April 10, 2010

To Pay or Not to Pay: Christians, Universal Healthcare, and Taxes

There have been a number of interesting posts, as of late, by Evangelical bloggers on the a Christian response to the recent passage of healthcare legislation and its effect on government funding for abortions and whether or not Christians ought to pay taxes which are excessive, oppressive, and used to fund government programs antagonistic to biblical teaching.
The above links are not explicitly written in response to one another.  Each makes some interesting points.  What do you think?

3 comments:

ἐκκλησία said...

Matt [Romans 13:1-4] tells us that all earthly authority is ordained in heaven. The question is why does God allow his people to be governed by the godless? There are a couple of Biblical reasons; God sometimes gives us what we ask for (which is what we deserve), God is glorified in our weakness, and the blessings promised by the (new) covenant are corporately conditional and require obedience.

Your country, the U.S. was founded by Christians, on Christian principles, to be a Christian nation in A.D. 1776 (seven times, 2520 years, after Israel lost its original nationhood to Assyria in 745 B.C.). Since 1776, the United States as become secularized one step at a time, to permit within the U.S. the same godless practices other nations also practice (such as abortion). God won't deny national requests to be sinful, whether Christian's personally agree with it or not. In [1 Samuel 8], Israel demanded a king, though God was already its king. In response to the request, God said to Samuel ([1 Samuel 8:7]) "Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them." Samuel was permitted to warn Israel about the ramifications of the request, yet still they demanded a king. God gave them what they demanded [1 Samuel 9-11] and Israel lived to regret it, as Samuel prophesied. Programs antagonistic to biblical teaching will bring down national judgements, but the response of individual Christians should be to boast in God in weakness [2 Cor 12:9-10] in the spirit of [I Peter 4:19] since that brings God the greatest glory.

But Matt, the issue isn't about individuals revolting against a particular tax law, or about individuals tolerating permissive abortion laws, rather the issue is about toleration of godless governance and national godlessness by the body of Christ. [Romans 12:2] commands us not to be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind that we might discern the will of God. If there is to be a revolt it must call a spade a spade, and be much more bold, much more broad, and much clearer in its purpose than Doug Wilson, Al Mohler or Russell Moore suggest and that this post touches on. It must address the real underlying problem and be a corporate act, not an individual one. This whole discussion exposes Christianity's real weakness, which is that it does not think in the same atomic terms the Bible does. Christianity is blind and impotent as a consequence.

Christianity is every bit, what Paul said it would be in [2 Timothy 3:2-3]. As lovers of self and swollen with conceit, we see Christ's teaching through the filter pertaining to individual and an individual's response to Christ (how very democratic!) This modern emphasis which treats man and women atomically in Christ, ignores the bible's actual emphasis ([Romans 12:4-5],[1 Corinthians 10:17, 12:12-14,18, 12:20,25], [Ephesians 2:16], [Colossians 3:15]). The Bible's smallest atomic unit is not the individual, but “one flesh” defined as both the male and the female joined in marriage [Malachi 2:15]. See also ([Genesis 2:24][1 Corinthians 6:16][Matthew 19:5-6][Mark 10:8][Ephesians 5:31]). It gets bigger from there, where a nation is merely a larger version of the family. Spiritually it is no different [Ephesians 4:3][Philippians 1:27]. Modern churches are not equipped to act in a politic sense, because their focus is individuals. When was the last time you attended a Church whose constant focus went something beyond mere 'personal salvation'?

ἐκκλησία said...

If we are not able to recognize the ekklēsia (starting at the level of a single family) as the centre of God's teachings, covenants, prophecies and His redemption, rather than focusing on individuals as separate from the ekklēsia, we not only establishing Paul's prophecies about our self-centredness as true, but we also deny the ekklēsia an ability to respond to godlessness a corporate scale, in a God sanctioned way. At the end of the day, the devil prowls around like a lion looking for individuals, but the world hates Christ-likeness. National issues do not focus on individuals. They focus on Christ's people as an assembly, a mountain with Christ at its chief cornerstone. Accordingly an ekklēsia neutered in its understanding will not be equipped to respond.

ἐκκλησία said...
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