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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bringing Mercy to Economic Inequality

Mercy is that kindness, compassion and tenderness which is a passion to suffer with, or participate in, another's ills or evils in order to relieve, heal and restore. ...It is to take another into one's heart just as he is and cherish and nourish him there. Mercy takes another's sins and evils and faults as its own, and frees the other by bearing them to God.







Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Leadership: What Difference Will I Make?

Bringing Mercy to Economic Inequality

By Evan Nehring

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Jesus (Matthew 5:7)

I read a stunning definition of mercy tonight. It churns my insides.

Mercy is God's supply system for every need everywhere. Mercy is that kindness, compassion and tenderness which is a passion to suffer with, or participate in, another's ills or evils in order to relieve, heal and restore. ...It is to take another into one's heart just as he is and cherish and nourish him there. Mercy takes another's sins and evils and faults as its own, and frees the other by bearing them to God. Rex Andrews [1]

Photo Credit: psporter on Flickr Creative Commons


The question we need to answer is this: how do we organize our society to promote the greatest opportunity for mercy? For compassion? I submit to you that the answer is in the greatest freedom. Government agencies are not capable of mercy. You and I are capable of mercy. Yes, we are also capable of evil, but freedom has brought more good in the world and government control has brought more inequality.

The Rex Andrews mercy definition speaks of taking someone into your heart and cherishing him and nourishing him there. Writing checks to the government will not show mercy to the poor. Befriending hurting people is mercy.

This is borne out economically in countries all over the world and throughout history. The great tragedy of humanity is not the economic prosperity gap but the individual freedom gap. Where freedom abounds, the poor are served more greatly. Socialist models are collapsing across Europe and South America. Where greater economic freedom is given, greater prosperity accompanies and the poor are served.

We cannot outsource our compassion to the government. And the closer our safety net programs are to the people, the more the poor are served. Many federal programs would be less wasteful and more beneficial at the state level, many at the county level, many at the city/town level, and many through the private efforts of churches, charities and citizens.

Free markets have brought a prosperity to the United States and Canada that have overflowed to bless the world. Other countries have felt the blessing of free markets. But if the government is given the power to tax heavily and distribute benefits as a central planning agency, we have descended to the ills of socialism. As the government takes more of our money, we have fewer resources with which to show mercy. We have less impact as we care.

Chad Hovind in his book, Godonomics, speaks of how every political leader takes us closer to freedom or closer to slavery as a country. Reduction in personal wealth, whatever promises the government makes, removes personal freedom in the choices we can make for mercy. Economic inequality, like so many of our problems, will not be solved by making the government more powerful. It will be worsened.

Comments Are Always Welcome...

Do you feel that the poor of our society are served best through expanded government programs? Is that the best way to show mercy?

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1. Rex B. Andrews. What the Bible Teaches About Mercy. (Zion, IL: Zion Faith Homes, 1964), 2.

8 comments:

  1. I love this definition too. What do we know about Rex...I haven't heard of him before but like this excerpt. Also I think my fave line is how we can't outsource our compassion to the govt.

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    1. Eileen, the Rex Andrews book is basically a Bible study of mercy through the whole Bible. Our pastor in Tomahawk gave it to me when I told him how overwhelmed I get with mercy. Don't know any more about him.

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    2. Rex Andrews was a greatly anointed minister who fell into sexual sin for 7 years but was restored. Through his restoration, Andrews got a huge sight of God's mercy, and it became his message for the rest of his life (he died and old man in 1976). A wonderful history of the Zion Faith Homes, which includes Andrews's bio and a context for that mercy definition, has just been published. It's called "A Vast Simplicity" by Rev. Douglas Detert. You can order a copy by calling the Evergreen Center where Detert is pastor at 715-366-7003.

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    3. Wow, thanks Maria for that unexpected and very helpful background information. I agree that we show mercy when we understand the great depth of the mercy we have been shown.

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  2. I love Rex Andrews's definition of mercy. It speaks to me and talks about a vast God with enormous heart and passion for us and patience to wait until we understand it.

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    1. It's tricky, don't you think Joanna, how God loves us so deeply and patiently but hates the pain the sin brings in our lives. Sometimes we feel judged when his standards are there for protection. It's just like earthly parents shielding our small children from danger.

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  3. Just stumbled on to this post. Great insights. I was privileged to attend the Faith Home in Zion, Il. as a kid. Always fun to hear about people discovering Rex Andrews. I just shared another one of his books with a friend, "Meditations in Revelations". You'd enjoy it I'm sure. Blessings!

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    1. Really appreciate the personal insights and background, Jamie!

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