ObamaCare and Our Duty to God

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

Robert Cornwall’s, blog post on the health care ruling saw it as a positive because of the effects of the bill itself. While I disagree profoundly on the effects of the bill, (I think it will be disastrous for health care in the country, will result in more, not less, people without health insurance, and that the health care that is delivered will be worse)   I am fairly confident that the bill will be repealed following the election, and even if I am wrong, the issue is on hold until then in any event.  I did however wish to address one of his other points.  He wrote,

“What do we owe our neighbor?  As I read the Scriptures, I hear the call to love my neighbor, to be hospitable, and compassionate.  I don’t think that God cares whether it’s a NGO, a church, or a government providing services.  The point is — compassion should lead us to making provision for our neighbors welfare.”

I somewhat agree, however, I do think God cares whether or not it is government.  I believe that the concern for our neighbor goes far beyond simply physical needs.  God is concerned about our hearts. He wants us to lover our neighbor, and that our compassion and our giving should stem from that love. 

Yet the evidence is clear and overwhelming.  The more government gets involved, the less charity there is.  Just look at the charitable giving of individuals in Europe, which is minuscule compared to individuals in the United States.  Within the United States, conservatives on average give a greater portion of their income than the supposedly more compassionate liberals. This should not be all that surprising. If it’s the government’s responsibility, why should I have to worry about it?  This is especially true if the vast majority of the bill will be paid by “the wealthy” as is currently the case.   

This is unhealthy for everyone. We show our love for God, by feeding his sheep  (John 21).  Does having an automatic deduction from my paycheck sent to Government to be distributed to people I never have to think about really demonstrate God’s love?  The bottom line is that I do not believe that our duty to love our neighbor can be in any way satisfied by government. However much, or however little government does, our duty remains unchanged.

Now if the programs worked, perhaps they could be justified on those means.  It would not satisfy any duty to God, but at least people’s need would be met.  However Government track record is bleak. The European model is going bankrupt.   Here in the U.S., we are within 3-10 year of a major fiscal collapse that will make our current troubles look like the good old days, assuming that it is not already too late. 

In the end, having a politician make a promise to meet needs, is not the same thing as actually meeting a need.  When we stand before Christ, saying, “but the government said that they would take care of it,” will not be an acceptable response.

Jul 20th, 2012

One Comment to 'ObamaCare and Our Duty to God'

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  1. Bob Cornwall said,

    Elgin, while I agree that government is not always efficient in providing care or meeting needs, the reality is that the need is much greater than what the church can provide. I’m not saying we abdicate our role, but rather combine our own work with holding the state accountable to its responsibity to provide for the general welfare.

    If the church cuts back on its work because the government does more that’s not the fault of the government — that’s our fault. But, the issue here is not that of charity but caring for the least of these.

    Yes, God cares for hearts, but God also cares about bodies. To ignore the latter is to embrace a docetism that is far from what Jesus or Paul preached.

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