Sunday, January 20, 2008

ENTITLEMENT: Those Who Do Not Work!

"For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either."
2 Thessalonians 3:10
The Australian Associated Press is reporting new applicants for the dole (Aussie for welfare) will lose their payments unless they immediately join a work-for-dole plan, expected to be announced soon.

The AAP said the tough new measure, to take effect in the new year, is designed by the government to push people off welfare and into work.

Employment Services Minister Tony Abbott will reportedly deliver the following in an upcoming speech, “When government policy makes working more trouble than its worth, it's hardly surprising that welfare should become an entrenched way of life.” The aim of the policy is to ensure that all those “reasonably work-ready” engage in some useful paid activity and those who are reluctant face a “hassle” if they don't.

[“No work, no dole: new plan for jobless” AAP - National News, December 17 1999; © 1997-1999 Ninemsn Pty. Ltd.]

The Aussies are not alone in this dilemma; it seems every descendant of Britannia suffers from some form of welfare anomaly.

And the church herself is besieged with the same mentality. “Why work” church members ask, “when it’s the Pastor’s job?” Or they say, “When I see everyone else working, I’ll join in!” Or, “Oh, Preacher, I’ve done enough around here, it’s time for someone else to work.” They may be correct, but they’re dead wrong.

Yet the most infuriating is an old excuse, “Pastor, I just don’t have the gift of teaching!” Substitute any church job you can think of for “teaching” and you get the idea.

I’ve often wondered what would happen if we told those on the spiritual dole they’d not be allowed to sit at the Lord’s Table this month or feed on His word this next Sunday … unless they engage in some useful church activity. And I’ve fantasized about the reactions of a stubborn few, were they certain they’d be hassled for any unholy reluctance.

But then again, the Bride of the Lion of Judah is old and set in her ways, a toothless aging ewe, unable to chew the solid fodder [Hebrews 5:12-14].

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