During a recent conversation with a liberal friend, I found he had just as much frustration with the people who have made government welfare their career choice. He saw that there are people who abuse the system put in place to help the truly needy. He knew this wasn’t right… yet, he remained a supporter of the much abused government programs.
As I thought about this discussion, it occurred to me that we were both seeing the same things, the same dishonesty and that he saw the same destruction of the abusers soul that conservatives see. But he still felt that helping the poor outweighed the extra cost to the taxpayers of the slugs who sponge of the workers struggling to take care of their own families.
It is the emphasis that each of us places on events we see in the world around us that makes the difference. We each have a sense of justice after a fashion. We, conservatives, tend to value the intellectual and spiritual values, like honesty and integrity. Liberals tend to value the here and now, physical necessities like food, housing and the like. They tend to think that if physical needs are met, life would be wonderful. What we’ve seen is that just dealing with the physical aspects of life has brought about the denigration and destruction of the spiritual aspect of our existence. These things are important, but alone will not bring about the world of peace and prosperity.
These progressives have forgotten, or choose to ignore, the message in Matthew 6 that tells us, “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (ESV) They have forgotten that if we do the right things, we will have the things we need in life. People like my friend do not necessarily mean to align themselves with those who would destroy our country. In fact, they don’t even realize what they are doing in most cases. These are not the people who booed the recognition of God in the Democrat Party platform. They are not the ones promoting the radical homosexual agenda or the indiscriminate killing of the unborn for fun and profit.
Most of the Obama voters – those whose hands are not out for perpetually more and more free stuff at the public expense – are not particularly evil people. They have been deceived into believing that life is nothing more than our physical existence, and that all we need to be happy is “three squares, a warm pad, and a hot broad”, as they used to say. They are wrong, but these people are running their lives and voting to run our government with that philosophy.
Many recognize the corruption of the system, but, to them, that is of secondary importance. They see the government doing things they don’t approve of, but they just don’t care. Perhaps it is guilt for their own form of prosperity while others are not so well off. Perhaps it is the remnants of the God given sense of justice that has been distorted in a fallen world. In the case of self-proclaimed liberal Christians, it may be the over emphasis on the His grace at the expense of the justice of a holy God, that leads them to the concept of the social gospel or liberation theology.
So, getting back to the question in the title, Can We Agree On Anything? It’s hard to tell. Sometimes we can agree on the problem, like crime, for instance. The humanist mindset that believes man is basically good, sees society as the problem that, if we can only fix society, man would blossom into his full potential. Those who understand the fallen nature of man, also understand that no matter what we do to society, man will still be sinful man.
This is evidenced by the many public housing projects that were supposed to elevate the residents to live lives as better citizens. So many of the shiny new buildings have been trashed by ungrateful and unrestored occupants that some have even been torn down in less than a decade.
There are two basic world views competing for control of our land… and, more importantly, of the people of the land. As long as our government insists on being a government without spiritual influence, we will see the same futile attempts at solving problems that may or may not even exist. The great American philosopher, Groucho Marx saw this when he said, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.”
Until we move back to the point where we recognize the spiritual nature of man, that he needs more than just a roof over his head, some food, and, in the case of some, a flat screen TV, a smart phone, a couple of tattoos and a bottle of booze, we will never solve any of our major problems like poverty, crime, broken families and so much more.
We would do well to remember the words of our first President, George Washington, who told us, “It’s impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” Then we can begin to find agreement on solutions that actually work and the healing that will restore our nation and our people. Until then, it will be difficult to make anything function properly in our land.