Bible Basics, Social Justice and War on Poverty
by Bill Lockwood
The Heritage Foundation wrote, “In his January 1964 State of the Union address, Johnson proclaimed, ‘This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.’ Since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all military wars in U.S. history since the American Revolution. Despite this mountain of spending, progress against poverty, at least as measured by the government, has been minimal.”
The Washington Times reported similarly that the poverty rate has only decreased in America by 2% since Johnson’s War on Poverty began in 1965. “Although the president often rails against income inequality in America, his policies have had little impact overall on poverty. A record 47 million Americans receive food stamps, about 13 million more than when he [Obama] took office. “The poverty rate has stood at 15 percent for three consecutive years, the first time that has happened since the mid-1960s. The poverty rate in 1965 was 17.3 percent; it was 12.5 percent in 2007, before the Great Recession.
“About 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, which the federal government defined in 2012 as an annual income of $23,492 for a family of four.” Obama’s Socialism or Social Justice will never effectively reduce the poverty rate. Forcing businesses to raise the minimum wage will not do it either. No amount of government FORCE—the only thing Obama knows—will solve the poverty problem.
Why Will Socialism Not Work?
The reason is because the entire structure of socialism is built upon a grand lie, a false world-view about the nature of man and life itself. Instead, social justice sears the conscience of America as to what is real justice while hardening the once-freedom-loving Americans into allowing the government to experiment on us socially.
To understand why this is the case, we need go back to real basics of life—Bible basics of freedom.
First, Life. Life is a gift of God (Gen. 1:27; 2:7). A worldview that begins with “In the beginning God…” is the only viable option that truly recognizes the dignity of man. Since God created man, it stands to reason that what is required to preserve life is also a part of God’s created purpose. Life cannot sustain itself alone. Thus, Jehovah gave us marvelous faculties with which to extract the resources He placed in or on the earth that sustains our lives.
These faculties include my liberty of action. I am free to choose to labor. Hunger assists me in making that choice. Additionally, if I have not freedom to sustain my own life, then what benefit is life? And, if I cannot by my own labor provide and even accumulate goods (that would be my “property”) that are necessary to sustain my life or provide for my future, again, what good is life? There is no benefit to having life from God if I am not able to sustain it.
Second, Law. What is law? Law is the “rule of action” that recognizes that I have not only the right to provide, but to protect my person, liberty or property. Since life is sacred, I have the right to use force to protect it as well as the property that I have accumulated. The Mosaic code of the Old Testament makes this emphatically clear. It is also the basic concept of Natural Law.
It also follows that if I have a right to defend myself and my property, then groups of persons may do the same. This organization to defend ourselves from THEFT is what is known as LAW. Man-made secular law is nothing more (or should be) than the organization of the natural right by groups of persons to defend what God gave them (Romans 13:4,5).
This is why James Wilson, a Founding Father that signed both the Declaration of Independence as well as the Constitution, reflected on the law of man and the law of God: “Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed these two sciences run into each other… All [laws], however, may be arranged in two different classes. 1) Divine. 2) Human… But it should always be remembered that this law, natural or revealed, made for men or for nations, flows from the same Divine source: it is the law of God… Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine.” Man’s laws need to reflect God’s.
Third, The Nature of Man. Man is a mixture of “sunshine and shadow,” as one Founding Father put it. This was but a reflection of the biblical exposition of man. By “sunshine” is meant the propensity to do well and be a blessing to others. It is a great quality that we need to encourage in ourselves and others. On the other hand, there is also a “shadowy” portion of man. It is a desire to do wrong, which, when acted upon, is what the Bible calls SIN. Sin is a violation of God’s law (1 John 3:4).
Reflecting this part of man, history is littered with examples of men who wished to live at the expense of others. They do this by overt robbery or, they take the God-given concept of law (protecting ourselves and our goods) and convert it to enrich themselves. Instead of robbing us at gunpoint, they pervert the purpose of LAW that they might steal your possessions. Politicians do this on a regular basis. Promising more goodies to various classes of people ensures their longevity in office and positions of power. But the end—confiscation and redistribution—or socialism, is exactly the same as a gunpoint robbery. Force is used and LAW becomes the source of evil and wickedness.
That the above occurs in America, not only with frequency, but as a part “our system,” is a source of sadness and shame. Law no longer serves its God-given purpose to protect the rights, goods, and persons of individuals in society but it has become the instrument of PLUNDER of many by the few. Obama’s social justice is exactly this. The overturning of what men innately know to be right. That churches, which should be standing for principles of justice, favor it simply shows to what immoral depths we have now descended in America. But these atrocities God will not overlook forever. Poverty will continue to plague us in astronomical proportions and working people will chafe more and more under a yoke of bondage. Perhaps that is what Obama wants all along.