Dr. Bobby E. Mills on the Black Church and America’s Welfare System

Bobby E. Mills
Bobby E. Mills

There are many legitimate reasons why some individuals must depend on a Welfare System. Of course, individuals should not be dehumanized in order to become a recipient of welfare assistance. Both recipients, as well as, welfare professionals should be respectful of each other’s human dignity (Spirit). And, welfare assistance should not become a lifetime solution to what ought to be temporary problems. The underlying principle for receiving welfare assistance ought to be career development training; coupled with daycare services, and of course, this process protects taxpayer resources by ultimately removing individuals from the Welfare rolls.

We all know, that Church and State are entities that are constitutionally separate; however, there is another dimension that assist in developing the human spirit: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3 John 1: 2). Without a doubt, if welfare recipients just keep on living they will indeed discover this spiritual truism of life: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” (Psalms 37: 25). Therefore, in the receiving of welfare, above all things individuals should get a good understanding, because Welfare should not be a permanent way of life, but only a temporary means to a short-term-end, because:  “The Lord is my shepherd; and I shall not want.” (Psalms 23:1).

Exampling a welfare life style is not spiritually, mentally or physically healthy. But, the worst kind of mental condition is to become materially wealthy, and not to have poured out your spirit in love and service to others. “For what shall it prosper a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

Without a doubt, if welfare assistance is not managed appropriately it can become spiritually, and physically detrimental to an individual’s, mind, body, and soul. By trusting in a Welfare System (human beings) rather than trusting in God invariably can become dangerous to an individual’s psyche and Spirit. Welfare recipients should not dehumanize themselves by seeking to maximize the “pleasure-principle”, because “But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.” (1 Timothy 5: 6). But, more importantly, choices have consequences. Bad choices: Bad consequences. Good choices: Good consequences.  This is why Welfare recipients should spiritually understand this scripture: “Therefore take no thought, saying What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all of these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6: 31-34).

The welfare system was primarily created as hedge against abject poverty for Whites, but the negative image of welfare was projected upon minorities; especially Blacks. The socio-economic-system was designed to perpetuate White family economic success. When White families fail, they invariably blame minorities rather than themselves. The welfare system allows dysfunctional White families to project, and scapegoats their lack of economic success on permanent-tan minorities; especially Blacks. Of course, minorities project their lack of family socio-economic success upon the SYSTEM (Whites). Both approaches have some truth associated with them. However, one side has more truth associated with it than the other side, because one side established all the rules, and then change the rules to fit their socio-political-economic objectives.

It seems as though allowing Blacks to benefit from welfare is more beneficial to the socio-political-economic purposes of the SYSTEM than allowing Blacks to have gainfully-meaningful-employment-opportunities. Above all, welfare destroys the God-given image of family structure. Government becomes the head of the household, and at the same time, determines who goes and who stays in the house. Of course, the welfare system would be more humane and spiritually right in the sight of God if it allowed for men to remain in household as long as they are gainfully employed. Men must have jobs, because a job is a Job, and any job is better than no job. Picking up trash is a job. Flipping hamburgers is a job. Work is God’s gift to men, and all work is honorable in the sight of God, because a servant is worth his hire.

Therefore, a welfare system based upon the proportional income of the head of the household is a spiritually-family-friendly societal approach to the problem of family poverty. American society should never condone “shacking” that is, men and women living together without being legally married, because a spiritually oriented society begins in the nuclear family unit. God is a God of “obligation” and in shacking there is no obligation.

Both welfare recipients, as well as, all Americans should align themselves with the word of God in order to become overcomers of immoral-societal-confusion (policies). We all should know that there is a spiritual struggle within, and at the same time, we know that: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6: 23). All of us should desire to become, what God desires that, we become through Him by loving, and serving each other in his name. America, take heed of this scriptural reference: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor: he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (The Great Commission).  (Luke 4: 18-19). Selah!

Bobby E. Mills is an accomplished college professor and public sector administrator. He earned a B.D. degree in Theology from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, New York and a Ph.D. degree in Sociology from Syracuse University, New York. He has written and published numerous professional articles concerning the pressing social ills confronting American society.