Pastor Jim Garlow, of the Skyline Church in San Diego, California, called for churches to take over the welfare and health care system to rid it of freeloaders on July 14 (video below).
Garlow made his comments during an interview on the "Janet Mefferd Today" radio show, Right Wing Watch reports.
Mefferd asked Garlow how government has gone beyond the Bible in its role, and he responded:
This is going to sound pretty radical to the ears of most listeners. We’re so out of tune with Scripture.
For several hundred years, ... for the first part of the history of this country, we did a good job at the health and welfare of people because it was in the role of the church, and the church has the DNA to do that.
The family’s the number one institution, number two and the church steps in, and then the community at large, and then finally the role of the government. That’s kind of a pecking order.
Garlow didn't cite any verses in the Bible that name the "pecking order.
He added: "Health and welfare is 51 percent of the national budget. The government wasn’t designed to do that. It does a terrible job because it can’t isolate out freeloaders, for example. Waste, corruption, fraud. Everybody knows about it, but it never gets corrected."
Twenty-four percent of the U.S. budget went to Social Security in 2015, while 25 percent covered Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program and subsidies to help people pay for private insurance per Obamacare, according to a March 4 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. About 10 percent went to helping people and families in economic hardship.
Garlow went on to add:
We have 320,000 churches in America. About 100,000 of them are Bible-believing churches. Let's just take those for example.
If they were the epicenter of the health and welfare for people, the freeloaders would be gone, so that would take an enormous load off. The taxation ... of people from overregulation of government would be gone, so people could give more to their local church.
Garlow didn't say exactly how the church would get rid of freeloaders, but suggested following a theocracy example would send billions of tax dollars straight to churches:
If we followed what ancient theocracy in Israel did, they had a tax, 10 percent every three years, for the poor. That’s three and a third percent every year.
Let’s suppose that somehow that went to the local worship centers across America, it was administrated to the people by hundreds of volunteers from every church who could make a difference.
People might say, "Well, that just can’t possibly work." Well, let me ask you, how is it working right now? Pretty terrible. Pathetic, quite frankly...
...There are principles that can come across the centuries, that can come to a different form of government and make sense and would work if we would just allow government to be what it’s supposed to be, Biblically and constitutionally.
Church, be what you’re supposed to be. We could step back up to the plate and do what we did so well. There’s plenty of evidence that the church, for a couple thousand years, did a phenomenal job at meeting the health and welfare needs.
Five out of six healthcare corporations in the U.S. are under the administration of the Catholic Church, which limits medical care under its "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services" agreements that change the patient-doctor relationship to the patient-doctor-church relationship, AlterNet reported in March 2013..