WASHINGTON, February 2, 2012 - President Barak Obama tragically misrepresented a Bible verse in his speech this week at the 60th annual National Prayer Breakfast. He also seemed to reveal a pagan philosophy of civil government versus the traditional American philosophy based on Judeo-Christian principles.
As reported in the Washington Times, President Obama said that in hard times such as these, seniors, young people and the middle-class should not “shoulder the burden alone.” He continued, “And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense.”
“But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’ teaching that,’for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,’” he said. In context, this quote taken from Luke 12:48, takes on a much deeper and important meaning that could be of great value to the President. In Luke 12: 35 - 48, Jesus talks to his disciples about watchfulness, about doing what is right even though the “master” of the “servants” is not around.
This parable warns of what will happen to the “servant” found doing wrong when he knows the right thing to do. It also explicitly states that God has greater forbearance for the person who does wrong unknowingly than he does for the person who knows the right thing yet ignores it.
Here’s the quote in context from Luke 12:47-48:
“The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
Jesus did not teach that wealthy people should give more money to the government or charity than others should. God’s covenant with the Hebrews was to give ten percent of all they received to the temple or church. The purpose for this giving to the church was to ensure that the church had the ability to care for widows, orphans and the poor. Jesus came along and preached that every person should give all they have freely to service, and trust that God will take care of their needs - not government.
When critics confronted Jesus and tried to trap him into speaking out against the Roman government, Jesus was short and to the point in Matthew 22: 17 - 21:
“Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.”
They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
Christ taught that there is a separation of responsibilities among government, church and individuals or families. The primary role of government (i.e., the state) is protection of the people. Only government has authority to use “the sword” in an organized fashion (individuals have a right to protect themselves and their families against immediate threats).
The church, as a collection of God’s people, is to take care of the poor with the tithe. The family is responsible for raising and educating children and the general commerce of society.
In a free society, most of the things President Obama wants to support with taxes such as health care, housing, food stamps, and other forms of public welfare have no business in the realm of government. Churches, charity and individuals should provide these services to those unable to provide for themselves. This is something we should aspire to acknowledging it would be a long, slow process to return things to this order.
By continually talking about the American people in segmented groups (e.g., the poor, Latino, the young, seniors, etc.), President Obama is in reality advocating for a country run on ideas that dominated throughout most of history and the world today outside of the U.S. and a handful of European countries and Israel.
Historian Richard Frothingham describes the historical plight of man this way:
“Social order rested on the assumed natural inequality of men. The individual was regarded as of value only as he formed a part of the political fabric, and was able to contribute to its uses as though it were the end of his being to aggrandize the state. This was the pagan idea of man. “
President Obama rarely talks about protecting the individual rights of all Americans nor the need to up-hold the first constitution in history designed to do just that. Jesus was about the individual. He came so that liberty could be restored to the individual. It would be refreshing to hear President Obama speak about Jesus’ real mission.
Carla Garrison follows current events with one eye on history and the other on the future. Her goal is to encourage people to know the truth and use it as a call to personal action.
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