When a servant of the Lord declares that it doesn’t matter if we have enough to eat or drink, or that it shouldn’t matter if we didn’t get our government check or we couldn’t pay our bills, I have to wonder if he has ever been hungry or cold in his life. Has he ever lived in a tent under the highway because he couldn’t find work? I doubt it.
When this same servant claims that if we give the poor blankets, shelter, or food, we give them nothing and that all that matters is giving them the gospel, I’m quickly reminded of what the bible says about this very thing!
14-17 Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
18 I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.” Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.
19-20 Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands? –(The Message) James 2:14-26
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? KJV James 2:14-26
When we offer a label to describe caring for those who have nothing, and refer to this as “the social gospel,” this is baloney; this is a way of denying the second most important commandment Christ ever gave us, “love thy neighbor as thy self!”
The fact remains that when one only offers the gospel but allows people to starve or go without shelter and clothing, one offers faith without works — or dead faith. The political party that kills every bill designed to help the poor, oppresses the poor and the working poor. This party is full of dead faith — nothing can change the facts of that matter.
As Christians we cannot defend the indefensible and we should not try to; to attempt to do this is hypocrisy. Satan cheers when we twist and bend the truth of what the bible says. Christians must realize that they must fill the bellies of those whom they would bring the gospel to. To do otherwise is dead Christianity, it is faith without works.
The bible tells us not to oppress the poor and not to support those who oppress the poor.
“Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.” — Proverbs 14:31