There is nothing wrong with being concerned about the wellbeing of your neighbour. But there is plenty wrong in thinking that more Big Government is the answer. Plenty of the social justice warriors (SJWs) on the Left never lift a finger to actually help their neighbour – but they are more than happy to vote for more government handouts.
Of course that means a bigger government, and higher taxes. And less economic growth. But it is economic growth which has proven to be the best means of helping the poor. More government programs have NOT been the answer. Yet sadly plenty of Christians have bought into the idea that confiscatory state welfare programs are somehow the thing Jesus would urge…
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Christians can have some quite muddled thinking on things like “social justice”
Having left an unbroken trail of failure in its wake, socialism is doomed to fail wherever it’s tried, because it is in eternal mortal conflict with the basic human instinct that those who work hard, pursue advanced education, employ their ingenuity, or risk their capital have an inborn expectation to do significantly better than those who don’t. As 18th century Scottish economist Adam Smith put it, “it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.” Stated differently, every socialist who works for a living does so not out of altruistic instincts, but to feather his own financial nest. That, too, will never change.
Barack Obama once defended his socialist policies to a little girl by saying, “We’ve got to make sure that people who have more money help the people who have less money. If you had a whole pizza, and your friend had no pizza, would you give him a slice?”
That sounds pretty Christian, right? What Christian wouldn’t endorse sharing your abundance with someone who has nothing? However, Obama wasn’t endorsing people voluntarily sharing their wealth with others; he was endorsing the government forcibly taking a piece of the pie from one person and giving it to someone else…
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Bill Muehlenberg teaches ethics, apologetics and theology at several Melbourne Bible Colleges. His independent blog, Culture Watch, has over 5,000 articles commenting on the major cultural, social and political issues of the day. Bill's podcast is exclusively produced for Good Sauce readers and fans.