The fodder for many of my blogs come from behavior that I observe, and posts on social media sites. Today I had one with a fellow that identified himself as very LEFT. As an independent, I occasionally agree with the lefties on issues - like getting off foreign oil and renewable energy - but I think Global Warming is a buffoonery. And of course I agree with the righties when it comes to smaller less intrusive government, pro-life and similar issues.
Here is Lefty's post: "Personally, I can't stand right-wingers of ANY stripe, though the "religious" hypocrite American variety particularly annoy me. What kind of Christian robs the poor to enrich the wealthy? Lets people die in the street for lack of health care? Has a death penalty in the Age of Grace? The list goes on and on.... they arrest over half a million people for the "crime" of smoking pot (smoking a flower!), yet allow the Madoffs of the world to rob and plunder with wild abandon. Capitalism is based on greed and selfishness, therefore totally out of sync with Christian virtues. You also can't jail and punish people in moral behavior nor common sense."
Wow, "religious hypocrite Americans." Because I happen be an American I guess I need to give myself the hypocrite test, and come up with a thoughtful reply. As I have stated many times, Christians are to first seek the kingdom of God, then we can work our way into things that are not specifically outlined in the Bible.
"What kind of Christian robs the poor to enrich the wealthy?" It is a sin to rob, I think we can all agree on that - well, unless you think Robin Hood was a hero. I don't see, as a nation, how we rob the poor - well, unless you take the volunteer poor tax as an example - it's called the lottery. Statistics show that the poor and uneducated purchase the largest percentage of lottery tickets. And in my state (MA), this is used to fund the education of our children - so that would make it right? No. I don't know of any states that have taxes on the poor unless they purchases taxable luxury items, cigarettes or alcohol.
Do we as a nation enrich the wealthy? It is a matter of perspective. Every few years taxes seem to go up and down depending where you are on the income latter. Last time I looked, making over $122,00K per year places you in a 50% tax bracket. Add to that, Social Security, and state income taxes and/or property taxes and were talking some dough.
I have a few points regarding the poor:
1) Americans that have not been to a 3rd world slum have no idea who the "poor" that Jesus spoke of really are. More on that HERE.
2) Jesus said "the poor you will always have with you." It is the CHURCHES responsibility to take care of the poor. Look around your church, are you seeing extravagance in lieu of ministry to the poor?
3) Helping those that can not work at all should be the highest priority once we have taken care of those in our church. More HERE.
When it comes to health care, which I have written about a number of times, I have some detailed thoughts. But first I want to say America is not leaving folks in the streets to die without health care. We have mandatory health care here in MA (darn, I can't say, the Bluest State anymore). Our emergency rooms are still, even though we were promised that it would stop happening, treating the uninsured and even illegal aliens for most illness; not just life threatening ones. All US states required hospitals to treat life threatening illness.
Here is where I stand, and as close as I can tell, it lines up with scripture.
-1 We need to cap malpractice suits to bring down insurance premiums for our doctors, thus lowering the price. I don't know what Jesus would do exactly, but lowering the price so more folks could have it makes sense to me and I believe Him. It is one way we can care for the poor.
-2 We need to legislate insurance companies to cover anyone, regardless of their health history, if they choose to pay. Jesus would not discriminate.
-3 We are already taking care of the very poor, as well as marginal income families, while offering subsidized plans for the elderly and free care to our vets. What I want to know is why some folks own houses, HDTVs and expensive cars while they don't have insurance? Apparently it is not a priority - that is why there is a tax deduction for it in MA.
-4 Scott Brown's plan is for each state to get their own plan like the one here in MA. America is a republic, and you can participate in your state, which is probably the best place to exercise your Christian worldview, as opposed to giving it up to a bunch of power-brokers in the nations capital. Call your state reps and get them going! Don't wait for Nancy Pelosi.
Christians certainly take different sides on the death penalty. Jesus was all for consequences to our actions. The Hebraic Law afforded the death penalty for certain offenses. Grace however is reserved for us as a pardon for our sins and entrance into the eternal Kingdom. Read Genesis 9:6 and contrast that with Jesus in the account of the Woman Taken in Adultery in John 8:1-11.
Justice vs Mercy. By the way, this is the same theological argument for going to war. Where the government takes action on behalf of the nation, while individuals are to obey the commands of a personal relationship with Jesus. And quickly, the 6th commandment is properly interpreted "thou shall not murder," not "thou shall not kill." In the end, most theologians believe that God instituted the death penalty, and the government (not individuals) should carry it out. I report, you decide.
"The crime of smoking pot." Sorry, I am having a hard time not laughing. 1 Corinthians 6:18-19 Well, the Bible is pretty specific about being sober (sound mind) of thought. 1 Peter 5:8 This type of behavior is tied directly to witchcraft. HERE is a long list of verses on the topic.
And redirecting to something Bernie Madoff did, and is is serving 150 years in prison for doing, is also a joke.
As a nation of laws, we need to start enforcing the ones that we have. This would solve most of the issues with immigration, profiteering and a load of other things that the government can't afford to prosecute, for which there are already laws.
Capitalism operates as a microcosm of every society, where it is outlawed, there is a black market. Greed in itself is the issue, not the form of monetary society. Jesus talked about receiving a reward for our investments, and Paul spoke of work as a way to provide for us and our families. Both are "lawful" under capitalism.
If, as Americans, we had stuck by our roots of biblical Christianity, Bible reading and prayer in school, family values and godly lives, I promise this would have turned out differently. At some point we will become like Communists or Muslim countries where we will be persecuted for visible signs for Christianity.
And the final statement, if I understand it, is that we can't legislate morality. Poppycock. As a nation we did that for many years. It doesn't stop folks from sinning, but it added consequences for bad behavior, which in many cases, now seems common place. We ask ourselves why kids aren't polite, do things that are for more intensely violent then they were even 10 years ago, and I simply shake my head at the stupidity of it all. It is because we taught them, and we allowed behavior to go unchecked. I suppose that we could legislate that murder was legal, but would that make it moral - and by whose standards?
I am surprised that the poster's tirade didn't include something about abortion. It has been the work of Satan to kill those that would eventually rise up as leaders. It happened in the time of Moses and again in the time of Jesus; and now since Roe vs. Wade.
Jesus said that we should be doers of the Word, are you?
As a Christian, I believe that the Bible is a perfect authority for both individual and societal behavior, what say you?