Thursday, August 06, 2009

Rallies...or Real Resistance?


Many Americans are up in arms over the Federal Government's push for health care coverage, truly insane fiscal policies, complete support for abortion and sodomy, etc, etc, etc. Consequently, a number of rallies have been organized to oppose this agenda. Rightly so.

But all of this can be like a band of plump old men, in dire danger of massive heart attacks, rallying to ban Twinkies while still eating two pounds of bacon for breakfast every morning. Yes, they should skip the Twinkies, but their opposition to heart attacks is hardly convincing. It looks suspiciously like they are blame-shifting, making Twinkies look bad in order to make themselves look good.

Americans have been actively clamoring for government intervention for at least 70 years now, and the vast majority who oppose Obamacare have been sucking at the Federal teat for most of their lives. In other words, they have had no problem with the United States government taking money from their neighbor in order to pay for what they wanted, whether or not the government had a moral right to do so.

  • They received their education through government money. This is not just primary schooling. Many actively sought and received federal grants for college education. They expect the government to pay for their children's education, too.

  • They received their health care by playing the tax game of exemption from income tax for employer provided insurance.

  • They received their retirement through the federal ponzi scheme called Social Security. If they are not personally at retirement age, then they have passed the buck of all personal responsibility for their aging parents to the SSA.

  • Not a few have cashed in on government hand outs, such as WIC, Medicaid, and food stamps, whether they truly needed it or not.

  • Many have received federal government support or protection of their business through subsidies or tariffs.

In other words, many 'conservative' Americans really like milking the federal cash cow. They just don't like it when she steps on their toes. They don't want federal control, just the federal money.

Ultimately, I believe the problem is a spiritual one. We are a nation of idolaters, and rallies against federally mandated health care are not going to solve the problem. For the real question is, Why are you opposed to Obamacare? Is it because it will ration health care? That's not good, but since there is no such thing as a right to health care on someone else's dime anyway, this can simply be selfishness - a pretty rotund idol. Is it because it will support abortion and promote euthanasia? Well, now we are getting somewhere. But then we have to ask the next question, What is your moral basis for opposing abortion and euthanasia? Following the train of thought started here, sooner or later we are going to have to ask what god we are serving, what ultimate allegiance we have.

Christians who are serious about opposing Obamacare shouldn't just go to rallies. They should first of all preach the gospel, exalt Jesus Christ as Lord of all, especially as they gather in church on the Lord's Day, and unmask the god of this world for the liar and murderer that he is. Then they should live this vision out by pulling all Christian children out of the public school system, getting off of Medicaid and WIC, reinstating multi-generational family support for those who are elderly or in need, paying their own medical bills or getting into a Christian cost-sharing program (like Samaritan Ministries), getting out of debt, and so forth.

These are the kind of people who demonstrate that they are free men, and they are the kind of people who give real resistance to government oppression. All of those freeloaders who rave against the government programs at rallies are not a real threat. The bigwigs know that they just have to come up with the right way to finesse the situation or justify their actions in order to pacify these pragmatic people. But the government fears those who are truly free and who live by principle. The humble Christian, gratefully receiving the Word and the Lord's Supper in faith with his fellow believers, who lives in keeping with that, is the greatest threat to any and all world powers who exalt themselves.

And so I say, worship God in spirit and truth! This is real, Christ-centered resistance.

Just some thoughts.


ThirstyMan said...

So... are you saying that pork is bad for us? ;-)

ThirstyMan said...

Continuing in the pork vein...
Perhaps this would help us...

feel free to dump this post if you see fit, Pastor!! :-)

Jason Parker said...


I've been looking for a way to sanctify my secret pork addiction. Maybe this is what I need.

Pastor Porker

Melanie said...

Pastor, I have some thoughts and questions about this blog. You’ve preached on this subject in the past so lots of ideas have been rolling around in my head. I guess my basic question is where does the Bible want us to draw the line? Obviously government has been established by God. Yet, I’m fuzzy on exactly what that government should look like. What does God want government to do? I’m not aware of many democratic governments during Bible times. So Christians then had to obey a government that was many times anti-God. Now we have some say and some control.

Where do we draw the line in government intervention? You’ve talked about how our taxes go to pay for other people’s needs. However, there are some needs that I am willing to pay for: roads, police protection, fire departments, etc. The people who are rallying today have drawn the line at personal health care. You’ve drawn the line at personal finances. Others have purchased their own guns, barricaded their families in compounds and drawn the line and become their own police.

I’m willing for my tax money to go to federal grants that help scientists discover cures for disease, etc. The problem comes when the money goes to things I don’t approve of. I think the breakdown there is our Congress who doesn’t seem to represent the people anymore. But I digress.

So back to my question, where is the line? Is there an example of what government should look like and exactly how much it should do?

Jason Parker said...

Hi Melanie,
Thanks for your great contribution to this discussion. Of course, I can only respond briefly here, but I'm sure we will have further occasion to discuss this topic.

Do you remember the sheet I handed out giving a diagram of an integrated Christian worldview? If you no longer have a copy I can give you another one. On that sheet I summarized the state's responsibility as primarily *exercising judgment*. It is to restrain wickedness and promote righteousness by providing justice as defined by God's revelation (Rom 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13).

All the particulars of how that works out will vary from time to time and place to place, but the basic function is to remain the same. For example, monarchy is as biblically acceptable as democracy, provided that the biblical function is maintained.

So, the most fundamental questions we have to ask, *before* we ask where to draw the line, are as follows.
1. What is government?
2. What is governemnt for?
3. What moral obligations does this create for any government and for its subjects?

Once you have answered these questions from a Scriptural perspective, then you will have much wisdom on how to apply that in any particular situation.