There is a group out there that called the Matthew 25 Network, which purports to be a Christian political action committee. The group takes its name from the 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, of which verses 35 – 36 reads:
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. The verses refer to Jesus extolling us to take care of those in need, and they are a big part of this group’s marketing. In fact, the verses figure prominently into this advertisement on their website.
Aside from the problem that they incorrectly reference the two verses as being ten (30 – 40 instead of 35 – 36), they group has a bigger problem. They seem to be reading something completely different into the text. They think they see:
For I was hungry and [you voted to give me your neighbors’ food], I was thirsty and [you voted to give me your neighbors’ drink], I was a stranger and [you voted to invite me into your neighbors’ house], I needed clothes and [you voted to give me your neighbors’ clothes], I was sick and [you voted to force your neighbors to look after me], I was in prison and [you voted to force your neighbor to visit me].
This group and probably others try to use these verses to persuade Christians that the “true Christian” votes for Barack Obama. They see something they like in the Bible and ignore the context or the logic of what it is trying to say.
The nature of Christian charity is that you are giving up something for someone else, i.e. making a sacrifice. I doubt that voting to take your fellow taxpayers’ money to give to those without qualifies as Christian charity.
This is not to say that Christians shouldn’t give to those in need. Obviously, the original text points to the opposite conclusion. However, motive is important. Romans distributed funds from the treasury for the betterment of the poor as well, but for political reasons – the same could be said for the modern Democratic Party. To receive credit in God’s eyes, we must do these things to honor Him and to love our fellow man. Our gift is to be received in Heaven, not on Earth. Matthew 6:
“Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in Heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. They your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
You get credit for what you personally do of your own free will with what God has given you. That means no credit for voting to distribute what isn’t yours. That means no credit if you are forced to do it.
I think it is clear that the Left, despite all of its protestations against public religion and their concept of theocracy, will try to abuse religious faith and text when it cannot snuff it out, all in order to gain political power.