One of the informal “tests of suitability” of different religions is their attitude toward the downtrodden and disadvantaged.
What then, is Judeo/Christian expected behavior toward
. . . . . .
Whatever should compel us to interfere with natural, normal survival of the the fittest?
For more there’s the DOOR.
Some people, many probably, would say something like, “I just want to do the decent thing.”
But how far does that go. And why?
The “widows and orphans concern” came to my attention as worked on completing my novel, The Blood of Three Worlds (which I’ll say no more about here).
Christians (I’m one) are deeply concerned–or should be–about people in need of a Savior as well as many other things. Some religions–I’m not going to mention names–are rather hard on outsiders and the unfortunate. Christianity, along with its age-old Jewish roots, expresses continual concern about those oppressed and disadvantaged by birth and unfortunate circumstances. This is typically express in caring for “widows and orphans,” especially distressful in more primitive times. In looking at the verses that appear below, and I could cite many others, the term “alien” kept popping up so I’ve included that also–putting it in red.
Before going further, here is a baker’s dozen, or so, of passages about widows and orphans…with “aliens” coming along for the ride. [This is adapted from material taken from bibleknowing-jesus.com/topics/orphans, that was pointed out to us by one of our subscribers.]
Psalms 82:3 “Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
Deuteronomy 10:18 “He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.
Psalms 68:5 “A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows”
Zechariah 7:10 “and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.”
Deuteronomy 24:17 “You shall not pervert the justice due an alien or an orphan, nor take a widow‘s garment in pledge.”
Deuteronomy 26:12-13 “When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. “You shall say before the LORD your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments.”
Deuteronomy 24:19 “When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.”
Deuteronomy 14:28-29 “At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town. “The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.
Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.”
Jeremiah 7:5-7 “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.
Deuteronomy 27:19 “’Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’”
Exodus 22:22-24 “You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. “If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.
Malachi 3:5 “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the LORD of hosts.
James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
God the father and his son Jesus–who suffered and died on the cross–express concern and compassion for those who have less that the rest. And He expects those who take Him seriously to act upon this. Typically, the poster people for the disadvantaged are the widow and orphan. This, of course, does not rule out helping widowers, the aged, the sick, or the poor.
But what about the “alien” mentioned here–and since some of you know I write novels about people in need on other planets, let me be clear: As far as I can tell, the Bible says nothing about extraterrestrial life. It neither confirms or denies it. It does, however, clearly declare that God created everything.
The alien here refers to those who are not Jews: foreigners, outsiders–including those who have heard, or never heard, about God, those who have and not accepted Him.
And Christians, according to St. Paul, are “outsiders” who are fully adopted into Abraham’s family.