Christian Scholars Who Support Government Help for the Poor
March 18, 2016
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There are Christian Scholars who Support the idea of Government Help of the Poor.
Ronald Siders in his book Just Generosity says "the texts seem to assume a level of assistance best described as "sufficiency for need", with a fairly liberal interpretation of need. "Deuteronomy 15:8 specifies that the poor brother receive a loan large enough to meet his need. Frequently, God commanded those with resources to treat their poor fellow Israelites with the same liberality that God showed them at the Exodus, in the wilderness, and in giving them their own land. (Exodus 22:21, Lev. 25:38, Deut. 24:18,22) This teaching on the role of the government applies not just to Israel but to government everywhere." (Ps. 72:1, 9: 7-9, Romans 13:1,4, Amos 1-2, Isa. 10:12-19, Daniel 4:27)
I also agree with Ronald Siders and Heidi Rolland in their chapter in the book Welfare in America edited by Stanley W. Carlson-Thies and James W. Skillen in which they say "a problem as complex and entrenched as long-term poverty can be overcome by a wholistic approach that combines inner spiritual transformation and external changes, at both the micro and macro levels. A Wholistic approach is needed to restore life to poor people as well as to their larger social context." What is needed is new partnership between government and religious service groups." p. 468.
John D. Mason in the same book referred to above writes "My view is that within the numerous and extralegal provisions designed to inform life in early Israel, God encoded ethical emphases or guidelines that form a normative foundation that is developed in the remainder of the Bible." P. 152
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