No system is completely fair or just in itself. All political and economic systems are controlled by human hearts — sinful human hearts. The American founders recognized this and tried in our Constitution to divide power between three equal branches of government. They knew and stated that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. If anyone gets too much power under any system, the odds are good that eventually he or she will use it for self-gain at the expense of others.

In the USA, Christians give a greater portion of their earnings to help the poor, disabled, and homeless than do non-Christians. If they don’t have much money, they often give time and energy working at private food banks, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, and crisis pregnancy centers to help those with different needs that fall through the cracks of government aid. I see this everywhere in my own community. Christian ministries also reach beyond our borders to help the poor or distressed in other countries. They help provide education, health care, and clean water to impoverished communities abroad.

One of our locally-based medical ministries, His Healing Hands, was started by a physician who owns a local winery. A percentage of his sales goes to the ministry and he and a team of other volunteer medical personnel make trips to provide free medical care to those in many impoverished areas in Latin America. I personally know the doctor and some others who have participated on those medical teams. It is our economic system combined with their faith that allows these teams the means and the desires to provide this help to others who are falling through the cracks. I personally know doctors who volunteer their time at free clinics for the poor in inner-city areas of my own country.

Currently, the economic and political system of the United States offers the freedom of association and the legal foundation that enables private citizens to earn as much as they can and the freedom to give away as much as they desire to help others. The apostle Paul said one of the functions of government is to provide an environment where people can live godly lives — to live out their faith. Giving is part of that. It is the human heart that determines how that freedom will be used. Political and economic systems that take over that function of giving can convince people that their taxes are enough to solve the problems of the poor. They remove the human connection that is so vital.

Christian, bereaved adoptive mom, blogger, amateur nature photographer, voracious reader. Married 54 years. Central Coast of California.

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