Am I my brothers keeper?

This article made me wonder about the theology behind caring for others.

There is a long strand through the Bible about care for the stranger the widow and the orphan, and dealing unfairly is condemned in Amos.  It is perhaps easy to see the need for regulation to protect those who cannot protect themselves.  Who would choose to live in a fire trap, unless they either did not know, or could not afford anything else?  In either case it is an abuse of the figurative stranger, widow or orphan to let them.

However, we also have a God who gives us “free will”.  Where does this fit into the equation?  Whenever “free will” is invoked by politicians it is usually used to mean you can always earn more money to have what you want – and if you don’t earn it then it is your own fault – perhaps I caricature, but I fear not :(.  This is not the free will that God wants for us, nor is it caring for the stranger, the widow and the orphan.

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