Yes, that’s right! Reading the Bible steers you towards the left of the political spectrum! Christianity isn’t just in sync with liberalism, it totally encourages it!
According to this article from Alternet entitled, “The Wild Hypocrisy of America’s Conservative Christians,” if you claim to be a Christian, you are a hypocrite if you’re not a liberal Democrat. What’s the reasoning behind this? The author bases this assertion on the ‘goodwill’ principles that Jesus espouses in the Sermon on the Mount. The idea is that liberal Democrats are the ones who want to help the less fortunate in society by voting for government assistance for them, therefore, we should vote for as much government assistance as we can in order to fulfill what Jesus commanded us. While Jesus certainly does tell us to care for the poor and needy (James 1:27; Isaiah 1:17), this conclusion comes from a flawed mindset that fits Jesus into government instead of the other way around.
Government Is Not God
Setting aside for a moment the fact that the article referenced above is basically a giant equivocation fallacy (in which the author equates “religious people” with Christians and then makes an unfounded blanket statement that the Bible is “filled with liberal economic sentiment”), it’s worthwhile to look at this idea of government-sponsored compassion as a justification for voting liberally. I ran into an article on RelevantMagazine.com that also espoused this idea (see here), that we should vote for government programs that help people because Jesus commanded us to help people.
Since we’re talking about government, we have to ask, “What is the role of proper government?” The Founding Fathers understood that government can quickly become your worst enemy. When they drafted the Constitution, they had just finished fighting a war against a government that had become tyrannical and overpowering (“Big Government”). That is why the Constitution is essentially a manifesto of limited government. They purposely made it impossible to Constitutionally justify massive governmental welfare programs because they understood that the more power you give a government, the more threatening that government is to your liberties.
Getting back to the Bible, while Jesus does tell us to love our neighbors (Matthew 22:37-39), it does not follow that the best and most Biblical way to do that is through the government. In fact, I would argue that it is contrary to Biblical principles because by granting government the authority to do that which God commanded the Church to do, we are essentially outsourcing our responsibility as God’s people. God is God. Not government. And as such, it is not the government’s job to provide welfare for society. It’s the Church’s. And when we let the mentality seep in that government is the answer to our problems, we find ourselves in a dangerous spot. God did not tell government to care for the widows and fatherless; He told that to His people and to His church.
What’s the harm in letting government do it? Well, we need limited government because men are sinful and the more power they have, the more damage they do. Giving sinful men a powerful institution (government) and then giving that institution implicit authority to “care for society” is like giving a shaky adrenaline junkie a machete and telling him to keep the hedges trimmed. Not only will your hedges be destroyed, you may have to run screaming down the street from your gardener-turned-madman.
The point is this: men are sinful and they abuse government. Historically, government has been slow, inefficient, and notorious for corruption, which is why our Founding Father’s did their best to give us a basis for limited government. Outsourcing our God-given responsibility to care for society’s needy to the government is a basic betrayal of what God has commanded us to do. (And it’s horrible governance…it just doesn’t work.) Reading the Bible should make you realize how sinful men are, what they will do to get control, and how dangerous giving them that control will be. God is God. And government? As Ronald Reagan famously decreed, “Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.”
What are your thoughts?
SDG. Knowledge Ignites.