Healthcare, the Church, and the Kingdom

Is helping people who are suffering right? Absolutely. Does our current system of meeting peoples’ medical needs in the US require drastic change? Unarguably, yes. And as Christians, both of these statements directly incorporate us, and if we’re creative, will be our platform to show a divine system for solving them.

While I could list numerous issues I see with the bill that is about to be voted on today–from the general lack of popularity, to the fact that few if any of those voting on it have reportedly even read it, to portions such as the “slaughter provision” (page 1,000, Section 3403) forever prohibiting a repeal from future legislative bodies–there are two main objections I have. Simple. Concise.

1.) Public Funding of Abortion. While I recognize and support our system of taxation with representation–albeit a little thick for my taste at the moment–and see it as something our founding fathers believed in as well, I am deeply troubled that percentages of my income would, in principle, be assisting mothers with medical procedures of their choosing, namely ending the lives of their children.

2.) Gross Financial Irresponsibility. When I was a boy, my father taught me how to save and responsibly spend money. On my way to becoming an Eagle Scout, one of the core values of our Scout Law was and still is being thrifty. Yet our government–displayed by both sides, mind you–has rarely, if ever, shown that it holds to these same principles, approving measure after measure that spends money we do not have. While the initial bill is just under $1 trillion, the second-year estimate is closer to $2.5 trillion. Even if the later is falsely cited, I can not grasp how anyone sees such spending as frugal. For all the talk of making a brighter future for our children, I’m astounded that the financial burden they’ll carry has not been part of that consideration.

As I’ve always said, pointing a finger is easy, as it removes you from the equation; and do not criticize in your blog unless you have a better idea. While I’m far from offering a concise proposal for how to handle what is undoubtedly an epic undertaking–of which I prayer for deep wisdom and understanding for those that eventually take it on–I do see a way out. On a purely human level, a capitalistic, free market economy, if truly left manipulation-free by large government, has within it the power to provide insurances that all people can afford through the private sector. Granted, that same economy must be run by heads who are not tyrants, nor self-seeking, nor greedy–a stumbling block to all good ideas. But the masses will gravitate to the best product if given the opportunity. But as a Christian, I must confess that not even Capitalism is the way out, even though I think it’s the best thing going on Earth thus far. Rather, the Kingdom should be our aim.

In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus announced his mission statement. We have built altars to Calvary, to Baptism, to Communion, and to Pentecost, yet when Jesus proclaimed why He had come, Luke 4 is not the first thing that comes to mind. Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1-2, and in it was God’s complete answer to man’s total need: Christ in the form of restoring the spiritually and physically poor, the socially, politically, and emotionally disenfranchised, the wounded, and declaring a redistribution of wealth according to His limitless standards (the Jubilee year of the Lord). If the Church will maintain her focus on what the Kingdom of God truly is, then the Church needs not worry about staying relevant: she will become relevancy itself. ch:

Where do you stand? Let the opinions roll!

  • I stand a eency weency bit more radical against what the government is doing than you, but nothing you said I disagree with. 😀 Good going!

    • I have found that radical Christian views *tend* (not always) to be accompanied with a strong spirit of anger, something I’m not willing to endorse. By no means saying you walk in that! Just worth noting. My desire for grace must also extend to politicians that I vehemently disagree with. In the same breath I voice my opinions, I am required Biblically to sincerely uphold my leadership in prayer. Thoughts?

      • I meant radical in terms of I think that the government could get off better if with 1/4 the taxes they take if they were a little more thrifty. 😛 Among other reasons. lol

  • Amanda

    I heartily agree with both of your statements. I view funding abortion as funding murder.

    As to the second statement, we definitely don’t have that kind of money. The total debt of this country comes to 12,661,296,056,307. We definitely don’t have the trillion dollars that this bill will demand.

  • In addition to those reasons, I oppose this bill because it demands that all Americans purchase health insurance or face a fine or possible jail time. This bill calls for about 16,500 new IRS auditors and agents to be hired to enforce that. Since when is the government’s role to know whether I have health insurance or not? They’ve turned the IRS into “Big Brother.” It’s the wholesale theft of freedom, plain and simple.

  • Wow, lots of stuff to read! I should have my comment up soon.

  • Okay, I think you stated this well, however, like you said there are so many other issues. Such as providing it to illegal aliens, something I find very sad that citizens of America should be paying taxes for someone who illegally immigrated to our country. They’ve tried this in Canada as well as many other nations, and while I don’t know an example off the top of my head, I’ve heard of countless people having to either die because they could not even get into the hospital or people coming to America so they could receive a doctor’s help.

  • Joel

    Great post, well written. Completely agree!

  • I agree with the foundation of your argument. However I oppose this bill much more vehimently on the basis of liberty. I really don’t think that this is in any way is a church issue like fighting abortion. In fact, while I certainly agree with you and I also do not want to see abortion funded by our tax dollars, that is the least of worries if this bill has it’s way.

    I wish people were more concerned about the act that this bill is not about health care at all. In fact, it does almost nothing to “reform” it. It simply seeks the ability of the government to control it. The health care bill being voted on today is just one more bill giving the government that much more control and giving the individual that much less choice.

    Do you honestly believe that Democrats don’t realize that this bill is fiscally irresponsible? Point being, fiscal responsibility has nothing to do with this bill. Obama, Reid and Pelosi are noted socialists and in my opinion in light of their actions, tyrants.

  • Billy.J

    The current government is far from perfect. I do not hate them, although our president is not something we like talking about at home. But having our taxes possibly pay for abortion is like a previous poster said, ‘funding murder’. Its just inhuman and disgusting. But, we love in a sinful world, which means our government can only follow those rules. If only we could have another Lincoln or Franklin… (trails off into sub-conscious thought)

  • Mom

    Good piece, well thought, I agree. Thank you for taking the time to write on this issue son. Keep using your voice. We are not speaking in vain. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke – You/we who love Christ with holy passion will do something because we are God’s good men and women. We were born for this time, this hour, this day that the purposes of God would be fulfilled in our lifetimes for God’s intentions. Keep writing, never stop.

  • Makes you think of Star Wars doesn’t it? “So this is how liberty dies; with thunderous applause.”

    I didn’t know about that slaughter provision o.O Let’s hope these suing states get their way.

    And I do agree with you. The Church as a whole has forgotten about the Kingdom by inadvertently forgetting the King. By trying to be relevant to the world we have become the world and in trying to be “not of the world” we have focused on symptoms and not diseases.

    “Pull out the plank in your own eye” or whatever is what Christ said. When the Church fixes itself, when we truly seek the face and mind of God, the country is bound to follow.

  • wow. a couple notes, though many more could be listed.

    1) Regarding public funding of abortion, funny that we are so up in arms over this now. we already do this through government funding of organizations like Planned Parenthood. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/AR08_vFinal.pdf (see pages 8 and 18) This bill is a little more obvious, but if we aren’t already busting down doors over the programs already in place that “our dollars” pay for, we have a lot of catch up to be doing. Thanks for the wake-up call Washington!

    2) Fiscal responsibility. That’s a concept I am handling much better now. We need to vote these guys out yesterday. There is a definite line being drawn to establish a ruling class here. When they can say before the vote, “We are doing what is best for America” while it is clear that a majority of Americans did not want this version of the bill to pass, they are no longer representatives, but bourgeoisie (Marx’s version).

  • And for all those who believe the world is ending because of this, where is your hope? mine is in God. Perspective: At least they weren’t voting to burn Christians at the stake last night. Maybe someday, and if they do, He will give grace for that as well. It’s hard to remember sometimes that as the Son of God was hanging on the cross, He looked at those who beat him beyond description, and with a heart of compassion asked His Father to forgive them. I believe His prayer was answered.

  • Seth, I myself know someone in Canada who had to wait two years for cancer treatment. There’s an example for you.

    This thing puts all good people between a “rock and a hard place” doesn’t it? Finance evil or rebel and be evil. Makes me want to build myself a house on the moon. 😉

    But really, if you compare our rights in america today to the rights of people in many other countries, we don’t seem so bad off after all, eh? As long as we Christians hold on, there will still be hope.

  • Elyssa B. Krivicich

    Hello. I just wanted to clear up the abortion debate. Our tax money will not go towards abortions. Also, Obama has signed an executive order that will not allow that to happen.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/03/24/obama.abortion/index.html?hpt=T2

    My heart is heavy because I know that we are a sinful people and that we do not always make the best choices. That’s why we have such a great God who takes with our devotion to him. My only hope is that both sides realize that the health care debate was not a conversation with humbleness but rather both sides fighting mano a mano…

  • I Have A Dream….

    A day when we (The Church, the called out ones) totally understand we are in this world but not of this world. A Day we no longer rely on the American system of Health Care or it’s idea of support for the poor. I long for the day America says, no more welfare, if you want support, go to your local Church Assembly. A day when the Church is the place where lines of people wait for hands laid on them for healing or a food basket to get them through the week. The Health Care Bill may be the beginning of the manifestation of my Dream……..Do what you will America, I belong to Christ and my Father is going to manifest His Kingdom….

  • Amy

    Good piece, well thought, I agree. Thank you for taking the time to write on this issue son. Keep using your voice. We are not speaking in vain. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke – You/we who love Christ with holy passion will do something because we are God’s good men and women. We were born for this time, this hour, this day that the purposes of God would be fulfilled in our lifetimes for God’s intentions. Keep writing, never stop.