Saturday, December 19, 2009

Give The People Bread And Circuses

Have you noticed how our "representative" leaders are accomplishing their goals? It has nothing to do with solving the problem or even reality. They are using the same technique the mafia uses. Through threads of harm or by paying off the opposition. Threats of harm mean threats of lawsuits or destruction of someone's reputation - essentially taking away they life they had. For example, this has been used a lot to get pharmaceutical companies to give support to health care reform. It is also being used against the CIA and justice department attorneys from the Bush administration. The payoffs are easier to see. The latest is the Senator from Nebraska holding out on supporting the Reid health care bill until Nebraska is given extra money (a pay off). Or President Obama promising future payments of $100,000,000,000 per year to other countries, if they support reduction of carbon emissions. Nothing but another payoff. And since others now recognize this is the way Obama works, they won't agree to what Obama wants until they get their share of YOUR money. That's where the money comes from. Your pocket.

I read something interesting a while ago. A survey showed that when asked where the government gets their money, about 45% said, "They have their own money." What's especially interesting is that about the same percentage of people pay very, very low levels of taxes. Let's get in touch with reality!! The government doesn't have any money. All of it comes out of YOUR pocket.

This is why the way the Bible sets up government and taxation everyone pays taxes.

This is also why in the Bible representation of the people is set up on a household basis, not an individual basis. Only those who have a stake in the outcome have the right to decide on the laws that control the outcome.

You will be paying more for health care. You will be paying BIG TIME for reducing carbon emissions. But don't worry, you will still have TV.

Roman poet Juvenal wrote in the first century: give the people bread and circuses and they will never revolt. What was true then is still true today... unless we turn to God.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fixing The Real Problem - Government

There's starting to be a hint that things are getting better, but many things sure seem to be messed up these days.

There is the financial crisis that started with the meltdown on the home mortgage industry. What caused that? Fingers have been pointed at bankers, "greedy" executives, Wall Street brokers, investors and "greedy" home owners. But what is the one group of people whom the government never identifies as the source of the problem? The government. Yet if you read the reports now being written by economists, the #1 cause of the financial meltdown was government. In brief, our laws, codes and regulations were (and still are) written to encourage as many people as possible to buy homes, and encourage (and many times require)the lending institutions to do it in such a way that the risk was hidden.

What needs to be fixed in order to get us out of this mess, and prevent it from happening again, is the government. If we leave things as they are you can expect a bigger crash, and greater loss of savings and jobs, coming your way.

What about health care? The finger gets pointed at "greedy" insurance companies, overpaid executives, the drug companies, and even at doctors as being the cause of the problems we have with health care. But the true problem is ignored... government. Government regulation, codes, laws and favoritism of special interests groups (tort lawyers and unions for example) drive up the cost and limit access to health care. The solution is not a big expensive, unaffordable government program. The solution actually costs nothing and will save you money. The solution is to get the government out of health care. Implement tort reform. Allow insurance policies to be sold across state lines (so you don't have to pay high premiums mandated in the state where you live). Free doctors to practice medicine and legal defense.

I'm not against government. But I am against government stepping outside of the areas it should be in. God has defined the role of government -- essentially telling us those things government can do well and those things government will make a mess of (and hurt people). People have been serious hurt by what the government has done in the financial (mortgage) markets. People are already being serious hurt by what government has done in health care. But instead of changing this, we heading in the direction of doing more of what will hurt people. I doesn't make sense.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Not Socialism, But A New Life As A Serf

Continuing on yesterday's post...

Congressman Mike Pence said today that it is now clear the health care bill "is not about health care, but about changing the fundamental relationship between Americans and their government." In short, it will mean serfdom, as Americans will be made entirely dependent on federal bureaucrats for allocation of health care. Yes, this means "death panels" and the rest of it. Senior citizens will take the brunt of the "savings" that will be mandated, including $500 billion in designated cuts in Medicare. A study by Price Waterhouse Cooper estimates that the average family will have to pay $4,000 more for insurance by 2019, and individuals another $1,500.

The above is from a Front Line Alert from: Coral Ridge Ministries

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Scientists Say There Is No Global Warming

Last week I wrote a post about global warming. I though I was done writing about government, but there one more peace of information I'd like to add. Based on what you hear on the news you'd think that every scientists agreed that global warming existed, and we need to do something about it. But that's not true. For example, over 31,000 scientists have signed a petition stating that there is no convincing evidence that human activities that release greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, etc.) are causing heating of the earth's atmosphere or climate change.

You'll find the petition here: scientists reject global warming.

Another good web site about global warming was put online by an Oregon State professor. It is available at: global warming.

If scientists do not agree about global warming, why is the government working so hard to get agreement that something must be done? Because it's not about global warming. What government is looking for are crisis they "save" us from. This is what happens when the people get lazy and turn away from their responsibilities. When people turn away from God given responsibilities. They bellow for the government to step it, which it is more than willing to do, putting more power into the hands of those in control. The result is a lose of freedom and increase in tyranny.

The roles for government and people, as described by God in scripture, result in the maximum freedom and good for all. When we reject that, and turn to the government for salvation, you can count on tyranny and suffering to soon follow.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Government and Global Warming

What are we treating our government like?

As though it was our savior.

Is t the role of government to save us from global warming?

Of course we first need to ask whether global warming is real. Science Magazine reports that global warming stopped ten years ago (October 2, 2009 - page 28). But don't worry, they say, of course it will resume increasing in a year or two. But the current scientific evidence shows there is no global warming.

From a Biblical view does global warming make sense? Yes, it does. Following the flood what would naturally happen is a very cold period (ice ages) followed by warming. We're still in that warming period

So who is responsible for dealing with this? God assigned that responsibility in the Garden of Eden. It is our responsibility to care for the environment. It is also our responsibility to read God's word and use His word to guide our actions.

Our world was once much warmer. It will once again be much warmer. Our stopping the burning of fossil fuels will not make any difference, except to hurt people, cause hunger, and make people poorer - expect for those in power. Yes, we need to be taking care of the environment, but turning to the government as our savior is turning to the wrong savior.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Your Responsibilities Vs. Government's Responsibilities

To start this series I pointed out some of the things government does that they should not be doing, such as welfare. There is a role for government in providing for those in need, but it is very small, with the vast majority of the responsibility falling on:

1. Close Family
2. Distant Relations
3. Friends & Neighbors
4. The Christian Church

Another area the government should not be involved in is that of education. Education is the responsibility of parents, who are also accountable for their children's education. Deuteronomy 6:6,7 says:

"These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."

We are commanded to teach our children.

Ephesians 6:1 says how children are to respond... they are to obey their parents.

Parents have the ultimate responsibility for teaching their children. In today's world this may involve home schooling, or teaching them through a co-op type school. I describe it as a co-op because it needs to be a school in which the parents are heavily involved, and a school that is accountable to the parents. Government schools do not meet this criteria. Parents are only involved at the edges of the education that goes on and the school has no accountability to the parents.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Government & Church - Biblical Welfare #2

I've read accusations that the Biblical position of individual people providing charity assistance to those in need only applies to Christians. In other words, Christians only help other Christians and everyone else can starve.

Anyone who thinks that is the Christian attitude have not paid attention to what happens during disasters. It is Christians who provide the major of the relief and aid. It does not matter where the disaster strikes... in a Christian community or a Muslim country. Atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians are all helped equally and without distinguishing who belongs to which religion.

Yes, there are some cults that call themselves Christian that limit their assistance to those who are members of their church. Or they serve their church first and if anything is left over they'll help others. But that's not what you see from Christians.

What are some examples from the Bible?

Leviticus 19:9-10 says: "When you harvest your crops, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. It is the same with your grape crop--do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners who live among you, for I, the Lord, am your God."

At that time most people were farmers raising crops. They were commanded to leave some of their crops for the poor. They were to give some of what they received to help those who could not help themselves.

An important point to note is, God did not command them to harvest crops and then give the food to the poor. Those who were in need--you could say they were in need of a job--could come and harvest what was left. They had to work to get their food. Those who had a harvest were responsible for providing for them, but they still had to put in some work to get what was given to them.

Let's look in the New Testament. This is from Mark 2:23-24

"One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grainfields, his disciples began breaking off heads of wheat. But the Pharisees said to Jesus, 'They shouldn't be doing that! It's against the law to work by harvesting grain on the Sabbath.'"

Were they accused of stealing grain? No. Jesus did not accuse them of stealing. And what the Pharisees said they were doing wrong was working on the Sabbath. Leviticus 19 allows travelers to glean grain from the unharvested edges of the fields. Jesus' followers were applying this principle.

How do we applythis principle today?

1. We are to put aside some of what we earn to be used to help those in need.

2. We should provide it to those in need, and who can work, in a way that gives them dignity; that builds them up; that strengthens them; and helps them build the habits they need to take are of themselves. In other words we should not just give them the cash, they need to work.

This does not mean we should take advantage of others, forcing them to be our servants so they can buy the food they need. Those who gleaned from the fields did not plow, plant, weed, nor put in all the work needed to care for the fields. They did a lot less work than the farmer. Yet, they still had to do something to earn their food. We need to structure our support for those in need the same way.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Government & Church - Biblical Welfare

What does the Bible say about taking care of the poor? Who is supposed to met the needs of those who can not care for themselves?

First I'd like to point out that the Bible says there is no free ride. Only those who truly are in need, and can not help themselves, are deserving of assistance. In 2 Thessalonians 3:10 it says:

"...we gave you this rule" 'Whoever does not work should not eat."

Paul goes on to write in verse 11: "Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and wasting time meddling in other people's business. In the name of the Lord Jesus Chist, we appeal to such people--no, we command them: settle down and get to work. Earn your own living."

Paul is talking to people who could work, but "refuse to do so."

I have read criticisms of this passage saying that it is used to treat needy people badly. This is not a correct understanding of what Paul is saying. He is not telling the disabled, the elderly, or others who can not work that they should not receive charity. But those who are capable of working, need to work or they don't eat.

What if there are no jobs? First we need to look at a fundamental problem.

We are in a situation in which unemployment is above 9% and jobs are difficult to find. Who are we turning to to create jobs? The government. The government has taken over GM and Chrysler to save jobs. The government is spending vast sums of money as a stimulus to create jobs. Meanwhile the government pays people to do nothing while they wait for jobs to be created.

I can hear people saying that this is the loving and compassionate thing to do. Is that true? What does the Bible say we should do?

Can governments be loving and compassionate? No. It is people are can be loving and compassionate. We are to show that love and compassion by helping our neighbor when they need help. Here is a key reason why this is best... because we know our neighbor. We have a personal relationship with our neighbors. We know those who are in need, and those who are trying to get a free ride would quickly be revealed.

We have open our home to people in need. In one case the husband always had an excuse for not taking a job, even when I arranged one for him. He was capably of working, a job was available, he refused to work... he did not deserve to eat. Instead he found a way to live off free handouts from the government.

The point is, if those in need are help by their family and friends, those who need help will get it and freeloaders will have to learn how work and help others who are in need.

No, the Biblical command to work or you don't eat is not cruel. It is wise. It is truly loving and caring about other people.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Proper Role Of Government

I should have started this series many months ago, but other projects always seemed to push their way to the top of the pile. The Bible very clearly defines the role of government and the role of Christians. Unfortunately Christians have been neglecting what they are supposed to do and government has slowly moved in to take over the responsibilities of the church.

For example, part of the role of government is to provide protection and regulate commerce.

Part of the role of the church is to educate children and provide for the poor, both of which are now done mostly by government.

This ever growing expansion of government into areas of the church's responsibility is the source of many of the societal problems we have today.

I am not advocating a theocracy, a type of government that is run by the church. With the government involved in services such as welfare and education, it may seem that when I say these are church functions I'm saying the church should be running the government. Not at all. We're just thoroughly indoctrinated in those being a government function that we can't think of them being done in any other way. But they should be.

In the next post we'll take a look at the Biblical view of welfare, which includes the hot topic of the day... health care.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Trillions To Fight Poverty

I was reading a newspaper article today about the trillions of dollars that have been spent on fighting poverty, poor levels of education (and high drop out rates), gang violence, and drugs since the Great Society government programs were started by President Johnson in the 1960's. The author was lamenting that with all the money that has been spent, nothing has changed, and in fact things have gotten worse, particularly in the decline of education. He could not understand why this was. His only answer was that we needed to spend more money and have more government programs.

Do more of what hasn't worked? Does that make sense?

What's has intentionally been left out of these efforts to help people? God, and God's methods for helping people who need help.

Government can never solves these problems.

For example, how does the Bible deal with poverty? Does it say the government should feed those who cannot afford food? No, it does not. Does it say churches should feed those who cannot afford food? No, it does not. The Bible gives the principle of gleaning. People who grow food are to leave some in the fields for those who don't. Do they just give it to those who need food? No. People must harvest their own. They must work for the food they need.

Yes, there are some people who are not physically about to work. But the Biblical principle is that those who are able to should work to support themselves. And the form of charity that we should provide is opportunities for people in need to work.

How does this apply in our situation? We are not all farmers who can leave parts of our fields unharvested so that poor people can gleen. An example of what we can do is: business owners can hire one more person than they actually need. Is this a charity job? No. The person would be expected to get to work on time and do useful work. If they don't show up for work, just like anyone else they get fired. No work. No money. No food. (2 Thessalonians 3:6-12) People not only get fed, they learn good work habits and gain work skills.

But more importantly we can not leave God out. People need to know who they are. That they are created in God's image. That means we are not some unimportant bit of random biological stuff that came from swamp goo a billion years ago. You are created in God's image! You are loved by God. God knew you and loved you even before you were conceived in you mother's womb. God even sacrificed His only Son so that you can be saved from God's wrath.

Since you are created in God's image, you represent God to all the universe. That's important. You are important. Are you representing God well? Or are you misrepresenting who God is?

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Monday, July 06, 2009

What's Satan's Next Target?

The true battle is a spiritual battle with many fronts. In the past few years we've seen America take many big hits, both physical and spiritual. The physical affects the spiritual because it can lead us away from from God.

America took a big financial hit during the past year. Who did we turn to? Was it God? No it was government. Actually in many cases our government stepped in in the name of "saving us" without being asked to save us.

America has been hit from several directions, and what has been the physical world cause? In most cases government. They always point fingers at others, but it was government lending policies that led to the real estate meltdown.

Remember, the more crisis there are, the more government can convince people to turn to them for salvation. But, the truth is that each time this happens people will get less and less "salvation" and more entrapped in a system that leads them away from God.

So what's next? Think about some area's in which America is strong and you've found the next targets. An obvious one is energy. Everything takes energy to run. Without energy we return to the stone age. America has more energy reserves than any other country. Enough energy to last us for over 500 years. That energy is coal. And what is now under attack? Coal as an energy source. The tool is called "global warming."

Saudi Arabia as 25% of the world's oil resources and the Middle East in general has 40% of the world's natural gas. On the other hand America has 27% of the world's coal resources.

If you were Satan what would you do?

America is called an energy glutton because we use more energy than other countries. The argument is that our energy use must decrease. Those that make that argument should spend some time in countries that use less energy. I was in southern India earlier this year. I didn't need an alarm clock because the city power went off every morning at 7:00 AM and a few minutes later the noisy diesel generator for the hotel kicked in. It was a nice hotel, but there was no hot water... which wasn't too bad because the weather was so hot that the cold water wasn't very cold. In some sections of the city at night shop owners lit their shops with candles and lanterns, because there was no electricity. Women washed clothes in the river, pounding them on rocks. Overall I loved India and look forward to returning. But shouldn't we be working to raise their standard of living instead of lowering ours.

It's just a guess, but look for America to be further beat up as a result of government energy programs and policies... and then of course to save us from those results we'll get more government programs that further steal our work, treasure and lives.

So why aren't you out sharing the gospel?

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Biblical Role Of Government

What is the Biblical role of government? What should government be doing and what should it not be doing?

First we need to keep in mind the all government authority comes from God. (Romans 13:1)

Based on the Bible, here is what government is responsible for:

National Security
Restrain Evil
Protect the Innocent
Preserve Truth (ie. standards for weights and measurement, protect against fraud)
Protect Personal Property

So what about the church? What is the church's responsibility?

Spiritual Authority
Teach the Word
Fellowship of Believers (to encourage and point people to the right path)
Welfare (take care of the poor and needy)
Correct and Admonish
Judging (see Ezra for example)
Hold Leaders Accountable (includes a prophetic role)

How is our government doing? Are they protecting the innocent (the unborn for example)? Do our various state governments work to restrain evil (disobeying God) or encourage evil? Does our government protect personal property or take personal property and redistribute it to others?

How is the church doing? Does the church take care of the needy? Does the church correct and admonish? Does the church hold our leaders accountable?

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