Quoting Quiverfull: The Church’s Job is What?

Quoting Quiverfull: The Church’s Job is What? July 18, 2013

by Mary Pride of Homeschool World – A Church That Works

If you examine the New Testament, you’ll see Jesus, who is among other things “our example,” spending a lot of time healing the sick. You will also find numerous places in the Epistles where the church is told to take care of its poor (and also the non-Christian poor, as resources allow), its “widows indeed,” and the “fatherless.”

The government has no business caring for the poor (especially since government “care” means 80 percent of the money goes to bureaucrats, and no incentives or rewards are provided for the “deserving” poor as opposed to the lazy and self-destructive). Caring for the poor is the proper business of the family, private charity . . . and the church. Towards that end, we have food pantries, clothes cupboards, soup kitchens, and so forth. A good start; more needs to be done.

Healing the sick, e.g., health care, should be freely provided by the church. I touched on this in a previous issue (PHS #21, page 12). Did you know that, as part of persecuting the Hugenots, the government of France forbade them to practice medicine? We have no such prohibition in law. However, the insidious web of government regulations and tort law excesses (malpractice suits that scare doctors into practicing defensive medicine) make it in practice illegal for any church to provide basic nursing care, herbal help, or other types of personal-service-intensive, inexpensive care – the kind most people really need, and that the current medical establishment can’t or won’t make it easy for them to receive.

Skipping over for the moment the care of “widows indeed,” who were enrolled by the early church in full-time Christian service in return, we close with a look at “orphans” and the “fatherless.” Our current child abuse/social service industry is a disgrace. Kids are bounced around through foster care. The government has every incentive to take kids away from good (but politically incorrect) families. And have you noticed how almost always when a kid is abused to death, the government agencies already knew about the life-threatening abuse?

The care of abandoned children should be the church’s job . . . and crimes against children should be taken care of by the police. This will require changes in law, in police work, and in church ministry. Could this be your calling? Or maybe a career in church health service? It’s a big world out there!

Comments open below


QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Sande Ard

    But the ebil government healthcare allows me Prozac for depression, and Neurontin for nerve pain and some blood pressure medication. I don’t think I’d get on quite as well with only prayer, fruits and veggies, which is probably all I’d be allowed under “church” Health care. Not that I don’t make use of the latter three, I do. But it’s wonderful to know that I do have access to medication without which I would be a train wreck going somewhere to happen.

  • Um…where is the church (and which church? all? hers? those that share her beliefs?) going to get all this magic money for helping everyone? and who would regulate it? and really, how do you distinguish between “deserving poor” and “lazy”?

  • She seem to think that if God calls the church to do x (help the poor, in this case), it is wrong for the non-church (government, in this case) to do x.

    The argument seems to be: God tells [group] to do [x], therefore [other group] should not do [x]. That is illogical – the mere fact that you tell two of your children “I want you to work hard” in their presence, will not mean you want the others to be lazy.

    Similarly, if God wants the church to help the poor, it does not mean the non-church is not allowed to help. The Bible actually say Sodom was destroyed for not caring about the poor. Did God call the church in Sodom to care, or everyone? The text suggest everyone.

    But she is not the only one. who use that fallacious argument form. Many in patriarchy/ quiverfull claim that since God tells parents to teach children about God, children should be home-schooled. But parents can teach children about God and also sending them to church school, government school or private school too.

    Or they read women should have “a gentle and quiet spirit” and call it a gender role while gentleness is part of the fruit of the spirit and not for one gender, and Paul calls all believers to live quiet lives.

  • Nightshade

    Fine, if they would help the poor regardless of religious beliefs. ‘You haven’t accepted our god as your savior? You don’t believe in him? You don’t even want to listen to us preach about how evil you are? Nope, no help here…’

  • Joyce

    There are just so many illogical claims in this piece, I hardly know where to start, but this one in particular irritates me:

    “Did you know that, as part of persecuting the Hugenots, the government
    of France forbade them to practice medicine? We have no such prohibition
    in law.”

    Does her audience know who the Hugenots were? Do they realize that she’s talking about something that happened in France in the 1700s? Does she understand the complexities of 18th century French culture and politics? If this statement is in fact true, and whether she knows what she’s talking about or not, how does this have any meaningful relevance to her argument?

    “and no incentives or rewards are provided for the “deserving” poor as opposed to the lazy and self-destructive).”

    And I suppose she gets to be the judge of this? And what happens to her “deserving” group when she changes her mind and decides their just lazy users? Wouldn’t want any social safety net to help them out. They might as well live in Somalia.

    It must be nice to live in such a clearly defined black and white world.

  • gimpi1

    Medicine has changed a great deal since the Hugenots. One of the main reasons our medicine is expensive is that it works. No church can cover the costs of, for example, surgery to repair a faulty heart-valve. I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, a malfunction of the immune system that causes it to attack my joints. I take several prescription drugs to control it. (It can’t be cured.) One of these drugs, a biologic modifier, costs over $2,000 a month. This drug is only about 15-20 years old. My medical insurance pays for it (as long as I am able to work). What church is going to be providing this high-tech drug in their future-world?

    Another point; how, exactly, do you determine who constitutes the “deserving poor?” For most people, sadly, a principle characteristic of being deserving is, “looking and thinking mostly like me.” We mostly judge people who don’t look like us much more harshly. It appears to be an unpleasant part of human nature. That’s one reason I prefer aid be handled by a governmental body that must function under simple eligibility rules.

    Also, perhaps it’s just my cynicism, but I can’t help but think that part of determining who is deserving might have something to do with one’s willingness to convert to the religious beliefs of the institution controlling the aid? No, that would never happen, right?

  • No joke. My bipolar would be a nightmare with only natural herbs and prayer. I thank God regularly for synthetic medicines which allow me to feel human!

  • Guess black and white is easier than murky gray areas? I mean, then people would have to *gasp* think for themselves!

  • Kristen Rosser

    I agree with Retha (below). Actually, Rome did have certain social service programs, and nowhere does any New Testament writer, or Jesus, say anything about that at all. They ask the church to care for the poor. They never say the government can’t or shouldn’t do the same.

  • Trollface McGee

    “The government has no business caring for the poor”
    Because private organisations do better? Have you seen some of the “non-profits” and how much profit their CEOs/pastors/people in charge make vs. how much goes to the “deserving” poor. And at least I know if I get government assistance, I won’t have to pray to a God I don’t believe in (and a God who hates me) to get that assistance.

    “Healing the sick, e.g., health care, should be freely provided by the church”

    Right, so churches are going to install surgical facilities, hire trained medical doctors, nurses, staff. Provide care for lady parts? I think not. Sure, the Hugenots could pull it off but that’s because their main methods of treatment were leeches and bleeding.

    And we have religious adoption services. Most of them coerce nice white pregnant girls to give up their babies to “deserving” couples. And they want freedom to exclude people they think are unworthy to be parents which means they would fail to provide adoption services unless you meet their strict and often ridiculous criteria.

    Abuse is often not found because we cut funds from social workers (no more big gubmint right?) so they are constantly understaffed and overworked and because we have laws in place protecting the rights of homeschool parents, and have lawmakers worship at the altar of parental rights even when that kind of thinking reduces children to property and abuse to be legal.

  • Madame

    Very well put, Retha.
    I think the church should be more busy doing good to people instead of judging and arguing over the same theological issues over and over and over again. That’s what I take these passages to mean. Fundies, of course, want to use them to abolish all government agencies.
    I also wonder who those “deserving poor” are.

  • NeaDods

    I keyed on her judging the poor too because nothing says the love of Christ like, “get out of here, you don’t deserve help. I like,that other person more.”

  • Antigone10


    If private charity was enough to be able to cover everyone’s needs, nobody would be pushing for government charity. Demonstrate to me, first, that you have enough through your food banks, and EVERYONE, no matter what you personally think of them, and nobody would care.

    But private charities aren’t enough. In fact, the countries that do the best have very little private charity, and a lot of social safety. Probably because of economies of scale, and because that “bureaucracy” that everyone rages against is actually more efficient than anything else. Incentive? A government worker, who gets regular pay raises, benefits, and about the best job security you can get in modern US, has more incentive to do well than a person in the private market that is going without pay raises for the 3 year in a row.

  • Saraquill

    “Convert or starve” is not charity.

  • Theo Darling

    Haha, didn’t you know that it actually wouldn’t cost them very much, because very few people actually need help in la-la land!

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Well, hey, she does say that churches should even deign to care for the non-Christian poor, “as resources allow.” Gosh, how generous of her to allow for some bones to be thrown to the Undesirables! If there are any bones, of course.

  • persephone

    This post is a giant, steaming pile of bullcrap.

    80% of money does not go to the bureaucrats. Medicare spends a greater percentage on actual care than does any charity or private insurance company. About 60% of the federal budget goes to the military. States have cut taxes on corporations in attempts to keep these businesses in their states that social programs are cut to the bone or closed, and what still exists falls on the shoulders of lower income taxpayers.

    She tosses in the word “tort” because she doesn’t know what it means, and because it’s a hot button word that makes a lot of people freak out because they have no idea what it means. Medical malpractice would almost never involve a tort. Many, if not most, states have limits on medical malpractice awards, so that’s not the main basis for the cost of medicine in the U.S.

    I just love how she complains that laws prevent churches from doling out healthcare, but I’m sure she happily supports the anti-choice laws that are expanding the limits put on healthcare providers to provide medical care just to make it harder for women to get abortions, but that also have huge impacts on women-specific healthcare.

    As others have noted, the phrase “deserving poor” allows for punitive and abusive discrimination. This is why the government handles these programs.

    But she’s preaching to the choir. If Mary actually had to try to persuade someone with some knowledge, she would utterly fail.

  • itsdanilove

    I’d really like to see the passage where Jesus only spent time with the “deserving” poor.