The upcoming national election will say something about who and what the American people trust. Both candidates and parties stress the importance of trust. The fact is, they each want you to trust their leadership and promises, but if you read between the lines and have the ability to discern, you will see far more. Neither candidate is perfect, and there are reasons for legitimate concern on both sides. We all want both parties to be concerned with the welfare of the poor, seek better ways to enable the healthcare system to work more efficiently and effectively, provide for the defense of the nation, reign in spending, and enforce constitutional laws.
Some things, however, are very clear: One candidate and party favors limited government and believes in the ability of citizens to be more productive on their own. The other believes government is the primary source of care and that financial resources should be taken from successful people and redistributed to others in order to pay for highly comprehensive social programs. I want to believe that both candidates and parties genuinely care about others, so how to best care for others, especially those with legitimate needs, is the real question.
Here are some facts:
The people must control the government, or the government will control the people. “We the People” will ultimately trust God or government. If the government does not serve us wisely and effectively, we will serve it to our own ruin.
When people are taught to look to government or to others to care for them, they will not look to God. God must be our source. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Cursed is man that trusts in man.” When people in trouble are led or encouraged to look to politicians and the federal government for help, they will not seek God and find the real assistance they so desperately need. When “We the People” are taught not to notice love, care for, or assist our neighbor, we too have been deceived and contribute to our own downfall, loss of freedom, and ultimate bondage. Handing our personal responsibility and the importance of being involved in meeting the needs of others to some agency or national political power destroys hope.
If the American people will again put God in first place, we will notice others and, motivated by true compassion, work together to find meaningful solutions. In addition, we will be personally involved. People in need must see people who care in order to recognize there is a God who also cares. A government program will not, and should not, be expected to reveal the love of God. Trusting government to care for the poor strips God from the equation. This is not biblical compassion.
I am not opposed to a “safety net” approach to welfare, but we are now at the point of providing “ladders” to everyone who feels they need to move upward. Even worse, we are not approaching the solutions with the idea of producing more wealth, but rather with the idea of viewing wealth as a fixed amount that must be reapportioned in order to benefit others. As we cave in to the desires of activists, such as taxpayer-provided condoms for graduate school students, we depart the realm of assisting the poor and enter into a true socialist society. This is not the America that has surpassed the world in wealth, strength, freedom, and positive influence.
People’s needs and weaknesses should help drive them to the correct source of help: God. Instead, we’re training them to turn to government. A faceless federal agency sending out checks with no personal connection is welfare, but it is not compassion in the scriptural sense. If “We the People” keep lifting up the government rather than God and His love as the answer to life’s challenges, we are actually promoting idolatry. Pointing people to government for assistance instead of stepping up and, as the church of Jesus Christ, taking an active, personal hand in helping others is a complete abdication of the call of God. May God forgive us and lead us to repentance!
This election will give us an indication of whom and what the American people trust. If we say no to ever-increasing debt, overreaching entitlements, more taxes (ultimately on everyone), we will also be saying yes to personal responsibility, meaningful acts of compassion, legitimate interest in our neighbors, and a determination to offer assistance bv mentoring others.
This is the only way out, and we must do it together as “We the People,” under God, indivisible. Then, and only then, will we have liberty, justice, and hope for all. We will again be the land of opportunity and a “shining city set on a hill” for all the world to admire. It is not too late, but it is late. Watch and pray—then vote!