At 06:17 PM 25/02/02 -0500, Woodward Norm Civ WRALC/TIEDM wrote:
>I have been reading the traffic concerning "communism," perhaps a literal
>translation of "koinonia," found in the early church.
>Yet, at least in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, it appears that stewardship
>eventually replaced unlimited giving:
>"10. For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if
>anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.
>11 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life,
>doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.
>12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to
>work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread."
Indeed, the Lord never wanted people to be lazy. Helping people in need,
does not mean that the "receivers" of charity had no duties.
>And, I believe in the OT, the law required that a certain portion of harvest
>not be gathered so that the poor could gather the leftovers.
Indeed, the edges of the fields were not to be harvested; what grew there
was for the poor. Interesting is the story of Ruth in that
respect.. Every seven years the land had to be left alone for a
year. Every fiftieth year (Year of Jubilee) the land had to go back to the
original owners. Read in Ruth as well that Naomi tells her daughter-in-law
that Boaz is the one who has to redeem their property.
>I think, overall, the scriptures seem to support work-fare, rather than
>welfare, when considering the able-bodied. In fact, we are assured that
>"...if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his
>household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever..." (1
>Timothy 5:8, NAS)
I do not deny that at all. But keep in mind, that was in a different time
than we have now. We have many people in Toronto who cannot find work. We
had an engineer aged over 60, who could not find a job for two years. We
have refugees who come here, and want to work,but are not allowed to do so,
until their refugee status has been cleared up. In other words, Timothy's
rule cannot always be applied. S, be careful to apply general rules in
Besides, what hurts most is that the people that have can lay off workers
by the thousands. So, what are these workers going to do in small towns,
where there is only one big employer, here usually an automobile
company. Several factories are closed and the work is going now to the
USA, at least in two cases I know off.
> When charity evolved into welfare, and an "entitlement," similarity between
>our system and Biblical "compassion" became purely coincidental.
No contest here. But is does not mean, that therefor our system is
correct. The biblical economy was not a capitalist economy like it is
here. Work cannot always be found. And then I don't talk about cases like
one of my sons, who has cancer. Suddenly half of his income disappears,
and the price of medicine has to come out of what is left.
Still, just study the OT laws and you will find very interesting examples,
of how the Lord wanted Israel to take care of its poor. They did not obey,
and were therefor deported to Babylon, see the last verses of II Chron.
Jan de Koning
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