This past week has been one that will go down in history because of a piece of legislation passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law. As many of you know, this legislation was a complete reform of our country's health care system. Supporters of this legislation say that it will enable millions of Americans to purchase health insurance who previously didn't have access to it. Congress was sharply divided down party lines on this one. It was definitely an historic moment for our country.
I am not going to get into the whole debate that has taken over all forms of media this past week. What I believe is irrelevant when it comes to the root of the matter. The heart of the matter is that our country is in complete darkness. We are lost.
I am a Facebooker and a Twitterer. I enjoy reading about what my friends are doing and love to hear about what is going on in their lives. Today, I came across a post that really disturbed me. I will share. A friend of mine posted, "apparently helping those in need is only Christ like if it doesn't raise your taxes." I read it and just moved on to the next friend's post. Something just didn't feel right. I had that feeling in my gut. Sensing the conviction of the Holy Spirit, I went back to my friend's post to read the replies to his post. A fire was lit in me.
I have been guilty before of putting my two cents worth in when I probably should have just stayed quiet. These social networking sites aren't the best places to debate sensitive issues. A lot of the times we type things with one intention, and when its read, it comes across in a different way. This happens to me all of the time. Having that thought in the back of my mind, I debated with myself whether or not to respond. A lot of the replies were directed at the church in a negative way and I just didn't feel like Jesus would just ignore the comments, so I replied. The comments centered around whose responsibility is it to meet the needs of the needy, primarily in regards to health care. Is it the government's? Is it each of ours? Is it the church's? The general consensus was that the church isn't doing their part. This is where I chimed in.
I referenced 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13. In this passage, Paul basically says, if you don't work, you don't eat. In summary I stated how I believed that we should love everyone. We should also work in order to provide for ourselves and not rely on handouts. Granted, there are people who are physically disabled and are not capable of working. I think that is where the line is. It is a fine line though. Regardless, you should do all you can to try and provide for yourself. I also addressed how we can't look to the church as our example, we have to look to Christ. He is who we should pattern ourselves after and not the church. The church is made of up of humans who are naturally sinners. They will fail you and they will come up short a lot of the times. Jesus, however, never fails.
Well, almost immediately my comments lit a fire under some lady whom I don't even know. She ripped me apart. This is her response:
"No, Wesley. Render unto Ceasars what is Ceasars. Health care is not a hand out. There is no fine line. If Jesus took as much concern with the sick we should as according to your own example [Jesus being our example, not the church]. Jesus did run around working to provide health care. Jesus provided it to those who couldn't get it elsewhere. Too many are working and still can't afford it. You shouldn't have to join the army at 40 because your wife has cancer [article]. I am so blind sided by Christians who are more concerned with their pocket books than what is right. If you had the faith you say you do money would be the least of your issue. And the church SHOULD be the example of Jesus on Earth. It's not, but that was God's set up initially."
Let me stop here and say one thing. What I am about to say isn't to tear this lady down. I believe that this is a view shared by many "Christians" today. I have heard this all before. My comments are directed to all of us Christians.
Now, back to the post. First of all let me point out a few things I do agree with. There are lots of people working that still can't afford the health insurance they need help. I know people like this and YES, they deserve help. I also agree that Christians are more concerned about their pocket books than what is right. That is why there are so many IMB Missionaries who are having to return home because there isn't enough money to support their work. Last, I agree that the church should the example of Jesus on Earth. We are all called to be more like Christ.
There are a lot of things she says, however, that I disagree with because I don't feel her comments are correct, Biblically speaking. I will start at the top. She says, "Jesus did run around working to provide health care. Jesus provided it to those who couldn't get it elsewhere." I don't recall ever reading that Jesus actually sold health insurance, but I don't think that is what she means. If I understood her correctly, she is trying to say that Jesus went around healing all who were sick. This isn't completely true. Let's look at the passage of scripture where Jesus is at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-8ff). Here Jesus comes to Jerusalem and He ventures over near the pool where the bible says "crowds of sick people....lay on the porches." Notice verses 5-6, "One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, He asked him, 'Would you like to get well?'" Verses 8 and 9 say that Jesus told the man to get up and pick up his mat and the man was instantly healed. Jesus then disappeared into the crowd. Notice that of all the people lying there, Jesus healed one. He didn't heal everyone, just one man. Now, I take this to show that we can't always meet every need, nor should we try. We should do what we can do. We should do what God tells us to do. Jesus did what God told Him to do so He healed the one man. My Sunday School teacher says, we can't go to the Mississippi River and expect to walk over to Memphis because we will sink like a rock. It isn't because we don't have enough faith. It is because God has to call us onto the water.
The next thing I want to point out is that she said, "You shouldn't have to join the army at 40 because your wife has cancer." She is referring to an article which tells of a 40 year old man who is enlisting in the Army so his wife, who has ovarian cancer, can have access to health insurance to pay for her chemo treatments. This is a sad story. I feel for this family, especially his young daughter who doesn't understand. On the positive side, this shows us that God always provides. In Matthew 5:19-34, Jesus teaches us not to worry. He tells us that God will provide for us and for us to consider the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. Neither can provide and care for themselves, yet God manages to provide them with the necessities of life. Jesus says we are more valuable to God than the birds or the Lillis, yet He takes care of them. What makes us think He won't take care of us? It is sad that this man has to join the Army in order to get the health insurance that he needs, but I see it as God providing him a way to care for his sick wife. I also applaud his guts and his determination to take care of his family no matter what the cost. It is a way for him to meet the needs of his family. He may not like it, but he is doing anyway because he wants to provide for his family. WOW!! That's quite an example for us husbands and fathers.
It all boils down to this. Whether you agree with the new health care law or disagree with it is irrelevant. What really matters is are you being obedient to God. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." I want to look into this verse. Who is this directed at? God says, "my people." Well, who are God's people? Again God says, "who are called by my name." That means we don't choose God, He chooses us. It isn't anything we do on our part. It is all Him. That is how we become God's people. He has to call us. I want to jump to the end of the verse. There God gives us a promise. When God makes a promise, He keeps it. This promise, though, has some stipulations. In order to receive this promise, God says we must humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. This, I believe, is our problem. I heard it put like this. Picture a teenage girl. She is pregnant, out of wedlock obviously, and she has decided to get an abortion. As she makes her way to the front door of the clinic, she is hounded by protesters, many of whom probably claim to be Christian. They have signs and are yelling at her about she is a murderer and how that baby has a life. Can you picture that? We have all seen in on the news at one time or another. Let's stop right there and look at why this girl is where she is. She was a member of a church. She was a Christian, yet to many she was viewed as an outcast. She didn't "fit the mold" and most people in her church just silently ignored her. As a matter of fact, since she was considered different by many in her church, it was no surprise to them that she turned up pregnant. Do you think that maybe, just maybe if those same church people had loved her and not judged her; maybe if those same church people would have discipled her; maybe if those same church people had reached out to and prayed for this young immature Christian, things might have been different?
We are these church people, aren't we? How many times have we been quick to state our opinion instead of praying about a situation seeking God on the matter? How many time have we encountered a rough patch in life and tried to make it our job to right the ship? I can't count the number of times I have been in those situations. You see instead of pointing fingers and name calling and throwing our opinions around, we need to stop. We need to humble ourselves and realize that we can't do it on our own. We need to seek God's help and pray for His wisdom and guidance and deliverance. When we do these things, God says He will forgive us and will heal our land.
Regardless of where you and I stand on the health care issue, we need to quit pointing fingers and start praying. That is where we have gotten off course. Instead of blasting Pelosi, Reid, Stuppak, Obama, and all the others, we need to pray that they will humble themselves and pray and seek God. If we will seek God, He will find us and He will heal this country. He promised us. Will you join me in putting this into practice. Will you hold me accountable? Can I hold you accountable?