I am a former student pastor, not a political pundit.
In fact, I’m probably not even educated enough on the issue to be discussing it.
I read the news from time to time, but hardly ever watch it.
That is one less thing I have to be concerned about being a distraction.
An increasingly depressing distraction at that.
But when major events happen, such as the passing of the Healthcare Reform bill, twitter and facebook light up.
EVERYONE has an opinion, whether an educated one or not.
I find myself being left in the middle somewhere, and can relate to Cameron Strang (founder/editor, Relevant Magazine) as he tweeted last night:
I guess I have no party. Abortion, I’m against – healthcare for the poor, I’m not (even if it costs me).
It never ceases to amaze me how far we have come away from what really matters.
You can call it whatever you want.
I think I’m going to push for the phrase “The Darwinization of Christianity.”
It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
But more plainly, I believe it can be understood as “Ignoring Scripture.”
Yeah, that one stings a bit more, but it doesn’t need nearly as much explanation.
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” – Matthew 9:12-13
Of course I know Jesus is speaking metaphorically here.
However, for a metaphor to be truly effective, shouldn’t the literal be true as well?
How many times are we told in the Bible to take care of those in need?
Honestly, I don’t know.
But it’s A LOT.
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land if they are found deserving and work hard for it.
Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise, says the LORD, I will protect them from those who malign them unless they are unable to provide something in return.
Matthew 25:41-43, 45
Depart from me…for I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me…I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.
I think you get the basic idea.
Back to the whole Darwinization thing.
When did Christianity become such a capitalist venture?
When did God give us the right to say that we don’t have to help certain people because they’ve made poor choices, or because their circumstances are bad, or because they’re lazy, or because it isn’t fair?
Doesn’t that sound a bit like Christianized version of survival of the fittest?
That we’re better because we have jobs and pay our taxes and contribute to society?
Dare you ask God to give you what is fair, what you deserve?
I would doubt it.
And what better time of year to be able to see that we’re undeserving of everything we have as we are preparing to celebrate in just a couple of weeks the death, burial, and resurrection or the Lord Jesus Christ as He took away the condemnation that we so richly deserve and continues to give us the life that we so desperately need, but could in no way provide on our own.
How can we preach about that kind of grace and not help the poor?
Even if it does dip into our pocketbooks?
1 Timothy 6:17-18
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God…to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
If we had always been so mindful of these instructions, would this even be an issue?
I would guess not, but who is to say?
The problem is not that Healthcare Reform bill passed.
The problem is that all along there has been an obvious need, but it wasn’t the government’s place to do it.
The onus lies with the Church.
Yeah, I said it.
The egocentric Bride of Christ.
Always seemingly complaining about what is wrong with pretty much everything, and never seemingly willing to do anything about it.
And now, the government has taken over in that role?
Why would God allow such a thing?
Easy. Refer back to Psalm 12:5.
God is an advocate for those in need.
They will receive what they are so desperate for.
Whether we give it to them or not.
So, take a step back before you start blaming President Obama and Congress.
They aren’t the ones to blame for this bill passing.
In the short term, it could quite easily be argued that they forced it through against the will of the people.
I won’t disagree with that because it is, after all, the truth.
In the long-term big-picture scope of things, however, we, the Church, are to blame for our disobedience and arrogance.
For hoarding the blessings that God has so generously poored down on us with little or no regard to our neighbors in need.
Welcome to the future that we created by doing nothing.
Peace and love.