By Sam Griffith The four acre East Texas Food Bank garden represents the convergence of authentic Christianity and applied core Republican values.
There are two world views which determine how their adherents will attempt to meet the needs and wants of their citizens: the secular, non-Christian world view and the Christian world view. All world views fit in one of these categories, and from those two world views flow government policies and personal responses. And the result of these two world views is two vastly divergent views of from which source the essentials and the desires of life are provided: whether a government created by men, or the GOD of the Universe.
The more prevalent world view, which includes communism, socialism, and much of modern liberalism, holds that, when one has power, gained from either the ballot box or the end of a gun, he can use the power of the government to redistribute assets, taking from those who have worked and saved for their own needs, and giving those assets to the people and voting blocs favored by those in power.
And then there is Christianity, in which Jesus calls on His followers to freely and voluntarily share with the needy those resources with which He has blessed them.
There are two facets of these two world views: First, the question of needs versus wants, and second, willingness and hearts of those from whom the assets are taken to provide the assets.
The prominent world view seeks to meet not only the essential needs of its supporters, but also promises (though that promise is never, can never, be met) all their desires and wants, through government, redistribution. The Christian world view is that we each are called by Jesus to personally give to meet the needs of those who are hungry or thirsty, to personally give to those who need the essentials. Matthew 25:31-40. Christianity thus continues the vast arc of GODíS Love and Provision for all people since the Beginning. The secularist world continues the fallen desires of Adam and Eve to be like gods, believing to know good and evil, and smugly and assuredly believing that they have the power to determine their own destinies by their own efforts and planning. Psalms 127:1.
Jesus Christ taught that we, His followers, are to alleviate the suffering of people around us. Matthew 25:30-41. But, significantly, Jesusís admonition was not directed towards government Jesus never said, or even suggested, that it was governmentís role or its duty to feed the hungry. Rather, Jesus was speaking directly to His individual followers, His individual sheep. Jesusí focus is always on whether the hearts and lives of His followers reflect the compassion Heart of Christ. And whether one is truly of Christís followers is easily discerned, not in words, but in actions, providing water and clothing to the needy. As St. Thomas Aquinas aptly and succinctly stated, ďPreach Christ every day. If necessary, use words.Ē
GODíS focus is on the heart of each person. I Samuel 16:7. He does not bless empty words and false phrases, because the grandiose, pious claims of those who seek ever-larger earthly kingdoms by seizing the assets of hard-working people to give to their own allies and supporters is both a violation of GODíS demand for justice, and rejection of GODíS recognition of personal ownership of an individualís land and money.
Rather, Christ has commanded, has called upon each one of His followers to personally tend to the needs of the downtrodden and the hurting. And, as the story of Ruth illustrates, He also calls upon His followers to provide the opportunity for the needy to provide for themselves, of giving the poor the opportunity to feed themselves.
This paradigm of service to others, of providing for those in times of need and calling each one of us ďto labor with [our] hands [to do] the things which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth,Ē (Ephesians 4:28) is also a core value of Republicans. Republicans esteem hard work, but Republicans also voluntarily share and give significantly more to those in need than Democratic big-government advocates, as shown in two recent in-depth studies of personal altruism in America, Who Really Cares by Arthur C., Brooks and Makers and Takers by Peter Schweizer.
Sheriff J. B. Smithís vision to establish a garden to provide fresh vegetables for the East Texas Food Bank is a vivid illustration of GODíS calling to each of us to provide for the needy as lived out in a demonstration of core, bed-rock Republican values of hard work, freely given money, labor and assets to meet the needs of the poor. No federal funds were needed to grow and donate twenty-three thousand pounds, almost twelve tons,! of fresh vegetables to the hungry and needy of east Texas. Rather, the use of the land was donated by a private land owner. Individuals donated the vegetable seeds. Men brought their tractors and equipment and spent many days working preparing the land for cultivation, planting the seeds, and cultivating the crops. And, most significantly, on May 10, 2010, the garden itself was dedicated to GOD with earnest prayer for GODíS call to feed the hungry. And, as He graciously promised, when we faithfully plant and when we water as He commands, GOD gives the abundant increase. I Corinthians 3:6.
Twenty-three thousand pounds of fresh vegetables freely grown and given to the poor at no cost to any government, without a penny of government money! What a template for actually meeting the needs of others by looking to Christ, and to His followers, rather than vainly hoping a bloated, bankrupt, ineffective government will alleviate human suffering without inflicting more suffering on those from whom it seizes ever more taxes.
This is a paradigm that demonstrates that GODíS methods work far better than any empty ďhopeĒ for undefined ďchange.Ē
(Sam Griffith is an amazing Christian who spends all possible free time carrying the Gospel to needy, foreign countries. He is a brave soldier of the cross who has made two recent trips deep into Iraq, several trips to war-torn Sudan and to China.)