…The task of looking after the poor is never ending. Even Jesus said, “the poor you will always have with you.” So what is the purpose of the charitable mandate we find in scripture? I would suggest that it is similar to the reason we are instructed to tithe… that is give ten percent as a recognition that all good things come from our Creator. God does not need our money. He could, by simply decreeing it to be so, feed them all like He did the Israelites as they wandered through the desert on the route to the promised land.
He chooses not to do that, but puts the task in our hands… knowing that the job could never be done. Helping the less fortunate does, however, like tithing, demonstrate obedience and our concern for our fellow man. Unfortunately, outsourcing our charitable works does not help us meet any of these goals and, given the term “entitlement” gives the recipients the idea that free help from others is something they have coming to them, rather than receiving help from a concerned friend or neighbor in the name of Christ.
There is, of course, a corollary to this idea that Christians should not outsource their charity to the ever expanding government agencies. It is that the individually and corporately, Christians need to take more interest in meeting the needs in their communities. Of course, evangelical Christian already give much more to charitable organizations than progressives who believe in government programs. The Knights of Columbus is one of the most charitable organizations in the country. But much more can be one. I was a member of a class that bought jackets for students at a local elementary school. Another time, we bought shoes for them… and back packs with school supplies. There are, like Jesus said, always needs around us we can meet… without a bloated bureaucracy watching over us.
We say we believe in individual responsibility, let’s take some responsibility and be a community resource… we may have to fight big brother to do it, but that’s OK. It’s the right thing to do.