What are everyone's feelings on government help?

Liz - posted on 12/10/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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As parents, I know it is our responsibility to provide everything our children need - food, clothing, shelter. I also know that sometimes people just need a little help with those things. I wonder what everyone's views are on government help? And if you have Scripture to back up your views, please share! I have a family member whose only job is in the ministry and they rely completely on the financial support of their church - which is totally fine. They can afford the necessities for their family, but not much else. They have a son who is in the process of being diagnosed with a possible genetic disorder. Because of this disorder and the physical and learning issues it may cause, CPS has gotten involved and is basically forcing the family to seek a diagnosis. The family cannot afford all the tests on their own, and therefore are VERY reluctant to have them done, even though they have been offered government help. Therapy has also been suggested, and offered for free through state aid. They refuse. They believe God will provide a way. They believe they should "owe no man anything" and therefore won't accept the help. They even go so far as to return their tax returns back to the government every year! This just baffles me, especially as they can give me no Scripture to back up their views. Maybe some of you can? Thank you!

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Jane - posted on 12/10/2011

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Personally, I believe that if the following bit of Romans is true, "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." then help offered by the government is help established by God, and thus can be interpreted as God providing a way.

I am not here to argue theology, I was just offering a means by which the OP can attempt to persuade her family member that government help in getting their child tested an diagnosed is allowable. The alternative might be CPS taking their child away, which is not a desirable outcome.

Linda - posted on 12/10/2011

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Since many of us come from different countries with different governments and different cultures, I'm sure that's going to play a significant role in our viewpoints. However, Jane, I'm afraid you are pushing Romans 13 to wild extremes of interpretation. Yes, we are to obey the governing authorities--but the passage says NOTHING about accepting government help and monies "due you" Anything the governent gives to someone, they had to first take away from someone else. This is basically slavery--you work without receiving compensation. In the US, the author of our Constitution (Madison) said, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." The CHURCH should be helping those with needs, NOT the government. We just had missionaries at our church from Cambodia--where there is no govt help. The church is providing people with what they need, and the people respond to the gospel and are saved. In the US, the govt supplies all our needs (against the Constitution) and people can freely ignore God. So their physical needs may be temporarily met, but they're going to spend eternity in hell. Jesus never preached that the govt should help people, but he told individuals to help the poor all the time.

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Proud - posted on 01/01/2012

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I think sometimes government help is okay if it's actually needed. I've seen people though with their carts loaded up with junk food and they use food stamps to pay. Or they whip out the food stamps and you see them later smoking a cigarette. If they can afford cigarettes, alcohol..etc then they can afford food is my feeling and shouldn't get assistance.

I am on WIC (daughter needed a special formula which is expensive) and we were on food stamps for a couple months when we first got married and trying to get on our feet. We voluntarily called the food stamp office and let them know that we no longer needed them after 3-4 months of receiving them.

Teresa - posted on 12/31/2011

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When we got pregnant with our 8 year old, neither of us had a job with benefits, but I ignorantly beleived we could make payments on the delivery and dr. visits and stuff. Well, born at 28 weeks and 5 days our son spent 2 months in the NICU and we got Medicaid, which also came with WIC. Those billing statements were astronomical. We'er talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. I don't know of any church that could or would pay that, especially with gov't help available, that's what it's there for. Yeah, God supplied for us, through our government. And while he eas in the NICU those two months, I wasn't working. So the WIC came in VERY handy. I beleive the "Owe no man nothing was talking more about relationships as in forgiveness, gratitude, respect. Yeah it's good to pay your debts back but sending your tax refund back is kinda cray but if it makes them closer to God who am I to be a stumbling block? To take it a step further, anytime they drive on govt' built and sustained roads they are benefiting from the govt.

Liz - posted on 12/13/2011

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Thank you ladies for your insight! I do believe I now have a better understanding of my family's feelings. Linda, you make a very good point about the church providing for those needs. Perhaps if the church were the only place to receive the help people need, there might be less lost folks in this world...I definitely am praying that things will work out and they will receive the help they need. Thanks again everyone!

[deleted account]

I don't have any scripture, but I am and always will be extremely grateful for government assistance. When my husband left me w/ two 6 year olds and a newborn... I had no real choice but to go on assistance. I AM working now, but my income just covers the basic house bills (WITH housing subsidy) and does nothing to put towards food, vehicle gas, and other such needs. I am physically, mentally, and emotionally maxed out, but am doing everything I possibly can for my children.

If my ex were to contribute HIS portion of financially caring for our children... I'd probably only need the rent subsidy (and not as large of a subsidy as I'm currently receiving). Considering he currently owes the state $27,000... I'm not getting my hopes up.

That doesn't really pertain to the OP, but it's my feelings on and experience w/ government assistance. ;)

Angela - posted on 12/11/2011

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Linda, I appreciate your wisdom on this and that the Church should be helping people, but we need to recognise that those who are unbelievers (for the most part) will not approach the Church for help. And in this day & age we have a lot of unbelievers. I feel it is to their credit that they are not hypocrites who will choose to show their faces at Church in order to obtain a few earthly benefits. There are enough people who don't have a conscience about this and are happy to join a Church for some fixed period of time in order to get what they can out of it. Yes, it happens.

I believe that Government benefits should be there to provide a safety net. I certainly feel that retired people who have worked all their lives have the right to claim a pension in their old age. And disabled/sick people who are unable to work (and in some cases unable to even LIVE INDEPENDENTLY) should have assistance from taxpayers' money - that's only right and proper - that's morality and any Government should be upholding a social conscience for its citizens.

The massive bugbear is families who are on benefit for years. Their children are raised in this culture and have expectations of a life on benefit themselves. No single parent was obliged to even look for work before their youngest child reached 16 although this has changed in recent years and been brought down to 14 - in fact it may even be 12 now. There is talk of bringing it right down to 5 or 6 as it's felt that they can go out to work once the youngest child is in full time school.

Some single mothers often opt (yes deliberately!!) to have a child later in life - say in their late 30's up to mid 40's - just to ensure benefits continue until practically retirement age!

Unemployment is a self-perpetuating downward spiral. After a certain amount of time out of work and claiming benefits, it gets to the stage where people are regarded as "unemployable" - and if they're really, really LONG TERM unemployed they have either NEVER had a job or the job skills they once had are either forgotten or out-of-date. Some unemployed persons are really picky as well. They'll turn up their noses at a minimum wage job, but they'll be hard-pressed to be able to secure any better-paid employment. At least a minimum wage job means you're working. And a working candidate for (better) employment is more likely to be considered by recruiters than an unemployed job applicant.

Liz, I think your minister friend is unwise to be refunding his tax rebates back to the Government. I applaud his faith though. I think Carla's right on this though - all you can do is pray, because whether this family's choices are right or wrong, only God can move people to do the right thing.

Our God can do difficult stuff, He can do the impossible and even the miraculous. He won't do the ridiculous, however! And frequently, GOd's plan for healing and restoration of health is for mankind to simply rely on the conventional methods. A conventional diagnosis will lead to treatment from suitable medical personnel. If this child DOES have some genetic disorder, depending on what it might be, the sooner treatment commences, the better! And if he doesn't have any identifiable serious health issues, then the parents' minds can be set at rest. That's why it's worth going forward and having the diagnosis.

But I doubt you'll convince them. So you MUST pray about it.

Carla - posted on 12/11/2011

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Everyone needs a little help at one time or another. However, Paul says in I Timothy 5:8 '...But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.' The Allaire version goes something like this 'no workee, no eatee'. I totally believe in supporting our missionaries and pastors who preach the Word, however, and this is a BIG however, if money is down and you can't make ends meet, GO GET A JOB! Living off government benefits is robbing from the hard-working people who have their paycheck taken to provide for those who are not providing for their own families. The US has gotten to a point where good, hard-working people are getting discouraged, because no matter how hard you work, taxes keep going up and eating up OUR living.



As for forcing your friends to get medical treatment for their son--if they are convinced this is not the way they should go, start praying and get everyone you know to pray for them. Our world has gone health-nuts, and don't understand someone who trusts God for their welfare. You don't have to think it's right, just pray for them.



Pray for our world--it's getting to be a scary place.



God bless

Angela - posted on 12/10/2011

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Only scripture very vaguely linked with this that I can offer is: Matthew 22:21 about rendering to Caesar etc ....

I live in the UK. Government assistance is raised from taxes. Many people who work and pay taxes resent a "Benefits Culture" which is a way of life for some people who do not work for a living. Unemployed people with children tend to be the biggest drain on the taxpayer. This applies to 2 parent families as well as single parent families. Others helped by the benefits system include disabled or sick persons, elderly/retired persons and those who are required to care for sick/disabled persons in their own family so are therefore are unable to go out to paid employment. Unlike minimum wage, benefit payments for families are proportional to the number of children one has. As many working (tax-paying) couples budget and save hard in order to be able to "afford" to have a baby and may find they cannot afford to have a second or third child, you can imagine they are extremely resentful of couples who have several children - all paid for by the UK taxpayer.

In the UK, our taxes also cover lots of other benefits (which are for EVERYONE - not just those unable to work) like the National Health Service, free state education up to the age of 16 and various local stuff which are covered by Council Tax to the local Council. Various groups who LIVE on Benefit get their Council Tax paid for them. Council entitlements include getting one's rubbish (garbage) collected and taken away, the public libraries & amenities, the Police etc ...

A Christian family were recently featured on UK TV and their lifestyles (if that's the correct word) got a lot of criticism. They did NOT work at all, except some open air preaching and distributing of tracts. Collection s and offerings generated a small amount of money which they used for things like fuel, vehicle maintenance, road tax and stuff that could only be obtained by paying for it. They did not claim any monetary benefits (e.g. JobSeekers Allowance, Child Benefit etc ...). They lived in a motorhome. They survived on food discarded from big supermarkets and food stores. Apparently lots of safe, hygienic and consumable food etc ... is thrown away because the wrapping gets torn or part of the carton is squashed or something like that. People who eat these foods are known as "Freegans". They raid the bins & dumpsters in carparks behind food store warehouses late at night and find lots of free food. Now most people don’t have a problem with this – the food is otherwise wasted. However, the Christian family featured on TV were quite insistent that by preaching the Gospel, they were doing valued work in the community.

They did a lot of bragging that they didn’t claim Benefits from the Government – as in money to live on. They insisted that since they weren’t claiming monetary benefits they weren’t obliged to seek (or do) conventional paid work in order to support the UK economy. However, they sent their child to a state school (paid for by taxpayers), and used the resources of the National Health Service (children aged 16 and under, retired persons, pregnant mothers etc .. are all entitled to free prescriptions for any medication required as well as free medical and surgical treatment for all). Had they encountered problems in the community or suffered theft etc … they would have notified the Police (another publically funded resource which they do not contribute to)! So how far can we support the notion that they’re living for free? Certainly it was free FOR THEM – but not for other UK citizens that pay their taxes,

Obviously, they do not present an economic problem at the same level as families who live for years on monetary benefit without earning their income or paying any tax – families who live this way often perpetuate the lifestyle as a generational culture.

So while I personally have a “live & let live” attitude, many others would not agree with this.

Jane - posted on 12/10/2011

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God IS providing a way, via government help!

Romans 13:1-7 says government exists at God's will so pay your taxes and accept revenues due you.

1 Peter 2:13-15 says "Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good." The operative clause is "or the praise of those who do good." Government helps good people, such as parents raising their children in the church.

And 1 Peter 5:6-7 says to humble yourself before God's will. Since God allows government to exist, and since government offers funding to help those who need it, refusing government help is showing undue pride in the face of God's will.

Hope this helps.

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