the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
Last week's article was the beginning of what could be (indeed should be), a lengthy discussion concerning the role of the individual and the three primary institutions created by God. However, due to time and space limitations I will cut to the chase this week and touch on the biblical principals that apply to the debate surrounding HR 3200 and other proposed State run healthcare plans.
In a recent conference call with national Jewish leaders, President Obama said, that "fabrications have been put out there in order to discourage people from meeting what I consider to be a core ethical and moral obligation: that is that we look out for one another, that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. In the wealthiest nation on earth right now, we are neglecting to live up to that call." Moreover, in what the Los Angeles Times reports as "40 Days for Health Reform," President Obama and company are pushing "a national television ad, prayer rallies, meetings in congressional districts where lawmakers are waffling and a nationwide 'sermon weekend' at the end of August."
On one hand I applaud the apparent effort to tear down the phony wall of separation - a wall of political convenience - between Church and State. There is no doubt that the Church has the God given responsibility to speak to every issue in society and culture. On the other hand, I have a strong desire to see the biblically mandated wall between Church and State, Family and State and the individual and State set firmly in place.
You see, the Bible teaches that looking out for the weak and vulnerable is the responsibility of the individual, the Church and other voluntary organizations not the State. We know this because the penalties for failure to do so are imposed by God and not the civil government. Since the Bible is unequivocal in teaching that each of us will answer to God for our treatment of the stranger, the weak and the needy, we understand that charity is a matter between God and the individual. There is no indication in the Bible that the State has the responsibility to relieve the plight of the poor or the helpless.
Certainly the State is required to provide protection for the vulnerable just as it does for any person under its care. However, this is not the same thing as attending to the needs of the poor. The State has the negative function of keeping crime in check by apprehending and punishing lawbreakers. The objective is to maintain a peaceful and orderly society that allows free men in free association to govern themselves under God. When the State moves beyond this stria of responsibility, it begins to abrogate the arena of activity given to one or more of the other primary institutions. If this process is left unchecked, the State will eventually assume the role of god in society and individual freedom is lost.
The Bible also says that theft is wrong. As we know, theft is the unlawful arrogation of property. Thus the State has the right to collect taxes in order to perform its duties as God's minister, but it does not have the right to extract wealth in order to perform duties not assigned to it. Therefore, any attempt to "spread the wealth around" through taxation and State sponsored social programs is not just bad politics it is contrary to the Word of God.
Moreover, the Bible teaches that when the State levies taxes of 10 percent or more it has crossed the line into tyranny. If this biblical principal were observed then the Leviathan State would not be possible and this discussion would be unnecessary.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only answer to this nation's problems. Unless men are born again, they cannot consistently apply biblical blueprints to society. Truly, many Christians are unwilling to do so. Are you one of them?