Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Apostle Paul's Warning Against Idlers

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

2 Thessalonians 3:6-12, ESV

I will note that it is interesting that Apostle Paul seems to be speaking specifically to men. I think the ESV translates to "brothers and sisters" when appropriate. This would make sense during Roman Household laws where unmarried women remain under authority of their father's household until married. This also seems to apply directly toward believers. I do not know what Paul would say in terms of charity for unbelieving men. But, the next section seems to provide illumination.

Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. For some have already strayed after Satan. If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.

1 Timothy 5:3-15, ESV

It seems the strictness also applies to believing women who are sisters. There are two verses which infer that the Widow is a believer:

"But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

AND

"But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith."

The question I would have is what should the Church's position be toward unbelieving idlers. Should unbelieving idlers be eligible for the church's limited resources?

The logic would seem no as for believers, there is a distinction between "widows who are truly widows."

I am inferring that Apostle Paul would also have a distinction for unbelieving "poor who are truly poor."

I've certainly recognized this in my personal life. When I was attending University, the main avenue had a lot of homeless people. I felt it was my responsibility to take these individuals to eat food and hear their story. Well, one of them was drunk all the time and smelled like piss. The other would roll his cigarettes and smoke all day.

When I became an employer of over 100 individuals at a time, I had to fire my share of dishonest and lazy people. No, I would never give charity to the dishonest and lazy people who I had to fire. I would also say, they would not be eligible for the church's limited resources. 

I would be short-staffed of reliable people and even housekeepers often times.

I would see an individual on the side of the street begging for money, and I would ask myself, do I think that if I offered a job to this person that they would take it and do a good job? No, they wouldn't.

There are times of course when people hit hard times despite their hard work. There are orphans who I would say are more worthy of the church charity.

Generally speaking, with the safety net of the United States, I would say that they are fine, and if they are living on the street, it is most likely because of some major personal sin or character defect which would make them ineligible for charity if Apostle Paul's teachings apply to unbelievers as well.

Considering the lack of safety net in the Roman Empire, I would imagine that Apostle Paul's early church was even more lacking on resources, and would thus be even more selective in the unbelievers they would support.

If Christians are "brothers and sisters" then it seems that it would be the Church's responsibility to help its family members first before unbelievers. Of course, not if they are idlers.

I do not see why the church would not extend that same policy to the leftover resources it dedicates to unbelievers. Also, if unbelievers had higher priority in resources of the Church before believers, it is likely that there wouldn't be anything leftover (considering the small percentage of believers to unbelievers) leaving all the above instructions unnecessary.

When I was in college, I went on a "mission" trip to a soup kitchen in Atlanta, GA. I think this is the exact thing that Apostle Paul was warning against. It is likely many were idlers and the Church should had "let them not eat."

Unfortunately, most of the Protestant church pastors and their "ministries" are way too cucked to take Apostle Paul's words seriously.

I'm also reminded of the morality of the Left that always talks about the "injustice" of the number of children going hungry in a rich country as the United States. The next logical step, assuming their father is also idler, is for the idler's children to go hungry too.

Save the food for the true orphans.

Women's Shelters and Homeless Soup Kitchens I don't believe are the kinds of charities that Apostle Paul had in mind. Or if they do exist, being a lot more selective and intrusive toward the exact circumstances of each individual asking for charity.

If this logic is extended to the poor, African babies, I think the photos of idle, African men should be considered as well.

I do not think World Vision is very selective into the circumstances of the children you are savings from their idle fathers impregnating multiple women, and mothers who open their legs to multiple men.

I suppose "micro-investing" would be a much better "ministry" where you are giving interest free loans to men in developing countries to start businesses. But then again, there needs to be tons of vetting, and they need to be under the authority of the Church as believers. They need to be married, and stop fornicating and impregnating random women.

It's interesting that these micro-investing websites tend to focus on the impoverished women of Africa. Where are the fathers?

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