Lately, Facebook has been riddled with opinions on the new healthcare replacement bill, from here on out referred to as the AHCA (American Health Care Act). The topic brings out a lot of passion on both sides of the political aisle—the left side loves the current state and doesn’t want to change it, while the right side wants to make big changes, even completely repealing and starting over. This blog post is not about which side is right and wrong, because I think the answer is a bipartisan solution with give and take on either side; however, this post is about some of the recent op-eds I have seen shared on my timeline.
The most glaring article that has been shared was titled, “And Jesus Said unto Paul of Ryan …” a written in a NY Times op-ed. In this article, the author takes quotes from Jesus in the New Testament and lays them out as a retort to the “opinions of Speaker Paul Ryan.” My first issue with this article is that a vast majority of the words attributed to Speaker Ryan are downright falsehoods, and most of the rest are a stretch of his words and misapplication thereof. Now, before I get on to the meat of the disagreement, I must first say that Paul Ryan is an imperfect man. He has said and done things that I do not agree with personally or politically. The same goes for every single person on this planet, from my family, to my friends, to my pastor. “…There is no one righteous, not even one.” (Rom 3:10 NIV). “No one is good—except God alone.” (Mark 10:18).
A brief example of some of the quotes “attributed” to Speaker Ryan include: (to Jesus) “Don’t go socialist on me again,”“Let me teach you about love, Jesus — tough love!” and “Jesus! You don’t have time. We have a cocktail party fund-raiser in the temple.”
Now, onto the meat of the issue. The posts that have shared this article, amongst others, take the stance that the Bible calls us to care for the poor, sick, widowed, etc., and I completely agree with that point. Scripture is filled with caring for the poor… Luke 4:18, Matthew 5:3, Luke 6:20, Matthew 25:45, and many others. Our job is to take care of the poor, the widowed, and the sick, but the key word in that is OUR. It is not the government’s job. In all my days of studying the Bible, I have not found a verse that tells me that government is responsible for providing those services. I have, however, found that it is the job of the church to care for those people. James 1:27: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”
So, the premise that God calls the government to provide for the orphans and the widows and the sick and the poor is not supported by Scripture. The body of Christ (the Church) is to support them, lift them up, and help provide for them. Has the church done its job well? I would say no, but I also see no provision in Scripture that supports a government takeover if the church doesn’t fulfill its duties.
Secondly, this notion that it is somehow religious and Biblical to support or reject support for a government bill that changes how healthcare is run in this country is incongruous. These are the same people on the left side of the aisle that cry out for a woman’s right to murder her unborn child or for the legalization of a sin that is addressed multiple times in Scripture. You cannot try to twist the Bible to say what you want it to say and use it against people of faith, while at the same time ignore Its words when it comes to your own worldview and political positions. Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”
In summary, we, the Church, are called to help with the needs of the needy. We have a responsibility to do this ONLY as a church body, not as a governing body. Scripture sets up a separation of responsibilities to the family, the church, and the government, and the government isn’t involved in the direct administration of healthcare. Now, if you want to take a pure secular approach to healthcare, then, by all means, that discussion can happen, but don’t wag your finger at me and twist Christ’s words to fit your own narrative, while ignoring other words that don’t fit your narrative. You can’t have it both ways.
Jason – Three Patriots
It is no secret that the “One Nation Under God” has turned its back on the very God and His principles set forth in the founding of our nation. Focusing on healthcare, I too believe it is the responsibility of the Church, NOT the government to provide aid. Instead of asking for help from the government, expanding their ever growing reach, seek help from your local church, start a Samaritan clinic, start a non-profit to help with the rising costs of healthcare. DO SOMETHING! It is up to us, as citizens of this nation to care for each other, but we have forgotten that. The government has become so big and so over-reaching that it has brain washed its citizens to believe that they themselves cannot make a difference or to have individual thoughts. Instead, they rely on the government to come to the rescue or to do their thinking for them. WAKE UP and be the change.
Josh – Three Patriots