Which kingdom are you focused on?

The decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is not surprising. That law grants the United States Government huge new powers to exercise over citizens. Look to history and you will find that those in power rarely, if ever, give up their power willingly. So the decision by the U.S. government to retain power for itself should not be a shocker.

Look to Scripture and you will find that God does not long tolerate idols…

Wait! What’s that got to do with anything, you ask?

America is the number one idol of Americans — even those who profess to be Christians. America is where they place their devotion and pledge their allegiance. It is the entity from which they expect their blessings. America is where they find their identity. They are even willing to offer up their sons and daughters as sacrifices in whatever war the government deems worthy of our sacrifice.

You may say this is “patriotism” not “worship.” Call it what you will, but this is exactly how ancient people related to Molech, Ba’al, and Dagon. It is idolatry.

Ultimately God destroys idols so that we may know that He is the Lord. Thursday’s Supreme Court decision was a massive power grab on the part of the U.S. government and, I believe, one more aspect of God’s judgment of this idol.

Today there are people who feel betrayed by their country — their country didn’t just disappoint them yesterday, it turned on them. God is revealing the idol for what it truly is.

Furthermore, the financial burden of Obamacare will only serve to hasten the economic collapse of an empire that has failed to learn the lessons of every other crumbled empire in history and, like them, insists on spending itself into oblivion. God is knocking this idol to its knees.

So, my question today is addressed specifically to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ: Are you okay with all of this?

I hope so, because God’s Kingdom suffered not even the slightest ding from yesterday’s events. It is wholly in tact. And, if you find yourself reeling from the events of yesterday I hope you will turn whole-heartedly to God’s Kingdom. Rest on the rock that no earthly court can shake.

Maybe this will help.

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The real face of “universal” health care (a repost)

Note: The constitutionality of universal, government run and mandated health care is being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this week. This has prompted many to express their opinions on the subject. I’d like to add mine by reposting this essay. Why not write something new? Because my views have not changed on the subject since I originally expressed them in this post on July 27, 2009.

There are many advocates of government-run “universal” health care. They advocate it because, they say, everyone has a “right” to health care.

Medical2I am adamantly opposed to government-run “universal” health care. You may have seen some of the reasons many like me oppose the idea: Government-run “universal” health care will result in…

  • The rationing of health care
  • Exploding costs
  • Medical decisions being made by federal bureaucrats rather than doctors and patients
  • A lower quality of health care
  • The creation of many more bloated, out-of-control government bureaucracies

I oppose it for these reasons, too — but not primarily for these reasons. No, I oppose government-run “universal” health care primarily because I am absolutely opposed to slavery.

Huh?

You read that right. Because I abhor the practice of slavery I could never support it in the form of government-run “universal” health care.

How are the two even connected?

It’s really quite simple when you stop long enough to consider it. What it really boils down to is what is and is not a “right.”

The Declaration of Independence is brilliant in its wording.

“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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Note these rights are few yet comprehensive. We have a right to our life, we have a right to our liberty, and we have a right to pursue our own happiness. Basically, as long as we do not infringe on the rights of others in the process, we can do whatever we want. Also note these rights occur in nature. We have them by virtue of our birth. They are provided by God. They are innate. They are intrinsic. They belong to us.

Now, consider what the supporters of government-run “universal” health care consider “rights.”

Obviously they think health care is a right. But often these same people will say everyone has a right to…

  • A house
  • A good job
  • Three meals a day
  • A “living” wage
  • An education
  • Reliable transportation

The list can go on.

But do you see the difference?

In her book, “The Virtue of Selfishness,” author Ayn Rand took a similar list of proposed “rights” and exposed it for what it is by asking a simple question at the end of each stated “right.”

At whose expense?

You think you have a right to a house? At whose expense?

You have a right to three meals a day? At whose expense?

ShacklesAdd that question to the end of each “right” and you begin to realize there is a difference between what the founders regarded as rights and what modern politicians often regard as rights.

This new list of “rights” does not occur in nature. They are the result of someone’s labor. Someone has to produce a house. Someone has to provide meals. And, if you claim that person A has a right to a house you then, by default, are claiming they are entitled to the product of person B’s labor. Which makes person B a slave.

This is what government-run “universal” health care is. It is slavery. If one person has a “right” to health care then the person who provides health care becomes a slave — because the product of their labor is not their own.

I know there are many who would say, “That’s ridiculous. Doctors get paid for their services.”

Really?

Slave owners have always made a similar argument. “Slaves,” they would say, “are treated fairly. They are given food, housing and clothes. They are compensated.”

Aha, but we both know the slaves did not get to dictate the terms of the exchange.

Neither do the health care providers in a socialized medical system. Bureaucrats determine the terms by which they will deliver their services and to whom they will be delivered. They can’t charge what they want and they can’t refuse service if they’d like. In fact, most of the decisions free people make about their own lives are taken away from those who provide health care (and from those who receive it) in this kind of system. It’s slavery.

And, I think it’s fair to say, if you support government-run “universal” health care you support slavery — at least in principle. Sure, you probably reject the kind of slavery that existed in America for a couple of hundred years. But, if you support government-run “universal” health care, you’re really just quibbling over the degree to which an individual is enslaved.

I realize many Christians maintain the Bible supports this sort of socialized nonsense. They especially like this passage…

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” — Acts 2:42-47

They claim this passage supports socialism because the early Christians pooled all of their resources and shared everything equally. Yes, these Christians did that. However, they were not mandated to do this by the government and they still had private property (Note how they broke bread in “their homes”).

Some continue to argue that God judged Ananias and Sapphira because they did not participate fully in the communist ideal of the early church. They pretended to give all of their possessions but secretly withheld some for themselves.

But Scripture does not bear this out. Peter even affirmed Ananias and Sapphira’s control over their property when he said:

“While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” — Acts 5:4

They were judged because they lied to God. They wanted to appear great in the eyes of men for giving everything they had while holding back. Peter’s comments confirm that they were under no obligation to do this.

But doesn’t the Bible tell us to care for the sick?

Yep.

But it never gives that responsibility to the government. It is always given to individuals or the church. Sorry, but a compelling case for socialized medicine can’t be made from Scripture.

The bottom line is this: Government-run “universal” health care has been an abject failure everywhere it has been tried. We have plenty of examples that confirm this fact. It is immoral on a number of levels and it is not biblical. And, in light of all of that, I think it is fair to question the motives of those who support it.

More evidence of man’s depravity

A group of medical “ethicists” linked to Oxford University recently declared that, ” Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are ‘morally irrelevant’ and ending their lives is no different to abortion.

“Ethicists” indeed.

This is a perfect example of the doctrine of the Total Depravity of Man.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! — Isaiah 5:20

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” — John 8:42-47

These “ethicists” even make their proclamations from, what they perceive as, a position of moral authority. ” The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”

I am reminded that the Nazis murdered whole categories of people they deemed as lacking “those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”

The horrors of hearts enslaved to sin are on display for a whole new generation to witness.

May God grant repentance.

Thideology news of the day

Religion

Politics

  • Here is the real reason the oil is not being cleaned up in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Is the United States on the slippery slope to tyranny? This answer may shock you.
  • Still don’t think the federal government is too big? Read this. It may change your mind.

Bumper Sticker of the Day:

Self Defense

If the mainstream media is to be believed — even as I write those words I have to laugh because, of course, they are not to be believed, but if they are — then Democrat congressmen have been the “victims” of death threats and vandalism since their unconstitutional vote to pass what they call “healthcare reform legislation.”

Now, politics is a rough game — especially the Chicago-style politics favored by Barack Obama and his minions. I don’t doubt for a second that their own people are calling in threats to Democrats and throwing bricks through windows as a means of demonizing and marginalizing those of us who are angry with what they’ve done. In fact, I’m convinced that is the case, at least in part.

But just for a moment let’s play “what if.”

What if all of these things have been done by Americans who are angry about the passage of the recent “healthcare reform” bill? Why on earth would they do things such as have been reported? Perhaps an analogy will help…

Let’s suppose you move into a new neighborhood and open up a small business. Let’s further suppose one day a couple of guys walk into your establishment.

“Big Otis sent us to collect your payment,” the first one says.

“Y’know,” says the second, “Your fee for our protection.”

You, of course, haven’t contracted for “protection” nor do you know anyone named “Big Otis,” and you tell them so.

“It’d be bad if something happened to your place here,” says the first guy. “I mean, robberies, fires — it’s a dangerous neighborhood. You’d better just give us your payment and everything will be fine.”

Again you refuse.

They tell you that people who are late with their payments pay a “penalty” — usually a broken arm.

So, you defend yourself and your property against two thugs sent by someone named “Big Otis” — and they leave. It is a cut-and-dried case of self-defense. But who is really the aggressor in this case? Is it the thugs who darken your door, or is it Big Otis?

You are obviously justified in defending yourself against the thugs when they show up, but you know the assaults won’t stop because Big Otis will just keep sending thugs. So, are you justified in finding Big Otis and putting a stop to it directly? Is it still self-defense?

I think the answer is obvious.

So, what is the difference between having your property stolen and your life threatened by a street gang and having your property stolen and your life threatened by a gang that calls itself “the government?”

And before you try to claim that Jesus told us to submit to any and every government I suggest you read Lord of the Law in it’s entirety — because everything that Caesar claims is his is not his. And before you claim that theft and taxes are not the same thing I suggest you read Charity or Robbery — because most taxation is, in fact, the same thing as theft. A majority vote does not justify theft.

Why draw this comparison? Because the actions of a mobster who wants to collect protection money is clearly an assault. The actions of a government may not appear to be so obviously an assault — until you look at it objectively.

Big Otis sent people to take your money for services you neither asked for nor needed. In fact, you stated your objection to the services from the beginning. Big Otis wanted to force you to accept his services. He even went so far as to threaten physical harm if you failed to comply.

Now, the federal government of the United States is sending people to take our money for services we neither asked for nor need. In fact, most of us have openly objected to the implementation of these services. But, like Big Otis, our government is going to force us to accept these services. They are going to steal our money to pay for these services and the services, themselves, are going to so degrade the quality of health care in our country that they amount to a physical assault. In the not-to-distant future many of us will be denied care we need on the basis that it costs the government too much. It is a threat to our health and even our very lives.

And if the people who are threatening congressional Democrats are actually the same people who opposed the legislation, then they are doing it in self-defense. Congressional Democrats have assaulted the American people in the same way Big Otis assaults shop owners in the neighborhood. But, like Big Otis, they didn’t do it face-to-face. They hide behind legislation and government enforcement agencies and pretend they are justified in their actions — which, of course, they are not.

This sort of thing is nothing new.

Augustine of Hippo, a Christian theologian and apologist who lived in the 4th and 5th centuries, commented on this very thing in his book, The City of God

“Remove justice, and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a vast scale? What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms? A gang is a group of men under the command of a leader, bound by a compact of association, in which the plunder is divided according to an agreed convention. If this villainy wins so many recruits from the ranks of the demoralized that it acquires territory, establishes a base, captures cities and subdues peoples, it then openly arrogates to itself the title of `kingdom,’ which is conferred on it in the eyes of the world, not by the renouncing of aggression but by the attainment of impunity. For it was a witty and a truthful rejoinder, which was given by, a captured pirate to Alexander the Great. The king asked the fellow, `What is your idea, in infesting the sea?’ And the pirate answered, with uninhibited insolence, `The same as yours, in infesting the earth! But because I do it with a tiny craft, I’m called a pirate; because you have a mighty navy, you’re called an emperor.”

So why even bring any of this up? Because, as Christians we need to understand that wicked men will always try to plunder what they can, whether they wear the title “emperor,” or “pirate,” “mob boss,” or “president.” From time-to-time all of them step beyond their legitimate authority and engage in criminal behavior. And when they do we need to stop pretending that one is any better than the other.

There is only one who is deserving of our devotion. Only one who harbors no ulterior motive and no hidden agenda. There is only one who is righteous, holy, and worthy of our loyalty. And it is His kingdom with which we need to be concerned — which is the whole point of Augustine’s City of God. Give it a read sometime.

It’s time to choose

It’s done.

Despite ardent opposition by a majority of Americans, despite no authority under the Constitution, despite no authority under the laws of nature, Democrats in Congress passed a bill they call “healthcare reform” — that essentially enslaves all Americans — on a day worldnetdaily.com calls “Bloody Sunday 2010.”

Democrats laud the vote as an “historic event.” Perhaps many of them voted in favor of the bill in a fit of euphoria, carried away with being part of something “historic.”

Let me remind you, Pearl Harbor was an “historic event.” So was the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. So was the pandemic between 1348 and 1350 that came to be known as the “Black Death.” In the sense that all of these things are “historic” I will have to agree, Bloody Sunday 2010 was, indeed, an historic day.

But regardless of all the reasons it should not have happened, it has happened. In light of this I have a question for Christians who recognize this as the step toward tyranny that it is: Where is your hope?

Where is your hope, brethren? Is it in the possibility that the Senate will not accept the House changes, thereby stopping the bill? Is it in the possibility that the next election will see a massive defeat of Democrats, enabling Republicans to mount an effective effort to repeal the bill? Is it in the possibility that states will pass laws nullifying the bill?

If your hope is in any of these things you likely feel powerless to do anything about the situation. Democrats have already demonstrated their resolve in legislating against the will of the people. It is likely this oligarchy will continue to ignore the pleas of the citizenry, the demonstrations in Washington, D.C., and the volumes of letters, e-mails and telephone calls from constituents telling them to kill this bill.

Our hope is grossly misplaced if we have it in anything with as little power as this.

Where, then, should we place our faith? You already know the answer.

Our faith belongs in the one who is all powerful, sovereign over all the universe — yes, even over the affairs of nations. Consider…

“For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted.” — Psalm 47:7-9

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings;” — Daniel 2:20-21

He removes kings and sets up kings — even the bad ones. Why? So that he might be glorified.

“For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” — Romans 9:17

Dear believer, from the moment God quickens our hearts to be alive to the Gospel our one and only focus should be His glory. We should be concerned only with His will — in our lives and in the world.

Yes, what is taking place in Washington is contrary to the foundations of this nation as articulated by the men who founded it. So what?

Ultimately, God — and God alone — raised the United States up to what it has been and what it is. The United States is God’s to do with as He will. Do we pray that God will restore America to her former glory? We can. But that betrays a heart NOT focused on God. Instead the prayer of God’s elect should be that HE be glorified in whatever HE determines to do.

If it means America is restored — so be it.

If it means America is destroyed — so be it.

The questions we all need to ask ourselves are these:

  • Are we more concerned with God’s glory or America’s?
  • Are we more concerned with our liberty or our witness?
  • To we consider ourselves a citizen of the United States or a member of God’s Kingdom?

It’s time to choose.

Thideological thoughts for the week

Concerning God’s will and Haiti

I have a number of theological disagreements with Pat Robertson — so I was not surprised when he made comments, with which I disagree, about the reason Haiti was devastated by the recent earthquake. But, Lee Shelton IV responded quite well on his blog “The Contemporary Calvinist.” Allow me to direct you to Lee’s comments. I’ll leave it at that.

Having respect for politicians

I recently heard a candidate for congress express his profound respect for his opponent. “We can have serious disagreements about policy,” the candidate said, “and still respect one another’s point of view.”

Now, I realize the candidate has to say all the “right things” so as not to offend someone’s delicate sensibilities. But I would have to add one very important caveat to his statement. I can respect another’s point of view only insofar as his point of view is respectable. And what Democrats in congress are proposing now is anything but respectable.

Imagine for a second that you are walking down the street and a mugger walks up to you and pulls a gun. He demands your money. Now, you and the mugger have a “disagreement” about the use of your money. You’d like to keep it for your own purposes and he’d like it for his. Do you “respect” his point of view even though you don’t agree with it?

Of course not. His point of view is wrong. It’s illegal. And there is nothing about it worthy of respect. You may be thinking, “But the differences between members of congress aren’t like that.” I disagree. There are members of congress who advocate the use of our money for their own purposes without our consent — they just call it taxation instead of robbery. But it’s the same thing.

Where is your hope?

The recent election of Scott Brown to the Senate has made conservatives and Republicans absolutely giddy. His election breaks the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and may put a stop to Barack Obama’s plans of a government takeover of the healthcare industry.

Now, I am opposed to just about every proposed expansion of the federal government — from the healthcare takeover to “cap and trade” to simple increases in regulations of any kind. And I am glad Brown won — if for no other reason than he seems to have put a halt to these expansions for the moment.

But I offer a simple caution:

If you have placed your hope in Scott Brown to change congress…

If you have placed your hope in congress to change America for the better…

If you have placed your hope in America to be a beacon of righteousness to the rest of the world…

…then your hope is grossly misplaced and you will be terribly disappointed.

The only problem with the world is sin. And the only hope for a sin-cursed world is found in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. America is not God’s instrument of grace to a lost and dying world. Congress is not God’s means of delivering grace. And Scott Brown is not God’s savior.

The Church is God’s instrument of grace in this world. The Scripture is His means of making us aware of that grace. And that grace only comes through faith in the One, true savior of the world — Jesus Christ.

Make sure your hope is properly placed.

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