by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1 Lincolnton, NC October 2, 2005
3 Honour widows that are widows indeed.
4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
1901 ASV Translation:
3 Honor widows that are widows indeed.
4 But if any widow hath children or grandchildren, let them learn first to show piety towards their own family, and to requite their parents: for this is acceptable in the sight of God.
I. Paul Addresses the "Widow" Issue.
A. In the larger context...
1. Acts 6:1 reveals an established practice.
2. James 1:27 reveals an established ethic.
B. In the "church" context...
1. The "honor" has to do with treating them as people worthy of provision.
2. The problem: the financial drag is problematical to all whose values are wrapped around material prosperity (greed has never been a respecter of persons or cultures).
a. This will invariably create a situation where any institution that is seen as a provider of material well-being will be pressed into that service regardless of whether there is a genuine need or not.
b. This raises the question of the welfare-mentality.
1) The church has never been intended to be a social services provider.
2) The church does not accept "provision without labor" as any kind of norm (even the widows are expected to commit to labor/service to the church).
a) It is not acceptable to ever teach anyone that they can get a free handout (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
b) It is only acceptable to provide for those who are unable to provide for themselves and have no one responsible for them.