Friday, March 6, 2009
Deus Caritas Est
During Lent we're all called to greater prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Today I was writing a reply on another blog when I wrote this as an answer to someone and though it deserved its own blog posting.
I want to touch on the subject of alms giving commonly known today as CHARITY. Lately we've been hearing a lot on the issue of charity in the news. Some people think that the government should be responsible for deciding who gets what and that is an idea to which I most strongly disagree.
Nations, governments and organizations are not created in God's image, only man is. By reason, everything created by God is good and anything not created by God is not good. It stands to reason then that that which HE created has a God given right to exist while anything not created by God (man made) has no right to exist as all rights come from God. The right to life being of the utmost importance and from which all other rights derive.
That said, God has no concerns for government or politics except where it concerns His people. It took 400 years of bondage in Egypt before He heard the cries of His children Israel so I'm fairly certain He's not concerned with a few lazy people crying over a few years of self inflicted discomfort as we're experiencing today.
He also gave us free will to Love him or to separate ourselves from him through sin. As we can do that with God we can certainly have the free will to do that with one another and all too often do. We can then through Love and charity, bring ourselves closer together until we are truly one in the body of Christ. Or we can separate ourselves from that Love casting ourselves further from God.
The word charity comes from the Latin word for Love - caritas so I'll use the word Love for simplicity. Love comes from one heart to another heart or it isn't Love. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world" (1 John 2:15)
Love isn't what you receive, rather what is given (John 3:16) so it must be freely given or it isn't Love. Without the choice to give, it ceases to be Love or charity, the kind that God wants of His children.
We're all called to give to the poor and that's a central theme to Christians during Lent, but throwing money at a problem solves nothing. Giving it away to possible mismanagement is irresponsible and wasteful. While money given to organizations, agencies and governments to help the poor may sometimes do good things, history has proven that to be the exception rather than the rule. It is only through freely given face-to-face charity, Love, that we can see the face of Jesus in one another.
Feed the hungry doesn't mean give money so someone else can do your dirty work for you. It means feed the hungry yourself. The same goes for all forms of charity be it to those who hunger, thirst, who are prisoners, or who have no clothes; for whatsoever we do to the least of our brethren we do to Jesus. Feed Jesus through that hungry person. Clothe Jesus through that naked person. Give drink to Jesus through one who thirsts. That, my brothers and sisters is what we are each of us called to do, not to delegate our money and our responsibilities as Christians away to others.
Conservatives believe firmly in the rule of law and in individual freedoms so accordingly God's law to Love one another is of the utmost importance and cannot be delegated away. Only then can we be liberal with our Love!
Please read these other blog articles for more
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