“God works powerfully, but for the most part gently and gradually.”
“So dress and conduct yourself so that people who have been in your company will not recall what you had on.”
“We serve a gracious Master who knows how to overrule even our mistakes to His glory and our own advantage”
"If two angels were sent down from heaven,--one to conduct an empire, and the other to sweep a street,--they would feel no inclination to change employments."
“Many have puzzled themselves about the origin of evil. I am content to observe that there is evil, and that there is a way to escape from it, and with this I begin and end.”
“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”
As the 4th anniversary of apologist Bob Passanino's graduation to glory approaches, we have received a number of inquries concerning how Bob became a Christian. Known especially for his omnivorous appetite for knowledge, his unparalleled skill in apologetics, & his commitment to rational inquiry, many think that Bob's spiritual transformation resulted from a purely intellectual pursuit. Those who have heard his conversion story know it was far more complicated than mere mental gymnastics. Although Bob never wrote his story down, he freely shared it with those who asked.
As his ministry partner & wife for 3 decades, I often heard him tell his story, & I never tired of it. Partly it was because of his humourous humility, but mostly it was because it was such an extraordinary combination of both reason & experience. I can't come close to telling it as well as he did. If you were privileged to hear him tell it, you know he would have made it 10 times as long & with 10 times as much wit. Somehow, he would have managed to tie in all sorts of other elements, illustrating his principle that at some level, everything in the universe is related to everything else -- everything is contingent.
Nevertheless, here is a summary of Bob Passantino's conversion to Christ in August of 1970. Enjoy the story, & know that if God were to give Bob the knowledge of my temerity in daring to tell his story on his behalf, Bob would grin & say, "Well, she left out a lot, but at least she was accurate about what she did say."
Bob, as a full-blooded Sicilian American, was raised a nominal Catholic. His parents did not attend church, but they made sure to drop the 3 kids off & see that they were baptized, completed their first communion, & went through catechism & confirmation (chrismation). Although Bob had no firm belief in the gospel as a child, he was impressed by the information the priests shared, & when he was taught "the Jesus prayer" in his catechism, he thought that he experienced God, & he talked his friends into praying the prayer, too, so that they could experience what he had experienced.
However, by the time he was in high school during the 1960s, he was far too smart to believe in God. In fact, although he hated school & never studied or read, he did go to the library to research arguments against the existence of God in general & the truthfulness of Christianity in particular. By the time he graduated from high school (1969), he was an adamant agnostic & would engage Christians in arguments at every opportunity. When the Jesus Movement began witnessing to hippies on drugs at Huntington Beach, Bob would follow them down the beach arguing, challenging them with alleged Bible contradictions.
While he was in high school, he was also working at Knott's Berry Farm. His manager at the Cable Car Kitchen was a young man, Gene Kirby, who was in seminary (Talbot School of Theology at Biola) & was working to support his wife & 2 young children while he completed seminary. One day, after the park closed, as they were cleaning up the restaurant & stacking chairs on tables, Bob challenged Gene, "You don't really believe all that Bible stuff, do you?" Gene answered, "Are you asking me because you are really interested in the subject, or because you just want to mock me?" Since Gene was his boss, Bob wasn't about to admit to the second, so he agreed to the first. Gene said that work time was not really appropriate for such a discussion, but that he would be happy to have Bob over to his house on a Tuesday night to talk to him seriously about the Christian faith.
That began about 6 months of Tuesday night get together's at Gene's. Gene's wife, Cheri, would make iced tea & popcorn, & Bob (& often his smart friends) would zing dozens of skeptical questions & arguments at Gene. They not only asked hard Bible questions & philosophical arguments, but they asked about things that were not polite in those days -- like Christians & sex, drug use, demon possession, & speaking in tongues, etc. Gene was never flustered, always took him seriously, & had sound, reasonable answers to all of the objections. And every answer always ended up with, "So, if what I'm saying is true, what are you going to do with Jesus?" Finally, Bob couldn't keep going to Gene's without having to change his world view. He knew that if Christianity were true, he would have to change his entire life. As a young teenager of the late 1960s, he wasn't ready to give up everything for the gospel. So, all at about the same time, he graduated from high school, stopped going to talk with Gene, & quit working at Knott's to join the Army's National Guard Reserves program.
After nearly 9 months of basic training & specialized schooling in the Army, stationed in Oklahoma & Louisiana, Bob returned to Southern California in late spring of 1970. He reunited with his 2 best friends. The 3, Bruce, Bob, & Bob Keller, had all worked at Knott's together. Bob Keller had been Bob's neighbor down the street most of their lives in Garden Grove, & they had metBruce at Knott's. Bob Keller had joined the Air Force & become a heavy drug user. Bruce & Bob both dabbled in drugs (didn't almost everyone in the late 60s, early 70s?), but prided themselves in only using "natural" drugs (like opium cured hash) instead of chemicals (like LSD).
This was about the time when the Federal Reserve took most of the silver out of dimes & doom-sayers predicted the collapse of Western Civilization & a return to the "dark ages." Bob & Bruce, smart & forward-thinking, decided they were going to overcome all obstacles in the economic collapse by learning to be completely self-sufficient. They called their effort "Ten Years After" (an acid rock band of the same name was popular then). 10 Years After the Collapse, their group would reign supreme because all of Bob & Bruce's friends would gather around them & follow their lead since they were the only ones prepared to survive self-sufficiently. Both Bob & Bruce were temporarily unemployed (Bob called it "early retirement"), so they dedicated 10-15 hours a day to preparing for the BIG COLLAPSE. Bob practiced martial arts for many hours, becoming proficient in a variety of Japanese & Chinese systems. He & Bruce spent hours in the library, studying basic medicine, electricity, alternate fuel sources, animal husbandry, etc. They became totally dedicated survivalists.
Through the early summer of 1970, Bob & Bruce continued their survival plans while spending weekends partying with their friends & Bob Keller, who came home on leave from his Air Force posting in Arizona. Bob & Bruce pulled away from Bob Keller, because he was sinking further into drug use while they were quitting all drug use to optimize their survival skills.
One weekend, Bob, Bruce, Bob Keller, & some other friends were invited to an open house for a special meditation program called Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. Sure, it was fine that none of them were Buddhist -- that Bob & some others, in fact, were agnostic. NSB was a technique, not a religion. At the open house (one of the first public meetings of NSB in the US), they found out that the technique worked on the principle of cause-and-effect. You could achieve anything in your life if you chanted for it & believed you could get it.
They heard testimonies that night about how some people chanted for money, others for relationships, others for job advancements, etc. Some even chanted for dope. Among the testimonies were some from people who demonstrated their strong belief that their life was "tied" to the small shrine with their personal script that they chanted to. One woman testified that she kept her shrine in her kitchen, above her sink, & shortly after it accidentally fell into the dishwater, she fell into a swimming pool & nearly drowned. Bob asked if someone could be a Christian & practice NSB. "Of course," replied one woman with a small boy. "I'm a Methodist." Bob & his friends paid their $1 pledge fee so the NSB organizers could send away to Mt. Fuji for their personal scripts that represented their lives & the cause & effect that governed their lives. They practiced chanting for what they wanted before they left, & weren't too surprised when a practitioner came up at the conclusion of the meeting & sold them some really pure weed.
Shortly afterward, Bob started thinking. He thought about the God of NSB, the cosmic butler, the bell hop who performed chores on behalf of chanters. Drugs, sex, money, fame -- anything was possible from the Master Provider. Then he thought about the God of the Bible that Gene Kirby had told him about. He thought about the sovereignty of God, about judgment & mercy. He concluded, "Gene Kirby's God is a lot bigger & more worthy of respect than the God of NSB. The God of NSB must be a false god, an idol." Bob thought how hypocritical he was, to not even believe God existed, & then to chant to a god that wasn't even worthy of the title. Then Bob remembered what Gene had told him about worshiping false idols, & about demon possession. He realized that as agnostics, they couldn't count on the power of the Holy Spirit to protect them from the NSB demons. He thought about the consequences of mistreating one's script & its shrine. He talked his friends out of participating any further in NSB -- they retrieved their $1 pledges just before they were sent to Japan, &, at least temporarily, they were safe from demon possession -- if it existed. His apologetics career budded before he even believed in God.
Then came the 3rd weekend in August. Bob & Bruce spent all day studying for their new society. They knew the next day Bob Keller would be home for the weekend & it would be party time. That night, Bob & Bruce sat in Bruce's VW bug by the side of Bob's house. They were talking about Ten Years After, & about what they had studied that day. They reassured each other than when the end came, they would be prepared. Suddenly, Bob felt the unmistakable & real presence of the Holy Spirit fill the car. Without sound or words, he clearly heard Jesus speaking to him, "None of that matters. You are putting your trust in yourselves instead of in Me. All that matters is that I love you. Follow me. . . . Follow me. . . . Follow me." Bob turned to Bruce, hesitating as he tried to figure out how to tell Bruce what he was experiencing. "Bruce, none of this matters. Jesus is real." Bruce burst out, "Don't you feel the Holy Spirit? We have to follow Jesus! He's calling us!" The 2 of them sat in the car, enjoying the presence of the Holy Spirit for uncounted time, until Bob finally left, with the 2 of them promising to find Gene Kirby & find out what had happened to them.
The next afternoon, Bob called Bob Keller. He had to tell him that he & Bruce weren't going to party that night -- they had met Jesus Christ & they had to find Gene Kirby. While Bob was trying to figure out how to broach the subject with Bob Keller, Bob Keller burst out, "I can't party with you guys tonight. As we were driving across the desert last night & doing dope, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit & Jesus kept me from doing drugs with my friends. You & Bruce should believe in Jesus, too. How can I find Gene Kirby?"
One of them had kept a Bible Gene had given to him, inscribed with Gene's name & phone number. By then, he was pastoring a black church (Gene's a Colorado white boy who later served as a missionary on a Navajo reservation) in San Dimas in Southern California. They called him, went to his church the next morning, came forward at the altar call while the black choir sang gospel, & formally dedicated themselves to Christ. Bob never looked back. He immediately started witnessing to his friends, answering all of their arguments, questions, & Bible problems (most of which they had learned from him) with the same answers Gene had given him before, but which he couldn't commit to because it would change his life.
From August 1970 through November 2003, Bob Passantino never forsook His Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. He poured 66 years of ministry into 33 years of non-stop defense of the gospel. And he always remembered that mere answers don't compel faith. And subjective experience can be tested by the answers. The Jesus he met in that car was the Jesus he had learned about from Gene Kirby & the Jesus he continued to pursue with everything he had for the rest of his life.
At Bob's memorial service in 2003, Gene Kirby related to the crowd that those many years before, when Bob was peppering him with questions, arguments, & problems, he often didn't know how he was going to answer him. But he prayed, opened his mouth, & learned as the Holy Spirit spoke through him & used what he had learned in Bible college & was learning in seminary.
God took Bob much further in his knowledge of God, the Bible, & Jesus Christ over the following years. Few apologists have ever or will ever know as much as he did or be able to share so rationally & persuasively. Countless others are now defending the faith & sharing the gospel, inspired by God's example & teaching. God is still harvesting what He sowed through Gene & then through Bob.
The vast majority of the world’s population doesn’t know what I am about to tell you. Aristotle wasn’t Aristotle and Augustine wasn’t Augustine. Don’t get all huffy and puffy. I’m not trying to expose some kind of conspiracy theory. I’m just trying to let you in on a little known fact that spans all of history. I know it sounds far-fetched, but after I explain how I discovered this, everything will be clear.
I came to the conclusion that Aristotle wasn’t Aristotle and Augustine wasn’t Augustine a couple of months ago. I know that the guys who wrote down all those great ideas were named Aristotle and Augustine, respectively, but they weren’t the guys who came up with the original ideas. Those guys are lost in history somewhere, and I’ll tell you why I know this to be true.
In order to prove to you that I’m not a nutcase, I have to tell you how I came to this realization. A couple of years ago, I met this guy named Robert. Everyone knows him as Bob. Bob is a modern day Greek philosopher. Well, he’s not Greek, he’s Italian (100% Sicilian to be exact). But anyway, it’s close enough when we’re talking about philosophy. Bob has one of those brilliant minds that constantly ticks to a different rhythm than the rest of the world. He doesn’t sleep. From 7:00 to 8:00 in the morning he rests his eyes. A lot of his time is spent contemplating the meaning of the universe, the possibilities of infinity, the ramifications of the existence of (other) intelligent life, and the rationality of the existence of God, among other things. The rest of his time is spent talking, debating, and thinking about his unimaginably brilliant ideas with other people. This is the part of Bob’s life that he lives for. This is also the part of Bob’s life that reveals the fact that Aristotle wasn’t Aristotle and Augustine wasn’t Augustine.
I met Bob about two years ago at Norm’s family restaurant in Costa Mesa, California. He was sitting with his family having some barbeque chicken and mashed potatoes, discussing his ideas about the time-space continuum. His wife and kids were listening intently, and I couldn’t help but do the same from my booth next to them. He spoke quite articulately and used the biggest words I’d ever heard at that point in my life; words I never even knew existed. Amazingly, though, I could understand every word he said and every idea he expressed. I began instantly building my vocabulary just by listening (okay, eavesdropping) on him. I was awestruck. After about ten minutes, I couldn’t help but get up from my booth and introduce myself. I know it sounds bizarre, not to mention rude, for me to intrude on this family eating dinner, but I was truly compelled to do so. I walked up to their table and said, “I’m sorry to interrupt, but I overheard your conversation, and I just had to find out who you are.”
The family did not seem bothered in the least bit by my interruption. They all smiled at me. Bob kept talking. His wife (I assumed) nudged his arm. Bob gave her a disdainful look and said, “What, Mary?”
“You’ve attracted a friend,” Mary pleasantly stated.
“Oh.” Bob turned to look at me, and a big smile creeped out from under his mustache. “Hi! My name is Bob, and this is my family.” He proceeded to tell me each of his three children’s names. I was too caught up in the surrealness of the moment to catch any of them. “So, you overheard me talking. I hope we didn’t disturb your meal.”
“No, no, no,” I quickly said. “Quite the contrary, I was sitting over there, by myself, enjoying my dinner, without a thought in my head, and I couldn’t help but overhear you talking about infinity and such. I’ve never heard someone talk like that before, over a family dinner to boot.”
“Well, actually,” Bob said quite kindly, “I was talking about my theories concerning the time-space continuum. I suppose, somewhere in there infinity comes into play. Why don’t you have a seat?” Every member of Bob’s family scooted over to make room for me.
“Oh, no. I couldn’t intrude like that,” I said with a look of embarrassment, paying no heed to the fact that I had felt just fine interrupting their meal and conversation in the first place.
Mary briskly reminded me, “You said you were alone, and we’d love for you to join in the conversation. Get your plate and sit with us.” I’d never heard of such hospitality. I walked over to my table, grabbed my plate, and walked back over to sit with Bob and his family. I didn’t feel rude or out of place.
“By the way,” I said with a smile, “my name is Cal.” Each of them honestly smiled and said hi. I could have never dreamed that when I sat down at that table I had sat down with the most brilliant thinker in the world. When we were through, about 2 ½ hours later, Bob gave me his phone number and told me to give him a call anytime. I called Bob the next day, and went over to his house the following day.
I’ve spent about three nights a week of the past two years over at Bob’s house. It’s never just Bob and me. People are always just leaving, stopping by, or hanging out. His kids always ask,”How many places do I set the table for dinner?” I’ve talked with Bob and his friends about most everything – from completely abstract theories about the universe and God to the latest political and social happenings. After almost two years, I finally realized that I’d never read any of Bob’s writing. A man this prolific in thought must have loads of papers, I thought. I knew that his wife, Mary, wrote articles for various magazines and was an editor, but in all this time I hadn’t read anything of Bob’s. I found out from Mary that he had never published any of the amazing original ideas that I had heard over the past two years. What an atrocity! Understanding this, I decided to have a little talk with Bob.
One night, out of the blue (as is the usual flow of conversation with Bob), I said, “Why haven’t you ever published any of the ideas that you talk about?”
Bob looked at me and honestly stated, “Why?” I couldn’t understand how he could ask such a question.
“Why?!” I breathed out, rather perturbed, “Because you have completely original, powerful ideas that must be heard and studied – and anyway – what if you die? Imagine how much brilliance will die with you! All these things that you’ve already worked out will be left undiscovered for years until some other wise guy comes along.” I was really getting agitated.
“Cal, you don’t understand. I am a thinker, a talker, and debater. I help people gain knowledge and insight, and maybe even wisdom, through good old-fashioned dialogue. I don’t have the patience to be a writer. What a waste of my time. That’s for other people to do.” His voice was incredibly calm and unpatronizing. I didn’t feel stupid or humiliated. Instead, I began to realize the fact that I’m trying to relay to you now. Bob continued, “Every day I discuss ideas with people and they go home and write articles, books, and doctoral dissertations based on the ideas that I’ve helped build. They talk to others about what they are thinking about. Because they enjoy dialogue so much, they learn to listen and dialogue with their children, friends, and strangers. Why would I want to write my ideas down and not enjoy the living process of seeking truth that I am a part of every day?” He smiled and looked pleased with himself. It only frustrated me more.
“That’s not right, though! You deserve the credit! What if . . . .” It was at that instant that I realized that Aristotle wasn’t really Aristotle and Augustine wasn’t really Augustine. Because I was going to blurt out, “What if Aristotle hadn’t written down his philosophy or Augustine hadn’t left a written testament of his history-changing ideas about God?” Bob looked at me with a knowing smile. I never bothered him about personally writing down his ideas again. I realized his ideas are being preserved for posterity—through the people with whom he builds his ideas.
My conclusion is this: the brilliant man with the ideas that Aristotle wrote down was probably named Jim, and I’m sure the wise guy who originally thought up the ideas that Augustine wrote down was named Joe. Men like Jim and Joe and Bob can’t bother with such a mundane and thoughtless task like writing. They would consider the time spent over paper a waste of time. And they would cringe at the idea of not experiencing the process of each dialogue. They have bigger, more important tasks at hand. Jim, Joe, and Bob send their ideas off with guys like Aristotle, Augustine, and me to put to paper. They couldn’t care less that they don’t get the credit for thinking up an original idea. All that matters to philosophers is that idea gets out there.
This short story was originally written 30 March 1999 by the late Bob Passantino’s oldest child, Mary, for her Creative Writing at Concordia University (Irvine).
What does the Bible, the fully inspired and inerrant Word of God, say about government and politics, including the modern social welfare state, public education, ownership of private property, and helping the needy?
Proverbs 8:15, 16 of the Bible, the inspired Word of God, says that governments should use wisdom to rule and to make laws that are just. Proverbs 17:7 says rulers also should not lie. Proverbs 20:26 says wise rulers always try to punish the wicked. Proverbs 28:2-4 and 29:4 urges rulers to maintain order justly, to follow God’s moral code and to avoid oppressing the poor.
Furthermore, both Romans 13:3-6 and 1 Peter 2:13-15 say that government officials, whether elected or not, are ministers and servants of God who punish and restrain wrongdoers and who commend or praise those who do good works according to God’s transcendent moral code revealed in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. Government officials must do these things whether or not the people believe in God or the Bible.
The Tenth Commandment in Exodus 20:17 protects private property by commanding people not to covet their neighbor’s house or belongings. Exodus 23:3 says, “Do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit.” Exodus 23:6 says, “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits.” Leviticus 19:15 says, “Do not pervert justice; do not show favoritism to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.” Also, Exodus 22:21 orders believers not to mistreat or oppress aliens living among them, but Lev. 18:26 also says the aliens living among us, including immigrants, must obey God's laws, including God's Justice. Finally, in Deuteronomy 16:18-20, Moses tells all the people of the Nation of Israel, “Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
In other words, private property must be respected and forms of socialism, fascism, Communism, or Marxism that do not respect private property are evil or immoral. Also, the people should elect local government leaders, but those leaders must obey the moral laws of God, including God's principle of equal justice under the law. Under such divine justice and morality, leaders who deny equal justice to the rich or the poor, and leaders who steal or who take bribes, are condemned. Thus, leaders must not oppress the poor, the rich, or the middle class, but neither should anyone get any special favors, including aliens or immigrants!
In Numbers 35:31, God says those who are guilty of committing first degree murder cannot buy themselves out of the death penalty by paying a ransom or a fee. If found guilty if first degree murder, they must be put to death by the government, no ifs, ands, or buts!
The Hebrew Scriptures condemn adultery, homosexual behavior, premarital sex, and incest. In Mark 7:20-23, Jesus calls all sex outside of marriage (also known as unlawful sex) evil, and compares such evil to murder, theft, deceit, slander, arrogance, envy, and greed, which are also evil. Thus, premarital sex, adultery, homosexuality, incest, and bestiality are all evil, and all people, including all government leaders, should not promote such evil.
Regarding government, Proverbs 16:10 also says, “The lips of a king speak as an oracle, and his mouth should not betray justice.” Proverbs 16:12 says, “Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness.” Proverbs 17:7 says, “Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool -- how much worse lying lips to a ruler!” Proverbs 20:18 says, “Make plans by seeking advice, if you wage war, obtain guidance.” Proverbs 20:26 says, “A wise king winnows out the wicked; he drives the threshing wheel over them.” Proverbs 20:28 says, “Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure.” Proverbs 28:3 says, “A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.” Proverbs 28:16 says, “A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life.” Proverbs 29:4 says, “By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.” Proverbs 29:12 says, “If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.” Proverbs 29:14 says, “If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will always be secure.”
Furthermore, in 1 Samuel 8:7-18, God directly tells the people of Israel that taxes of 10 percent or more are A SIGN OF TYRANNY (see Gary DeMar’s Ruler of the Nations: Biblical Blueprints for Government, Ft. Worth, Texas: Dominion Press, 1987)! God strongly indicates in that passage that the people of God should oppose such high amounts of taxation. That passage also frowns on big government of any kind, including large standing armies.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, God gives jurisdiction of a child’s education to his parents, not to the local church and especially not to government.
The Bible also says, in Deuteronomy 14:28, 29, Numbers 18:24, Matthew 6:1-4, and 1 Timothy 5:3-16, that help for the poor should come first from their own families and only then from individuals, churches, and private charities. Also, Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 and 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15, that people should work for their own living and not be dependent on others. Thus, nowhere in the Bible does God obligate the government to take care of the poor and needy by using the taxes that it forcibly collects!
Finally, the Bible also has some things to say about self-government. For example, it condemns laziness and praises hard work and kindness, especially kindness to the needy. Proverbs 10:4 says, “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Proverbs 14:23 says, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:21 says, “He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.” The basic principle for such charitable giving is established in Deut. 14:28,29, where God commands His people to give one third of all their tithes to charity to needy widows, orphans and poor people. Even then, the money was not given just to anyone who showed up to get it. Those who are able to work but don’t work, do not qualify for such help. Also, those who have families to take care of them don’t qualify, nor do widows under age 60 qualify, according to 1 Timothy 5:3-16. Furthermore, Jesus Christ says in Matthew 6 that when believers give individual charity, they should give such charity secretly: “Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”
A group of self-described "progressive" Christian Evangelicals calling themselves "Red Letter Christians," and led by the liberal, left-oriented Sojourners Magazine and left-oriented religious pundits like Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo, has recently emerged in the body politic. These self-proclaimed "progressives" have been making a lot of noise recently complaining about the ties that other Christian Evangelicals have long held with the conservative movement in the United States, including the conservative movement in the Republican Party.
One conservative policy under attack by these "progressives" is the conservative effort to "cut programs to the poor." They say that such a policy goes against Jesus Christ's commands in Chapter 24 of the Book of Matthew to feed those who are hungry.
These "Red Letter Christians" are making a lot of noise, but they are just a bunch of clanging cymbals. And, the love that they claim to spout has no truth in it whatsoever.
What these misguided religious zealots conveniently fail to note is that, nowhere in the New Testament, or the other books of the Bible, do Jesus Christ, His apostles, God the Father, the Holy Spirit, Moses, or the Hebrew prophets command the government to take money from its citizens and transfer it to poor people. In fact, the Bible says just the opposite.
God presents us with three general ways in the Bible to take care of the poor and needy: 1) Through the family; 2) Through the church; and 3) Through individual charity. The applicable passages for these three ways are Deut. 14:28, 29, Numbers 18:24, Matthew 6:1-4 and 1 Timothy 5:3-16.
Now, the first two ways are pretty clear. People’s first obligation is to the needy, poor, widowed, and orphaned in their own families. Only after they do this do they have any obligation to help the needy, poor, widowed, and orphaned through their local church organization. God established the pattern for this kind of church giving in Numbers 18:24 and Deuteronomy 14:28, 29. As David Chilton points out in his great book "Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators," the bulk of Christian giving to the local church should be geared toward financing professional theologians, experts in biblical law and church discipline, teachers of God’s word and leaders skilled in worship. It was only every third year that all the giving was set aside to help the needy, poor, widowed, and orphaned. Even then, the money was not given just to anyone who showed up. Those able to work but don’t, do not qualify for help. Also, those who have families to take care of them don’t qualify, nor do widows under age 60 qualify, according to the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 5:3-16.
Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh, talks about the third way in Matthew 6. He tells His listeners that they should give individual charity. He also says they should give such charity secretly: “Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”
In other words, God is not a socialist. Nor is he a liberal. In fact, in none of the Bible passages just cited, nor in any others I know of, does Jesus, God or even Moses cite the government as the means by which the poor, needy, widowed and orphaned are housed, clothed and fed.
Thus, a simple, straightforward reading of the Bible, God’s Word, including the "Red Letter" words of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, clearly shows that the American welfare state is anti-God, anti-Christian and unbiblical. Any Christian or Jew who advocates such a government welfare system (including clergymen or women) should be harshly rebuked and disciplined by their church and synagogue congregation or hierarchy. Furthermore, any members of any political party, including Republicans, Democrats, Reform Party members, Libertarians, or whatever, who advocate such a socialist system yet claim to be Christian or Jew should be reprimanded by their fellow brothers and sisters and by all church and synagogue leaders. If any such party members refuse to repent and change their ways, then their names should be posted at their church or synagogue and throughout the whole land so that all Christians and Jews in the United States or elsewhere can know not to vote for these people or place them in positions of authority and leadership.
Of course, all Christians and Jews should encourage families to take care of their own. And, they should also encourage their churches and synagogues to give at least one-third of their gross income to help the poor, needy, widowed, and orphaned.
On that note, it is interesting to recall that the Tenth Commandment in Exodus 20:17 actually protects private property by commanding people not to covet their neighbor’s house or belongings. That commands applies to the average citizen as well as the elected official, the judge and all other government officials.
Furthermore, the Bible condemns laziness and praises hard work. Proverbs 10:4 says, “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Proverbs 14:23 says, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”
Finally, it is interesting to note that, in Mark 7:20-23, not only does Jesus Christ declare that all sex outside of heterosexual marriage, including homosexuality, pre-marital sex and adultery, is evil, he also declares that both greed and envy are evil. Thus, Jesus Christ condemns both the greed of the rich man as well as the greed of the poor man, and the envy of the poor man as well as the envy of the rich man.
Thus, God condemns the politics of envy of the left, and He extols the virtues of hard work and capitalism, not just the value of charity!
Liberals and socialists like the "Red Letter Christians," Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Sen. Barack Obama, and Al Gore are violating the commands of the God of the Bible. If they truly want to follow God, they should stop their ignorant opposition to the conservative movement in America and join it. One of the first things they should do immediately is help cut government programs for the poor.
Americans and Europeans must stop the ungodly, immoral rape of taxpayers by the totalitarian, socialist welfare state of liberalism! They must establish a proper and godly system of family, church and private charity. Everyone should follow God’s clear guidance in this matter. God will reward people mightily for their total obedience in these matters.
The following resources are recommended by Gretchen Passantino, Director of Answers In Action, as part of a responsible voter’s personal study & preparation to vote carefully & thoughtfully. I do not necessarily agree with any or all of the views, opinions, recommendations, or statements from these resources, but I have found them helpful in my own research & decision making & wanted to share them with others. No one can tell you how to vote, but I can share my personal opinions. This is not officially representative of Answers In Action or Prince of Peace Church.
Public Affairs news magazine television show from public broadcasting. It purports to be non-partisan & informational only, but with legal, educational, & PBS foundations, treat its objectivity dubiously. But it is a good resource for in depth background on each measure, its supporters, & its detractors.
Usually fair, non-partisan guide with excellent resources for answering questions about voting in general (where, how late to register, rights to paper ballots, etc.). I say usually fair because it tends to presume that government is better at making decisions for us than we are ourselves.
Official description, text, & pro-, anti- arguments for all propositions. This site also answers all of your general questions, like where & how to register, how to find your precinct, what a lot of the election terminology means, etc.
You may e-mail me (Gretchen.Passantino@answers.org) about any particular measure, & I will give you my opinion & a short explanation of why I am planning to vote for or against. If you are in Southern California, you may want to attend our Ballot Discussion Group on Sunday afternoon, November 5 (see the Calendar for the details).
John & Ken are proud that they are unquantifiable as either conservatives or liberals, but mostly that means that their independent, arrogant, & often ill-thought views are likely to madden practically anyone except their faithful listeners. Having said that, I do find that frequently I agree with their decision about an issue or candidate, even though their arguments don’t always hold water. They are passionate about restraining open borders & illegal immigration, so on that count alone, I frequently agree with them.
Roger is Rush Limbaugh’s #1 guest host, & he is a thoughtful, enthusiastic, principled, but easy to understand conservative. I nearly always agree with not only his views, but his arguments in support of those views. He is an under-appreciated, should-be-known better voice of conservative reason & Christian (Catholic) faithfulness.
Note: You may have trouble using the link above because your computer and/or browser may “censor” the “bad word” in the last part of Roger’s last name. To reach his website, hand enter the following URL, substituting the last syllable (“bad word”) of Roger’s name for the dashes (---): http://www.rogerhedge----.com/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
This organization advertises itself as the voice of “progressives” (trans., liberals). Not only do its own views give me a guide on how I should not vote, but it collects the views of many other liberal organizations as well, so I can be septuptally confirmed in my opposite views. Sarcasm aside, it is truly useful to hold my own views & voting inclinations up to the reflective glare of completely contrary views.
Conservative Christian Organization with special interest in restraining special rights & inclusion for homosexuals.
General Considerations for Any Propositions
• We usually don’t need new laws. We have too many already.
• The initiative protocol should be for very unusual situations in which the normal legislative, representative system just cannot or will not deal with an urgent matter. Such as the California legislature being completely dominated & controlled by diehard liberal Democrats who will sacrifice the good of the state for their own partisan agendas.
• Any measure that includes words like “bond,” “tax,” “assessment,” “funding,” or similar synonyms means we have to pay more money, either directly or indirectly. The government has too much of our money already. It does not need more. It just needs to use what it has better.
• Any measures supported by lots of unions I usually don’t agree with.
• Families, local communities, businesses, & special interest groups are usually far more frugal & efficient in using their own money than are government agencies with somebody else's money. We almost never need to create a government agency to administrate a program that should be private or local to begin with.
• Any measure giving government more power, & individuals/families less, I usually don’t agree with.
• It’s usually better if our money & decision makers are very close to us. That is, if I’m going to give any of my money or my decision making to someone else, I would rather give it to my city than my county, my county before my state, & hardly ever to that city 3,000 miles east of here. Those who are close are more likely to have to deal with me (& my fellow voters) directly, & are more dependent on a small concentration of voter supporters.
• Prices & markets should generally be governed by the law of supply & demand, not by politicians, taxes, & regulations. Unless it is in the very narrow realm of national security & constitutional rights, government should generally stay out of our business & our lives.
• Read each proposition very carefully. It is often very confusing & has so many caveats & double negatives that a vote in favor turns out supporting what you dont want, & a vote against affirms what you do approve of.
• Double check the title of each proposition. It is always the case that the title sounds like something all reasonable, good people would want. That can be completely deceptive. It is the wording of the measure that counts, not its title.
• It is nearly always the case that 10% or fewer of the people decide for us all. For example, in Orange County, approximately 50% of the residents are old enough to vote. Approximately 50% of those old enough are qualified to register. Less than 50% qualified to register, are registered. Of those registered to vote, only between 8% – 60% vote in any given election. That 60% range only happens in hotly contested presidential elections or for extremely urgent public outcries (like the recall of Davis). 8% is typical for a non-candidate/office, non- hotly contested issue special election. If it rains or a crucial sporting event coincides with election day, it could be even less. So, for this election, it will probably be the case that only about 30% of the registered voters will vote. And only 50% + 1 of those who vote will determine the outcome. Look at your odds: If there were 1000 residents, 500 would be old enough, 250 would be qualified, 125 would actually register, 37 will actually vote, & 19 will decide the outcome. So the convictions of 19 will control the futures of 1000. And if you talk your spouse, your adult children, your neighbors on either side, your small group friends, & your co-workers into voting your way, you can end up having an enormous impact in this election. Get working!
How I'm Voting on November 7
These are only for the national, state, & Orange County, California races & issues. For your local issues, please do your own research. These are my own opinions, & you must make your own decisions about the issues & races that are important to you.
My reasoningSince I am conservative in my general outlook (less government is usually better, fewer laws are usually better, taxes should be minimal, people should be responsible), I tend to vote more often for Republican candidates than for Democrats. I am often impressed with American Independent & Libertarian candidates. But another of my basic principles comes into operation depending on whether the election is a primary or a general one. If it is a primary, I vote for the candidate I agree with the most, regardless of his/her party affiliation or chance of winning. If that candidate is not the perferred candidate of my party of registration, I always write a letter to my county party telling them why I didn't vote for their endorsed candidate & why I did vote for whomever I chose. This, I believe is the best way I can use my vote to influence my party's platform & choice of endorsements. If it is a general election, however, I always vote for the least objectionable candidate who has an opportunity to win. This is usually a Republican. My reasoning is that if I can't have the candidate I truly want, I should at least use my vote to ensure, first, that the most objectionable front runner doesn't win &, second, that someone who at least shares some of my values & has a chance to win is supported by my vote. I understand the commitment & consistency of my friends who will always vote for the candidate most supportive of their values, no matter how little his/her chance of winning, but my personal conviction is that while my friends are supporting their non-winning candidate, their lack of support for a less objectionable front-runner is contributing to the election of the candidate we both agree has nothing in common with us. Here is how my general principles are affecting my vote this time:
Governor -- Arnold Schwarzenegger; Lt. Governor -- Tom McClintock; Secretary of State -- Bruce McPherson; Controller -- Tony Strickland; Treasurer -- Claude Parrish; Attorney General -- Chuck Poochigian; Insurance Commissioner -- Steve Poizner; State Board of Equalization -- Michelle Steel. For my own district Member of the State Assembly -- Van Tran.
See my general principles above. Note that the U S Representative is for my own district where I live:
United States Senator -- Richard "Dick" Mountjoy; United States Representative -- Dana Rohrbacher.
Judicial Offices General Principles: Judges are elected to non-partisan court offices. They are not allowed to campaign in any partisan way. There is practically no way that anyone can find out what kind of a judge they will be or have been without professional legal research into their bench record. Consequently, I usually vote for or against a particular judge only on the basis of personal recommendation or warning from personal acquaintances who work in the court(s) or if a particular judge has been extremely high profile in the general press. Otherwise, I skip the judge section of the ballot. You do not have to vote all races, candidates, & issues on your ballot. You may vote for as many or as few as you like. Blank sections do not invalidate those sections where you do vote.
1A -- Transportation Funding Protection -- YES This restricts how money is used that has already been allocated for particular purposes. This gives the state less power, not more.
1B -- Highway Safety Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, & Port Security Bond Act of 2006 -- NO Bond means the government gets more money (in fact, borrows it & must pay interest), leaving us less money.
1C -- Housing & Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act -- NO As Christians we have an obligation to help those who are in need, especially women & children. But that is best done by citizens, churches, & charity organizations, not by the government, which always takes a healthy chunk of anything allocated to run any program.
1D -- Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2006 -- NO The cost of educating students of any age in California public schools is sky high compared to private institutions, & the quality of the education is abysmal. Public schools do not need more money. They need to spend it better. Do not reward those who waste money by giving them more.
1E -- Disaster Preparedness & Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006 -- NO See 1B above. If you were having financial problems, spending more than you made, would it be smart for you to borrow more money so that you could spend more & be further in debt not only for what you spent, but for the interest payments, too? Or should you examine your budget & learn to live within your means? What works for families works for government, in this regard.
Prop. 83 -- Sex Offenders, Sexually Violent Predators, Punishment, Residence Restrictions, & Monitoring -- YES Although this will cost money to implement, it is exactly the kind of responsibility government should have -- protecting its citizens from threats foreign & domestic. While some opponents say that its features are largely already covered by laws recently passed by the legislature & signed by the governor, it is generally stronger than what was passed. Habitual sexual predators cannot be trusted with the same freedoms of non-destructive citizens.
Prop. 84 -- Water Quality, Safety & Supply, Flood Control, Natural Resource Protection, Park Improvements Bonds -- NO Notice the last word of that proposition -- bonds -- that means "borrow & pay back with interest with inflation-lowered value of tax dollars." In other words, it will cost us more. My general principle is that government doesn't need more money, but better use of the money it has.
Prop. 85 -- Waiting Period & Parental Notification before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy -- YES This removes the special, unjustified, & dangerous exception to the general basic parental right to know & supervise their children's medical care. There are exceptions that will protect minors have reason to fear their parents, for example, a teen who has been impregnated by her abusive stepfather. In my own opinion, it does not go far enough because it still makes abortion the solitary dangerous medical procedure that a parent cannot forbid for his/her child. This only means the minor's parent must be informed, not that the parent can stop the procedure. This is the second proposition advocating similar parental rights. The first was passed by a large margin, but was immediately challenged in the courts, where it died without ever being implemented.
Prop. 86 -- Tax on Cigarettes -- NO If cigarettes are truly so dangerous & costly to the community, then why don't we outlaw them? If we are going to keep them legal, we should not colude with the government to tax by discrimination to pay for programs we don't think we can fund by an upfront, across-the-board tax on everyone. Again, the government has more than enough money. It needs to use what it has better.
Prop. 87 -- Alternative Energy Research, Production, Incentives, Tax on California Oil Producers -- NO Let me understand this -- we're too dependent on foreign oil, especially that from terrorist-linked Middle East countries, so we should make it too expensive to produce oil domestically? This flies in the face of my general princple -- the law of supply & demand should govern the market, not politics, taxes, & regulations (except limited to basic life, safety, & protection from enemies). It is delusional to think that the oil companies, profit-making corporations, are going to altruistically refrain from passing on the cost to the consumer.
Prop. 88 -- Education Funding, Real Property Parcel Tax -- NO See my basic principle about how much money the government needs.
Prop. 89 -- Political Campaigns, Public Financiing, Corporate Tax Increase -- NO Taxes usually means an automoatic "no" to me. Creating yet another government agency to administer a new program with other people's money (yours & my tax money) is usually an automatic "no" to me.
Prop. 90 -- Government Aquisition, Regulation of Private Property -- YES This one is attempting to recitfy the (in my humble opinion) atrocious Supreme Court ruling that redefined the constitutional "eminent domain" principle to include practically anything any government body wanted to do with anyone's private property. While it comes close to providing what I believe is a more constitutionally conservative position on private property rights, it does open government entities (especially cities) to what may be huge financial & legal burdens they did not have before that have little to do with a true "eminent domain" situation. This makes an automatic "YES" vote (less government power is better) difficult. What we truly want is a reversal of the Supreme Court ruling, & local or state remedies in the meantime. This is such a remedy, but it's not the best that could have been written, & it does have some dubious features. I think its protection for property owners outweighs its weaknesses, so I am voting for it, but I respect my friends who are voting against it & holding out for a better worded proposition.
Measure M -- Orange County Transportation Improvement Plan -- NO This is extending the life of a "temporary" sales tax increase that has already been renewed, reinvented, & rewritten more than once. Again, they don't need more of our money, they just need to spend it better. I don't care to continue paying higher sales tax just so we can add another HOV lane few people use or a rapid transit upgrade that few people ride. If we truly had a commitment to providing good highways for the majority of typical Caifornia drivers, we could do so with the money we already have for transportation. If we don't have that commitment (& history confirms that resoundingly), then just throwing more money at the wrong commitment won't magically transform it into the right commitment.
Remember, these are my personal opinions. This is the way that I am going to vote. I have many friends who are voting differently & I respect them, their faith, & their principles, although we disagree about certain candidates or propositions. You have to make your own mind up. The Bible commands us to participate in our government in truth, justic, & mercy. It does not tell us how to vote. That is up to each of us individually.
Friday, March 31 2006 @ 01:25 PM EST Contributed by: AIA
Author Dean Koontz has written many novels of suspense & mystery that have been & continue to be best-sellers. Mysteries seem particularly suited to wrestle with issues of good & evil, right & wrong, & Koontz has great insight that is applicable in the world we live in as well as in the imagined worlds of his stories.
In his best-selling Life Expectancy, the main character reflects on the nature of evil: "During the past few hours, I had come to believe in the reality of Evil for the first time in my twenty years. I believed suddenly not merely in evil as a necessary antagonist in movies & books -- bad guys & boogeymen -- not merely in evil as the consequence of parental rejection or parental indulgence or social injustice, but in Evil as a presence alive in the world.
"It is a presence that tirelessly romances & beguiles, but it cannot consummate a relationship until invited to do so. [The man who is trying to kill him] might have been raised by an evil man, might have been instructed in the linguistics of evil, but ultimately the choice of how to live was his alone
"My gratification at the sight of his suffering might have been unwholesome, corrupting, but I don't believe that it was itself a small evil. At the time it felt -- and even now feels -- like righteous satisfaction prompted by this proof that evil has a price to extract from those who embrace it & that resistance to it, while costly, might have a lower cost than acquiescence" (179).
Wednesday, March 29 2006 @ 01:59 PM EST Contributed by: AIA
In a witty mystery, Killer Smile, novelist Lisa Scottoline succinctly describes the difference between escaping from problems & living through problems to the other side. As Christians, we all too often blame God for not removing us from our problems rather than thanking him for being with us in the midst of our problems.
Lonely new widow Mrs. Nyquist asks attorney hero Mary DiNunzio, who is also a widow, "So, then, what do you believe in, Mary?"
"I believe in justice. And in love. And in not getting over it, because that's too much to ask of a human being. . . . Getting over it is the wrong thing to want, anyway. You should never expect to get over it, the best you can hope is to live past it. And you go on. Your past becomes a part of you" (153).
Wednesday, March 29 2006 @ 01:40 PM EST Contributed by: AIA
In a contemporary story from suspense novelist John Connolly, The Black Angel, the author describes the relationship among genetics, envicronment/experiences, & personal determination, or free will. He acknowledges the power of genetics & envicronment, but then notes that for evil to be truly evil, it must be freely chosen & not merely a necessary & inevitable by-product.
His main character, detective Charlie Parker, begins his contemplation with a paradox: "Theirs was a human evil, a product of their own flawed natures."
But then he sorts it out more completely, continuing, "Faulty genetics might have played a part in what they became, or childhood abuse. . . . But free will also played a part, for I did not doubt that a time came for most of those men and women when they . . . made a decision to snuff [someone else's life] out. . . . It was there that true evil lay, in the moment between thought & action, between intent & commission, when, for a fleeting instant there was still the possibility that one might turn away & refuse to appease the dark, gaping desire within. Perhpas it was in this moment that human wretchedness encountered something worse, something deeper & older that was both familiar in the resonance that it found within our souls, yet alien in its nature & its antiquity, an evil that predated our own & dwarfed it with its magnitude. There are as many forms of evil in the world as there are men to commit them, & its gradations are near infinite, but it may be that, in truth, it all draws from the same deep well, & there are things that have supped from it for far longer than any of us could ever imagine" (493-494).
The thoughts expressed below are Dr. Snyder's & are not meant to represent the opinions of Answers In Action or Movie Guide.
You may agree or disagree with Dr. Snyder's views. You are invited to share your courteous, respectfull, cleain language responses via our comments section below.
1. A personal God exists. He has ordained a transcendent moral order, which all human beings everywhere must obey.
2. The ethical principles of right and wrong of that transcendent moral order are set forth primarily in the Hebrew-Christian Bible and in the traditions of the first 1,000 years of the Christian Church, composed of both Jews and Gentiles, but also in the basic moral and cultural traditions of Western Civilization, especially the conservative, Christian traditions of America, England, Scotland, Ireland, John Calvin’s Geneva, the original Lutheran authorities in Western Europe, and the original intent of the Magna Carta, the British Common Law, the Declaration of Independence, and the United States Constitution.
3. Truth and Morality transcend sex, race, ethnicity, and culture.
4. Political issues are, at bottom, philosophical, religious, and moral issues.
5. Prudent thought and action is a primary character trait of conservatism.
6. Because human beings are full of sin, violence, disobedience, and evil, God’s moral order limits the power of the State and the power of the Church. Therefore, governments should not own churches, and governments must be run according to the principles of representative democracy; separated, enumerated powers; and due process. Also, churches cannot execute people or put people into prison, but they do have the power to discipline their members, including excommunicating members who are unrepentant.
7. Because human beings are full of sin, violence, disobedience, and evil, conservatives believe that individuals, groups, institutions, and society should preserve the traditions of Western Civilization that reflect God's Transcendent Moral Order.
8. The right to own private property is the basis for all political freedom and should not be abridged. Thus, all people, including immoral people, criminals and unborn children, have the right to due process before their property, life, or liberty are taken away.
9. The first duty of civilian government should be to protect the human life and property of its citizens, and the sovereignty of its counties, states, nation, and borders.
10. Abortion is murder. Local governments should execute people who perform abortions or at least put them in jail for 25 years to life. Mothers who get an abortion should be fined a significant amount of money, or put in a work program for 5-10 years, with part of the proceeds going to crisis pregnancy clinics that help poor, unwed mothers.
11. A pluralistic society is one in which members of diverse groups maintain some of their traditional culture or special interest, but within the confines of a common civilization. In other words, all Americans must share in a common language, which is English!!!
12. Civilian governments can organize citizen militias, police departments, immigration agents, and military organizations, but these groups should not get involved in foreign military adventures that don’t affect the security, freedom, and sovereignty of the county, state, and national entities.
13. If they have no record of violent crime or mental incapacity, the right of all adults age 18 or older to bear firearms should be absolute. In fact, scientific studies prove that gun control on firearms increases violent crime but private ownership of firearms helps prevent crime.
14. High taxes and complicated laws are evil. Therefore, we must abolish all income and property taxes, reduce all other taxes (except perhaps tariffs) to less than 10 percent, and simplify or eliminate complicated laws.
15. Culture and Family are vitally important. Federal, state, and local governments should help protect married heterosexual families and their children from such things as violent crime and depictions of pornography, sexual nudity, media violence, and sexual perversion, including homosexuality. Victims of adultery deserve protection in family courts and divorce courts.
16. Governments should not run education systems. Such a policy is clearly unconstitutional, anti-democratic, and anti-American.
17. Local families, church leaders, businesspeople, and private charity groups should control their own education systems.
18. Governments should not give charitable gifts to the poor. Such a policy is clearly unconstitutional, anti-democratic, and anti-American.
19. Helping poor people is the moral and religious responsibility of families, churches, private charities, and individuals but not governments. Able-bodied poor people, however, bear the primary responsibility to take care of themselves and to take care of their own needy family members.
20. Instead of formal prisons for non-violent crimes, conservatives believe in the biblical concept of restitution whereby those convicted of a non-violent crime must be forced to pay back their victims and, instead of the State taking care of their every need in a prison building, the criminals should be required to take care of their own personal needs, such as shelter, food, clothing, and healthcare. Likewise, violent criminals who are incarcerated must work at a private job, or on the local/state infrastructure, to pay back their victims and provide for their personal needs.
The Lord's Servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will give them a change of heart leading to a knowledge of the truth
II Timothy 2:24-26