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How should Christians think about social services?

Many Christians are concerned about the ongoing threat of socialism leading to communism that they attach this fear and repugnance to our country’s social services. This leaves us with a very important question, how then are we to care for those who cannot or will not care for themselves? One answer is to leave them alone, it is what they deserve by fate (karma) or they have chosen to live like that, so we do not have the right to interfere. Most people agree that people who cannot care for themselves should receive help from society. In an ideal Christian world, the church would meet these needs, but the typical local church does not have the resources or the skills to provide what is needed. One of the reasons why this is true is because close to 30% of our income is taken in taxes of some kind, such as income tax, social security tax, property tax and sales tax etc. A large part of this tax revenue goes toward paying for services that the church cannot or will not provide. Therefore, inasmuch as we are paying for these services through our taxes, should we not take advantage of these services to provide the care needed for those who cannot take care of themselves? It would appear, at least, that the best course of action for proving both our love and our faith, would be to take advantage of what has been provided for us by a country that at least at the beginning had a genuine desire to help those in need based upon biblical principles. Due to the threat of socialism, the Church does need to be involved to monitor the care that is given to be sure that it follows biblical principles rather than those of socialism thereby love our neighbor as ourselves.

Have questions about the Bible? Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at and read the answer here in this article.

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