Friday, September 11, 2009

Christian Compassion: Government's Role

I have given quite a bit of thought about what Christian compassion looks like through government programs. With the healthcare debate at the forefront of the nation, there are some that believe it is the morally correct thing for the government to take care of healthcare for the millions of uninsured. Remember the parable of the good Samaritan. I don’t disagree with this premise fully. However, what that parable was expressing is the desire of God for the individual to reach out and care for another person regardless of possible bias. What it didn’t say was that the Samaritan saw a person hurt and left for dead so he lobbied his governing body to require free (meaning the recipient doesn’t pay) ambulance service for people hurt on the highway.
When we mandate “compassion” through government, we cut God out of the picture all together. That Samaritan wouldn’t see God’s love from the ambulance service that is just doing its job. Government is secular. Since a majority of Americans actually pay no taxes at all, how compassionate is it for them to make such a requirement when it requires no sacrifice or action on their part. People are becoming too “compassionate” with other people’s money.
When we mandate “compassion” through compassion, that compassion is lost on the future generations. If we all take a stand as Christians and say that government should cover the expenses of all healthcare as being the moral choice, the next generation, who will be paying for it, will never have the opportunity to make that decision. Instead, the money is taken from their paychecks automatically and without consent and distributed to those that others see fit to distribute it too. When Jesus instructed us to care for the widows and orphans, he said it to the people. He didn’t ask the people to require their government to do it. It is because we have given this power to government that the people no longer do these things for the glory of God.
Ultimately, when we force our “compassion” through government, where does it stop. Doesn’t really come down to a simple equation: To each according to their need, from each according to their ability to give. That kind of compassion, and it is always sold as compassion, cost 100 million people their lives in the 20th century. With liberty, there are a number who suffer. With oppression, the suffering is innumerable.


Kansas Bob said...

I like and agree with this Scott:

"People are becoming too “compassionate” with other people’s money."

Too bad we aren't all Roman Catholics.. they seem to have a better handle on this compassion thing than us evangelicals.

What did you think of Eric's $396/mo health insurance bill? I noticed that none of us seemed to compassionate when he mentioned it.

jrchaard said...

I guess I didn't think $396.00 was too much. As far as compassion, I get reminders every day from people in our coop to our church, there is quite a bit of destitution right now. Tonya and I feel overwhelmed. So many times, help is actually enabling. How dow we draw the line between a boost up and total support. rewarding people for poor life style choices is not productive. Helping somebody when the realize their ways is great to give them the boost. Then there are the people that are smart with their money, but have lost their income. it goes on and on. ultimately, do we have a concerted effort of support in the church in general, I don't think so.

Kansas Bob said...

I again agree with you Scott about enabling the poor choices of others. I guess that is why most of our charitable giving goes to actual charitable work.

Having retired under a decent pension plan I guess I am simply out of touch with $396 premiums for catastrophic coverage.

Wonder what folks will do in the future if they take an early retirement.. guess they will just have to budget in off-the-chart expensive medical insurance premiums. Who am I kidding.. folks will have to work until they die.. nobody will be able to afford retirement.