After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), old a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 4, verses 31-37, New International Version)
I would like every Christian fundamentalist who goes on and on about the evils of social service programs, the peril of socialized medicine and the like to read the above passage and then kindly, shut the hell up.
I find it incredibly annoying how many Christians will say, “But that’s not the government doing that in the Bible. It was Christians. I’m all for Christians and churches giving out help, but not the government with my taxes!”
And yet, two things are so abudantly clear.
First, churches are generally unable, and often unwilling, to help at the kind of levels needed to ensure that families have healthcare and other basic necessities when they can’t afford them (and who can these days?). Individual Christians, too, often the very ones who spout the rhetoric I just exemplified above, also don’t provide the necessary levels of support to do these things.
Second, these are often the very same Christians who have no problem with our tax dollars being spent to wage war on nations for no particularly good reason, and to occupy them for years after the original conflict has ended. These are often also the people who call upon government to craft laws in line with the Bible.
Because, you know, government should enforce God’s will when it’s punitive or to rein in our behaviors, but Heaven forbid that it should get involved with the more important Christian principles of mercy, love, comfort and help.