Michael Youssef

As an African-born American, I worked my way to this country. I paid for my education and was glad to do so. Unlike many people who were born in America and take its blessings for granted, I know how rare those blessings are in this world.

I don't see America as a "fallen nation." To me, America is a lighthouse of liberty, a shining city on a hill. May God bless my adopted homeland and may He open the eyes of those who deplore and oppose what God has blessed.

What's the best way to lift people out of poverty? America has spent trillions on anti-poverty programs—yet, as Jesus said, we still have the poor among us. These programs don't end poverty. They just incentivize it.

The best way—in fact, the only way—to lift people out of poverty is by creating jobs. How do you do that? With stimulus spending? When Congress passed the $787 billion Stimulus Bill in February 2009, unemployment stood at 8.2 percent. Before the end of the year, unemployment topped 10 percent; today it's at 9.1 percent. Clearly, "stimulus" spending doesn't work.

The only way to create jobs is to set the private sector free by cutting taxes and cutting government red tape. (I don't say that's what Jesus would cut; it's common sense.) The most effective anti-poverty program ever devised is a job, and most jobs in America are created by small businesses. When a businessman puts his capital at risk and hires employees, he's fighting poverty.

Writing in The Huffington Post, Wallis said, "I don't believe, as the Republicans keep saying, that the best way to help everybody is to keep helping the super-rich." Who are these so-called "super-rich"? Many are small business owners, the ones who create jobs, pay taxes, and support charities that fight poverty. Wallis's Marx-inspired policies would stifle opportunity, kill jobs, discourage donations, and increase poverty.

Shallow Marxist thinking supposes that the way to end poverty is through coercive income redistribution—confiscating wealth from the "haves" and handing it to the "have-nots." But true compassion seeks to expand liberty and opportunity—not government.

I don't claim that those on the Religious Left aren't true Christians. But we must be discerning about their message. The "social gospel" is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. The supporters of the "What would Jesus cut?" message are on the wrong side of the biblical mandate. Jesus did not say, "Go and tax your neighbor and transfer his wealth to the poor." He said, "Go and make disciples" (Matthew 28:19).

One reason Christians should not mix the gospel and the government is that true compassion for the poor should always be motivated by the love of Jesus Christ. When the poor receive help, Jesus should get the credit. How is the Great Commission fulfilled, and how is the Gospel proclaimed, by a government check from a Washington bureaucrat?

To use the name of Christ to advance a socialist ideology is to abuse His name. Jesus is Lord and Savior. His Kingdom is not of this world. He left the glories of heaven to be crucified, to rise again, to conquer hell and the grave—not to become a mascot for a worldly political movement.


Michael Youssef

Dr. Michael Youssef is the author of 27 books including his most recent and timely Blindsided: The Radical Islamic Conquest. His blog: www.michaelyoussef.com Follow on Twitter: @MichaelAYoussef