Summary: This sermon details the Biblical position on wealth redistribution.
Redistribution of Wealth
By: JB Hall
• Senator Obama, in talking with Joe the Plumber, said we need to “spread the wealth around.”
• Is redistribution of wealth Biblical? Yes!
A. II Corinthians 8:12 – 15 says, “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”
“For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:”
“But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:”
“As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.”
• What is wrong then with what Socialists, who are redistributionists, suggest?
• The problem can be summed up in one word: forced.
A. Socialists believe in forced redistribution of wealth.
B. This means that government takes from those who have, and gives it to those who have less.
C. This is done through the collection of taxes from those who have been successful; and then the government deciding who qualifies to get the redistributed money.
D. This way, government assumes the authority over the wealth of individuals; deciding who should contribute to those who have less, and who should receive the wealth confiscated from the successful.
E. Under this system, the individual has no right of self-determination concerning his own money.
F. Instead, the government decides who gives and who gets.
G. This becomes a disincentive to work hard and become successful.
H. Perhaps you have refused an offer to work some overtime because you knew the increase in income could possibly place you into a higher tax bracket.
I. I used to receive bonuses for producing above what was expected of me.
J. 45% of those bonuses was confiscated in taxes that I did not get back at the end of the year.
K. That means that if I earned $1.000 in bonus, I only received $550 of it.
L. What a disappointing discovery to hear you have earned an additional $1,000, only to find out you will receive just 55% of it.
M. This is forced redistribution of wealth.
• What, then, is Biblical redistribution?
A. Biblical redistribution is done through donation, not confiscation.
B. God wants us to learn to love and care for one another.
C. He wants us to give to each other’s needs and deficits.
D. This is different from forced redistribution in that the individual, not the government, makes the decision to give, and who to give to.
E. This way, the individual is giving out of love and concern for those who are in need; instead of grudgingly having his funds confiscated, and then the government simply making an arbitrary decision as to who does and who does not qualify for the funds confiscated.
F. In Matthew 5:42 Jesus said, “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.”
G. Here, Jesus commands us to give.
H. We are not just to speak a word of blessing to someone who is in need; rather, we are to provide the tangible resources he requires.
I. James 2:15 & 16 put it like this, “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,”
“And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?”
J. So, personal giving is demanded, personal giving is expected, and personal giving is provided for; God gives some excess while giving others deficits so that we may learn to have the same care for one another.
K. Even income generation is not exclusively intended to provide for our own needs.
L. First, we are commanded to provide for our own families.
M. I Timothy 5:8 says, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
N. But, income generation has an additional purpose.
O. Ephesians 4:28 says, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”
P. Here, part of the purpose of income generation is to have something to give to those who are in need.
Q. So, while wealth redistribution is Biblical, the Biblical concept of redistribution is donation, not confiscation.
• What about those who refuse to work?
A. II Thessalonians 3:10 says, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”