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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Liberals and the "Least of These"

Back in 2008, prior to the election, when then candidate Barack Obama was asked by pastor Rick Warren what he thought was, “the greatest moral failure of America,” he responded with, “I think America’s greatest moral failure in my lifetime has been that we still don’t abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me…”

After making up his mind to vote in favor of Obamacare, Georgia Representative Sanford Bishop said, “Unfortunately I think that my constituents are split right down the middle, so in a sense I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t.” He continued, “If I’m going to be damned, I want to be damned on the side of the angels, on the side of what I think will be an obligation as a Christian to take care of the least of (us) and to make sure people are treated fairly.”

It is very interesting that liberals, while defending their views and their votes in support of big government, reference this Scripture. The Scripture, as Obama noted, is from the book of Matthew, contained in Jesus’ parable of The Sheep and The Goats.

The parable begins, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” (How intolerant of Him!) 

The parable is a description of how Christ will separate the righteous from the unrighteous. (This, one would think, would be reason enough for liberals to avoid referencing such Scripture.) The distinguishing characteristic between the two groups is whether or not they cared for people in need. Matthew 25:40 says, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Thus, reason many liberals, the work of the righteous would include empowering government to help those in need. And, of course, the implication is that if you oppose such efforts, you are on the side of the unrighteous. However, nowhere in this parable, or anywhere else in Scripture, for that matter, does Christ advocate that His people use the force of government to do His work.

What’s more, it is appallingly duplicitous that liberals, when referring to caring for the “least of us,” are never talking about the unborn. Whatever moral causes one chooses to champion, nothing compares to the helplessness of an unborn child. In other words, there is no one among us more “least” than the unborn. It is the height of hypocrisy for liberals to preach about “social justice” and reference the “least of us,” while supporting policies which have lead to the slaughter of millions still in their mothers’ wombs. 

The message of Jesus was “repent and believe.” The mission He left to His followers was to “go and make disciples” (of Himself). The institution that Christ charged with doing His work was His church.

The reason for this is that, as Scripture teaches, Christ Himself is the head of the church. Thus His wisdom and Spirit lead His people “in the paths of righteousness.” Certainly this is not the case with the U.S. government.

I believe that most people who see such a benevolent role for the government have noble intentions. However, this is an extremely foolish position to take, especially for those who are Christians. (No one is “laying up treasure in heaven” by paying their taxes.) A secular government can never provide the real help for which those who have genuine needs are longing.

Without the wisdom, influence, and guidance of God and His Word, no amount of money given to the poor and needy will have the effect that it should. Literally trillions of U.S. dollars have been or will be spent by the federal government on welfare programs since they began early in the 20th century, with a very poor return on such a massive investment.

Also, once the government gets itself established in an additional part of our lives, another piece of our liberty goes out the window—perhaps never to return. This is another danger with government-run health care. John Adams said, “Liberty once lost is lost forever.” I’m not quite this fatalistic when it comes to Obamacare, but certainly experience tells us that once we surrender such liberty to the government—with its power to tax, with the power to print money, with the power of the police, the military, the courts, congress, the treasury, and so on—it is nearly impossible to regain it.

“That government is best which governs least,” said Thomas Paine. I would add that, those individuals are behaving best who are freely giving of their own resources—not having it forcefully taken—to help those in need.

Copyright 2010, Trevor Grant Thomas

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