You have the wrong poster. I have never mentioned Mary Magdalene or, I believe, Jesus, in any posts. God, yes.<quoted text>
I think it is wrong to suppose that the Bible recommended that we do nothing in response to the lives of those who are poor. I believe that you are referring to was Jesus admonishing his disciples who criticized Mary Magdalene for anointing his feet with oil and spices rather than selling these expensive items and giving the procedes to the poor.
We always have such a problem with balance.
But as regards your dad--I'm sure he was a wonderful person. But, your story brought to mind employers who used to purposely keep their employees indebted to them through a variety of devices, such as payment in scrip, requirements to pay rent to live in company housing (price set by the company) or purchase goods from the company store. It was in fact a form of slavery and is no longer legal.
Odd that you would think that way, i.e., company stores, keeping employees indebted, particularly in an area you know nothing about. For the most part, the grooms and hot walkers that take care of the horses live on the track in dorms connected to the stables. There is no rent. They rarely leave the grounds as most do not have cars or families. Every track has a church. When one of my Dad's men got sick, needed to dry out from alcohol abuse, or if he was a teenage boy my dad felt should not live on the track just yet, he brought them to our farm and they lived there, rent free, collected a paycheck and ate every meal at our table. No chance they were going to be drinking with my mother in charge.
We had a trailer out by the stables, but mostly they would live in the house. I remember them. Skipper, Freddie (teenager from Philadelphia), Tex. It is a huge farmhouse. 200 to 250 years old.
Of course, I was always at the stable pestering them.
No, Reader, before you twist this, they were not held against their will nor made to accept this arrangement. To the man, they worshipped my mother, respected and admired my dad and were very good to my sister and I. So don't even go there. My mother drove them where they needed to go. They were included in everything the family did.
In the last few years I was talking to the son of the farmer who was next to us and sometimes rented some of dad's land to plant. He told me something I had never known. When the farmer had a bad year with crops, my Dad would say 'forget the rent this year Harry. Just get my hay and straw up in the loft for me and we're even.'
When I noted the Bible says 'The poor will always be among us', my mother taught that, therefore, we are expected to help them.
But not ordered to by any government through involuntary taxation until we create a large population of sluggards. You cannot legislate a charitable heart. But you sure can instill one by your example.