A Welfare Religion

Richard Thetford

When I speak of the word “welfare”, I’m not talking about our condition of health but rather as Webster defines: “receiving aid because of poverty, etc.” Sadly, there are many individuals that receive welfare aid from the government that become so content in receiving it, that they no longer look for a job, even though they are able to work and get off of welfare aid. By doing this, they rob those that are truly in need of welfare aid. There seems to be many Christians today that are living a “welfare religion” when in fact they are able and should be working!

The Blessings of God

Christians love to receive all the blessings that were promised by God. Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:3: that God “hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”. Yes, we have all these spiritual blessings but we must also do our part in the kingdom, which is to obey Jesus in all things (Heb 5:9; Matt 7:21). While some Christians want the blessings, they are not willing to do the work that they are assigned to do in God’s kingdom. In obedience to Christ we are commanded to work. Faith without works is dead (Jam 2:17). We are going to be held accountable based upon our works. In Revelation 2:23 it says: “And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.”

Handouts or Workouts?

As Christians, we need to constantly examine ourselves to make sure we are not living a “welfare religion” when it comes to serving God. We must ensure that we are not always taking, taking, but that we are giving also. Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:58 that we should be “stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” This verse clearly shows that the child of God will abound and labour in God’s work. We should be working out daily in God’s kingdom, and not be looking for all the handouts.

I developed these thoughts around a poem that a sister in Christ, Ellen Kyle, wrote sometime ago entitled “Welfare Religion”.


When God gave a way of salvation, He gave from the love in His heart,

But it is a gift that will never be mine if I don’t do my part.

Do I sit and demand all the blessings that God has promised to me,

Then complain when I’m told that I must work if any blessings I see?

Do I always expect 100% of everything God has to give,

And then continue doing MY will, and not in God’s way try to live?

Do I say “let the preacher’s sermons give me the faith I need,”

And then say that God’s asking too much if for faith I must study & read?

Do I constantly ask God for handouts, yet never do my part,

Do I pray, “God please take care of me,” but never yield my heart?

Do I say “let others do God’s work,” I don’t want to serve,

And then complain when ever I think, I don’t have what I deserve?

Lord help me to honestly look at myself and see what I should do,

Help me stop asking for handouts, and go to work for you.

Help me not let my religion, a welfare religion be,

Remind me you sent your Son to die, the rest is up to me.

---Ellen Kyle

The Rest Is Up To Us

In John 3:16, John wrote: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God certainly did His part, giving His only Son to die on the cross so that we can have forgiveness of sins. Now the rest is up to us. May we all determine in our hearts not to get caught up in a “welfare religion”, always taking and never giving. Let’s be workers for the Lord, knowing that we will be held accountable for our deeds, whether good or bad (1 Corinthians 5:10).