Deceived: Christians Depending On Government

Posted by Larry Miller on August 26, 2012 under How | Be the First to Comment

Long ago, Eve was minding her own business as she strolled through the Garden of Eden. She knew what God had told her, but as she passed by the forbidden fruit, a serpent spoke to her with the advice that the fruit that was off limits would give her knowledge that she did not have. Knowledge is a good thing, but she did not understand that not all knowledge was beneficial. It sounded good to her and she fell for satan’s lie… and we all have been cursed with a sin nature.

There is often the temptation to take shortcuts to our worthy objectives. We often are so wrapped up in the pursuit of our godly goals that we don’t always look at the methods or the appropriateness of the path we choose. We don’t always remember that God looks at our heart and our efforts, that we are required to be obedient, and this does not mean we will always be successful… but in doing so, we will always be pleasing to our Creator.

Jesus gave us the example of how to deal with this kind of temptation. He knew that ultimately he would rule the nations, but the devil offered Him a shortcut. Matthew 4 records the conversation:

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

Jesus was offered a shortcut that offered him a chance to bypass the cross and avoid the pain, suffering and humiliation. He knew, however that he had to perform his redemptive task the right way… or it would mean nothing. He did not take the sort cut that would have negated his whole purpose for coming to live among men.

Helping the poor is a worthy goal that we have been commanded to pursue and we should enjoy doing it. Because helping them can sometimes be inconvenient… sometimes costly, many of us look for easier ways to practice the true religion of looking after the widows and orphans. Some people, some well meaning people, see the job not being done, and look for a path that is not so hard.

They see the resources the government can bring to bare on a problem, inefficient though they be, and cannot help themselves but to try to assign some of these resources to meet the divinely mandated task. They do this, often with the best of intentions, to take a shortcut to meet the needs the church should be handling.

These people overlook the fact that our government, particularly our current administration, is hostile to the gospel that meeting these needs is supposed to advance. They overlook the fact that they are trying to please their Creator by aligning themselves with those engaged in some of the most abominable behavior and promoting the most ungodly philosophies. They overlook the fact that Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty has decimated the black family in the name of helping them and securing their votes. The idea failed. The program failed. Our government failed.

This is something pretty much all conservatives can agree with. However there are things we are looking for the government to do as well. We expect our politicians and courts to stop the destruction of unborn lives. Politicians love to pander to those of us who value these precious children. Some actually try to do something about it. Often when they do, progressive courts shoot them down as they preserve a woman’s “constitutional right” to kill her offspring. We have tried working through the governmental system ever since Roe v Wade. As Dr. Phil would say, “how’s that working for you?”

The answer is, not so well. In July of last year, the prayers of Roman Catholic Priests shut down an Illinois abortion clinic. They didn’t stay behind their church doors. They went out and surrounded the building, unafraid of the ridicule they faced. They stepped up and engaged in the spiritual warfare… and they shut down the clinic and lives were saved.

We live in a world where all sorts of evil must be faced. We hide behind church doors. We say we pray. We protest. We vote. We write our representatives. Again… how’s that working for us? If several priests can stop business at an abortion mill, what can thousands… millions even… do to end this grizzly practice. These priests did a great job, but why on earth do we leave this conflict to the professional clergy alone… and why just to the Catholic church. Revelation 1:6 tells us we are a kingdom of priests and we can all take our petitions to the Lord. If we really wanted to stop this destruction of life, it is up to us, the church, all of us, to do the job. The priests example shows that success is within our grasp. Sure we need to push our government in the right direction, but depending on them is a recipe for failure as we have found every time we try to short cut our responsibility.

Just like there is no free lunch (someone has to pay for it), there is no passing the buck in meeting our responsibility to protect the least among us. And there is no depending on the government to handle our responsibility. Our charity, like our efforts to help the unborn, and a thousand other tasks cannot be outsourced… and the enemy would love for us to keep on trying and placing the job in his hands.

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