed in a manner that demonstrates our gratitude for what we’ve already received, and if we demanded that our leaders spend our contributions according to Biblical principles, we could easily carry each others burdens. Instead we vote for politicians who promise to do it for us, and at no cost to us, at least for now.

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