Pastor Johnny Teague, candidate running for Congress in the 9th Congressional District in Texas, takes a Biblical view on poverty and government welfare.
Poverty and Government Welfare
The District Attorney in Dallas recently said that he would not convict anyone found stealing anything of value under $750 as long as it was for survival. Unbelievable!
I took a young man in the Church to find work because he was tired of getting a check from the government. A company hired him, but while he was filling out the paperwork, his sister called and told him not to take the job because he would lose his government check. That check was $700 per month. The job he was just hired for would pay $1,500 a month for starters. She told me that may be true, but the $700 was guaranteed. Do you see the problem?
If a person is physically able, he or she should work. If they find themselves in a period of unemployment, they should be able to receive unemployment provided they actively look for work. I think having people work in some government capacity like cleaning parks, helping in an office, doing data input during this time would help them network, learn new skills, and motivate them to find a job with better pay than what welfare or unemployment offers.
Granted, this is simplistic, but the true values of the United States are that our citizens strive for self-reliance. Each person should be responsible for himself or herself. We need to get away from always claiming to be the victim waiting on a check. If a person runs into financial trouble, the support should then fall to the family. When that runs out, it should then fall to the Church. The last safety net should be the government and that support from the government is a net not a hammock. All this said, not all get the help, just those who are truly in need and those who are truly making an effort to rise above their situation. In this country, we can truly succeed by the content of our character. And the government should remove any roadblock that keeps a person from working and succeeding – always standing for the little guy or gal.
The Church I pastor prepares meals for the homeless, provides clothes for the prostitutes, gives gifts to the kids of those imprisoned, and provides benevolence for those short on rent and electric. We believe in giving and helping. And, we encourage and help people rise above by helping them find work as well as make and stay within a budget. We give because we love. We love too much to leave people in a needy situation.
Biblical Support – Ecclesiastes 10:18 If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” Ecclesiastes 11:6 Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well. Proverbs 10:4 Lazy hands make a man poor. 1 Timothy 5:4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 5 The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Give the people these instructions, too, so that no one may be open to blame. 8 If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds. Proverbs 29:7 The righteous care about justice for the poor, Matthew 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ –
Pastor Johnny Teague is running for Congress in the 9th Congressional District of Texas. For more see Johnny Teague On The Issues.