John Steward of Jesus
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Benevolent Self-Reliance

January 20, 1982

Principles of Mutual Self-Reliance and Benevolence:

We will trust in God alone to provide for our needs.

God provides for us through the productive work and benevolence of his people, rather than through artificial legal structures or government transfer programs.

We will carry no insurance in excess of that required by law.

Each man must work and show thrift and prudence in providing for himself and his family.  A man who will not work as he is able has no right to eat.

Each man should try to adjust to losses which do not bring hardship.

Circumstances of hardship or need must be brought to the attention of the Christian community for prayer and benevolence.  The mere experience of such circumstances is not an indication of disobedience or negligence.

All members of the community must prayerfully respond to the hardship and needs of others, as they are individually led by the Spirit of God.  Contributions may be given directly to the needy, or through agents of benevolence.  Contributions may not be received by agents unless for designated needy people.  All distributions will go directly to needy people, rather than to institutions offering services.

There will be no binding formulas, guidelines, or precedents regulating the size of contributions.  Only the Spirit of God will guide us.  His work may not be hindered.

These principles will guide all those who voluntarily agree to them, and so indicate through a written pledge of commitment to these principles.