For years progressives have told us that the Bible compels Christians to contribute to an enormous government without objection for growing big government entitlement programs. This fake theology is not only Biblically defective, but it is tremendously damaging to God’s overall design for our culture.
For instance, during the 2008 election, then candidate Barack Obama told Rick Warren that America’s biggest failure as an institution is our failure to follow Matthew 25:40, which states “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”
I have heard this line of reasoning several times as a commissioner. Do not buy into this argument; it is wrong. The progressives use this verse to promote an agenda that includes dependency on the government instead of God and one’s self.
First, the plain language of this verse shows it is not about government performing a task, it is about how individual Christians will be judged. The verse doesn’t say, “to the extent that you contributed to your government and your government did it to one of these brothers of Mine”. It says, “to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine . . . .” This verse calls individual Christians to act for Jesus; not to simply write a check to the government and let them take care of it.
Jesus was clear that what you give to the government in taxes has nothing to do with what you do in performing your duties as a Christian. When speaking to the Pharisees in Matthew Chapter 22 (just three chapter earlier) about paying taxes, Jesus said “Then render to Ceasar the things that are Ceasar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” Taxes are not rendered to God, they are rendered to today’s “Ceasar”. In Matthew 17:24-27, Jesus showed that even in those times taxes were collected unjustly (“that which is has been already and that which will be has already been” right!). Like the Roman system described in Matthew 17, the American tax and spend system is wicked; it is not righteous. Taxes are not God’s way of implementing the “love thy neighbor” commandment!
Second, as I mentioned above, this is a tremendously damaging fake theology because instead of Christians giving and pointing people to God, the government gives and points people to government. In 2 Corinthians chapter 9, God makes this clear. Paul is writing to the church at Corinth about a commitment they made to give to the Jerusalem church. Verses 13 & 14 are right on point here: “Because of the proof given by this ministry [the Corinthians], they [the Jerusalem saints] will glorify God for your [the Corinthians] obedience to your [the Corinthians] confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your [the Corinthians] contribution to them [the Jerusalem saints] and to all, while they [the Jerusalem saints] also, by prayer on your [the Corinthians] behalf, yearn for you [the Corinthians] because of the surpassing grace of God in you [the Corinthians].
This says that the Jerusalem church was pointed to God when the Corinthians gave them a gift in God’s glory. Upon receiving such gift, the Jerusalem saints pray for the Corinthians, as they are now in fellowship. God is pretty amazing. He set this up so that when we “love our neighbor”, it points them to God and we now pray for each other in fellowship. The progressives don’t want this. Instead, they want to take God out of this transaction. They want Christians to give to the government, then the government will give to the people. Guess what this does? It points the recipient of the gift–not to God–but to the government. Anybody wonder why government has become so many Americans’ god?
As Christians, it is time to actually engage (i.e., sacrifice some of your time instead of watching TV) the government and reduce these programs (we learned today that the food stamp program is so poorly run people can buy pot with their food stamp card). We must take back the responsibility for “loving they neighbor”. That is the Christian principle.