The Government is not God by Ben Zornes
I really appreciate Ben Zornes perspective here…a very good and important read.
The Government is not God
Yep, here I go, wading into the morass that is our modern governmental system. When I was just a newborn, still at the hospital, the nurses commented to my mother how “chattery” I was for a wee-babe. They concluded I was destined to be a politician; my mom, however, declared, “No, he’s going to be a preacher.” It would seem that my mom was more the prophet than the nurses; nevertheless, I have always had the itch to apply Gospel truth to culture in general, including the realm of politics. This generation is deceived, and only forceful, Gospel-centered appeals to our magistrates, presidents and rulers will be useful in the long run.
Elijah rebuked Ahab, Isaiah rebuked the rebellious kings of Judah, Jonah preached to Nineveh, Nathan confronted David’s political corruption. All of them did so with the agenda of a heavenly kingdom in mind, not merely earthly governmental order and peace. The Church must act the part of the Prophet once more. So, while Baal’s prophets deliberate on how to call down fire from heaven, Elijah shall mock.
The biggest problem with human governments is that they are made up of humans. A government, operating apart from submission to the Word of God, will soon become a government that convinces itself it is God. Here is the rub, the present political game in Washington, D.C. is not so much an issue of conservatism vs. liberalism; it is merely a continuation of the battle begun in Eden, you know, the one whose motto is: “Ye shall be as gods (Gen. 3:5).” It is Babel vs. Jerusalem, Baal vs. Jehovah, Rome vs. Calvary. Funny how when he is offered power, mankind doesn’t seem to notice the forked tongue of the one offering it to him. Power belongeth unto God (Ps. 62:11); not to Ceaser. The government rests on God’s shoulders (Isa. 9:6), and it isn’t the other way around. Our government thinks otherwise and this is because she is drunk with the wine of Babylon. Mankind sipped the lie back then, and we are still chugging away it would seem.
Let the taunting begin. Government, thou art not God, neither wilt thou ever be. Government is not ultimate. Man, in his wickedness, would happily replace God Almighty with a god of his own liking. Modern America seems to like a god that legalizes sin, overtaxes the wealthy, manipulates the impoverished, aborts the innocent, provides free healthcare to the slothful and whatever else floats your boat and passes on the bill to our great-grandchildren. Government shows a face of benevolent generosity, and so it convinces the naive to vote again and again for politicians who promise to protect all sorts of rights and privileges, all the while stealing true liberty and freedom.
Government flatters itself to be the answer to the ills of our society. It extends a feigned compassion to the inner-city single mother, promising all sorts of subsidies so long as she votes for them; in the long run, under the banner of care and concern for her and others like her, they are enchaining her children and grandchildren to a millstone and throwing them in the sea. The price of this millstone is now in the ball park of $17,000,000,000,000, and the sea is entitled “The Welfare Sea.” This is not compassion, this is a travesty; to convince such a woman she is doing good, when in actuality she is enslaving her own offspring.
With a smirk, it promises, “Cast your vote for me, and I will care for you.” Just for the record, the Government as an administer of charity and care is rarely to be trusted. It will care for its citizens by deceiving them into believing that it can meet all their needs because “there’s always more where that came from.” The Government is not eternal, so it will run dry, and at the pace ours is going that shouldn’t be too far off. Further, though it masquerades under the banner of caring for the welfare of its citizens by dictating to them every aspect of their lives, their are only fastening the cords of tyranny tighter.
Government, thou art not the primary dispenser of compassion. Liberality is not plunging your grandchildren into bankruptcy; rather, it flows from the changed heart of the individual, and therefore, a believing man gives generously to all. Compassion, generosity, and care for the weak belongs to the Church, not to the politicians. Paul commends the Macedonian church as an example to the Corinthian church of how generosity looks; they were deeply impoverished, and still they give with liberality and gladness of heart (2 Cor. 8:1-2). It is not generosity, pity, compassion, or liberality for the Government to overtax its citizens and remove their individual volition to give. The Church is commanded of God to be cheerful givers, and to do so as a means of showing the world the glory of our generous God who bestows upon us riches in Christ Jesus. It does not command us to cheerfully export our responsibility for generosity to, say, the IRS. “Well God, I passively allowed the Government to tax me, does that count for active obedience to you?”
We are called to feed the poor, clothe the naked, and visit the prisoner as ambassadors of Christ; Government programs are a mock-charity. It does no good to have Uncle Sam meet the needs of the impoverished, because all it does for the soul of the impoverished is lead them to worship at D.C.’s throne and from thence, look for a lower case savior. I want the impoverished to behold Christ, in and through His Body the Church, so that they are led to worship at Heaven’s throne, and look upon the upper case Savior! The Church has stepped aside from her responsibility, and the Government has stepped in, and as Governments often do, it has spread its gospel of dependence on the state far and wide.
Government, thou art not a replacement for the Gospel. The Gospel shows a God who saves by sacrificing His own Son. The Government saves its own skin by infringing upon the rights of its citizens–all the while telling them it is for the good of all, and that we must fundamentally transform America. The Gospel teaches us that all things must submit themselves unto Jesus, the Government teaches that all things must submit to it, and it, of course, is answerable to no one.
The Gospel is Good News, and therefore, even in times of darkness there is always hope. The jig is up for all earthly kingdoms. NBC, CNN, FOX News won’t cover this, but, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever (Rev. 11:15).” The rascally ways of Governments, past, present and future, will not prevail, will not endure, will not reign! For of the increase of HIS government and peace there shall be no end (Isa. 9:7). Thus, while Washington squabbles over who is going to drive us over the cliff, and how fast, or what size anvil we should throw to the drowning man to help save him, the Church must rise up as ambassadors of a Heavenly Kingdom and begin to establish His mercy, truth and justice by taunting Baal’s prophets with the realities of the Gospel.
So, for good measure, a few more taunts . . .
Government, thou art not invincible in thy ways, omniscient in thy knowledge, nor unaccountable for thy actions.
Government, thou art not eternal, and thy reign shall soon end.
Government, thou dost not give life and rights to man, God does.
Government, thou wilt be made to give an account of thyself.
Government, thou didst not create us, we created you.
Government, thou art not the dictator of human history, indeed God is the remover and establisher of kings, and He is the only High potentate.
Government, the blood of millions of babies cries out against you.
Government, why don’t you yell a little louder, maybe Baal is asleep or off on a business trip.
Government, Thou art not God!