Archive for ‘Poor’

February 1, 2012

To Work or Not To Work?

by pastortimfowler

To work or not to work? Poverty is a problem world-wide. It always has been and always will be. In Matthew’s gospel, the 26th chapter and 11th verse, Jesus said that we would always have the poor with us and I believe what He says. That does not mean that we should not care about them, the question is how should we care for them? Our country has an ongoing argument about how the poor should be dealt with and I have talked about this before in a few blogs.
The best thing a poor person can do is to get a job. I am not saying that we should not provide for those who can’t work, and I am not saying that it is a simple thing to get a job. I am saying that if you can get a job it is better than living off handouts. In fact the Bible says that if a man will not work, he should not eat. Sadly we have developed a culture of people who believe that they deserve to have the government and anyone else who will, take care of them. I get many calls a week from people who are “professional” beggars that have developed a phone script to ask for handouts from churches. They know the agencies that I try to refer them to before I can even get the list out of my drawer. I ask them if they are willing to come do some work around the church and they almost always say no. FYI, I have never turned someone away who is in true need of food or shelter.
Many people who are poor are going through a difficult period in their life that is due to circumstances beyond their control. Sadly they often become comfortable with having the unemployment checks sent to them and begin to enjoy not having to work for their money. Soon they stop looking for work and become a burden on society. Often the excuse in the beginning is that they can’t find a job making enough money. Many times people are not willing to do a job for less than what the last one paid but are more than willing to take less for doing nothing. I have a problem with that.
Working more than one job can overcome the difference in salaries. I know of multiple places that are hiring right now if you are willing to work for minimum wage. Having two and even three jobs is not a bad thing if it pays the bills. Many of our parents and grandparents worked multiple jobs as a way of life. It is not something to be ashamed of. And before you jump to the conclusion that I don’t know what it is like to work two jobs, I do. I have done it as recently as last year. Why? Because I needed to pay my bills and I was not willing to sit around and sponge off others when I could do something to help myself.
Being on government welfare is too often the hindrance of people who would work, but don’t because of convenience. Unemployment insurance should not be extended automatically to everyone who is accepting it. The money does not come from the government, it comes from the tax payers. Sure, most pay unemployment insurance while they are working, but it is not for indefinite benefits. After the allotted time for those benefits, it becomes other people’s money that pays for it. If the checks stop, people are more likely to look harder and take whatever jobs needed to feed themselves and their families.
The bottom line is not about being compassionate or not. It is about enabling those who are fully capable of working but won’t. People who can’t work and are in need must be helped. It is the right thing to do. One of the commands of the Bible is to help those who are in need. But personal responsibility is also a command of the Bible. Laziness is a sin. Not supplying the needs of your family when you are able, is a sin. The church nor the government, should ever help someone sin. But we better be ready to help those who can’t help themselves. If we don’t, then we sin.
But when someone can work, they should. We do no favors by letting people have handouts when they could find a job. While they are in that difficult spot of in-between jobs, we need to help. We need to assist in food, housing, and the overall well-being of anyone in that position. But we must remember that old proverb that says, give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. To work or not to work? WORK!

August 4, 2011

Free Cell Phones

by pastortimfowler

Our government gives the poor way too much. It is not the job of the federal government to give food and housing to the poor. It is called the American dream to own a home, not the American right to own a home. Owning a home requires one to be able to pay for the home and just because the government makes it easier to get financing, does not mean that you are ready nor deserving to own the home. Just yesterday I saw that there is even a government program to give poor people a free cell phone with 250 free minutes. Why?
There is no such thing as the government giving anything for free. It is all paid for and due to the fact that our government has no money of its own, that means that those of us who work and pay taxes, pay for all this free stuff. Since I pay for my own food, house, and cell phone, I can’t afford to pay for someone who can’t afford it for themselves. I bought my house based on my good credit and my good work record and because I budget my finances well I have a cell phone.
Food is a touchy subject. I do believe that people need to eat. I believe that if someone has no job and can’t buy food that they should have a means in which to eat. I just don’t think that it should come from the government. And I don’t think that someone who refuses to work should be able to eat as well or better than someone who does work but has to make sacrifices because they are paying for someone else’s home, cell phone, and groceries.
By this time I probably have about half of the people who read my blogs fuming mad. I have probably been call insensitive and had my Christianity questioned. However, I am not wrong; it is not the government’s responsibility to do these things.
Let me make one statement that I hope we can all deal with; No one has a right to a free cell phone and minutes.
Let me now clarify some things from the above statements.
It is the churches responsibility to take care of the poor. I can’t and wont argue with someone who is not a Christian about whose responsibility it is. Hopefully we can all agree that helping someone in need is a good thing and we just do it. BUT… The Bible is very clear that the church, Christians, should feed the hungry, cloth the naked, and house the homeless. It is not the responsibility of the government.
The church should do it out of love and a desire to show Christ’s love to others. We should do it with a motivation to help others become self-dependent and then for them to be able to help others. We should not just give to those who are not willing to help themselves. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 While we were with you, we gave you the order: “Whoever doesn’t want to work shouldn’t be allowed to eat.” There is a difference between those who can’t work and those who won’t.
Our society has created a class of people who are freeloaders. They know every agency and every charity that is willing to give away something free. When asked to work they refuse because they have more than they need from the give-aways, including a free cell phone and minutes.
My challenge to you is this. As of right now, things are not going to change when it comes to government give aways. But we can elect officials who will work to change these things. I am not talking about yanking the rug out from under poor innocent people who are down on their luck. I am talking about stopping the use of our tax dollars to promote freeloading. Pray about how you can begin to work within your church to help those in need. The old saying, give a man a fish, you feed him today, teach a man to fish, he feeds himself for a lifetime, is still true. We must help people become self-sufficient.
I will never allow someone to walk away to starvation. I will never allow someone to freeze to death because they have no shelter. I will never stop someone from calling 911 on my cell phone in an emergency. But please stop giving away so much free stuff without accountability. Even Jesus requires us to be accountable with the new life that He gives us, so what is wrong with require accountability from others?

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