A recent write-in to the News & Observer Opinion section reads:
Commenting on the response to Burgetta Eplin Wheeler’s column about grandparents having to raise grandchildren with no support and to one of his own columns, Barry Saunders quotes a critic as asking, “Isn’t there a saying from the Bible, ‘God helps those who help themselves’?”
The question deserves a prompt answer, and the answer is no. It does not come from the Bible.
The quote is far more an expression of a false sense of individualism that fails to see how living with others means depending on one another. On this the Bible scores really high. Here is just a sample: “Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” “Bear one another’s burdens.” “The Spirit helps us in our infirmities.”
Robert L. Brawley
McGaw Professor of New Testament Emeritus, McCormick Theological Seminary
The primary location of Christianity is not so much deep within the self of the believer, but in the worship and practice of a believing community. This community’s view of the world is formed by the scriptural narrative. (54)
Sam Wells, Transforming Fate into Destiny: The Theological Ethics of Stanley Hauerwas (1998)
The Last Supper, Jaume Hugue (ca. 1470)
a) A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.
b) a movement in modern Protestantism that emphasizes freedom from tradition and authority, the adjustment of religious beliefs to scientific conceptions, and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity.