The Summit
Thursday, February 25, 2010

 

“Everyone must submit themselves to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which has been established by God.”  Romans 13:1

                Today is the day of the big “health care summit.”  Democrats are poised to embarrass Republicans for their lack of compassion for the uninsured, and Republicans are poised to embarrass the Democrats for increasing the role of government in our lives.  Both will probably only embarrass themselves and inflict more constraints on our lives because neither is willing to look at the debate from a biblical viewpoint.  This morning, I would like to take the opportunity to remind my readers what Scripture says about the role of the State in our lives.

                First of all, we must all take account that government is established by God for His own good purposes.  Paul and Peter both make this clear in their writings.  While space does not allow time to expand on this we must acknowledge that government is an institution established by God.  And the Scripture is also clear that God’s purpose in establishing government is to maintain peace and security and to regulate justice in a world broken by sin.  However, government is only one of the three institutions established by God.  The others are family and the Church.  And God gives each institution a clear role in life.  And when one of these institutions begins to tread on the other, problems will inevitably rise.

                Second, government is to be limited.  This is a popular buzz phrase today – limited government, but what I mean is that government must never be allowed to exceed the boundaries of its own responsibilities into that of other institutions founded by God.  The role of the family, for example, is to raise godly children and to instruct them in life lessons necessary for the continuation of a godly culture.  Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 145 and many other passages give clear instructions of this role of the family.  The social concerns of the culture are to be administered by the Church.  Health care was founded by the Church in the early centuries after Christ and instilled in our consciousness the necessity of such a role.  Still today some of greatest hospitals are those run by the Church because only in these hospitals can grace, prayer, and God’s love be distributed along with medicine.

                The problems begin to arise when government, which has long since abandoned it relationship to God, starts to impose its ungodly views upon other institutions created by God.  That is why we see education without Christ (which is temporary education at best), abortion administered by doctors, social services interfering with families, and the list goes on ad infinitum.  Government, which has no God consciousness, sees no problem in funding what is supported by popular opinion or personal preferences.  So Hitler felt free to slaughter millions of Jews because he did not like them, and our current President, the Congress, and our judicial system feel freely justified to make abortion the law of the land.  Both slaughter millions and both are a result of government involvement in institutions clearly outside its biblical boundaries.

                When we turn over our children to government schools we should not be surprised that they don’t get a godly upbringing.  Parents must not abrogate their roles to raise their children in the things of God, and if government schools teach things which run counter to God’s admonitions then clearly parents are obligated by God to either remove their children from such teachings or in the case of a democratic society, remove the teachings.  You can have separation of church and state without having separation of God from children.  But when government exceeds its limits (and when we freely give them permission to do so), we must not be surprised by the effects.

                And just as we cannot allow government to contradict God in educating family, we must not let government exceed its limits in administering health care.  The government’s role in health care is the same as it is in other arenas.  Government is responsible for administering justice.  So, government does indeed have a role to make sure practices and procedures are administered justly.  But government must never have a policy role in things of God.  Prayer, when a common part of the medical profession has proven itself over and over to be a power force in healthy recovery.  God’s grace can penetrate the hardest case of depression or despair.  And when government prohibits the administration of those things (and if you believe they don’t try getting around HIPPA to administer to a patient in a government run hospital) it has clearly exceeded its boundaries.  Government also has a role in health care in protecting human life from unjust and unethical practices.  Biblically, government must never advocate any form of euthanasia or abortion or any other thing which takes human life, created by God, for His purposes, in His own image.

                Christians, as the debate rages today on health care, don’t be as concerned about your taxes as you are about government interfering in the things of God and the role of the Church and family.  After all, the cost of government only becomes excessive when government does what government should not be doing.  The debate today, I challenge, is nothing more than rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic because none of those involved in the debate will allow God to be the center of the debate.  And where God is not central, failure is inevitable.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.


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Victor, ID 83455
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