by email

in reader




Using 1 John 3:17-18 to justify government coercion and debt to provide for the poor confuses coercion and charity.  If the money is taxed to begin with—extracted from innocent working, productive people by government threats of violence—then it is not and never will be motivated by love. Taxation is not charity, and charity cannot involve taxation. Period.  The verse does not say having material possessions is evil to begin with, or that the person has no love because of it.  The verse does not say that if a brother has possessions, the government should take them and give to someone else who is in need.  The verse does not authorize government schemes or even mention civil government doing anything.  It’s not that average Joe conservative doesn’t have pity, it’s that he has little money to give to the poor because the government took it all before he had the chance.  When the government steps into the scenario mentioned in this verse, it deprives the wealthy brother of even the opportunity to help that needy brother. In this way, the government actually steals love from society, not promotes it.  If anything, this verse is a good argument for the government to get out of the welfare business. The passage requires politicians to eliminate funding for these programs, and even abolishing them altogether.
- Joel McDermon, “Answers to a liberal Congresswoman’s Bible Questions," at http://americanvision.org/5660/answers-to-a-liberal-congresswomans-bible-questions/, (accessed 4/9/12).