Archive for July, 2012

When Men Were Free

July 18th, 2012 1 comment

My good friend, Pierre Bynum, National Prayer Director with the Family Research Council, recently shared this insightful excerpt from one of Ronald Reagan’s speeches which highlights the strategy of socialists to use healthcare as an entry point for greater government control. He writes,

Ronald Reagan was an outspoken conservative and one of Americas greatest Presidents (1981-1989). Every American should hear his Ronald Reagan speaks out on Socialized Medicine, a 10 minute speech, released on an LP record in 1961, 51 years ago. Then a Democrat, Reagan warned us about the principles underlying today’s “Affordable Care Act”:

In 1927…Norman Thomas, six times candidate for president on the Socialist Party ticket, said the American people would never vote for socialism. But, he said, “under the name of liberalism the American people will adopt every fragment of the socialist program”…

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.

Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it.
[Socialist Labor Leader] Walter Reuther said “It’s no secret that the [UAW] is… on record as backing a program of national health insurance” … [The Socialists say]: “Once the Farrand Bill is passed, this nation will [have] a mechanism for socialized medicine capable of indefinite expansion in every direction until it includes the entire population.” Well, we can’t say we haven’t been warned…

Now in our country under our free enterprise system, we have seen medicine reach the greatest heights that it has in any country in the world. Today, the relationship between patient and doctor in this country is something to be envied… The privacy, the care…the right to choose a doctor, to go from one doctor to the other… But…look… once you establish the precedent that the government can determine a man’s working place and his working methods… it is a short step to all the rest of socialism…

[The] Founding Fathers – for the first time – established the idea that you and I had within ourselves the God given right…to determine our own destiny. This freedom was built into our government with safeguards… We can write to our congressmen and our senators [to say] we want no further encroachment on these individual liberties and freedoms…we do not want socialized medicine…Call your friends and tell them to write… If you don’t, this program will pass…and behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country. Until, one day, as Norman Thomas said we will awake to find that we have socialism.

And if [we] don’t do this…you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”

We must repeal and replace Obamacare before it’s too late!

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Do Politicians Create Rights?

July 18th, 2012 1 comment

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”
-Declaration of Independence

It is not unusual during election cycles to hear politicians making bold declarations of all the rights they think people should have. We hear that students have the right to a good education; the sick have the right to affordable healthcare; the unemployed have the right to a good job, etc. Now while all of these ideas are laudable, we must be vigilant to guard against the flippant usage of the word “rights.”

In his book, 40 Days Toward a More Godly Government, Neil Mammon helps us understand the difference between “rights” and “goods” and why this difference matters. If a right depends upon the labor, money or service of someone else, it’s not a “right” but a “good.” These are not the God-given unalienable rights our civil servants are sworn to protect.

For instance, the right to bear arms does not mean that the government has the right to provide you with a gun. The right to free speech does not mean every citizen has the right to a government sponsored cell phone. The right to own a home or to purchase health insurance does not presuppose the government’s responsibility to get it for you. Why? Mammon explains:

“Goods that are granted as rights require you to enslave or indenture some men fiscally or physically to ensure a continuous supply of the goods that you have promised other men.”

When we turn “goods” into “rights” we end up with tyranny. Socialist and Communist forms of government do this all the time and the result has always been economic failure and the loss of true liberty.

Christianity has always understood justice as equal opportunity under the law, not a promise of equal outcomes. Some will embrace their God-given freedoms and use the gifts and talents they have received to lead fruitful lives. Others, with those same rights and gifts, will squander similar opportunities through poor stewardship.

While we have a God-given right to enjoy our own goods, we have no right to enjoy the labors of someone else’s freedom and initiative. When government makes this a right, they steal from their citizens in the name of social justice. When every citizen has the government created “right” to own a home (e.g. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae sub-prime loans) and every citizen has the right to government sponsored health care (e.g. Obamacare) the government’s noble intentions end in tragic fiscal failure and the trampling of religious liberty.

This is why true social justice always begins by respecting the unalienable rights of others.

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Ten Reasons Why the Church Must be Involved in Politics (10)

July 13th, 2012 No comments

In this blog series, I am responding point by point to a column written by Greg Stier, the President and Founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries entitled, “Ten Reasons Why Pastors Should Focus More on the Gospel than on Politics.” Here’s Greg’s final point and my response.

10. Politics are a reflection of the moral compass of a society. The gospel gives society a new moral compass that is accurate (Titus 3:1-5).

Stier’s point is “dead on” right, yet it’s actually an indictment against the Church for failing to get involved in politics. If our current political climate merely reflects the state of our society, which I believe it does, then the Church must assume the responsibility. I love this famous quote from evangelist Charles Finney on the role of the Church in shaping popular culture:

“If there is decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

When we have full churches and yet we are represented by ungodly political leaders, it is a sure sign that we have failed as pastors to preach the Lordship of Christ over all creation, including civil government. How can our people go to church on Sunday, before going to the voting booth on Tuesday, to cast a vote for a candidate who supports that which God hates? The blame for this cultural disconnect must rest squarely on the shoulders of the one standing behind the pulpit.

Yes, the gospel gives the only true compass for life, including civil government. Pastors must be a moral conscience to civil leaders, holding them accountable to the plumb line of God’s Word. When pastors teach their people to view all of life from a biblical worldview, then individual believers will be equipped to make sure the politicians who represent them are following the same moral compass.

Martin Luther King described the challenge before us as Christians seeking to transform culture for the glory of God. He wrote, “Most people…are thermometers that record or register the temperature of majority of opinion, not thermostats that transform or regulate the temperature of society.”

A pastoral thermometer will never produce a congregation of thermostats.

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