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Charity


16
It is amazing how much things can change in a month. Only about four weeks ago the Charlottesville, VA riot occurred. There was endless media analysis about what had happened and what it signified, the first of many more ‘race riots.’ All the ‘facts’ were in, interpreted and tied into a single neat package. America was accused, tried, and convicted by the left using the values of the left by the court of the left.

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30
Early charity in America was based on the idea of the deserving and undeserving poor. These have their basis in the Bible. We are to provide for those in need (Matt. 5 & 6). We are to take care of those first within our family (1 Tim.), and those who are capable of taking care of themselves are to do so to the extent they can (2 Thes.). Charity is a matter of helping another create their own independence. Not an independence in respect to autonomy from God, but instead a greater ability to each fulfill our purpose - that of being transformed toward good by our actions and the virtue we develop.

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02
During the week before the July 4th holiday, we vacationed in the Carolinas. We were reminded of the many sacrifices made by those serving in our armed forces. Fort Moultrie in Charlestown was one example. It was the site of one of the earliest colonial victories against the British in our war for independence, and was in service through the end of WW II. We thank those who are, and have been, in the armed services for your service and sacrifice.

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18
Given all of the discussion today about our ‘rights’ to things such as healthcare, education, a job, etc., I think it is appropriate we look at exactly what our role is in creation. What we own, what we owe, and what we are responsible for. We seem to have forgotten much, even within many of our churches.

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Posted in: Charity
22
Today’s post is about morality, specifically the relationship between morality and economics, and where the lack of morality always leads - one of the ways in which it manifests itself.  We’ve heard a lot in the news about the federal government debt approaching $20 trillion, almost half of which will have been added in the last eight years alone.  What is largely unmentioned is that private debt is now over $42 trillion dollars as well.  The chart below shows total debt growth by sector since 1972 in 2015 dollars, and the growth in our economy’s real Gross Domestic Product (GPD) - its revenue - during that same period.  Our total debt to GDP ratio has grown from about 150% in 1972 to over 300% in 2014.  If we put together a balance sheet for our country, we would currently be highly leveraged, meaning we have a higher risk of not being able to meet our future obligations as they become due.

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Posted in: Charity
10

There has been much attention given recently to the problems of drug addiction and the release of criminals convicted for drug related crimes as the sentences they received are now deemed too harsh for these ‘non-violent’ crimes.  It has becomes an issue in the primaries with Jeb Bush, Chris Christy, and Carly Fiorina all giving personal testimonies on the matter.  In addition it is one of the main election concerns in New Hampshire.   So far the focus in the media has been on factors such as:

 

  • Race

  • The legalization of drugs, such as marijuana

  • The prescription practices for legal drugs

  • Drug use as a factor in other crimes

  • Drug crime’s impact on communities

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Posted in: Charity
28

If collectivism is an expression of charity, then we should expect to see virtue increase as it would provide a means for helping us fulfill our purpose of becoming good.  The last post ended asserting that virtue should grow in both the giver and receiver where virtues are involved – like charity and justice – if we are on the right path.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer defined the difference between ‘cheap grace’ and real grace being whether an action taken out of love was reciprocated with love.  Real grace is what we are called to, but ‘cheap grace’ is often exhibited through our actions.  Cheap grace is going through the motions without any change.  It is merely form without content.  It is the same with charity and justice.  Cheap charity is merely wealth transfers; true charity is about love and requires the personal involvement of both the giver and receiver.  Cheap justice is merely applying rules because they are the rules of those in power; true justice is about getting what you are due.

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Posted in: Charity
30
The last post started to question the basis expressed by collectivists for resolving problems like those we now face at our southern border.  This post broadens that discussion by looking at some of the claims made forming the basis for collectivism.  We’ll look at three areas:  (1) our purpose, and the some ideas that are derived from it, (2) incentives, and (3) economics.  These will not be exhaustive, but will examine some of the more fundamental arguments often put forth.  If the basic arguments are not supported, then none of the extensions relying on them are supported either.  A simple example from the Middle Ages and Renaissance will suffice to show that these three areas are all relevant – or should be in any meaningful discussion.

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Posted in: Charity
26

Over the last several blogs, we’ve been discussing various aspects of charity.  Let’s continue the discussion by looking at the situation at the southern border where a massive number of children are entering the country.  It is a dire situation, which is likely to grow worse, and a case has been presented by some that we have a duty to support and care for all of these children.  Who could argue that it is not right to provide help for another human being?  Many liberals are, of course, demanding that public monies be expended to help them all.  But is this the right action?  Is this what we’ve been called to do?  Is this charity as some have presented it?

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Posted in: Charity
28

A question was posed in the last post.  Are those who choose to live ‘on the dole’ the problem or simply the result of something else?  That is the question we’ll look at this time.  Government sets public policy, but as stated previously the primary role of government is the administration of the virtue of justice.  That can only happen when those who lead do so out of a sense of service to others.  From the book of Mark, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.’  This requires the virtues of humility and righteousness.  But these are not enough.  Leaders must also be oriented toward their society’s fulfilling its purpose as both individuals and a people.  That cannot be found within any form of collectivism as it breeds dependence.

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About Dan Wolf

Dan WolfMy goal is that my writing will help you to get started on your own journey of discovery, or help you along the way on a journey you may have already begun. Our Founders considered education, religion, morality, and virtue to be the cornerstones for any successful society. Being successful requires understanding both the languages of reason and faith; reason alone is insufficient.