Charitable Giving Vs. Government Socialistic Welfare Handouts

Deuteronomy 15:7, Among you a poor man. 

Multiple times, the Scriptures enjoins those who have been blessed materially to help those who are poor. In fact, YHVH even has a special place in his heart for a special class of individuals who have fallen into poverty, namely, the widows and the fatherless (Deut 14:29; 16:11, 14; 24:19; 26:12–13; 1 Tim 5:3). Let’s now discover some biblical guidelines about charitable giving.

Yeshua declared that the poor would always be among us (Matt 26:11), so there will never be a lack of opportunity for the so-called haves to help the have-nots. Furthermore, YHVH promises to bless us when we give to the poor (Ps 41:1–3) as well as to those who have dedicated their lives to serving YHVH’s people through the ministry (Deut 14:29; 16:14; 26:12–13).  

In Deuteronomy 15:7, we discover that there are levels of priorities in our charitable giving. Our first responsibility is to help a poor person who is a brother, that is, who is a member of our immediate family, or someone who is like a brother to us. Second, we are to help those in need who reside in our gates, or are a member of our immediate community. Finally, and last, our charitability is to go toward those who are in need in our own land or country. The idea here is that our charitable giving is to go first to those who live the closest to us, and then go out from there geographically as we are able to do so financially. Too many churches have it backwards. They support to poor in other countries through evangelistic outreach, while neglecting the mission field or charitable giving on their own backyard.

In the Torah, there is a social welfare system in place to help the needy, but it comes with strict  guidelines. For example, YHVH instructed the Israelites to set aside a certain portion of their income to help the poor. (Deut 14:28–29). For the ancient Israelites, this was a sort of social welfare system whereby those who had been blessed materially were commanded to help those who weren’t and were in need. 

Moreover, the Torah had other social mechanisms whereby those who had fallen into poverty had the means to work themselves out of that economic state. There was no such thing as sitting idly and expecting a handout from society! For example, a poor person could sell themselves into servitude for a period of time until they worked themselves out of debt (Exod 21:2; Lev 25:39–55). Every seven years, debts were forgiven (Deut 15:1–2). Those who had an abundance financially and were in position to loan money to a poor person were forbidden from charging the lender any interest (Lev 25:35–38). Moreover, a poor person who had land could also sell their land to raise money; however, at the end of the 50 year jubilee cycle, that land would be given back to them (Lev 25:8–17). 

Laws were in place where the poor wouldn’t starve to death. Two Torah laws insured this. Those who had agricultural lands were neither to glean their fields after their initial harvest, nor were they to  reap the corners of their fields. The poor were allowed to come back into the fields after the harvest and to reap anything that remained (Lev 19:10; 23:22; Deut 24:19–21), and to eat freely of the agricultural produce every seventh year (Exod 33:11).  In fact, the entire book of Ruth is the story of how this system worked such that the well-to-do helped the poor. There was no system in place where the government gave a person vouchers to receive free food; you still had to go out and work for it.

There is one key fact stands out in the Torah’s social welfare system however. The poor had to work for their food. In fact, most Bible students are aware of the fourth commandment, which tells us to rest on the seventh day of the week—the Sabbath. However, many people overlook the rest of this command; namely, everyone is to work for the six days prior to resting on the seventh-day Sabbath. Working is a biblical command. In the Bible, there was no such thing as retirement, or sitting back idly and waiting for a government welfare check to show up in your mailbox while you sat around watching television, playing video games or doing social media!

The idea of sitting back and collecting public assistance for doing nothing was unheard of in the Bible and is contrary to the Torah. This is a socialistic and an evil Marxist concept and a form of wealth redistribution, which is a form legalized theft, and disincentives one from working. This is not “a workers paradise” despite the propaganda that tells us otherwise. This concept is anathema to the biblical concept of hard work, personal responsibility, and thievery. In fact, socialism, which Karl Marx, the father of modern socialism, is considered to be one of the steps to a complete communist “utopia.” Such a system has proven to be a miserable failure everywhere it has been tried: the Soviet Union, Cuba, Communist China, North Korea Cambodia, Venezuela and many more countries. Who wants to live in such places? It it’s so great there, why Marxist-socialistic governments have to construct walls to keep their people in, and why  do people risk their lives trying to escape? 

Moreover, so called “democratic socialism” has not proven to be a great success either but has resulted in high taxes, loss of personal liberties, highly regulated societies, high costs of living and massive debts in the countries where it has been tried. 

Socialism and communism are a failure in part because they disincentivize people from working hard and enjoying the fruits of their labors. Socialism also promote laziness, stifle creativity, free enterprise and ingenuity. This is because the more you work, the more the government takes from you and gives to those who do not work. Why work hard and be creative under such a system when the rewards for your work will just get taken from you anyway? That is why socialistic economies eventually go to ruination and result in the devolution of societies. 

Karl Marx

Socialism is a system that is based on theft, the love of money, greed and covetousness. The devil is the father of this and these are the fruits of a Satanic system, for as Yeshua declared, Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).  Why should his economic system of choice, started by a Karl Marx, a God-hating Luciferian, not be a reflection of this? Socialism operates an the basis of government mandated legalized theft and destroys free enterprise, one’s incentive to work hard and the desire for self-improvement. Such a system is ungodly and Satanic and brings about the destruction of society and personal well-being.

Above and beyond all of this, socialism does not encourage a man to work to provide for his own household as the Bible commands. If one doesn’t work to support his family, according to Paul, he “has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever [or a heathen]” (1 Tim 5:8). This is a serious indictment against socialism and those who live on social welfare!  In fact, with regard to the church helping those who were poor, Paul declared that those who refused to work shouldn’t eat (2 Thess 3:10). The idea here is that if one get’s hungry enough, he’ll go out and find a job, for hunger is a powerful motivator to find work! 

At the same time, the church was to help those truly and legitimately in need, especially widows. However, before a widow could become dependent upon the church, the widow’s family was to support her financially (1 Tim 5:4). For widows over the age of 60, there were stringent requirements before she could receive any financial help from the church; namely, she had to be performing acts of service to members of the church (1 Tim 5:9–10). A widow who was younger was required to work or to marry someone who could support her financially (1 Tim 5:11–14). There is not even a mention here of the church or society having to care for a single man over the age of 60! Evidently, Paul expected him to work.

One thing is clear in the Bible with regard to the poor, there are no examples of lazy, pan-handlers or able bodied people receiving financial assistance from society, and there are no requirements for the saints to help such people. 

Moreover, the global trend and march toward socialism and Marxism encourages the very things that the Bible denounces and will result in everyone being in poverty except the super-rich who control everything. Such a system enveloping and strangling the earth was prophesied long ago to occur in the last days before the second coming. Go read Revelation chapters 13 and 18.

 

10 thoughts on “Charitable Giving Vs. Government Socialistic Welfare Handouts

  1. There is talk of universal basic income which every citizen will receive guaranteed minimum income. I’m sure there won’t be any strings attached to that! (Sarcastic remark) We are moving toward the beast system day by day.

  2. “…to those who have dedicated their lives to serving YHVH’s people through the ministry (Deut 14:29; 16:14; 26:12–13). ….”

    It specifically speaks of Levites, not modern day “Pastors” in these passages, probably because they were not allowed to own land, and the Levitical Tithe was how they were fed.

    The 3rd year “poor tithe” was given for the same reason and included the poor, etc.

    Pastors Levites in the land.

    Paul said they (disciples like himself) are worth paying if they give you a service worthy of payment, but there is no “tithe” or mandatory payment for such that I can find in scripture for the post Levitical Priesthood.

    Like you said… you work for your food. If the work is worthy of payment then a “Pastor” is paid, just like a street performer is paid in appreciation for a song played.

    I quote “Pastor” because I also do not see them in scripture. If it’s a continuation of the disciple that Paul is talking about (like himself) then are we (disciples also) not all pastors?

    All Priests of the Order of Melchizedek even?

    Should we all be supported for being “Priests / Pastors” then if we proclaim the Word of Yah?

    Good article. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone mention helping the poor from the inner circle out as opposed to the modern chruch model of “send them to Papua New Guinea” we see all the time.

    • Hi K7,
      I think the word ‘pastor’ is equivalent to the word ‘shepherd’, which is commonly used in Scripture to describe a person that looks after and cares for the flock, be it sheep or a human congregation.
      It seems to me that a disciple is a follower of a master, who tries hard to become just like him. This may not necessarily mean that a disciple spends all his waking hours to further the cause of his master.
      However, Paul and the other Apostles were not only disciples but also evangelists, shepherds, teachers, preachers etc. and most of them spent most of their time spreading the ‘Good News’ or/and sorting out problems within congregations. This can be time consuming, depending on the size of a congregation or the number of them; there maybe no spare time to do other work to provide for one’s living and that’s why they deserve financial support from their ‘sheep’. Think about Moshe (Moses), who exhausted himself trying to sort out all the problems of the Israelites by himself.
      I don’t think an ordinary disciple, who only uses God given opportunities to proclaim the Gospel would qualify for financial support, since he has plenty of time to work for an income; also, if every disciple expects financial support, there would be no one left to be the supporter!
      Those, who have faith in Yeshua and live according to YHVH’s instructions will be priests and kings in Elohim’s Kingdom, but not yet.
      May Adonai bless you,
      Sonja

    • I discuss the whole concept of the Levitical tithe vs. giving to support the ministry as Paul supports in some of his letters to the NT churches here:

    • https://hoshanarabbah.org/blog/2016/09/20/is-tithing-for-us-today-2/
    • . The bottom line of what the Bible teaches is that the tithing principle (i.e. giving to YHVH and to those who do the work of his ministry) is a universal biblical principle that predates the Levitical priesthood, and Paul doesn’t appeal to the Torah’s Levitical laws to support tithing. Rather, he bases his argument that the church should support the elders who teach and serve them on other, over-arching biblical principles as my article brings out. Blessings.

      • Replace “tithe principle” with “free will giving” and we are in agreement, but using the TITHE interchangeably with it does not seem accurate to me.

        From that article…
        >>Genesis 14:18–20 tells us that Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, the priest of Elohim, who according to the Book of Jasher (16:11–12; 9:5–6) and rabbinic tradition (b. Talmud Ned. 32), was Shem, and the Torah teacher of Abraham. Abraham paid tithes all that he had to Melchizedek—not just the spoils of war. Abraham honored YHVH—possessor of heaven and earth—by giving a tithe to YHVH’s servant and likely Abraham’s Torah teacher.

        Jasher 16:11-12
        11 And Adonizedek king of Jerusalem, the same was Shem, went out with his men to meet Abram and his people, with bread and wine, and they remained together in the valley of Melech. 12 And Adonizedek blessed Abram, and Abram gave him a tenth from all that he had brought from the spoil of his enemies, for Adonizedek was a priest before God.

        Says “spoil of his enemy”, what version are you reading?

        Jaasher 9:5-6
        5 And when Abram came out from the cave, he went to Noah and his son Shem, and he remained with them to learn the instruction of the Lord and his ways, and no man knew where Abram was, and Abram served Noah and Shem his son for a long time.

        6 And Abram was in Noah’s house thirty-nine years, and Abram knew the Lord from three years old, and he went in the ways of the Lord until the day of his death, as Noah and his son Shem had taught him; and all the sons of the earth in those days greatly transgressed against the Lord, and they rebelled against him and they served other gods, and they forgot the Lord who had created them in the earth; and the inhabitants of the earth made unto themselves, at that time, every man his god; gods of wood and stone which could neither speak, hear, nor deliver, and the sons of men served them and they became their gods.

        Not seeing Avram tithing here at all.

        Since I don’t read the Talmud, didn’t Yahusha tell us not to listen to them unless they read from Moshe’s seat, the Torah? I will have to go with your statement, but the first two references clearly do not flesh out to what you stated in this paragraph.

        >>Genesis 28:22 records that Jacob tithed all that YHVH had given him, not just the agricultural goods of the land.

        Or does it mean “all” that is titheable was given?

        We can assume he did not give YHVH 10% of the defiled things that were his.

        You make an assumption here that ALL = ALL, which clearly it does not, otherwise he would be bringing unacceptable offerings to Yah.

        >>We cannot tithe to a Levitical priesthood that no longer exists; therefore, how do we tithe to Yeshua as Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, and Jacob to YHVH (the pre-incarnate Yeshua)?

        We don’t. We are instructed to give “free will” offerings in the renewed covenant, that the purpose of the tithe as you state was to support the “government” and those without a portion (Levites) not to feed those around us. It was to be brought to the temple then distributed. That distribution system went away with the Levitical priesthood.

        >>Yeshua teaches us in Matthew 25:31–40 that if we give to those in need around us we are giving to him.

        Absolutely! We are to give more than 10% and are it is not mandated as the tithe was.

        >>As Abraham tithed to YHVH-Yeshua through Melchizedek, so we tithe to Yeshua by giving to the poor, helping those in need, and helping his spiritual body.

        I have not seen a verse that says Yahusha wants our tithe, please direct me to it.

        I have seen he wants a cheerful giver and made a point of showing the woman that gave all she had from faith where it truly cost her.

      • You ask, “I have not seen a verse that says Yahusha wants our tithe, please direct me to it.” Yeshua is the Word of Elohim incarnate. His instructions are to be found throughout the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Blessings!

  3. Matthew 24:38 as it was in the days of Noah…THEY were eating and drinking etc. I’ve often wondered if the “they” were those with THE money (mark of the beast) who were able to continue the eating and drinking etc.!

  4. EVERYONE worked. No lazy persons. Not necessarily hard, difficult work at all . Perhaps “watching the luggage”. No worries what the work- always done joyfully as unto Yeshua. To say (it seemed to me reading) “the poor had to work for their food” seemed to be demeaning, maybe superficial and unnecessary and perhaps or actually giving a wrong impression, maybe from a wrong view point. Let everyone work, not for their food, but as written = to be able to meet the needs of others. I work to Yeshua, as serving Him, always. No difference if paid or unpaid, if fed or not, for food or anything or not. Always do as the Father Says, everyone, looking to HIM, not to men, to please the Father! To Please the Almighty ! YES! HalleluYAH ! THEN, sit under the vine or tree or in the cave, and rest in Him, trusting Him always…. He Provides even for the smallest, lowliest sparrow – not one goes hungry that He does not see it, not one falls to the ground and dies except He Permits it….

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