Debt, Saving Money and Large Families Don’t Have to Be on Food Stamps

“They’re on food stamps.  There is NO way to raise that many children without government assistance.”

This was the statement someone made to other people, about our family–someone we actually know, though not very well.

The fact is that it hurts to be misunderstood, and it hurts to hear false assumptions actually being verbalized to others when no attempt is made to confirm the allegation. Our family is not on government assistance nor have we ever been.

I won’t debate government funding in this post.  Our tornado tragedy has certainly brought up a lot of discussion about FEMA and when or if it’s ever OK to receive government assistance. I don’t know all the answers.  But we’ve seen the church in action and praise God that we didn’t feel pressured to tap into a grossly depleted government treasury.

But back to the assumption that a large family can’t live without foodstamps…

I’ve written on the subject of family economy quite extensively, and there are many facets that can be discussed.

But the foundational misunderstanding may lie in lifestyle.  Americans are accustomed to believing they have an inalienable right to a certain level of lifestyle.  It’s just expected and so they reach for it no matter the cost.

Children are only as “expensive” as the lifestyle you choose.

Borrowing money for just about everything is considered absolutely necessary now whereas once upon a time it was a blight on one’s character to do so. As a result, many families are laden with heavy debt that enslaves them.

Younger families are starting out in debt and never catching up because the old idea of “working up” to a bigger, nicer home and better things is obsolete.  Now, newlyweds expect to start out with all the comforts their fifty-year-old parents enjoy.

Student loans laden the couple as well, many of whom pay on loans to the tune of 75K for the rest of their married lives.

Family vacations are expected.  Name brand clothing is a must.  Weekly manicures, multiple dinners out, sports and activities for the kids, electronic gadgets for the whole family, new furniture and appliances, bigger houses than we need, costly recreation, the list goes on.

The alternative?  Live more simply, sacrifice a few things we think we deserve, save for desired things, and be content with used things (bearing in mind that in our disposable society, used is often “barely used”).

For those wondering specifically how we manage with so many children, we try to follow the above recipe as well as some other things.  We don’t spend money perfectly.  We have made poor financial choices just like everyone else. But consider the following if you are looking to lighten your financial load:

  • We don’t buy a car for every child.  We have one, older, used car besides our van and my husband’s truck.
  • We go out to eat but not very often.
  • We are given so many nice clothes that we hardly ever need to buy them.  We breastfeed our babies and our church gives us “diaper showers”. (Given these two things, our children literally don’t cost anything for the first year of their lives.)
  • We stay home a lot which saves gas and the temptation to buy lunch, etc.
  • We have one cell phone with a very cheap plan.  (Well, someone did give me a cell phone right after the storm.)
  • We don’t own credit cards.
  • We don’t watch much T.V. which, believe it or not, greatly reduces the pressure of purchasing due to the bombardment of ads.
  • And a biggie:  we avoid Wal-mart as much as possible. 😉

To name a few.

We also trust God to provide and this trusting has brought about miraculous provision again and again.

And contrary to what some may assume, we do not feel the least bit deprived.  In fact, we feel especially blessed.

In addition, understanding how a family should really works makes a large family a financial benefit. As I’ve heard Kevin Swanson say, “we are a 7-income family”.  Our 12-year-old son already makes a little money from his website using his gift of art.  Our daughter has done some photography for a wedding or two. We anticipate that as our children get older, we not only have more hands to work in the garden producing food, or cutting firewood, etc., but we have more possibilities of everyone sharing in the family’s economy. Live together, share life together, provide together.

It is my heart’s desire to encourage families to get out of debt, avoid living beyond their means and enjoying the freedom of simplicity and God’s provision.  He has proven Himself so faithful, even in the midst of choices for which we are often persecuted.

I want to pass that hope along to you any way I can.

(Note:  This post is in no way intended to make anyone feel bad about accepting government assistance.  It is only an expression of our personal experience and there is no attitude of “looking down” on others.)

You can read a bit more about our journey to get out of debt, and find practical help in our ebook, Finding Financial Freedom.

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160 Responses to “Debt, Saving Money and Large Families Don’t Have to Be on Food Stamps”

  1. Stephanie R. says:

    What a wonderful posting! I agree 100% w/ you!! Our family saves at every possible chance! Thanks for continuing to blog… I look forward to reading it =)

  2. Renee says:

    Amen, you are so right on all these points!!!

  3. Jaime @ LABB says:

    Our family is smaller, but we are debt-free, too – house and all 🙂 It’s always nice to hear someone else’s story!

  4. jen in AL says:

    Thank you Kelly! This is so encouraging! We are working toward being completely debt free! I can’t wait!!!! Blessings, jen in al

  5. Wonderful Kelly! We have 11 children (9 still at home) and we are also debt free. It can be done!

  6. Teresa says:

    Dont worry, in the UK, we all get govt help!! No one feels bad about it here. I guess in America this must be seen as a bad thing…. People will always make nasty comments in life. Just trust in the Lord and you will get through it. x

  7. LindseyMarie says:

    Mrs. Crawford,

    While I still have a long ways to go before I will be married, it is my goal to never go into debt for a house or car. Thank you for reaffirming my beliefs!

    I am still praying for your family.

    In Him,
    LindseyMarie

  8. Jill Farris says:

    We are debt free as well with eight children (six at home although we don’t own a house). We worship in Canada where so many things (such as health care) is government subsidized. May God deliver us from that sort of heavy government taxation. We are headed that way in the U.S. and it is scary.

    Jill Farris
    http://www.generationalwomanhood.wordpress.com
    http://www.jillcampbellfarris.com

  9. Amy says:

    Thank you for this posting! We are(thankfully) out of debt, but your money-saving tips are very helpful.

    And I’m sorry you’ve had to hear comments like the one you listed above. After all that you, your family and your friends have been through, I know that must have been hurtful.

  10. Shannon says:

    Great post. I also want to say that if we lived in a country where everyone were Christians that we should all be eager to help one another through Food Stamps or whatever way we can help. I think there is nothing at all wrong if you did get FEMA assistance, also. You are a responsible contributing member of this country that certainly pays all your taxes and other bills. In my view there is nothing wrong with accepting “charity”.

    I grew up watching my parents sacrifice and I am better for it. It is so much easier for me to do without the stuff that others are not content without. Even my husband struggles with this because he was raised a bit differently. In my opinion even with five children, we live in complete excess. My husband is a teacher and I am a stay at home momma. Our “new” car is the one we have had for seven years and it is nine years old. My husband’s car is 21 years old and perfect for his one mile trip to work each day. We splurged on a small transit bus that we use for vacations, etc., but are pondering selling it and putting that money towards our ONLY debt, our mortgage. Either way we plan to have that mortgage paid off in less than a year. It was a 30 year mortgage and we have had it for almost 10 years. And I might say that the only reason we have a mortgage is that we sold the house that I built and paid cash for as I went because I wanted my own daddy to live longer. After open heart surgery I did not want him working to help add on to my house. Sold it and went into to debt and that is a debt I won’t ever regret. 😉 I go shopping at yard sales and secondhand stores when I can. And often buy things that are new with tags because we live in such and excessive society. This week I bought 6 pairs of new (and very nice) shoes for myself for $5 total. I also have been looking for a purse that can double as diaper bag… found two brand new at the same yard sale for $2 each. At another sale I bought my daughter a new dress for $3 with the tags on it that said $49.99 JCPenney). And I could list it all, but I will spare you. I save money where I can and then we can splurge when we need to. Example: The day BEFORE I found my shoe bargain I bought new shoes for me and my two older girls. Five pairs for $72… not as cheap as I like to be, but my kids deserve something new sometimes, right?! Most people would spend that on one pair of shoes. I love my life! Being frugal makes me appreciate what I have… and what others don’t have.

  11. Puffin Hen says:

    I absolutely agree with you on strategies for living a simple, low cost life, but, echoing Teresa above, would add that in some economic systems it is truly impossible to live without “assistance” from the Government and that is certainly the case in the UK. Over the past 30 years the income gap has increased very dramatically, resulting in an economy where even the majority of middle income graduate employees with families cannot afford to pay for the basics like rent, utilities and food without applying for Government support. It is wrong and it is demoralising for those of us who have done our best, “played by the rules,” work hard, are thrifty to the point of meanness and still have to apply for these funds. But it is what it is. Thanks for your thoughts on these pages and all the best as you and your family rebuild.

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  13. Katy says:

    Kelly, great post. We only have 2 children but both have special needs, so costs are very high. It’s amazing to me how the assumption o assistance is made. In our case people think we are nuts NOT being on it. Why would we pay medical when medicaid is free. (um, btw, it’s not free. We all pay dearly for it.) We go to doctors or therapists and are gien quizzical looks when we have no medicaid number. Most think we just must not know about our rights. In fact, many therapy centers are Medicaid only even though we have been told our private insurance pays quicker and more money per claim. Sigh. Yes we could qualify but we pay our way. It’s hard many times. But we sacrifice and have felt good about it.

    Our new concern is the new rgulations on the horizon with the new paln slowly coming into effect over the next few years. Our insurance rates aren’t bad, much cheaper han Samaritan’s Purse for our family. But when companies start dumping families from insurance policies (my husband’s is free, we pay for me and the kids) we will be in serious trouble, forced into a very bad situation by those in charge.

  14. Katy-Anne says:

    Saving money is always good, but I also don’t see a problem with hard-working people who might need assistance for a while. The hardworking people pay taxes and sometimes they need a little help.

  15. tamela says:

    Our family is debt free~ We drive our 11 year old used minivan which we paid cash for~ We are blessed with 3 sons one with special needs~ We are trusting the Lord with our dental needs of $7,086.00~ We have paid $3,325.00 and waiting to see how the Lord will work in helping us figure out how to get the rest of the monies by July 1st~ In the meantime we will make do on .03 til pay day in 2 weeks~ God has always provided and we give Him the praise~

  16. Lauren Z says:

    What a wonderful post! I was having a discussion the other day with someone, and mentioned that 10 children would be such a blessing! She responded with a shocked “can you afford that?!” Yes, with God’s blessing!!! (And, of course, many people don’t understand the concept of older children contributing to the household and being an “asset” rather than a “liability.”) 😀

    We have three children so far, and would be virtually debt-free (building out-of-pocket, paying cash for 9-year-old cars, etc.) if it weren’t for our oldest child’s $1 million dollar medical bill. : ) (That was before any standard reductions.)

    He was a preemie and qualified for Medicaid, but we didn’t believe it was right for us to accept government welfare. So, we raised the money for part of the bill and are working on figuring out the rest of the bill with the hospital. We will either be raising money and/or making large payments ourselves.

    We’ve recently started a foundation to help families of preemies who, like us, believe it is the responsibility of the body of Christ and private community, not the government, to take care of those needs. We just got the website up and running!

    http://www.preemiefoundation.com

    Thank you so much for your posts Kelly; they are such an encouragement to younger couples starting out, like us! : )

  17. R. F. says:

    These are great ideas Kelly. Many of them we already follow. We have 4 children and have only bought a handful of clothes. We are always being offered hand me downs. When you home school your children, you don’t really care about the clothing until you leave the house. We also don’t have TV, so my kids have no idea what the latest “gadget” is that they “need”! I avoid all stores except grocery and goodwill. I love buying jeans there, they are already broken in and comfortable.
    The only debt we have is our mortgage. Otherwise we paid cash for our 9 passenger suburban and everything else we need. No credit cards here.
    Pray for me though. My husband is self employed in the construction trades and things are very slow. He just asked me last night if I would look for a job for the fall and put our children in public school. He just can’t find any work and thinks somehow since I have the college degree, that I could do better. I just about fell over in disbelief and asked if he was joking. He wasn’t. He thinks for a time we may need to do this. I cry just thinking about it. This goes against everything I believe. I’m not sure what to do. Please pray for me and I will continue praying for your family as well. God bless.

    Rachel

    • Renee says:

      Praying for you. Remember your husband loves you very much and is trying to take care of your family. Hang in there. I have been there, staying home with a husband who is self employed and the money is not coming in.

  18. Amy Jo says:

    I have really enjoyed your website, and just wanted to drop a line and let you know that I completely agree with this post. We are debt free as well even our home. It is hard to get there sometimes but once you are there…. what a blessing!! Thank you for sharing your story.

    Blessings,
    Amy Jo

  19. Elizabeth says:

    We are expecting our 5th child. One of the women at church came up to me after Sunday Service and handed me an application and $5 to apply to a food pantry run by the Dept. of Children & Families that accepts people who make too much for food stamps. She said since we were expecting another one she just knew we needed help and got this application for us and went to one of the elders’ wives and got the $5 application fee from her. She told me that the Lord and laid it on her heart to help us. I thanked her nicely but 2 things came to mind. The 1st – how sad it is that people assume that if you have more than 2 children that you must be struggling. The 2nd was how disturbing it is for women to use the excuse of the Holy Spirit or God “laying it on my heart” for their preconceived prejudices. While this women did mean well, perhaps she could have spoken to me privately and asked if their was any help we needed. Because I do need pray! 🙂

  20. Melissa says:

    thankyou so much for this post!!! we also get the same questions, and at Wal-Mart I have seen people watching VERY closely to see how we pay our bill!!! We have 6 children so far, 1 with special needs! I looked into Samaritans Ministries, but was told that they would not be able to cover anything concerning my sons Autism! Does anyone know of any other like-minded ministried for “special needs”?????? Our family would LOVE to participate in something like that!!! We are in the proccess right now of raising money for therapy for our son, this weekend we had a garage sale and made over $850!!!! PTL! You are such an encouragement Kelly, God has used you on many occasions to encourage and speak truths to me!!! Praying for your family and community!!!
    In Christ ~ Melissa

  21. Jasmine says:

    Church family is a huge blessing. Our church family has helped us tremedously during a difficult time.

    I have learned so much about frugality in the last two years than ever before. I enjoy living with less “things” and learning how to work with my mind and hands for the glory of God.

    I am learning how to sew and just made my first memorial quilt. I will be making eight more for customers – at a decent price.

    Thanks for all the fantastic tips, Kelly.

  22. Teresa says:

    I agree with a big AMEN…I could write a ton more but have erased my comments for fear of starting a riot 🙂 You keep on having those babies as God gives you…I would give a family like yours my last dime to see it being used for the Kingdom…God bless you and yours Kelly. Having less is more and can speak for that personally…

  23. Koa says:

    I am asking this question out of sheer pure curiosity.

    I am wondering, what is the difference between accepting help directly from church members or friends, and accepting help from the Government, help that comes from the taxpayers of your town/county/state/country. (Outside of assistance that comes in the form of low or no-interest loans).

    • Word Warrior says:

      Koa,

      True charity is voluntarily given. Taxes takes money from one and gives it to another. It’s “forced sharing”–very different from charity.

      • AbbysMom says:

        Kelly,

        I respectfully disagree with the idea that providing financial assistance is forced giving. We all have the opportunity to vote for candidates at the federal, state, and local levels who share our opinions about what types, if any, of government assistance is appropriate.

  24. Word Warrior says:

    Deana,

    I deleted your comment, not because of questions you asked, but because you used the comment section to vent your hatred. I am ready and willing to answer questions and allow different opinions if the commenter can be respectful and treat me like a human.

    Let me address a few things you said:

    “Kelly, it’s so wonderful how you can step on your pedestal and proceed to make women who are struggling to make it in a very tough world, in a very tough economy, feel even lower than pond scum by your words.”

    In the post I admit “I don’t know the answers” and I also said we may feel differently about FEMA if we didn’t have the response from others as we have. I said NOTHING derrogatory toward those who have felt the need to accept government assistance. (I have said before, and will reitterate, that the government has been forced to take care of things that aren’t their jurisdiction simply because the church has failed so often.) I hardly see where that’s an attempt to make people feel bad.

    I am truly curious which part of my post you think makes women “feel like pond scum”. If you are referring to “the comment is almost funny”, I said that because anyone who reads my blog knows I feel strongly that the government oversteps it bounds and I believe we should be going back to an organic/biblical answer. That does NOT mean I look down on *people*…you (and others) need to understand the difference. It’s a larger problem that simply needs better answers. Attacking me for something I haven’t done/said is, well, childish, and I’m asking you to be respectful and discuss the things I actually say.

    I know there are some who do not have a group of Christians or family and friends around them to help take care of them as the Bible commands us. But it would be silly for me to apologize for the help we’ve received and not praise God for His provision. Any normal person should be glad that even one family hasn’t had the need to take govenrment money–we’re all suffering, and will suffer worse, because of national deficit. We should all be trying to figure out a way to help people avoid it–it’s good for all of us.

    You said:

    “Most people live from paycheck to paycheck, and they’re not spending money on luxuries. You may think so, but you would be wrong. That’s because you don’t live in the real world with the rest of us.”

    One of the reasons I can’t take the Internet slander seriously is because of the way you all so cleverly twist, add and distort the truth about me. To suggest “I don’t live in the real world” is a slap in the face, at best. I wonder how many wives have had to see their husbands leave at 3:30 a.m. to pick up dead chickens for a chicken farmer, drive straight to his regular job, leave there at 5 and go to deliver pizza until 11 p.m.? We have struggled…I know a little bit about the real world. We have lived paycheck to paycheck for most of our lives. It doesn’t even make sense to paint me as a woman who “doesn’t understand”. I have cried out to the Lord many nights in financial distress but He has always given us our daily bread and I believe He provides for all who love and fear Him and are committed to following Him.

  25. Beth says:

    Great post, Kelly. When given the opportunity to talk about how our family manages money, I do my best to include the importance of tithing. God’s provisions for our family have been truly amazing, and the more we give away the more He provides. We must remember that God will do much more with 90% (or less!) of our income than we could ever do with 100% of it!

  26. Deana M. Holmes says:

    Kelly,

    It’s your blog and you can do what you want, but it is simply unfair for you to take my comment and butcher it to pieces in your response without readers’ ability to see what I originally wrote in context. There’s no way I can respond properly to my words taken out of context like that. There was nothing hateful about my comment; just some home truths that you would prefer that your followers not see.

    If you want me to respond, you can post my entire comment. If you need the comment again, you can e-mail me at mirele@gmail.com and I’d be happy to send it to you. Until then, you can posture all you want, but I won’t be responding to your editing of my words.

    In short, it’s an all or nothing deal.

    Regards,

    Deana M. Holmes
    mirele@gmail.com

  27. Jeanette says:

    Just out of curiosity… for those who do not feel it is right to receive government funds, what is the Scripture to support your decision? And is it wrong to receive financial aid, unemployment? Do you send back the rebate checks the government sends out?? How about Earned Income Credit on your taxes for each child you have?? Just wondering.

  28. Word Warrior says:

    Deana,

    I’m not afraid of a thing you wrote or of my readers seeing it. I will post your comment this time, but be aware that terminiology like “you make me sick” is indeed what I consider hateful and further remarks like that will be deleted permanently.

    “Kelly, it’s so wonderful how you can step on your pedestal and proceed to make women who are struggling to make it in a very tough world, in a very tough economy, feel even lower than pond scum by your words. In fact, coming from you, it’s downright remarkable. After all, your good Christian friends have donated, what, over $35,000 to you so that you and your family can rebuild after the tragic loss of your home. Let me rent you a clue: MOST PEOPLE DON’T HAVE THOSE KINDS OF RESOURCES. Most people don’t have blogs where they can regale readers with stories about their life and have friends gently drop hints about how Poor Kelly Lost Her Home, Can You Please Help Out? Most people live from paycheck to paycheck, and they’re not spending money on luxuries. You may think so, but you would be wrong. That’s because you don’t live in the real world with the rest of us. The average family, upon the loss of their home in a disaster such as a tornado, is going to have to accept federal and state aid, because they don’t have the kind of resources you have available to you. Yes, that includes FEMA trailers, food stamps and other aid. When you write the dreck you do, you make women and men feel like they are somehow deficient because they’re not like you. And I’m pretty sure that is absolutely deliberate on your part. I hate how you basically use yourself and your genuinely good circumstances (yes, you lost your house but you’ve got a cool $35K in a donation account to get started) as a way to hammer on women and men who are not in your circumstances, to make them feel even more guilty, to make them feel like they’re not serving God as good as you are. You make me sick. And so you can feel snide about me, here’s my demographics: 50, single, never married, no children, two university degrees, two cats, full-time job, and an upside-down mortgage that I pay on religiously every month even though the home is worth 28 percent of what I owe on the mortgage. Despite my circumstances, I’m certainly not stupid enough to fall for the swill you dish out on a regular basis to your readers. Sincerely yours, Deana M. HolmesMesa, AZ, USAmirele@gmail.com

    • Jane says:

      I read Kelly’s post a couple of times, even before she added at the top, and I just don’t see how anyone could say she is making people feel like “pond scum” by accepting govt. assistance. She said she doesn’t have all the answers.

      So, because her family experienced a major loss and their brothers and sisters in Christ rallied around them to love and help them, and she supposed to apologize for that, because it makes others feel bad?

      You don’t understand the body of Christ, and how it is supposed to function, Deana.

      • Sola says:

        Jane, I personally DO understand the concept of the ‘body of Christ’. However often the ‘body of Christ’ is stretched so thinly that donations such as the $35K that Kelly has received are impossible.

        If a family living in a poor inner city area has a total disaster such as a fire for example, it is very highly unlikely that the church community is going to be able to find enough donations to help the family rebuild.

        If a family in a poor inner city area loses their breadwinner through tragic accident (and I do feel so, so much for the Lee family, it must be devastating for them so I do not for a second begrudge them their donations), the church is unlikely to be able to support the surviving members; especially if it is a large family.

        Kelly is lucky; she has a large community of friends who have the means to help her and I am absolutely sure that Kelly appreciates this and thanks God daily for it. But there are many, many people who do not have Kelly’s resources. I’d like to bet that Kelly herself knows of some people within her own devastated local community who don’t have access to the resources she does and are going to find rebuilding their lives so much harder than she is.

        I’m not knocking the donations Kelly has received; I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for her with a tiny newborn to lose everything in a few seconds – and then her dad’s health to worry about. But all I ask is that people do not forget that there are many people – thousands even – who face tragedy every single day and do not have the resources to hand which Kelly has.

        Bless you.

        • Jane says:

          You’ll notice my last sentence said “how the Body of Christ is SUPPOSED to function”. Unfortunately, most of them do not and it’s shameful.

          Kelly belongs to a local Body that does what it’s supposed to do and it’s a beautiful thing. Kelly’s “resource” is Almighty God.
          Many Christians may be stretched thin but we’re all supposed to give to God’s people in need of basic necessities, food, shelter, clothing. I’m not talking about 35K here, although it’s wonderful to see her family receive that.

          No church is stretched so thin that it can’t feed and shelter it’s people in an emergency.

          • You are spot on Jane! Feeding and clothing! Just for the record $35,000 does not rebuild a house! Not to mention the loss of income while you rebuild.

            And let us be careful not to be humanistic in remembering where our “resources” come from, as you stated, it is our Almighty Father. If He increased 2 fish and 5 loaves, He can surly increase any measly gift we are willing to give.

            God calls us to faithfulness, the results are up to Him.

            • Sola says:

              Kathy, are you saying that the Body of Christ should (considering the sheer vast devastation and the huge level of need from the tornadoes) just feed and clothe Kelly and her family?

              Obviously 35K is not going to rebuild a home and yes it would provide a large amount of food and clothing for a large amount of people- is that what you mean by referring to the five loaves and two fishes?

              Perhaps I am misunderstanding you here, but to me what you are saying is that the donations should be used to feed and clothe ‘the many’ (perhaps tornado victims in Kelly’s locality), rather than as an attempt to just help Kelly and her family alone rebuild?

              Whilst 35K is a large amount of money, it would be a drop in the ocean if it were directed to feeding and clothing ‘the many’. Yes, the result of such a gesture would indeed be pleasing to our Almighty father, I am unsure if that is what Kelly’s donors would have intended. Perhaps they would, I really don’t know.

              Blessings

              • Lori says:

                Kathy appears to be comparing the $35K to the fishes and loaves in that both are “measley” in comparison to the seemingly insurmountable need of the moment. But like the fishes and loaves, God can take the offerings and multiply them even beyond our expectations or even hopes. She isn’t saying that the money should be used to feed the 5,000, she’s saying we believers need to share even when things seem too much (we’re not allowed to cowardly back away from the big trials), and let God do what only God can.

                Sorry if I stepped on your toes answering for you Kathy!

                • Sola says:

                  I see (I think!). So do you mean that Kelly should share the 35K even though she has been through so much and lost so much?

                  Very admirable, but surely it would be just a drop in the ocean. Although as you say, the Almighty does indeed do wondrous things with small amounts so who knows.

                  • Lori says:

                    Hmmm, I believe I detect a pattern developing… 😉
                    While I am often less clear than I wish to be, in this case I mean just what I said, and only what I said. 🙂

    • The reason why Kelly has had such a response from the Church (Christians from all over, not just her home church), is because she is SELFLESS. She chooses to live faithfully and GIVES. She gives in the form of this blog, opening herself up to be judged, and often wrongfully so. She gives in ways that is never publicized because Christians should not boast in their good deeds.

      It’s about RELATIONSHIPS. She builds relationships not only with her family and neighbors, but virtually. When people choose to live so individually, seeking their own ‘rights’ and fortune at all cost, they will rarely have a strong family and circle of friends.

      This blog takes work to keep going. She is willing to tackle tough subjects and encourage others to consider issues in the light of Scripture. She is not afraid of debate, but if debate cannot be approached with mutual respect, then it is not a debate, it is childish bullying.

      This blog is not forced on anyone. No one makes you come read here or believe what is written. If your way of life is working for you, if you have strong, loving relationships with people who will be there to help you carry a heavy burden when need be, then keep doing what you are doing and don’t waste your precious time reading here; you have so much to share.

      If you have joy and peace at the end of the day then go share with others what works for you. Wouldn’t that be more productive? OR is your goal just to tear down what does work? Are you only happy if you are calling names and fueling the flames of envy and hatred?

      A debate is one thing, but to be so insulting and mean spirited is a waste of time! It does not change the Truth. It does not change the fact that God has proven Himself faithful and provided. Why in the world should Kelly not share what has worked? In a culture that is wringing it’s hands over the economy, and so many people looking for answers, why not share what has worked? Why not give people HOPE? God provides whether one has a blog or not.

      Come on! If this blog is not for you…move on…share your wisdom else where!

  29. Mona says:

    I have six children and I’m a Christian but at one point my husband lost his job and we did get food stamps. I had to feed my children and there was no way to do that It does hurt me when you point out that you didn’t need FEMA because my friend in Missouri did need FEMA . So maybe you could not point out what you have so often? I mean this in love as you are a sister in Christ but I can see how it would hurt people.

    • Mona,

      Why do you find Kelly’s praising God for His faithfulness hurtful?

      Did you let your church know you were in need of food? Did your family or close friends know you needed food? Your church would rather you get Government assistance rather than help you through a tough time and help your husband find work?

      What about your friend? Does she have a strong, loving church that is also in fellowship with other churches to come to the aid of the suffering?

      As of last week, FEMA has given out 50 MILLION dollars to Alabama tornado victims. Where is the 50 million coming from? I thought we were TRILLIONS of dollars in debt?

      I don’t know about your personal situation, or your friend’s situation so I am NOT saying this about you personally, but I do know that most Christians do not attend churches that teach Biblical truths. There is so much more to the Christian life than salvation.

      Most churches do not take care of their own, nor the truly needy. They don’t use any accountability to encourage their people to be faithful. Most churches are hesitant to call sin “sin”. Most churches don’t call their men to be real men, or for wives to respect their husbands, and they teach the youth that it is all about THEM! And most churches need to be like that because most Christians will not subject themselves to any Biblical authority… “Nobody’s gonna tell me what I can do or not do!” This is why it is so important which church a person attends and what kind of close relationships one has.

      This is why Kelly approaches such tough topics, it’s all intertwined together. One area of belief effects all the other areas.

      Please don’t ask Kelly to be quiet about how God has graciously provided. We ALL have hard times and good times. We need to share in the good and bad. This post was simply her Psalm and Proverb of God’s faithfulness. Weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice, that is Biblical!

      • Jane says:

        You’re right, most churches don’t take care of their own needy like they’re supposed to. We have a church now that, fortunately for us, does try to apply biblical truths to those in the Body, and after they are taken care of, outside of the Body.

        We lost our house last year to foreclosure (after stupidly getting into debt years ago), after my husband lost income when the construction business tanked here. Our church stepped in, provided a place (rent free) for us to live in until we can get back on our feet. I thank the Lord for our brothers and sisters in Christ every morning I wake up and for His provision for us. They have also helped us out monetarily in abundance.

        Sadly, our church is the exception, not the rule, around here.

      • Elle says:

        Not every church is wealthy enough to provide all that a family needs until that family is stable again. You’re speaking from a position of privilege if you think every church has that kind of money.

        • That may depend on what you consider what a family “needs” to survive.

          And no, I am not in a position of “privilege”, not by a long shot! But I do know what is truly needed and what is not. A church does not need to be wealthy and should not be. The church organization is one thing, it’s people sharing what it has in a time of crisis is a totally different thing!

          More often it is a lack of humility on both parts; some people are too proud to accept and some are too proud to (stingy) to share. We don’t want to be that close and that real with folks.

        • Jane says:

          Elle,

          A position of privilege? Just for the record, we don’t attend a mega church with lots of wealthy people, people of privilege. A small church of about 50 people, almost half of them children, middle and lower-middle class incomes. We don’t have a church building to meet in, we rent a space in a building in town. The help we received did not come out of the church account, it came from the personal accounts of people who love us and wanted to help in time of trial.

          If more churches actually put into practice and governed themselves according to the Word of God, most if not all would be able to help those members in need.

  30. Jeanette says:

    Kelly I appreciate your answer. I have been very blessed to see God provide for your family. I would also like to add that it is extremely admirable for all those who are striving to live debt free.

  31. jennibell says:

    Kelly, this post, as well as the comments, are a positive reflection of who you are as a woman, mother, wife, and Christian. You are right — if the Church was doing it’s job, there wouldn’t be a need for government assistance. And I say “Church”, not as a building but as a body of believers. Our country was built on that foundation but we are far from it now. It’s not possible for the modern church to care for all the needs b/c there isn’t the contribution to the Church from the people as there once was. I think, perhaps, that Deana is missing out on a rich life that only Christ can give. It’s not about money, or things, but a relationship — not only with Him, but with others. That’s what you have built here — a relationship with others. Others who care about you and sincerely want to help you emotionally and financially in your time of need. Everything is a CHOICE. . .how you spend your time, how you spend your money, what words you use, and who you have relationships with. Thank you for choosing to have a relationship with us, your readers, so we may be encouraged by your words and your God. Blessings to you and yours.

    • Amy says:

      Re: The church”…not as a building but as a body of believers. Our country was built on that foundation but we are far from it now.”

      I so agree with this. If you go back to the primary sources (journals, letters, etc..) from our ancestors, you see this time and time again. People weren’t perfect in those days, but they did come together to help those in need in ways that I just don’t see in some of the churches that I’ve visited living in the 21st century. And I think that’s sad. And I agree with what some of the others have said here about having misgivings over accepting government money that is essentially “forced giving” rather than charity given freely as it should be, from the abundance with which God has blessed us.

  32. Isaac says:

    Kelly, you need another perspective. The three leading causes of bankruptcy in the U.S. are divorce, illness and unwilling job loss. Not things most people want to experience. People are not in debt because they eat too much…

  33. Ginger says:

    My hubby and I neither one were taught how to manage finances well. Both sets of parents are deep in debt. We didn’t have anyone to go to when we needed financial wisdom.
    Along came Dave Ramsey. YAY!
    After reading his Total Money Makeover book, we literally did a money makeover, created a budget, built up our savings, and paid off all my student loans. We’re now working on Baby Step 6– paying off the mortgage. Man, it feels good!
    We have the same deal with clothes. I hardly ever need to buy clothes for the kids. We are given so much! I just buy for hubby and I. (People rarely give us hand-me-downs. 😉 )

  34. Natalie says:

    Deanna’s post lacked maturity and sensitivity. I’m sorry you have to deal with that, Kelly, on top of everything else you’ve been through. God is so good to sanctify and refine us through many means! ; ) Your answers were gracious and intelligently put, and I’m grateful for your example and wisdom. Grace to you, sister.

  35. Margaret says:

    OK, this is interesting to me. It seems that people hate you when they assume you use public funds (for your large family), and hate you when you clarify that you don’t, and why. You are “Fundie” and therefore nothing you do is acceptable, and it is acceptable to simultaneously hate your for doing something and not doing that very same thing. And also hate you for thinking and speaking on the subject, and also hate you if you don’t speak on it. I love mental gynmastics! 😀

    I am *glad* your church is pulling for you and helping you. I am *glad* you don’t even need to thinking about using public funds. I am *glad* you aren’t using them just because you might qualify. That leaves the funds open for those who may need them, who don’t have a church family, or who have circumstances that just aren’t possible to pull out of on their own.

    The issue of finance is a complex one. But I don’t think Kelly is all wrong. Some people certainly do find themselves in unasked for situations that ruin their finances. We are experiencing unemployment right now. It’s no freaking fun. But that doesn’t mean that what Kelly wrote is irrelevant. She very much describes the lifestyle of many people in our circle of aquaintance, in all walks of life. It doesn’t seem to matter how big the income, it is never enough, because the above-their-means lifestyle increases as their income increases. They are all good, decent, loving, hardworking people. They are intelligent. But they have been acculturated to believe that certain wants are needs, and may even be doing all of this out of a very admirable desire to do their best by their children, based on what we have grown up hearing is “the best”. But behavior *does* affect our life, and even a very small amount of debt can quickly get out of hand. Especially when illness, job loss, or divorce occur. Suddenly the manageable becomes impossible. Avoiding debt can be difficult, and not always completely possible, but it is a worthy goal. Pointing that out, and being grateful for the ability to be debt free is no condemnation of others. Those who feel condemend, particularly given Kelly’s gracious wording and open acknowledgement that others have different circumstances and repetitious assurances that she does not condemn others, well, seems to me folks are just looking for a reason to hate.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Margaret,

      I spoke these SAME words to hubby last night (on the way from the hospital with my Dad–hospitalized for the 3rd time since his heart attack the day of the tornadoes!)

      I am all too familiar with these hate groups, and should know better for even posting their comments and attempting to respond–there is NO right answer. Darned if I do, darned if I don’t. Even with the comments–my answers are wrong, torn apart and distorted. Oh but if I dare not post them? I’m just a coward who doesn’t have the answers and attempt to “hide the truth from my readers”.

      Funny, they have commented, “Oh I bet she takes a government handout now!” But if I don’t, well, you see what that makes me.

      And yes, I agree that we should ALL be glad for every person who doesn’t have to tap into the funding that really isn’t even there. It doesn’t make sense to chide someone for that.

      Thank you for seeing how insane this logic is…I knew my readers were smart.

    • Elle says:

      I am one of “those” people, and you misunderstand, probably on purpose. We eschew people who are already living on assistance having more kids, but if someone already has kids, then we’d rather see them fed.

      We’re pissed off at Kelly’s attitude that assistance is wicked. At least government assistance is. Church and internet assistance is fine in her book. Hypocritical. Kelly is a mini-celebrity and so will have the help she needs just by saying so (and notice how she hasn’t thanked those who’ve financially supported her!). So many other families haven’t pimped themselves online like she has, and so have no such safety net other than aid when things take a sudden and unexpected turn for the worse. Her attitude is one that looks down on others all the time.

      • Margaret says:

        Nonsense.

        She has never said it was wicked. And clarified multiple times in this post and the comments on that same point. And I don’t know what “celebrity” means to you, but Kelly is a mom-blogger like the rest of mom-bloggers.

        Her family’s choice not to take federal or state aid, and her church’s choice to support them in that means that there are fewer people dipping into that safety net, leaving what they might use available for others who don’t have a family/community that is helping them.

        And that makes you angry?

      • Word Warrior says:

        Elle,

        “and notice how she hasn’t thanked those who’ve financially supported her”

        What??! This is where the insanity is revealed. I have poured out my heart multiple times for those who have financially supported us–both here and I am personally writing thank you notes to everyone whose names/addresses I can find. Where on earth do you get this statement from? Furthermore, I have not personally asked for ANY assistance. All requests for donations have come from people who voluntarily wanted to help in that way.

        Comment with some sense, or not at all.

        One of several “thank you’s” I’ve posted:

        “Having such a huge community of friends–even if I’ve never met most of you–makes this journey so much easier!

        Some of you have actually sent family members out to help, one reader sent a big RV for us to have on the work site (!!), some have sent art supplies to my son, gift cards, monetary donations…I just can’t get over it. And your prayers…the most coveted of all your gifts.

        THANK YOU!!!!!”

        • Jen P says:

          I received a *hand-written, personal note* from Kelly this week on behalf of her and her family for the very small donation we sent to her the day after I read about the tornado.

  36. Elle says:

    You know you only receive as much as you do because you sell your family via this blog, right? There are many other Christian families who aren’t getting the amount of help you are, and their only “fault” is that they haven’t blogged their families’ lives and blogged their stupid ideas while complaining about people not agreeing with them, they way you have.

  37. Sarah says:

    Wow, lot of love going on here today. ;~) Those who are posting the negative comments (there may have been a few who disagreed a little bit with Kelly but did so without being negative; I’m not talking about them)are only displaying their envious, bitter hearts. That totally takes away any credibility they might have in their viewpoints and removes any sympathy that I might have with them.

    • Sarah says:

      “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh”

    • anne says:

      you arBe so correct, these hateful, bitter women are from that free jinger site and they live for spewing hate against Kelly and other women who simply teach Bible truths

  38. Melissa says:

    Its true that a lot of churches dont step up and help like they should. Just the other day a friend of my mothers had to find a ride down to the food stamp office to get proof that she was on food stamps so that she could take it to a church to recieve help paying her electric bill. In addition to that she has to come to church x amount of times, and there were a few other stipulations as well! HOW SAD!!!! Im so glad that God doesnt offer help to us on those terms! However not every church is like that, and most are ready and willing to help out in any way! But there is one major thing standing in the way….P R I D E!!!! We are so consumed with pride, worrying what others will think that we wouldnt dare ask for help from our churches! “What would sister-so-in-so think?!?!?” seems to be our attitudes. I will say that part of that is from the church as a whole making ppl feel like that, but also we are taught early on not to let on that we have problems. As christians however we need to let people know that WE know we are not perfect, but we are loved by a perfect God! I think thats just what Kelly does! She KNOWS she isnt perfect i.e “I dont have all the answers” and she has said MANY times how blessed she is to have the church family that she has! I think that if anything seeing how her church, and churches around the country/world have stepped up to help should encourage us! We should either step up and make our churches one of those kind, or seek out a church that trully is the body of Christ and not scared to get their hands dirty to help out their fellow brothers and sisters! keep on keepin on Kelly, God is using you in a MIGHTY way!!!!
    Blessing~ Melissa C

  39. Ginger says:

    Kelly, please don’t publish nasty comments. They aren’t edifying to you or to any of us either. 🙂 People who aren’t able to ask their questions in a mature manner are clearly not sincere in seeking answers; hateful words only seek hateful responses.
    I would greatly prefer to be ignorant of any hate comments you receive.
    Pray for them, possibly give them The Word, but your words will return void every time in these instances. Only God’s Word carries the promise of never returning void. 😀

  40. […] on over to one of my favorite blogs, Generation Cedar, for a great article from Kelly on the topic of getting out of debt, saving money and government […]

  41. Sarah Winn says:

    Kelly my dear sister in Christ,

    You have blessed me with the wisdom you have shared on you blog in many ways. When I found out you and your family lost your family along with the Lee family I was shaken and literally in tears. However I also know that God is always good especially to His people. I was excited to see how He would turn this all around and I knew without a doubt in my mind that He would generously take care of your family. Your story is and continues to be a great testimony of how God is always faithful. I am sure God is using this whole line of events to bless you and the Lee’s and all the other family’s in ways we don’t see and in ways you might not even see until some time down the road. All I know is that God is always ALWAYS good. I pray that He will continue to use this series of events and your blog for His glory and praise. It is about spreading the love of Jesus this life is but a breath!!

  42. Sarah Winn says:

    Sorry I meant to say lost your home not “lost your family” 🙂

  43. Katy says:

    So if the church doesn’t step up and take care of the community they are hypocrites. But if the church does step up and take care of the community and you accept that help, you are a hypocrite. Take it for what it is, a desire to just not like the church, not like those who are the church, and not like anyone that says “step up and help each other in love”. Many people want it all and don’t care if the government funds part of it. Many more want it all and don’t want to give to those in need so that the government can get back to what they are designed for (which is NOT paying our bills). Many people hate the church and will never see good in it, no matter how good it is. Do things God’s way and ignore the naysayers. They are not seeing God’s way as good and man’s way as subpar. They have their priorities out of whack.

  44. Kim says:

    “For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the tongue. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father and with it we curse men who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.” James 3:7-12

    It’s always easier to criticize and condemn across the screen, as I have found in the blogging sphere. As hurtful as it is to hear the comment that someone makes you sick, it is evident the commenter’s heart is filled with bitterness and resentment for whatever reason rather than joy and gladness. Only the life-giving breath of Christ can soften that heart and that’s the prayer going up today.

    I cannot imagine losing my home and every possession yet maintaining a blog to document the details of the disaster giving all glory and praise to God while at the same time confessing all humanness of emotion. Nothing but prayer for you Kelly and your family.

  45. Violet says:

    I think your perspective is refreshing. Lately, I have heard from fellow Catholics who think it is ok to choose to have a large family and rely on the “generosity” of the gov’t that is going broke. I have sympathy for unplanned cicumstances but having 6, 7, 8 or 9 kids knowing from the start you could not provide for them is morally wrong and I don’t hear anyone in my church saying that.

  46. Mom in florida says:

    Just curious..why don’t you shop at walmart?

    • Word Warrior says:

      Oh dear, we DO shop at Walmart, I’m afraid, for almost everything. I said “avoid it as much as possible” because every time we go we see things we “need” that we didn’t know we needed 😉 It saves money to shop less, no matter where you go.

  47. Renee says:

    Thank you for boldly speaking your testimony. It is a blessing to your readers. “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrew 4:12

  48. SavedbyGrace says:

    Hi Kelly. I haven’t posted in a LONG TIME but I have checked in often to see how ya’ll are doing. I’ve kept you and yours in my prayers as I know many others have.

    Some of these commenters have just really taken the cake and I’ve read enough to put my 2 cents in.

    Some of you folks are just outright nasty and bitter. Bitterness is rooted in selfishness and selfishness has greed as it’s granddaddy. Are you Christians? Kelly’s family has benefited mightily from God’s TLC, so have many other families. Some families benefit from blood family helping them and some benefit from Christ’s church giving assistance when it’s needed. But wonderously enough – it ALL comes from God’s grace and care.

    “Pond scum”? “Using a blog to sell your family”? Does Satan have a pinkie hold on you people? 50 yrs. old or not you certainly sound like a babe in Christ – if indeed you know Him. We as Christians are to esteem each other more highly than ourselves. You need to prayerfully consider scripture and learn not to take up an offense in someone else’s behalf ( Psa. 15: 1-3). Perhaps you need to learn not to be jealous. Whichever the case you definitely need to stop bathing with sandpaper and learn to rejoice at the blessings another recieves.

    Family members that haven’t received help from the church like they think they should – well have those family members given back to God what belongs to God? What makes you think that He will pour out His blessings on you or people you know when you don’t pour out your blessings on others first?

    Like Kelly I don’t have all the answers to lifes problems. Good people do suffer and not everyone gets the help they need. Thank goodness that God has put our nanny state government in place to help people when churches WON’T help. It’s not that those churches can’t, it’s that they WON’T. We as the body of Christ are to give. When someone needs a coat we give them ours. Someone needs a meal then we give them ours. Kelly has learned THE LESSON. There’s only one real lesson that we have to learn and that’s to

    ****Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Prov. 3:5 **********

    You don’t understand it neither do I. You give and you give without worrying what it’s going to cost you. In return you reap the blessings of Almighty God. The price you pay in return, in this world, is bitterness, rudeness, skepticism and mocking. Well, let’s just hope your faith is not false and you don’t hear “Depart from me I never knew you.”

    For the record- I can talk the talk because I have walked the walk. This is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it. Be glad to hear someone has been blessed beyond measure, don’t be jealous, don’t belittle, don’t take up an offense. Love others more than you love yourself. Even the widow gave her 2 mites and Christ made mention of her in the gospels because she gave ALL that she had to give. What, may I ask, have you given?

  49. Word Warrior says:

    Elle,

    Will you send me your real email address (through my contact form) or your mailing address (preferably both)? Don’t worry…I have good intentions, despite your anger towards me.

  50. Word Warrior says:

    Elle,

    I am so sorry about your present situation. You are SO WRONG to think I would “look down on your little family” in your hardship. It is just one more piece of evidence demonstrating the blindness through which you all view me. You don’t hear me. You don’t want to.

    For the record, we don’t receive 20K (not even CLOSE) in EIC, we have scraped by financially most of our married lives, I wouldn’t, in ANY way “look down” on your family for accepting assistance (I have friends who do also), and the post isn’t condescending unless you already “have it out for me”, which many of you do.

    I do NOT say financially hard times are due to wasteful choices. Wouldn’t that be ignorant of me since we have lived mostly in (“financially hard times”?) I said “often the problem lies in lifestyle choices”. “The problem” I’m referring to is not being on welfare. It’s thinking you can’t have more than 2 children without it. It’s the common issue of living outside of your means…and yes, that’s very common. I often address “general” problems on this blog and without fail, those with exceptions try to take offense when the post wasn’t even about their circumstance. Such is the case here.

    And if you’re wondering why I deleted your comment, it lies in this constant twisting of my words and intentions. If you all would argue what is really being said, respectfully, I would be glad to post your comments. But it takes a whopping amount of time just to unravel all the distortions. I truly don’t get it. It seems rather a huge waste of time to slander someone for things they don’t even really say.

    You guys think we have money that we do not. I’m sorry you’re upset about the funds we’ve received. We need to build a house back and they will help us do it. God has provided again. Most people would be glad about that.

    When I mentioned “I don’t have all the answers” regarding accepting gov. assistance, taxes was one area I was referring to. I am trying to figure out if there is a difference in say, accepting a tax refund and accepting FEMA assistance. I am not a hypocrite or “making rules for myself”. I am truly searching and still learning about all of this. And yes, I’m stubborn enough to refuse a tax refund if I deem it hypocritical of me to accept it. I know there are differences in tapping into government programs and funding that are already depleted, and receiving tax refunds back from a government that overtaxes (read: “steals”) money from its citizens at every turn. But maybe not that much. Perhaps we will consider this an inconsistency.

    None of my posts have ever degraded those who must take assistance. My intent in discussing these issues is to “break the chain”. We are in an economic crisis as a whole nation because of gov. over-spending. I submit there is a better solution, and I simply talk about our need to find it. This is not a “me against them” topic as you all have made it. We are all struggling to make ends meet and we all need help from time to time and we all need to find answers better than the one our government has offered. Doing the same thing, headed for economic disaster is insane….for us all.

    If you will lay down your hatred long enough to really hear me, see my true intentions and stop making me out to be something I’m not, you would see that I am another mom just like you who stresses and worries over finances just like you. BUT, I have a hope. And I pray for you to find that hope. The hope is that at our very worst He has never forsaken us. He HAS always provided for our daily needs (food and clothing, as promised in Scripture) and He will cause His face to shine upon those who fear Him.

    I am begging you for your mailing address–even if you feel better setting up and sending me a P.O. Box.

    • Lori says:

      Hi Kelly! Yes, there is a difference between accepting a tax refund, or even a tax credit, and accepting a gov’t handout.

      A tax refund is just that: a return of money that you accidentally overpaid (usually through too great withholdings)

      A tax credit is essentially the gov’t saying, “well, you’re a good girl, doing good things of which we gov’t lords approve, we’ll allow you to keep a little extra of your own money this year.”

      Both of these examples show the gov’t leaving you w/ your own money.
      With a gov’t handout, whether food stamps of FEMA, you’re on the receiving end of wealth redistribution – money that was taken from someone else first. First confiscated from a productive citizen, then filtered through gov’t agencies (who gobble up the majority of our tax money in the running of their agency and gov’t employee perks) – read “lots of wastage,” then a tiny portion of which trickles down the supposedly needy (lots time they are, lots of times they just know how to work the system).

      I would far, far rather send my money to your church that puts 100% of the money toward needs, and even even church member time (talk about bang for my donor buck!). Instead of my money going to the gov’t, of which you get a tiny portion (wealth redistribution issues aside).

      • Lori says:

        Another, tangential thought: I would say not only is a citizen ethically allowed to keep as much of her money as legally possible, I am inclined to say that she is morally oblicagated to as a Christian. The Bible speaks often of being a good steward, or giving to the *actually* needy (needy as defined in the *Bible’s* terms), neither of which our gov’t does well, and leaving an inheritance to our children. Taxes are especially offensive there, taking not only earned money, but inherited money. And then appropriating our confiscated money to all kinds of shameful activities!

        We Christians have teachings that direct our the use of our money. The gov’t gets in the way of biblical use of our money. Please keep all the income you legally are allowed to keep (refunds and credits), and use that money in biblical ways.

      • Word Warrior says:

        Lori,

        Thank you for explaining…I have lots to learn 😉

  51. Jenny says:

    I’m confused, did you not have homeowner’s insurance? I’m not sure why so much assistance is required if so. We have savings, so we wouldn’t need FEMA either, although I’m positive that no one would give us 35K, although my family would help with whatever we needed initially before we could liquidate assets, etc. I’m always amazed that having no debt is seen as such an accomplishment these days. We just never did debt, except a mortgage. There’s no way to be in debt if you never accumulate it in the first place. Of course, I’m also puzzled by all the ipods, tatoos, kindles, fancy TV’s etc. that people have. If we don’t pay cash, we don’t get it and never have. We would qualify for food stamps due to unemployment, but we have resources to provide food, so we are not doing it as I think for me personally, it would not be right. However, if I needed it to feed my children, there would be no question. I have 4 of them, children that is.

    • Word Warrior says:

      No; we were in a “rent to purchase” agreement.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Kudos that you have stayed out of debt. That IS the best way to avoid it 😉

    • R. F. says:

      Homeowners insurance is great, but it doesn’t always cover the cost of a full replacement. What you recieve may not cover all your belongings in the home, the clean up of your property, etc.

      • Jenny says:

        It all depends on whether you get full replacement coverage or not, there are different types. We’ve always had full replacement and that’s really what people need. Renters insurance is available also, just FYI for the future, it’s pretty inexpensive as I recall when we had it back when we were renting, our renters have it now and we insure the building.

        • R. F. says:

          Full replacement as defined by the insurance company does not always fullfill “full replacement” in real life. What they actually replace, and what you actually lost is very different.

          • Jenny says:

            Good records are very important. I’ve been told to videotape our whole house and put it somewhere else. We did this years ago and need to do it again, because the odds of remembering every single thing you have are pretty low, and of course the video recording serves as proof as well.

  52. Debbie says:

    Dear Kelly,

    Thank you for sharing the wisdom that the Lord has shown you through the years regarding finances, family life, etc. Also thank you for letting the Lord’s love flow through you to others in the things you write, even to those who have misunderstood or are upset. Be encouraged! God is using you and your blog to bless and teach others.

  53. Kelly, there’s really no reason to post their bitter, malicious comments because they simply repost them on their board anyway so that they can get a high-five from the mob over there. These ladies (term used loosely) are not interested in debate or understanding you better. They are political, social, and, yes, religious bigots who are incapable of seeing anyone’s point of view that does not closely align with theirs. Their site is the ultimate groupthink where there is no individuality nor room to express alternative positions. Anyone who dares to defend the “fundie” lifestyle is ridiculed, labeled a troll, and eventually silenced.

    My dear sister, don’t worry about them or their greedy desire for attention. The Lord has given you an amazing platform here to minister to women and their families. Please don’t be derailed by those who do not have eyes to see or ears to hear.

  54. Lori says:

    Dear Kelly, I love to read about what God has done in your life and the ways He’s providing for your needs.

    It settles my heart as to your care and provision.
    I’m a sucker for happy endings (being bathed in love and care is that happy ending)
    I love to see the way God works. It refreshes my trust in His cares.
    With all the junk people do and endure, I love to see and hear about stories where people do what is called of them – and so much more!

    Also, a lot of Americans haven’t realized it yet, but our dollar has only begun its downward spiral. We’ve already noticed our bills going up – it’s because the dollar is losing its purchasing power. But China and Russia (Russia is a big holder of our dollar, China is the biggest by far) have both announced that they’re not only planning to stop buying dollars, but they’re dumping their reserves.

    Our dollar has no inherent value as fiat money. Its only value is the trust people have in its percieved value, and supply and demand. Just the fact that China and Russia no longer have trust in our money means that the dollar’s value (ha! – “value”) is going to be (has been) adversely affected. Also our inflation overincreases the supply of our money in relation to the demand, which devalues our money (all that “bailout” money was virtually printed for the purpose. It was not in reserve or even in circulation. It was created. That’s inflation). Then China and Russian actually dumping dollar reserves will further devalue our money.

    Why am I talking about this?
    Your postings are very, very important for 2 reasons.
    1. As our dollars buy less and less, we Americans are going to have to pinch harder and stretch further than we ever had in our lifetimes. You know how to do that better than most. You do it while still maintaining a sweetness and richness to your family life. We need to learn from you.

    2. More and more peole are going to be in need. People who have a lot of debt and/or who are living hand-to-mouth already are going to need real help. Your church is going to be an example about ways of doing that. We need to learn from this church.

    We must not rely on our gov’t to save us from our finantial woes. Besides it being unethical (it’s idolatry to put your trust into the gov’t for that where it must be in God), it is foolish.

    40 years ago the Soviet Union was believed to be a nearly untoppleable powerhouse. It was the ultimate in gov’t power to plan and redistribute wealth. But it fell – crashed. And we found out that the people in the later years of the SU lived in poverty (unless they worked for the gov’t anyway). We must not be so foolish as to put the same kind of trust in the power of our gov’t as people put into the the power of Soviet Union gov’t. The so called “safety nets” will break under the weight of too much use and too little support (bad money). I know I don’t want to be relying on that frayed net when it breaks. I want to be in a church like yours.

    So keep writing. We have a lot to learn and you have a lot to teach: living with less money, and more grace.

    Thank you!

  55. RC says:

    Kelly,

    I read your post and see you stating the true fact that some people assume families with lots of kids don’t have the funds to feed their kids. My family just got off of food stamps and I don’t feel you are judging us for our decision to use food stamps. You are speaking the truth about your situation and your opinion of government assistance. Thank you for sharing hope with us.

  56. Bethany says:

    Hi ladies,

    I realize that I am coming late to the discussion, but I do have a question that I hope you all can help me with.

    My husband and I believe that the larger Church should help our brothers and sisters in need. Recently, a single mother started attending our church. She had recently moved to this country (not the US) and was about to be homeless. Through the minister at church, we supplied her with about 3 months rent and suggestions on where to find cheap, safe housing. We also sent her suggestions on where to find a job suitable for her; we live in a country that does not support homeschooling and where it is easy for moms to find part time work while the kids are in school. (Posters at the train station even advertise for jobs for moms!)

    However, she did not find housing. She stayed with members of our church until they lost patience (and many of the church members are quite generous and patient!). Her children were taken away by the foster care system as she was homeless. She used the potential rent money for hotels.

    Now she is, once again, without a place to stay. We have suggested Salvation Army shelters, cheap summer rentals, hostels, supportive housing run for the homeless that teaches life skills. She calls us looking for money or to stay with us.

    What is our duty as Christians? We are willing to support her, but are not sure how. Suggestions? Ideas?

    Many many thanks!

    • Lori says:

      Hi Bethany,
      Wow, how wonderful that your church reached out to her. The Bible gives a lot of ways to help the needy.

      Gleaning – landowners were admonished to leave the corners of their fields unharvested (Lev 19:9), and it the field workers accidentally dropped some grain stalks, they had to leave them on the ground. These remnants were for the less fortunate to pick up (we remember this most vividly in Ruth’s story). There was no punishment if a landowner didn’t do this, but it was an admonishion. The way this is applied today is by making a needy person trade work for help. You must work for your daily sustenance. 2 Thess 3:10 – “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” I highly recommend the book _Bringing in the Sheaves_ by Rev. George Grant (super readable), which is available to download or read online for free here: http://www.entrewave.com/freebooks/sidefrm2.htm

      Charity – a believer is of course admonished to give charitably, but that’s extra – not necessarily to be a needy person’s full time support (except w/ few exceptions, see below). Every third year a believer’s tithe went to celebration! and that included “the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow” (Deut 26:12). Hebrews were also allowed to beg, but really that shouldn’t replace *work* and productivity.

      Someone who really wanted security but who wasn’t a self-starter could sell him/herself into indentured servitude (these people are sometimes translated as “slaves” but it’s what we know as indentured servants). They would be paid (I think) up front, and that could be applied to the needy person’s immediate needs, or debt, or set aside. They had to be freed in the year of jubilee (Lev 25:40, Lev 25:50 – even if they wanted to contract themselves longer), unless they voluntarily bound themselves to their master as a bondservant, which was for life.

      Other than that I think only certain widows were the adults who qualified for full time support by the church – there was a list of requirements (1 Tim 5). This woman sounds like she doesn’t qualify.

      Also, it’s worth pointing out that the ways a church helps – the church can help by finantially supporting a good charitable organization, then sending the needy person there with a letter of recommendation. It’s not like every church has to have its own shelter, food bank, etc. The church can support those ministries finantially, but I think those charities should be following the biblical admonitions as to whom to help first.

      The idea of qualifiers for assistance might seem harsh, but it’s God’s wisdom. And while He doesn’t have to explain Himself to us, and while we don’t have to understand to obey, it actually does make sense. For one, we don’t end up (in our good intention) subsidizing indolence and vice (like someone who spends his money on frivolity or drugs, or spends his time in indolence,then wants a handout to fill the gaps); and for another, there’s always a limited funds (it’s the nature of life), and for every person who receives money who doesn’t need it by the Bible’s standard, there’s someone who does need it and must do without.

      I’ve quoted extensively from the Old Testament, which a lot of Christians think is invalid now – but it isn’t. Jesus and the apostles also quoted extensively from the OT themselves (yes, even after the death and resurrection of Christ), and Jesus said “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matt 5:17,18) The Laws of God show us the heart of God as much as the Gospels do (I highly recommend rereading Psalm 119, a love song to God and his commandments/judgements/precepts. You can’t separate the heart of God and the wisdom of God from his Commandments)

      • Lori says:

        Oh yes – it is also worth noting that strangers/sojourners in Israel were allowed to receive the above help (even though they weren’t Jewish). BUT they had to obey Israel’s laws (Lev 24:22). In today’s application that would translate as requiring those who want help from the church to submit to the church’s teaching on biblical behaviour, whether or not they believe the church is right, or the Bible is the Word of God. The adulturer must stop philandering, the alchoholic must give up overindulgence, the fornicator must practice chastity, etc.

  57. Angie says:

    Okay, I am just going to write from my own circumstances, as I see there is so much here already underway it would be hard to respond to it all. I appreciated the post, I don’t think there were hateful words, I do think there are some misunderstandings. My husband and I are debt free EXCEPT our house. That is a fairly lengthy story, but by God’s gracious hand he led us from a position of paying more on rent each month to being able to buy a house that is $300 less a month in mortgage in order to be better able to pay our other daily living needs, which we built ourselves and have a considerable amount of sweat equity in it even in the bad economy and someday will be able to do more with, than pumping money down the rent drain. We do not have credit cards, we own 2 $1000 vehicles that he fixes himself, we homeschool, we do not buy new things, I have bought 1 outfit for 2 of my boys and I have 5 kids – that’s it. I live really frugally – so much of what I have has been given to me. However, we still are not making ends meet. My husband has tried for other jobs (he has one it just isn’t paying much – he has a double degree) and I am currently beginning my own business we still are not making ends meet. We are accepting government assistance. It pays for my kids when they need to go to the doctor – I am very naturalistic and try to help them as much as I can with diet and home-remedies before needing to utilize that – but some things need a doctors help. And we are on food-stamps. Like I said I have 5 kids now and believe that children are a blessing and that God will provide. I was raised to not think it is okay to accept government assistance – it has been a shame to me, not only from the world that doesn’t understand why I would have kids like i have but also from the Christian community as well – good intentions they may be, but a girl on food stamps certainly does not feel love when people for the most part “anonymously” state how they really feel in a place like this – it has put words to “looks” I have “felt” from the Church body. I find so much solace in words found in the story of Joseph – read with me now from Genesis 45:6-8 “For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord to all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.” Joseph was a man of God, taken to a land that was God-less and was used by God to provide for not only God’s people but people in general. It was government assistance at its best, it was not church charity. If we are to be living debt free as I agree it is best to do then for those who are in debt (I would guess the majority of people in the US at least have a home loan) who decides where they are to “give” their money. Is your church body really “free” to give money to you because you are in a struggle if they themselves really owe that money to the lender for their house? What makes their giving to you right when it is not their money to give, for MOST, truly it is not if they had paid for the house they live in (which most can not afford the house they live in) they would have no money to give! That being the case then the body of Christ can not uphold others in need because they have nothing to give. I know that there are many that live in excess – even as I type this I am using my own internet – I could let go of that expense and the expense of a phone – my 2 luxury’s – we all have them. But the word of God shows that he has placed people in office to preserve the very lives of a people that don’t serve him! God has provided for people to have food and housing and medical care even when the church fails. To God be the glory and praise for my sustenance in my time of need!

    • Lori says:

      Angie – “Josheph…was used by God to provide for not only God’s people but people in general. It was government assistance at its best, it was not church charity.”

      Actually that’s not true. They didn’t receive “gov’t assistance” in the way you’re using it (handouts). The Egyptians sold their land to Pharaoh in exchange for grain. They were allowed to reside on that land, but they became Pharaoh’s sharecroppers. The only reason that the Hebrews didn’t suffer this fate was because Joseph, in his love for his brothers, provided for them to live on his land, Goshen (Gen 45). That’s private charity, not gov’t assistance.

      I bear you no ill-will. But you’ve said something untrue about the Bible, so I respond to that specifically.

      God delegates authority. The spheres of authority are self-gov’t, family gov’t, church gov’t, civil gov’t, and God’s gov’t which is over all. None of the first four can take God-ordained authority from another sphere w/out offending God’s authority/gov’t: “For there is no authority except from God” (Rom 13:1). The only authority given to the civil gov’t is to punish evildoers, and praise the righteous “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Rom 13:3,4). The Bible delegates power (like “enumerated power”). What power is used that is not delegated by God is false, unbiblical, and unethical.

      • Angie says:

        Lori – thank you – I have been pondering this throughout today wondering what would be said. I value your response! I will have to take time to read later in my Bible as I have a client coming in a few moments, but I was wondering what your thoughts are on the fact that I have in the past paid my taxes and though I am currently getting a full refund (obviously we have no money if we are on food stamps) I will continue to file taxes and in the future if the Lord wills I will have enough to pay into the system again. So I may not have sold my land to the governement in return for food and become a share cropper, but I am part of this country, we haven’t stopped working and we are abiding by the rules. What then? Thank you for your sweetness in reply too 🙂

        • Lori says:

          Hi Angie, I’m going to start off assuming that you’re a member of a local church. I’d go to them (either your elder or your minister, depending on how your church is organized), and explain the situation. You’ll need to be specific w/ what you’re doing and what you need. I’d think it would be helpful to have some specific numbers of what you need to be off food stamps, and what else you need. Your husband is a working man. You’re a working mom (teacher of 5!). You’re Bible-believers, Bible-followers. You’ll want to have Scripture references about Church handy. If they say, “Well, don’t worry. God won’t give you more than you can endure. Buck up,” you’ll want to remind them of James 2:16 (among others). Try to anticipate their potential responses, especially if the church hasn’t really dealt w/ these things. Perhaps suggest a time frame? Three months? Six months? I don’t know, I’m just thinking out loud about that. Your elders will mainly want to know that the money will be wisely spent, which is why you’re preparing these things in advance. But people like to know their efforts are useful and appreciated. That’s why I think they’ll be honored to help you. They’ll feel like they’re contributing to something real. Don’t feel ashamed either. You’re giving them an opportunity to show love, to be like Jesus in service, and to really connect to you! It’s their blessing! I’m not saying no one will ever look cross-ways at you (like if you show up w/ a new-to-you dress), because those types are in the church too, but this could be a real blessing *both* ways. If they refuse to help, you might need to consider that you’ve been attending a church of Christians-in-name-only (Matt 7:21), and hopefully God will lead you to a church of true believers soon.

          I think the book I mentioned earlier, _Bringing in the Sheaves_, (free here: http://www.entrewave.com/freebooks/sidefrm2.htm) will be very helpful in preparing for the meeting. You should be able to read it in two or three evenings. Pray a lot over your church leaders in advance – take the Scriptures on charity and pure love and pray those verses over the elders and the situation.

          One last thing, should it come up: the Bible teaches that a theif must repay what he stole, plus restitution (Lev 22; Prov 6:30,31; etc). But I don’t see as you can do that. You didn’t steal from the gov’t, and you have no way of getting money back directly to the people from whom the gov’t conficascated the money. Zaccheus had that option. You don’t. If you wish, you are welcome to e-mail me as heylorilori(at)yahoo(dot)com

          • Angie says:

            Lori, I didn’t see this yesterday and I posted another question further down (I am new to this posting on a blog thing!) Yes I am from a Bible Believing Bible following church – that is their only affiliation and they do have programs in place for helping people of which we have often been the recipient, but my church is full of families who are currently out of work and I can’t think of one well do to person in the entire bunch – all blue collar workers. So they have given out of the abundance that they have and it has covered things like helping out with car problems or a bad month with no money for rent, but they have no where near the funds to supply for the monthly needs of food for our 7 members as well as others – I will look into the book – it sounds like a good resource!

    • Lori says:

      I would also like to say that you sound like an inspiring woman! I think your church should feel honored to help a family like yours through a hard time! Truly!

      • Cathy says:

        Lori, Please reconcile what you’ve written w/what Matthew 5:42 commands, and again in Luke 6:30.

        I, too, came to this discussion late, but I’ve read nearly all the comments, and take exception to the words “hand out” used by Lori, w/regard to food stamps, etc. From where I sit, the phrase “hand out” is a pejorative.

        It’s a misnomer to use the words “government assistance,” when, on its own, the government cannot generate money. The money comes from us, the taxpayers. I am not on the side of the government (conservative politically), but the idea that the commenters don’t accept “government help (again, a misnomer),” is preposterous. Dairy products, corn, and a myriad of other things that we purchase are government-subsidized. Therefore, since the farmers are paid subsidies, we are reaping (no pun intended) the benefits.

        Think about this one: last year, we refinanced our mortgage. The bank lopped off part of the principal (we, like many Californians, are underwater), and then reduced our interest rate appreciably. There are any number of government programs in place (again, put in place via the taxpayers, of which I am one), and while we didn’t qualify for one of the gov’t programs, the bank modified our loan through one of its programs. However, if we qualified for one of those programs, we most likely would have taken advantage of it. These are matters of conscience, and I would argue that if we continued to pay the higher payment, we would have been less able to give to what matters to us.

        If we lost our house, we would most probably look to our homeowner’s, and then to a low interest loan (through programs like FEMA). I hope that we never have to apply for food stamps, or welfare, but in these tough economic times, I know fine, hardworking folks who’ve had to take them.

        Like you, Kelly, I have few answers, but I am not sure some of the comments that have been written are any more kind than some of your more vocal opponents. The tone in some of the comments (from fellow believers) is almost smug, as though they would never stoop to food stamps, or loans. These issues are issues of preference (if a person has convictions about these sorts of things, then, by all means, don’t use them), and a case could be made that we ALL accept gov’t handouts by virtue of buying products that are subsidized. The nonnegotiables are the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, salvation by grace, through faith, through Christ, issues of life, the Godhead, etc. These other things may be nice to discuss, but NONE of us have all the answers. At the very least, the waters are muddied. And, geepers, Lori, if you tout the Old Testament as a way to live, then I hope that you’re consistent w/the laws in terms of mixing particular materials, wearing tassels on your clothing, etc.

        I contend that these are matters of the heart, and God leads us all differently. I can’t even love the Lord w/all my heart, mind and soul, so I probably should concentrate on that.

        • Word Warrior says:

          Cathy,

          You bring up an important point/consideration that reminds me to qualify my use of the phrase “government assistance”…

          “a case could be made that we ALL accept gov’t handouts by virtue of buying products that are subsidized”

          This is precisely why the water gets muddied for me to verbalize a definitive stance. So *my* particular use of the term “gov. assistance” in the post is basically an over-generalization of the common types we think of–food stamps, welfare, etc.

          (I asked a wise man about this topic. I said, “Where do we draw the line, if it’s so confusing?” His answer, “Everywhere we can.”)

          I do, however, believe we are all about to suffer heavily for the government’s over-stepping its boundaries of authority, as Lori so well explained, in this area. And though I don’t know all the answers, I think we have to break the cycle of what’s NOT working. The truth is, life is messy, in every way. And we create systems that make it very difficult to dissolve. And we become dependent on those systems that make changing or removing them very painful for many people.

          I also know hard working people who have had to accept food stamps which is why I tried to clarify that I wasn’t intending to be derogatory, just to make a simple statement that one doesn’t have to just *assume* because we have a large family we must apply for these programs.

          It was a word of defense, if I’m honest, in a culture that is already so hostile simply because we have more than a few children, and it certainly doesn’t help when the rumor is “the Crawford’s have a hundred children and they’re on welfare” 😉

          • Cathy says:

            I get what you’re saying. I totally agree that there has been, and will continue to be a steep price to pay because of the government dependence that has been created by none other than the government. Our property taxes are about 4 grand/yr, and the voters in my city voted to raise the sales tax by .50% to a whopping 9.75%. I feel soaked every time that I make a purchase in my city.

            I understand that you were merely speaking for you and your family. However, I think it’s hard to make a black and white case biblically on certain issues . For example, when the Bible says that a person who doesn’t work shouldn’t eat, yet in the passages that I cited (in my question to Lori), we are commanded to give to “whoever asks,” w/out stipulation, then what we are to do? To the homeless guy who asks money of me, do I need to ask him if he has gainful employment? Or do I give freely?

            These are the kinds of things that are hard to reconcile. That’s why (IMO) the heart of the matter, so to speak, is the heart of the matter. I guess that I’d rather err on the side of grace…I know that this is slightly off topic.

            But, back to your post, oftentimes, w/posts like these, it brings out the fangs–on both sides. I seriously doubt that when I stand before God (and I don’t pretend to know His mind), He’ll ask me if I took a loan from FEMA, or if I claimed the child tax credit on my income tax (I did). That’s all I’m sayin’.

            And, you already know that I have a “hundred” kids, as well. (Insert smiley face here–no idea how this program works!)

            • Word Warrior says:

              Cathy,

              I hear what you’re saying, but just for the record, this brings up an important point that many Christians disagree on. Some of us are afraid to draw a line in the sand on ANY subject, for fear of offense, claiming that the only thing that really matters is salvation.

              However, I believe the Bible has the answers for ALL of life,including how we live, how we spend our money, etc. Are these salvific in nature? Not necessarily, but they come with grave consequences when we don’t heed the wisdom of Scripture. That’s where this subject falls to me. No one is claiming it’s a sin to do A or B regarding government funding or many other such topics. We ARE saying that there are answers, outlined in Scripture that will cause a culture/nation to flourish if followed, or perish if not.

              • Cathy says:

                Please point me to Scripture that prohibits taking from gov’t programs. I am not an apologist for the gov’t, but I don’t think that the Bible speaks to the US “flourishing” because we do things Biblically. It isn’t a theocracy, and it’s not going to follow Scriptural mandates. BUT, you and I have disagreed in the past, and I’m sure we’ll disagree in the future. That’s just the nature of the beast.

                GO TO SLEEP, woman!

                • Word Warrior says:

                  Cathy,

                  I believe there are principles which speak to all of life, not specific verses for specific circumstances. And while I’m not smart enough (still studying this issue!) to make a thorough case here, suffice it to say that generally, programs that require the government to take from one group of people in order to give to another is, in theory, theft, and thereby unbiblical, even though it is truly helpful to many people.

                  So this brings up an interesting point, a point that might not be as “offensive” if people understood what I’m saying…it’s not the “taking from the government” that is wrong; it’s the program itself and the model upon which it is built that’s got us in such a mess. People need help–no doubt! But the particular way the government has answered that need is erroneous, IMO.

                  And though we are not a theocracy, I still believe that the Creator of the universe built his universe on principles that are good and useful for all of mankind, whether one believes in Him or not. Make sense?

                  • Cathy says:

                    OK, fair enough. BUT, the question remains. WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IT? My time and energy can be used to a better purpose by sharing the Gospel, and living the Gospel. I can spend my time railing (and I do), but the real world in which I live requires my time and energy be spent to help my family, get to know my g’kids, help my man any way that I can, etc. I seethe nearly every time that I read Drudge (which is several times a day), but I’ll be darned if I’m going to go picket my senator’s office for things like you’ve mentioned. So, I try to roll w/it (albeit, unsuccessfully), and trust God to ferret out the garbage.

                    Gotta go run the treadmill. Now THAT requires lots of my energy.

        • Lori says:

          Hi Cathy. No, I’m not worried about mixing threads in my fabric. The purity laws were always meant to point us to Christ’s purity. That purity is fully imputed to us. We can’t be purer than He. However, the morality laws still stand. They are the definition of Love according to Christ. “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” If you are so interested in the Hebrew attire though, I refer you to Gary North:

          “The judicial issue of the third prohibition of Leviticus 19:19 was never the “unnatural” mixing of fabrics; all fabrics are unnatural.

          The issue was exclusively symbolic and ritualistic. The prohibition against wearing mixed wool-linen clothing had to do with priestly sacrifices and priestly clothing in a nation of priests. Wool makes people retain sweat on their bodies; linen does not. Thus, ritually speaking, the two fibers were at cross purposes.” (_Leviticus_ Appendix G, p. 1619)

        • Lori says:

          Regarding Luke 6:20 – the context is suffering wrongs. We can get a fuller understanding by not only looking at the preceding verses, but also the parallel passage in Matt 5: ” I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away” (verses 39-42). Jesus is teaching us how to endure wrongs. Those who ask abusively of us are evil (v. 39). I do suffer wrongs when I pay unbiblical taxes. The gov’t slaps me, and I must pay my taxes (turn the other cheek), but they are evil requiring an ungodly, unbiblical demand of me. If they ask for my things when they shouldn’t, they are evil (v. 39). The person you brought up Jesus describes as evil. I’m glad you brought up this passage (albeit the Luke version), as it illustrates what people must endure trying to live by the Bible in a world that deems the Bible as irrelevant to this world. But please keep in mind, we don’t live under Caesar. We live under the Constitution, and may (and should) redress our grievances, as Americans, and as Christians. I have a grievance with our tax code, even while enduring the slapping of my face (according to Christ’s sermon you brought up).

          • Cathy says:

            Lori,

            I don’t agree w/your assessment of Matthew 5:42–at all. There are a myriad of subjects that Jesus covers in Matthew 5. The context of that chapter includes the taking of oaths, divorce, etc. In every commentary that I’ve read, the explanation is the same. Maybe I was looking for a loophole and that’s why I’ve read so many of them! 🙂

            PS Kelly, feel free to remove the first posting of my comment. I must not have hit the correct “reply” button.

  58. Melissa says:

    I am so supportive of those who can manage without government assistance. Our daughter was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago and we are extremely thankful for state aid. Her treatment has gone into the millions of dollars, but she is alive and well now, so I believe the government definitely has a place and is so willing to put out that much for the life of 1 child!

    • Word Warrior says:

      Melissa,

      I’m so sorry about the struggle with your daughter’s health. And I appreciate that you are not offended with my intentions with this post (in discussing the “doability” of living without assistance in a typical situation), as well as being “supportive” of families who do not need assistance, while in the midst of finding the need for your family. That is admirable of you.

  59. Angie says:

    Thanks again for more feedback – heres my next questions: so what about taking a tax break for say – buying a new car, or a first time homebuyers credit, or business deductions? is that somehow the government giving you back money you already paid to them? I honestly don’t understand all this and I know you all have said that you don’t have all the answers, but these are big issues to me – if I felt like I was doing wrong I wouldn’t want to continue in sinning so I do want to seek the truth. I don’t see taking those credits as being any different than redistribution of wealth and yet I don’t know of anyone who would turn it down – do you? I have never ceased to be amazed at how far we can go to draw lines for ourselves so maybe there are those out there – I won’t be surprised if you say yes. But again, I feel like i have given the government money and I do plan to continue to do that and we are working hard but it just not enough to make ends meet. I just don’t see how it is wrong.

    • Lori says:

      Hi Angie – I think it’s great that you’re asking these questions. I too am just a student of these things, but I’ll try.

      About tax refunds and credits, I addressed that to Kelly under comment 50. Except for one thing – the credit for first time homeowners: I think there’s a (new) version of that practice that is a different kind of credit than say, the earned income credit – it’s actually credit like a loan. You have to pay that one back, with interest. I’m mainly mentioning that because it has become confusing to a lot of people who thought it was like an EIC, then were blindsided w/ a credit bill they weren’t ready for! So definitely double-check that one!

      No, the gov’t should not be giving out loans. That’s a bank’s job. To give out loans, the gov’t must take that money from taxpayers. If the borrower defaults on the loan, who’s paying the money back to the taxpayers? But that’s beside the point. The point is that God has set up spheres of authority. So just like your elder can not come to you and force you to loan money to someone you’ve never met, neither can the gov’t according to Scripture. We don’t want to engage in unethical transactions any more than we have to. We don’t want to legitimize it and risk committing Psalm 50:18. We’re not going to be able to extract ourselves from this corrupt system – not in our lifetimes. But we can fight for reform for our children’s sake. We are going to have to be the ones to take the slap in the face (Matt 5:39-42) from the evil one, paying in and not getting anything out, because we fight for the end of the offense (if the offender isn’t bankrupt first).

      I hope this comment and the 2 to Kelly are somewhat helpful. I’m afraid they won’t be though, as it’s a really difficult topic. But we shouldn’t shy away from the tough topics though, right? 🙂

  60. Cathy says:

    Lori,

    I don’t agree w/your assessment of Matthew 5:42–at all. There are a myriad of subjects that Jesus covers in Matthew 5. The context of that chapter includes the taking of oaths, divorce, etc. In every commentary that I’ve read, the explanation is the same. Maybe I was looking for a loophole and that’s why I’ve read so many of them! 🙂

  61. Cathy says:

    Angie, I have hardly any answers, but I’m struck by how Peter believed he was pleasing God when he refused to eat “unclean” foods, and the Lord rebuked him. Before Paul was converted HE, TOO, thought that he was pleasing God by persecuting Christians. So, a lot is done in God’s name that doesn’t always jive.

    For me, personally, I have no problem taking every tax break I can get. I wonder about the other commenters…do you claim charitable giving on your income tax each year? That’s what I mean by muddied waters.

    Angie, what does your conscience allow? What does your husband have to say about it? Those are the questions that I would consider.

    Cathy

    • Angie says:

      Cathy, I read a lot yesterday and that is what I kept coming back to also. That I needed to have a right conscience before God in what I do and happy the man would be. So that is where I stand on the issue for now, that if I have looked into the matter and prayed about it and my conscience is clear before God than I am good. And for those who feel strongly convicted that this is wrong than all the power to them to figure it out with God. I have had the hard conviction of having kids as God wills it and it is hard, but I trust God for it. I see myriads of Christians around me that don’t share that belief and have a clear conscience before God – we are both at peace. So we learn to live together as Christians, peaceably, with love.

  62. Flora Poste says:

    I wanted to clear up a possible misunderstanding about the Earned Income Credit in Lori’s comment above. This is NOT a tax refund of taxes you have already paid. The EIC is the largest federal anti-poverty program in the US. Through this program, tax money is taken from higher income taxpayers and redistributed to low income tax filers. Many many people pay no federal income taxes at all and receive an EIC payment. Others receive more in EIC than they paid in withholding.

    Also, food stamps are run out of the US Department of Agriculture and are in a sense an agricultural subsidy – actually the only subsidy that many small organic farmers in my county receive.

    • Lori says:

      Flora – “the Earned Income Credit… is NOT a tax refund of taxes you have already paid.”

      Technically that’s true, and I made that distinction in my comment to Kelly (below comment 50). I said that “A tax credit is essentially the gov’t saying, ‘well, you’re a good girl, doing good things of which we gov’t lords approve, we’ll allow you to keep a little extra of your own money this year.'” Getting a credit for having kids is good for the country (we’re creating more units to grow up and pay into the social security system among other things). It is referred to as an anti-poverty measure – but in most cases, in practice, it’s just a person keeping more of their own money. It would be like if a certain state gave a 70 year old a property tax credit – they can call it an “anti-poverty measure” if they want to, but in practice it just works out to that person person just keeping more of their own money.

      I’m not saying that a person can’t get money out that they didn’t pay in, I’m just saying that I don’t think it usually works out like that. Most people only have 2 kids, and if they can use those 2 kids tax credits to (effectively) get out of paying federal taxes (by having a $0 net loss to the Feds), then that’s fine.

      • Lori says:

        Whoops – that should have been “getting credit for having kids because having kids it good for the country.” Maybe it made sense anyway…

      • Angie says:

        are you saying that it is not fine for me to take the credit for the 5 kids that I have? because I will be getting back more than I paid in because I believe that children are a blessing and I am taking them as God gives them to me. Well He hasn’t messed around much – I have had 5 in 6 years! and might just have more if the good Lord wills it 🙂 I think this is getting to confusing for me! hahaha

      • R. F. says:

        I wish taxes did work this way, only getting back what you put in. But unfortunately it isn’t so. As a self employed individual my husband has nothing taken out of his checks. He doesn’t get the typical paycheck. He recieves personal checks for the people he builds for whether it is $500 for a small porch or $5000 for a new roof. Absolutely nothing is given in taxes to the government. But because we have 4 children, I don’t work and we run a buisness out of our home, when we fill taxes in April we were eligible to recieve $7000 “return” from federal and another $3000 from the state. As you can see it is not really a return, we haven’t given them anything. It really is redistribution of wealth. I hate it when people claim it is unfair that the rich recieve tax breaks and the poor don’t. It is hard to give a tax break to people who don’t pay taxes.

        • Flora Poste says:

          Following up on the EIC issue above. According to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, the bottom 40 percent of wage earners make a profit on federal income tax:

          The bottom 40 percent, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes. For those people, the government sends them a payment.

          “We have 50 percent of people who are getting something for nothing,” said Curtis Dubay, senior tax policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

          Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Nearly-half-of-US-households-apf-1105567323.html?x=0&.v=1

          Lori, do you think that it is immoral for that 40%-50% of American workers to take their EIC payments?

          • Lori says:

            I think it’s probably time for people making a profit on our tax structure to stop.

            • Flora Poste says:

              “I think it’s probably time for people making a profit on our tax structure to stop.”

              Well, that is a consistent position. I just think in that 40% receiving more from the federal income tax than they pay in, are probably lots moms of large families with a single breadwinner, like R. F. in the comment above. Some of them are probably even nodding along, agreeing with you that government assistance is wrong. I think it’s important to be clear and consistent, you know? Everyone in this thread who said “Oh we qualify for government assistance but we don’t take it” more than likely receives more money from the EIC than they pay in taxes. So if they are against all government aid, they should be against that too.

  63. Lori says:

    Re: Cathy, June 15, 11:21 PM

    Cathy – “Please point me to Scripture that prohibits taking from gov’t programs…It isn’t a theocracy, and it’s not going to follow Scriptural mandates.”

    Cathy, you’re mixing personal action w/ civil government action – you’re saying “I can do something personally that the government does in its sphere of authority (unless you prove otherwise).” You’re saying because you don’t live in a theocracy you don’t have to observe Scriptural prohibitions. But you wouldn’t say that in other areas, would you? You wouldn’t say “we don’t live in a theocracy, therefore I don’t have to observe Scriptural mandates about adultury” or we don’t live in a theocracy, therefore I don’t have to observe Scriptural mandates about murdering the unborn humans,” (remember, the NT does not ever prohibit the killing of unborn people, although the Mosaic Law does address it in Ex 21!)

    The Bible says “thou shalt not steal” the that the civil gov’t’s only purpose is to use the sword against the evil-doer and praise good (Rom 13). While charity is repeatedly admonished to private persons and the Church. That means that the state can no more legitimately take over charity than the Church or private persons can take over punishing evildoers w/ the sword. (It also means that you don’t necessarily get to do something personally because the civil gov’t does something in its sphere). So the gov’t is stealing when it redistributes wealth. If you take benefits from others’ confiscated wealth you are committing Psalm 50:18 “When you saw a thief, you consented with him.”

    “I don’t think that the Bible speaks to the US “flourishing” because we do things Biblically.”

    Lev 26:3-10, (flourishing)

    see also Jer 18:7-12 (for cursing and forgiveness): “The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.”

    God absolutely blesses and judges nations corporately, in addition to blessing and cursing people individually.

    So Cathy, if the Bible says “Thou shalt not steal” and admonishes not to join with the thief (legality of the offense is irrelevant), then where are your Scriptures that make it ok? Is it now ok to break the 10 commandments as long as the non-theocratic civil gov’t legalizes it? Scriptures, please.

    • Angie says:

      Lori, on this one I go back to the passage about Joseph. I reread it to see what you had said about my earlier point. You were right that the people were to pay for the grain however it was their grain in the first place! Therefore Pharaoh had stolen it from them – deemed it necessary to take from the people for the preservation of the people and then charged them for it. Joseph went out and TOOK a 1/5th of the grain for 7 years and then he charged them for the grain in the following 7 years and when they had finally ran out of resources and had to sell themselves to the government to pay for what was originally theirs he made a new law that forced them to continue to give 1/5th of what they had grown back to Pharaoh. Scripture is inerrant and Joseph said that God had placed him there in order to save the lives of many – it had been God’s plan. It also talks in the New Testament that all authority is under God and that you are to honor it, not that we are to sin in following it if they ask you to do that, but it says to give to Caesar what is Caesar – the passage about Pharaoh shows that the rulers get to decide what is best for a nation. The New Testament again points out that they will be more highly judged by the responsibility that has been put upon them but that is their issue not ours. Ours is to vote in a way that supports what we believe and then follow the laws as long as it doesn’t cause us to sin. Pharaoh was not stealing (sinning) from his people, why do you think our nation is stealing from you?

  64. Cathy says:

    Lori,

    I’ve said what I’ve said, and you build straw men. Did I EVER say that I personally shouldn’t follow Scripture? My point is that this world is NEVER going to follow Biblical mandates, and that to hope for that is a lesson in futility. This world will pass away, and be consumed, and believers will live for eternity w/Christ. I’m not being pedantic here. The idea that we’ll have to take the “slap,” and thenn hope for better for our kids/g’kids is ludicrous. Our destiny is Heaven. It isn’t our role to change the worldview. It is our role to glorify God…not foist our beliefs, as it pertains to finances, etc. on a pagan world.

    Do you think that I voted for a .50 tax increase in my city last November because I see the gov’t as some altruistic institution? I voted a resounding “NO.” I HATE paying taxes, and much of our income is eaten by other forms of taxation, e.g., think car registration, bridge tolls (to the tune of $5-6 a pop). The gov’t is stealing through taxing its citizens, but you STILL HAVE TO PAY YOUR TAXES. The Bible does speak to paying taxes, and to the gov’t.

    The point that I was making (in general) is that we’re fooling ourselves if we think that we aren’t taking part in the redistribution of wealth, and if we think that we aren’t taking a “hand out (your words),” etc. Bought milk lately? If you have, you have bought it at a lesser rate because farming is heavily subsidized. The gov’t has its hand in every cookie jar. Yet, you praise the EIC, and I THINK that you are advocating for the first time homeowner program (wasn’t sure even though I read your statement more than once–it was hard to tell on which side you came down). Those are “gov’t programs.” My daughter, who is single, isn’t able to claim the child tax exemption, yet you can. That is a form of redistribution. She has to pay a higher tax than do you because she is childless. Yet, you selectively praise that one because it “is good for the country.” That’s pretty arbritrary, isn’t it? BTW, do you claim the charitable giving deduction at the end of the year? That is also something that we’re able to do to reduce our tax liability.

    It is a world tainted by sin, and in this life, we will never be able to rectify the problem. That is why I mentioned that the US isn’t a theocracy. I don’t look to my political leaders to resolve the problems. I look to Christ to ultimately take me out of the world and reign w/Him for eternity. In the interim, I will continue to pursue Him, and teach my kids and g’kids to pursue Him, and, in the process, trust God to sanctify me.

    While the OT principles are to be followed, Jeremiah was written about the nation of Israel. It isn’t talking about the US.

    “God absolutely blesses and judges nations corporately, in addition to blessing and cursing people individually.”

    He causes the sun and rain to fall on both the evil and the good. What is your point?

    I think that I’ve just about exhausted what I wanted to say. From my perspective, you’ve set yourself up as the arbiter of what believers should accept from the government. But, it is only OUR taxes that drive the engine, so in essence, “government help,” isn’t. You used words like “stealing” when you wrote Angie, and assured her that, although Scripture says that a “thief” should pay back what was stolen, w/retribution, she wouldn’t have to…WHAT? At the very least, you’re guilty of a double standard. I just don’t get it.

    C

    • Lori says:

      Cathy – “She has to pay a higher tax than do you because she is childless.”

      -That is unfair, and ungodly (Lev 19:15). Theft is unfair also. But if my next door neighbor on the left is robbed, and the neighbor on the right is robbed, I am nowhere required to find the thief and give him/her my money also to make things even-steven. It doesn’t undo the fact that the first two neighbors were robbed. It’s not fair that she must pay more Fed tax than I, and yet I am not obliged to pay more money just to even things up. I *am* obligated to fight the corrupt system! I must love her as myself by fighting for her rights before a corrupt culture that says “If it’s in the Bible it’s irrelevant,” or the other version, “If it’s in the Old Testament it’s irrlevant in the Church age.”

      I can say it no more succinctly than Kelly’s friend. I’ll draw the line wherever I can. It’s currently impossible to live untainted by dirty money – gov’t taxes to subsidize one thing, and regulates the alternatives into oblivion. So we do what we can. And one of those things is withdrawing where we can. That’s what I’m encouraging.

      “Where do we draw the line, if it’s so confusing?” His answer, “Everywhere we can.”

      • Cathy says:

        Lori,

        Exactly WHAT are you doing tangibly to change taxation, and about what you view as unfair gov’t programs? Do you think that talking about it ad nauseam does ANYTHING? Again, I ask you, do you claim the tax deduction for your charitable giving? These are ALL forms of gov’t programs, breaks, or whatever you want to call it, yet I submit that you, Lori, use those programs to your advantage. If you are so principled, did you return the tax stimulus that resulted in a check for nearly all taxpayers under the Bush admin? I have a feeling that you’ll justify it, but the problem is that you use a double standard. It would be better to state that though you don’t agree w/the stimulus, for example, there is little you can do about it, and you’ll deposit the check ASAP. Instead, you rail against all of it, while benefiting from many of the programs.

        ALL I’m saying is this (hopefully, for the last time): there is little that can be accomplished through ranting and raving. There is little that can be done about the buffoons in office (of both parties), EXCEPT to vote them out, pray about it, and hope for the best. Getting on blogs and denigrating food stamps does little except to raise your blood pressure.

        That’s my take on the matter.

        C

        • Lori says:

          Cathy,
          I try to avoid giving much information (in conversations about ethics) about myself and what I have or have not done unless I believe it’s really helpful to a situation. Because what matters is what God’s Word says, and what He expects. It’s about His Word, not about me. I want people to go look up His Word, not think about me.

          Why do I talk about these things so much?
          I’m with R.J. Rushdoony, who believed that “it is a moral obligation to preach and teach against the welfare state, because the welfare state is based on the principle of theft. It is based on the principle of the right of one group legally to extract wealth from another group. The moral foundation of the welfare state is corrupt.” (as described here: http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north863.html)

          Why do I talk about these things? Year after year? Because I believe in them. I believe the Word has transformative power over our lives. So I keep posting the Scriptures. I believe that Christ will transform all the world – and I post the Scriptures for that too. I think this news is joy and awe inspiring, that’s why I keep talking about it. I love God’s Law – I think it is joy and awe-inspiring, and that’s why I keep talking about it. It’s going to be dirty, and get dirtier (for a while), and I am seriously dirty! – but I trust in Christ’s promises (that I posted earlier) – and so I want to push through. We must know God’s Word, and preach God’s Word, and obey it, and pray. I am trying to obey without stumbling, but I have stumbled, and I’ll stumble again. I try to teach what I know so others can stumble less than I, and have less regret, and most of all so that Christ’s kingdom will expand. Learn, and obey, and teach, and pray. I want to be a part of helping to expand Christ’s kingdom, if I can – by sharing the transformative Word (which includes the Law), so others too can love it as the Psalmist did. Certainly in an environment like this (digital, information based) that’s all I can do (share, that is.)

          I do try not to come off as a raver. Maybe I’ll get that worked out better in the future. 🙂

          • Cathy says:

            Lori,

            I appreciate your humility. I nearly mentioned that I do not think like Rushdoony (before you mentioned), and I don’t that this is the role of the Christian to a pagan world. It is to preach/teach the Gospel…that is the ONLY way to “expand Christ’s kingdom.” Otherwise, you’re just promoting morality w/no heart change. So what if an unbeliever agrees that the US shouldn’t be a “welfare state?” So what? How does that advance the kingdom?

            Anyway, no offense intended–or taken.

            Enjoy your day.

            • Lori says:

              Cathy, no one is “promoting morality w/no heart change.” Not me. Not Rushdoony.

              “Now, as Christians we believe that the basic starting point is the regeneration of man. Then man takes and applies that faith…” R.J. Rushdoony (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPOrKVU_0dw at 2:00)

              “So what if an unbeliever agrees that the US shouldn’t be a “welfare state?” So what? How does that advance the kingdom?”
              -However God wants it to. God’s work is not limited to unbelievers. In Mark 9:38, do you yhink the people freed from demons cared that the demon caster wasn’t a true disciple of Christ’s? No, it was a blessing and a witness to Jesus anyway, even a witness to the poser-disciple (Mark 9:39). Even the unregenerate can advance God’s kingdom, though we hope, pray, and witness that they will be saved *and* advance the kingdom.

              • Lori says:

                Excuse me: “God’s work is not limited to *believers.” In Mark 9:38, do you think…” (the hazards of typing one handed while nursing)

    • Lori says:

      Cathy – “It is our role to glorify God…not foist our beliefs, as it pertains to finances, etc. on a pagan world.”

      That’s the opposite of what Paul teaches in 1 Tim 1:9-11:

      “the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.”

      Paul says clearly that the Law is for the unrighteous, the ungodly, and the sinners, etc. Furthermore, if you are right, then God was wrong to threaten the Ninehvites w/ destruction, and Jonah was right for disobeying God and running away. God was therefore wrong to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, as they were not believers, just members of “a pagan world.”

      Cathy – “My point is that this world is NEVER going to follow Biblical mandates, and that to hope for that is a lesson in futility.”

      & “It is a world tainted by sin, and in this life, we will never be able to rectify the problem.”

      -This is not what the Bible teaches.

      ” the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.” Is 11:9

      “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14

      “The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.” Prov 10:30
      “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.” Prov 13:22
      “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.” Psalm 37:11
      “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matt 5:5

  65. Lori says:

    “Therefore Pharaoh had stolen it from them – deemed it necessary to take from the people for the preservation of the people and then charged them for it. Joseph went out and TOOK a 1/5th of the grain for 7 years…”
    – It’s important to remember that not only has the Law not yet been given on Mt. Sanai yet, Joseph was even further removed from any admonitions to kings, so he wasn’t breaking any law. In the next chapter (42) Joseph bears false witness against his brothers, accusing them of being spies, then later of stealing his gold. And yet we don’t really hold that against him. God used both of those occurances to reveal His Glory and provision for His people (those of Israel, who resided in Goshen which was not stolen). Indeed, he used Joseph to save the lives of many, yet neither of those examples are applicable in a time when we have God’s *full Word* for our study.

    “we are to sin in following it if they ask you to do that” – the gov’t does not ask you to take welfare, if we’re to get right to it. It only asks you to pay your taxes.

    “rulers get to decide what is best for a nation.” Then the later Pharaoh, and later Herod were correct in mass infanticide.

    “New Testament that all authority is under God and that you are to honor it” I agree that we are to honor all authority under God. But much of what our government does is not in keeping with its authority under God. So Christians must submit where they must (paying taxes), but we must also engage as little as possible where the gov’t is in defiance of its authority under God. Which brings me to another quote:

    “Ours is to vote in a way that supports what we believe and then follow the laws as long as it doesn’t cause us to sin.” – I agree 100% 🙂

    • Lori says:

      This was to Angie, 6-16, 10:34 AM

      • Angie says:

        Obviously you have done a tremendous amount of research on the topic outside of just the Bible and feel very qualified to speak about the topic. You mentioned earlier that you try to keep yourself (your personal circumstances) out of it and just refer to the Bible as your determining factor – a good thing indeed! I am on the other end, my personal circumstances became this problem and thus I feel led to use them in the discussion. You pointed out the false witness of Joseph as being something we know to be wrong and yet “God used both of those occurrences to reveal His Glory and provision for His people”. Well, you may be right that the government giving me money to live on is wrong, it may in fact be stealing from you – in which case, no wonder I get the looks that I do when I am at the grocery counter with my five kids and I pull out my EBT card. It is exactly as my father always felt about it if you are right – he once said when we got to the car after waiting in line behind someone who paid with food stamps that he “wanted to invite himself over for dinner since he had just paid for it!” As I reflect on that, I do not see Christ-likeness in his response. Christ was not condoning sin – EVER – but he also did not ridicule the sinner. I would like to bring up one last point, when I applied for food stamps it was after spending any money we had, selling whatever we could and still having nothing to feed our kids. I have already expressed that my church has helped us, in fact, at times when we were without a home we have even lived with our pastor and with others from our church body. Many many tears were shed and prayers lifted up to God. And as I mentioned before, my husband is working, was working and will be working. He is also looking for other employment beyond working multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. “Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” James 5:4 My outcry has reached the Lord and He has provided for me in a manner that has “saved the lives of many people” Gen 50:20 This has been the most humbling experience of my life and I am in awe of God’s glory and provision for me – even if he had to use a mans “mistake”(theft as you call it) to cause “all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 and as we look at that passage it points to how God looks to our heart – my husband and I are not trying to leach off of you or our country, we are not sitting back and laughing at your misfortune over our blessing – on the contrary we are daily left with gratitude that we have food on the table. It is time for me now to reflect on Paul’s admonition in Titus 3:1-9 – to focus on “when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life!” vs 4-7 May God bless you on your journey!

        • Lori says:

          Angie – I so appreciate you not taking personally our discussion of Scriptures – even though this topic affects you so personally. I was impressed with you before, but am even more so now. You are a gracious lady, and I’m thankful that you took the time to engage with me. Thank you.

  66. Debbie says:

    I totally agree with you. At one point, we had 9 children at home. I looked at the welfare chart… We could have been on assistance. I could not believe it. We were doing just fine with a garden, not tv, and lots of hand me downs. I made everything from scratch and still do most of the time. Sewed many of my kids outfits until they hit the teenage years. Then they made or bought their own. If the government spend money like families of many do, we would not be in as bad of shape that we are.

    Thankful the the body of Christ are helping you.. That is the way it should be.

  67. Tina says:

    Kelly,

    I really like this post and have linked it to my blog, so I can share with my friends. I say the same things to my group of friends about debt. We have been in the valley of debt and God delivered us out of it.

    I am so sorry that some people do not understand your heart and God’s word.

    I would like to share something personal and I have never shared this out in the blogspere. I have seen first hand the negative aspects of government assistance. I was a child that was raised in a home that took government assistance from the time I was born until I turned 18. I saw how it created laziness, greed, selfishness, and many other things. Some people have this mentality something for nothing. Though I was not raised in church at all but I still prayed to God that my life would be different than what I grew up in. I told myself I would never take government assistance (welfare) when I grew up.

    It is your choice to take assistance from government. I think your choices do have consequences that are good or bad.

    I have grown and have a family of my own. I have a wonderful family. Yes, times are hard but if you are a Christian you have a body that is here to help in anyway. I rejoice to see how God has used the body of Christ to bless you and your family. That is true love. God says he will never leave us. We are his children. God provides help in so many ways, we just need to trust and obey him.

    The beauty of giving. It blesses the giver too.

  68. Flora Poste says:

    According to this article, 40-50% of American workers make a profit of of the federal income tax – they get more than they pay in. Is it immoral for them to accept the EIC payment?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Nearly-half-of-US-households-apf-1105567323.html?x=0&.v=1

  69. Jess says:

    So…..this is like one of the only countries in the world where we even have the privilege of talking about this. I have lived in many countries in the world as a missionary, and everyone receives government assistance as a way of life. I think those who are the most “down” on others, are those who really just haven’t stepped foot out of America much.

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