Sunday, October 20, 2013

Runaway Government, Part III

The Congressional game of Chicken is over, and the Republicans blinked.  I'm not blaming them for standing against the folly that is ObamaCare (aka The Affordable Care Act), but I am saddened that no one has learned anything from the experience.  Disaster has been averted, but only until February 7 of next year, at which time ObamaCare will have kicked in, and nothing short of an act of God will be able to stop it.  Well, OK, good old-fashioned common sense could work too, but that left Washington, DC long before I was born.

So how do I propose solving the country's financial issues?  As with everything else in life, Jesus is the answer.  If you go back to the Book of Acts in the Bible, you will read how the early Christians formed a close-knit community, sharing what they had with each other.  No one had more than they needed, and no one lacked anything.  People took care of each other willingly, because that's what Jesus taught and also because they could not rely on the government for help.  (Truth is that for the first three centuries, the Roman Empire was trying to destroy them.)

There was also accountability.  The Apostle Paul stressed to the nascent churches that while they were to help each other, layabouts should not be given handouts.  Lazyness is against Bibllical teachings, so it should not be sanctioned or encouraged.

There was also no Social Security or Medicare for the elderly.  Instead, if there was no family to help, the church would take on the responsibility to care for the widows, orphans, and others who had no means of self-support.

So how did we get where we are today?  Wasn't this country founded mainly by Christians who likewise had little support from their respective governments and had to learn to rely on each other?  True enough, but as our society became more and more secular, people abandoned their support systems right along with their Creator and Savior.  Who else could fill the gap, but a government prone to overstepping its Constitutional purpose?

Do you think the kind of system found in Acts cannot work in today's society?  Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, any attempt would be doomed to failure (look at the fall of socialism).  However, there is one shining example that's been growing strong for nearly 20 years, one that, coincidentally, is a wonderful alternative to ObamaCare: Samaritan Ministries.  This is a Christian ministry that enables its 25,000 members to provide for one another's medical needs, and encourages them to actively pray for those they financially assist.  In turn, each family knows that when there are medical bills, no matter the amount, the other members will step in and pay them.  According to their website, an individual family's cost never exceeeds $350 a month, and the money is sent directly from one family to another; it is never centrally collected, thereby reducing the risk of misuse.  Samaritan Ministries emphasizes Biblical accountability and regularly submits to external audits.  Here is what they have to say about the church:

Believers in Jesus Christ are responsible to first use the resources He has given us to meet the needs of ourselves and our families. When a need occurs that exceeds what He has provided, other members of the Body of Christ should show His love by using the resources God has given them to help in the same way they would want to be helped.

The local church should be the next “line of defense” to provide for the needs of its own members. SMI is intended to support and supplement this work of the local body, not replace it. We seek to avoid undermining what should be done locally. We also depend on the leaders of the local church to provide accountability for the SMI members under their care.

Supporting those who are in need is a deeply-rooted Christian principle, but so is accountability.  The Lord knows people's hearts, and only when His Holy Spirit is welcome inside, can we achieve a society that uses its God-given resources responsibly and that takes care of its truly needy members.

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