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If only both sides would actually read the Bible instead of cite out of context phrases. No, Jesus did not tell his followers to sell all their goods and give to the poor. See Matthew 19: 16–26.

“The poor you have with always” is from a story told in Matthew and Mark of a woman who anoints Jesus’s feet with expensive perfume. Judas chides her for wasting money that should go to the poor. In Mark 14 (which IMHO best contextualizes the story:) 6“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7The poor you will always have with you,b and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

2 Thessalonians 3: 6 Now we command you, brothers, sin the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, tthat you keep away from any ubrother vwho is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know whow you ought to imitate us, because xwe were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but ywith toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9 It was znot because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves aan example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: bIf anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you cwalk in idleness, not busy at work, but dbusybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.4

The Bible, particularly the book of Proverbs contains many injunctions re the duty to work to earn one’s living. OTOH, there are also regulations such as the fallowing of fields so that the beasts and the poor can eat, or not reaping the corners of fields, leaving that part of the harvest to the poor.

The real issue is whether the duty to help the poor is a duty of individuals, or whether it mandates that Christians support government redistribution of income.

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