Would Jesus endorse Obamacare?
Bullies are trying to dismantle Obamacare. What does Jesus think of bullies? That’s what one writer has recently asked. Too bad he didn’t ask the logical follow up: what’s He going to do about them?
An author of a column about the Republicans’ attempt to dismantle Obamacare asks, “How in good faith can we tell children not to be bullies when they realize doing so has been an effective pathway to the Blain House, and most recently to the White House?” First, as Christian parent, this is an easy one.
The Bible places responsibility for educating children squarely on the shoulders of their parents. (Deut. 6:7, 11:19) So, parents set the example for how their children should act and behave, not national politicians. Contrary to the old saw, parents should tell their children, “Do as I say AND do.” Otherwise, the children quickly pick up on the hypocritical nature of “Do as I say, not as I do” and learn how the game is played. Or, as the author points out, how the modern political game is played.
So, who cares how politicians act? The Bible teaches us not to be bullies. Even unbelievers have this rule written on their conscious, as pressured as they are to violate it.
MAYBE WE SHOULD BE BULLIES
But the real question is this: why SHOULDN’T we be bullies? The author is basically saying that bullying works for the politicians. Why SHOULDN’T we live our lives that way? And that’s a great question.
If you’re an evolutionist, then there’s no reason at all. In fact, if you truly believe in the “survival of the fittest,” then you should do whatever you can to get ahead in life (I guess). If bullying works, do that. If whimpering like a mouse works, then do that. Evolutionists should be proud of political bullies. They get results, after all. Isn’t that what matters in politics?
Christian parents can explain to their children that sometimes good things happen to bad people. It’s not an oversight on God’s part. It’s intentional — see Psalm 73. Instead, we should act righteously, because God takes care of the righteous. The wicked mistake their good fortune as a blessing, when it’s really a curse.
Next, I can’t help but lament the author’s own inconsistency, here. He doesn’t even recognize it. First, he says bullying is bad. We can all agree with that. But then, what does he do? He defends bullying.
“…When stripping health care from 22 million people can be, straight-faced by competent leaders, written off as a choice by people in need to not buy what they won’t have access to.”
He then brings Jesus into the mix:
“The Jesus I fell in love with growing up, the one who had contempt for those who celebrated their wealth and power — who operated on an agenda of love and compassion — would find little value in these sexually predatory presidents or combative-for-combat’s sake governors…Those who want to strip access to insurance because it is too expensive for the monied classes.”
THE BIBLICAL POSITION ON THEFT
Here’s the problem. Jesus hated theft. He told his disciples that the thief comes only to steal and destroy. This was in contrast to his own ministry, which was to bring life. As the good shepherd, He was to lay down his life for his sheep (John 10:11).
Paul followed up by explaining that thieves should stop stealing and start working: “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need” (Eph. 4:28).
So, we see that he Bible condemns theft. God, through Moses and the Ten Commandments, condemned it. Jesus condemned it. And Paul condemned it. He said, Stop doing it. That’s because thieves don’t go to heaven. They go to hell. (1 Cor. 6:9-10)
Okay, so now that we have reviewed Jesus’s stance on stealing, let’s return to our author. He thinks Jesus would condemn politicians because they cut the budget of a government-funded insurance program “and strips insurance away from 22 million people” (to paraphrase).
The problem is, the program is theft. It is literally a program of government-enforced theft. Government agents threaten, using the power of the sword and the threat of force, to destroy American citizens if they do not contribute to a program that provides benefits to other people who so loudly demand them.
Any politician who votes to reduce national theft is doing something good. I’m not saying I see many out there saying such a thing. Rand Paul is about as close as they come.
The poor and the middle class (mostly the middle class, unfortunately) demand that the government confiscate a large portion of the wealth of wealthy citizens. Then, they demand that it be spent on themselves in the form of various safety nets: free healthcare, free retirement, free phones, free food.
This is theft. It’s theft because you cannot opt out. If you try, you will see just how much force the government is willing and able to wield.
A government agent effectively shows up with a gun pointed at you. He shakes you down. He takes your money. Then he spends 50% of it (after taking a 50% cut) on the people who sent him to your house to steal your money in the first place.
Paying the government to steal from your neighbor to fund your children’s education, or your healthcare, or your old-age pension is theft, nonetheless. Jesus hates this. Paul hated this. It’s simple.
And yet, the author misses this. He says Jesus won’t like bullies. He’s correct. But then he thinks Jesus would look in favor upon politicians who support government-funded healthcare. If he thinks this, then he has no idea what stealing looks like.
A policy of “Thou shalt not steal, except by majority vote” is still theft.
Bullies start young. They learn in (government-funded) public schools that they can wield force against their victims to take their lunch money or iPhones or whatever. For some reason, the school bureaucrats don’t stop them. Then, they grow up and move into the world. They eventually make it to the top: the White House. They are no longer doing the bullying strictly for themselves. Instead, they do it on behalf of about 200 million willing would-be bullies who, in their heart of hearts, believe in the righteousness of bully behavior.
This is not what Jesus would endorse. And that raises one final question: if an entire nation of people, acting through their political representatives, endorses a behavior that Jesus despises, is Jesus going to do anything about it?
Most Christians think not. History is lost. Get in the boat before the flood comes. Or, hope and pray for a helicopter evacuation before things get really bad.
God brought judgment in history in the Old Testament. He brought it against his covenanted nation of Israel. But he also brought it against pagan nations, particularly Assyriah. Remember Jonah?
Most think this kind of thing is over. That God no longer brings judgment in history based on right-and-wrong. Instead, he has handed the world over to might-makes-right.
Or has he? Time will tell.