S&P downgraded the United States last night.
I hope and pray that this will serve as a wake-up call for the Church to realize that Biblical precepts can’t be mocked if any nation wants to survive. If God’s people don’t begin to understand, articulate and follow those precepts, then there is no hope.
One of those precepts is that God has ordained certain roles and responsibilities for civil government, and Scripture has lots to say about how individuals, families, the Church, the State and voluntary associations are to function.
However, there is not a single verse or example in all of Scripture which lends any credence to the view that God has given civil government the right or responsibility to re-distribute wealth or provide for our individual health or income. See The Growing Idolatry of Civil Government.
To all of my Christian friends who’ve flirted with or been seduced by the temptation to use the power of civil government to coercively solve all social woes by “sharing wealth”, understand that this is a euphemism for state-sanctioned stealing. I know your arguments – which point to real human needs and rely on pleas that “something” must be done to help others in need.
I don’t minimize the real social problems and human needs that exist in our society. Those who know me know my dedication to helping meet those needs. But fundamentally, you want to impose your own ideals and utopian dreams on me and everyone else through government-enforced and government-administered charity. And by doing so, you have driven America to the brink of ruin.
History demonstrates the utter folly of all state-sanctioned utopian schemes and confirms that the road to hell truly is paved with good intentions.
Coerced wealth re-distribution and enforced charity just don’t work.
I see their failures every day as I work one-on-one to help folks. The biggest obstacle to real progress – beside holding onto hurts, lies and disabling sins – exists among those who are attitudinally dependent on, and thus ensnared by, government largess and a system built on the false promise of bureaucratic one-size-fits-all “solutions”.
Having seen this up close and personal while ministered to lots of folks, I understand very vividly the underlying theme of Exodus – that it’s easy to take the slave out of Egypt, but nearly impossible to take Egypt (where they were in bondage to the State but all their basic needs were met by the State) out of the slave!
Civil government has vital, valid responsibilities – like protecting the innocent, punishing evildoers, and securing our common wellbeing. But hopefully, it is now becoming clear that when civil government becomes focused on redistributing wealth and enforced charity, it is unable to also maintain a sound economy, a stable currency and responsible fiscal policies.
Every dollar removed from the economy by government – as it tries to do what God ordained that we should do for ourselves and for one another as individuals, families and voluntary associations – is one less dollar available for economic growth, capital investment, job creation, helping others and solving real problems.
Civil government can’t do both – it can’t coercively redistribute wealth and impose charity while also providing an environment that is conducive to wealth creation – and that dilemma defines the fundamental political divide facing our country today:
- We have abdicated our obligation as individuals, families, churches and voluntary associations to assume responsibility for our own lives and for helping one another – as God intended and as Scripture commands.
- We have taken the easy path of allowing politicians and bureaucrats to falsely promise that they will do for us what we should be doing for ourselves and each other.
- We’ve violated sound, Biblical precepts for many decades, and stood silent while government consumed wealth and ran amuck.
- We bought into the lie that forced charity would solve real problems.
So now, nearly half of what our government spends is with borrowed dollars, with an ever-growing deficit that is crushing us and destroying our future.
Interestingly, this week President Obama had a birthday. He turned fifty. When a man turns fifty, he’s finally old enough to know better.
Until we gain the electoral will to restrain government and once again assume responsibility – as God intended – for our own lives, our own families, and our own communities, we will remain slaves to the State.
In return for hollow promises by the State to solve all our problems and be our brother’s keeper, we have sold our right to live as free men and women. Tragically, to feed the voracious beast of civil government we also have sold the birthrights of our children and our children’s children.
The ultimate tragedy, however, is that the Beast is a monster of our own creation.
~ Jim Wright
- The Growing Idolatry of Civil Government (crossroadjunction.com)
Jim, you have articulated so clearly what many of us have believed for a long, long time. The sad part is, so many in the body of Christ cannot make the connection between what the Bible clearly teaches and warns against, and what we are living through today.
I have had people tell me that we Christians should not be involved in politics, that Jesus never instructed us to become engaged.in government. I respond by telling them that Jesus didn’t have to tell us to do that because the people of his time and culture understood that that was expected of them. The entire Old Testament, after all, is about governments, good and bad, culture, and the impact of Truth upon them both.
Human history began in a garden and ends in a city. If those two images don’t represent culture, I don’t know what does.
Keep up the good work!