I’ve been saying for many years that America’s churches have abdicated to the federal government their responsibility to provide for the needs of their widows, widowers, and others. Biblically speaking, the church has the responsibility to guarantee the well-being of those in its midst with long term pressing needs. (See, for example, 1 John 3:16-18; Titus 3:14; Acts 4:34, 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 5:1-15, etc.) The church has increasingly been marginalized in American culture because it has been disobedient in this role. For example, how many churches do you know with a “widow’s list” as described in 1 Timothy 5?
In its place, the federal government has stepped in to provide a Social Security “safety net” for the elderly and disabled. For decades, that safety net has worked fairly well. Social Security is one of the government’s most popular programs. But with a national debt standing at over 22 trillion dollars and another 1 trillion or so being added to it every year, the federal government is going to have to cut something.
Recently, President Trump has proposed cutting Social Security and Medicare.
Republicans on Capitol Hill say Donald Trump may be willing to cut Social Security and Medicare if he wins in 2020, reportedly describing the potential move as a “second-term project.” (Yahoo News, August 29, 2019)I’m not here to get into politics, nor to discuss the merits and demerits of cutting Social Security. What I do want to say is that America’s churches have a golden opportunity to step up to the plate and assume their biblically mandated responsibility once again. If every church in America took financial responsibility for replacing any cuts to Social Security for just five of their widows, that would be 1.5 million widows the church would be helping.
Replacing for its widows the money the government cuts from Social Security may sound like a radical concept. But it’s not a radical biblical concept. It’s just the church doing what the church is supposed to do.
This post first appeared in NewCommandment.org.Learn how to mobilize your men’s ministry to meet every pressing need in your church here.