I would like to take this opportunity to welcome and introduce a new “voice” to The Christian Perspective. On occasion Joy Cehlar will provide a devotional such as is attached here. Please welcome and say “hi” to Joy as she reaches into the world through this medium to encourage all who will hear.
For you have the poor with you always,” Jesus begins in Matthew 26:11. We cannot eradicate poverty, but we can attempt to alleviate the symptoms and the sufferings of the poor. We have Public Assistance, or Welfare. While there are those who take gross advantage of the system, there are others who are the working poor and Welfare fills in the gaps, providing food assistance and medical insurance. Pastors who embrace 2 Thess. 3:10, “If anyone will not work,neither shall he eat,” and use that to condemn anyone who receives welfare,forget that they themselves are receiving public assistance! Their salary and indeed their continued sustenance, is dependent on the members of the congregation-the public!-who give to the church and thus enable the pastor to get a steady paycheck. Jane Q. Public and others in fact, pay taxes on their income and then give again to support the church and the pastor pays taxes on his income to support the various government programs such as welfare, so the people sitting in the pews can give to the church and support him. Thus, it is shameful for a pastor to treat those on public assistance with disdain, because they, too, are getting public assistance—Welfare!
By: Joy Cehlar
5 thoughts on “Welfare”
I would beg to make a distinction in your arguments! The Pastor is supported by his or her congregation in most cases and others in the community who receive food stamps and other gov. funding are often forced to rely on that very same gov. because they are discouraged from relying on the same community that tries to help those in need become self reliant. A pastor does have a responsibility to encourage those who rely on gov help to try for independence. It is a difference of need and comfort. If we are comfortable in dependence in gov, we are not depending on GOD. It is a Pastor’s obligation to remind us where our help comes from and who we put our faith in. Great post, very thoughtful. Welcome and God bless you!
Another distinction I would like to make is your claim that what is given the Pastor is welfare. I find that strange as he is being compensated for a service rendered. You may have a disagreement with the value of that service but that is for the church as whole to decide on. To consider this service as welfare really diminishes the worth of God’s word and work! I have to ask why are you in the church if you consider the work of the Pastor as welfare?
Perhaps I should have emphasized “public assistance,” rather than “Welfare,” because the pastor is supported by the public (the people in the pew) and therefore should not assume a superior attitude. There are some pastors who do not take situations into consideration before denouncing those who need to avail themselves of this public assistance (known as Welfare). Thank you for taking the time to read the message and your feedback.
Public assistance? Are you doing a favor to your Pastor by listening to him? Do you mean to say that the Pastor is not providing a service to the church? Do you feel the same way about someone whom the church would hire to do repairs on the structure of the church? There is a big difference between public assistance where someone is given help, and someone providing a service. By the definition that you are trying to use anyone who has a service related job is on public assistance. I am sorry but t me that sounds both that you have no respect for someone who sacrifices in order to give God’s message nor God! Either that or you are going to extremes in order to justify staying on public assistance instead of putting an effort in to change their situation.
Patricia, you have made some very good points, thanks. To Joy, I would like to say that I clearly feel and hear your heart for those who are, against their own wishes, dependent on public assistance. No problem there. We all should be cognizant of the needy all around us. I’m thankful to belong to a church that actively ministers to those folks and welcomes them into the church family.
What bothers me is the reinterpretation of the Constitution over the term “to promote the general welfare. . . .” This has, unfortunately, come to mean taxes, and redistribution of wealth. I do not believe that was the intent of the founders. To promote the general welfare was simply to provide a safe (from attack, both from within and without) and as crime-free as possible environment for people to work and support themselves and their families. We’ve gone so far beyond that!
My dad was a pastor, and believe, me earned every penny of his little salary. He was certainly not living on the “welfare” of the people in the church!