When I saw the article title, A Welfare System in the Sky, I immediately thought of manna falling on the Israelites escaping Egypt…
…and which ended the minute they crossed into the Promised Land. “Time to get to work.”
But I was wrong.
Clergyman: “I have never felt the need to carry a sidearm…”
Me: “Well, we have a covenantal duty to defend life as “Thou shalt not kill’ means thou shalt defend life. I carry mine all the time.”
Clergyman: “I just trust in God to protect me.”
Me: “Well, that’s no different than someone saying they were not going to work anymore as they would just trust God to provide for them. Yet we see Paul saying he that does not work should not eat. Throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, we see the man of God not only owning weapons, but being proficient with them, and ready to use them at a moment’s notice. In fact, in Luke 22:36 we have Jesus saying that he that does not own a sword should sell his cloak and buy one. In fact, as we know that all men are born into this world totally depraved, we have a duty to be ready to respond to that evil at any moment. To not resist the evil is then to be complicit with it.”A Welfare System in the Sky by Chris Zimmerman
I admire Chris Zimmerman: he has more patience and respect for pastors than I have. I will try to be more like him, as such respect helps expand the Kingdom of God into the church hierarchy.
We live in a time very similar to the original Exodus: the covenant people have been for generations enslaved and, thus, can largely only think as slaves. They value “womb to tomb” security over the risks of freedom and at any trial they cry out for God to relieve them. In this passage we see that the Israelites are at the Red Sea numbering somewhere north of half a million fighting men and they saw they were being pursued by a much smaller, yet better equipped, fighting force of Egyptians. Rushdoony’s comments on this are right on point:
“Moses was faced with a terrified people and an Egyptian army. He apparently began to pray very earnestly to God, Who cut him short, saying, “Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward” (v.15). God is impatient with prayer where action is needed, or where prayer is not accompanied by action or works.” (1)
In other words, God told them already what to do and He expected them to do it. Living by faith in the Word means acting according to the Word. No doubt this clergyman would pray for safety before walking into a dark alley as he should, but he would do nothing to protect himself from an assailant as though that was some sort of lack of faith.A Welfare System in the Sky by Chris Zimmerman
I like God’s attitude here: “You know what to do, so stop crying out before me and do it!“
Finally, this interaction reveals that we never know just when an opportunity to bring clarity into a situation make come to us nor who the audience may be. While wisdom will dictate just how far we may take the conversation, the fact remains that we face a moral obligation to speak the truth (Esther 4:14, 2 Tim 4:2). That this man was in the clergy did not mean that I leave him in his errors but rather to speak to him, recognizing his office, to share what God has also taught me. This is how reform takes place within the Body of Christ.A Welfare System in the Sky by Chris Zimmerman
Again, Zimmerman and his forgiving nature to the clergy!
As you might guess, my approach would be very different. But not, perhaps, what God has in mind.
The will of the Holy Spirit comes first.