Get ready because you’re about to witness a person commit political suicide. Not that I would ever run for office, nor would I ever be electable given that my “radical” Biblical-worldview convictions are no big secret. But even if I ever were to find myself being one of only two remaining humans on earth, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t win an election after this post.
Rand Paul had his Aqua Buddha. I have “My Political Manifesto.” Ready…here it is:
I believe in Small Government.
I’m not talking Tea Party small. I’m talking microscopic small. Electron-microscope small.
But that’s just the beginning. I also believe in Big Church and Big Family.
I’m not necessarily talking about size, as in, number of members. But big in influence and function.
You see, I believe God ordained three earthly institutions:
He assigned functions for each of these and specific roles for individual members of each one. I would like to use this post to explain what I believe He intended Government to be. It’s far from what has evolved in the 21st century United States.
Although I’ve held these beliefs for years, the impetus for me doing this now is the recent election and an online conversation I had with a Lexington Herald-Leader (the Horrid Misleader) reader with the username “Smilinrick.” The story that we were commenting on was about how the Lexington government faced a $7.2 million dollar budget shortfall due to health care insurance cost increases. I mentioned that my private health insurance will increase 28% in 2011, thanks to Obamanation and the Dem’s health care “reform,” or “deform,” as I like to call it. The reason: Socialism. I’m subsidizing people who won’t work and make other bad decisions.
“Smilinrick” replied to my comment:
“Mr. Thompson, i (sic) know from previous post you are a religous (sic) person and just wanted to ask a question. When churches take up collections of money, clothes, etc. and use those to help people less fortunate, isn’t that a little socialistic? I mean, curches (sic) help feed the homeless, give clothes to the needy etc. Sounds kind of hypocritical to help those but refuse to help others.”
“I believe that God ordained the church to be the only social assistance institution. I could give more to my church if the government wasn’t in my pocket all the time. Government’s primary role should be to defend and protect (to be “the sword”-Romans 13:4), not to redistribute money and reinforce poor work ethic through socialistic programs. I’m not against mercy and charity. I’m against Government being the institution that administrates it.”
The character count limit of that online forum prevents me from giving a more complete summary of my views on Government, so that brings me back to this post.
God is not against Government. To the contrary, He established and empowers it, even calls it His agent (Romans 13). His Son Jesus taught us to “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s” (Luke 20: 25), even providing a tax payment through the mouth of a fish (Matthew 17:27). Government is good—when operating within the parameters He designed.
The problem in America is that Government is encroaching on territory that God intended the Family and the Church to tend to. That’s an indictment on the Family and the Church, no doubt, but that’s a “whole ‘nother subject” and a post for another day.
Today, I’m talking about Government. Let’s look at the issues under two headings:
- Two things that Government is supposed to be doing
- Two things that Government is not supposed to be doing
Two things that Government is supposed to be doing
Government’s primary function is to restrain evil. That involves defense and security—“bearing the sword,” as Paul puts it in Romans 13:4—which involves the military and law enforcement. It also involves the judicial and justice department—“bring punishment on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4).
National defense and justice
For national defense and security, I give Government in America an “A.” They are doing a pretty good job keeping Americans and even much of the world safe in a world of terrorism and greed. We owe it to the brave men and women who serve as our military, law enforcement, firefighters, and others, men like my son-in-law, Matt Horton, who serves in the U.S. Navy.
In the area of justice, I give the judicial system a “D.” They are not doing their part in restraining evil. The Supreme Court has legalized abortion—an atrocity that surpasses even slavery in its violation of human rights. And the courts have assisted as wicked people have destroyed the Family by normalizing sodomy and legitimizing divorce. They have also done a poor job of “bringing punishment on the wrongdoer.” The Bible definitely teaches capital punishment (Exodus 21:12; Numbers 35; Romans 13:4, to name a few), yet fewer and fewer cases ever get that far. Capital punishment is not murder. It is simply self-defense on a societal level.
Stewardship of common property
Government’s other main function is stewardship of common property. The Bible is full of examples of how God blessed men involved in public service as they rebuilt city walls (Nehemiah) or built city infrastructures. Government should be in the business of building common roads, sewer systems, and other infrastructure that we share. I think this principle can be extended to intellectual property as well, such as establishing trademarks and copyrights and establishing manufacturing standards and regulating radio waves and specs for other common property (real and intellectual)—stuff like making sure that you can plug in your TV in Kentucky or in Oregon, and it works. In this area, I also give America an “A.”
Two things that Government is not supposed to be doing
Government in the United States has assumed responsibilities that it was never ordained by God to do.
God never intended Government to the steward of welfare (welfare payments, food stamps, unemployment, and yes, health care, to name a few). That’s the job of the Family and the Church. The church is commanded to care for widows and orphans (James 1:27), and families are commanded to take care of their members (1 Timothy 5:8). Admittedly, both the Family and the Church have major shortcomings in this area. But what is the cause, and which is the effect? Have selfish families and churches abdicated their responsibilities, requiring the Government to fill the gap? Or are families and churches not able to help because their members are strapped by high tax rates caused by Government welfare programs? Now the Government is threatening to eliminate tax deductions for charitable giving and to ax tax exempt status for churches. In my estimation, Government overstepping the boundaries of social welfare is the root of many of America’s problems, such as:
1. Welfare abuse—welfare could be much more efficiently and effectively distributed by the Family and the Church than by bureaucrats. Churches and families could much better implement the Biblical principle of 2Thessalonians 3:10: “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”
2. Negative reinforcement—governmental assistance encourages individuals to stay dependent on the Government rather than be independent.
Yes, this really makes me a radical, but I don’t believe that God intended for Government to be in the education business (public schools, state universities). Again, I believe that is the responsibility of the Family and the Church. Again, an argument can be made that families and churches have failed in that responsibility, and forced the state to step in. But this Manifesto is a declaration of how things should be, a goal to work towards, not a pragmatic compromise. One good decision fosters another good decision, and one bad decision fosters another bad decision. So let’s make a series of good decisions, and see how God will bless it.
Because Government is doing things it shouldn’t, Government spending and taxes are out of control. That is currently resulting in deficit spending. The Church and the Family must live on a balanced budget. The Government thinks they don’t have to. I believe this is one of the great crimes of our present Government, and Obamanation and the Dems have made matters much worse. Deficit spending is the equivalent of GENERATIONAL EMBEZZLEMENT. My grandchildren will be handicapped with crippling debt and/or suffocating inflation, and I don’t want to be party to it. The current situation reminds me of a commercial that aired back in the 1980s. It is still appropriate today:
America’s excessive tax and spend policies have created an environment that does not foster economic growth and does not invite God’s blessings. The opposite is true, and our current recession is the result that proves the truth of this now famous quote from Pastor Adrian Rogers:
“Friend, you cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. And what one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The Government can’t give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody. And when half of the people get the idea they don’t have to work because the other half’s going to take care of them, and when the other half get the idea it does no good to work because somebody’s going to get what I work for. That, dear friend, is about the end of any nation.”
America has much going for it, but is headed in the wrong direction. But here is what you may be surprised to see me say: Most of the problems in America are not ultimately the fault of the Government. The Family and the Church have failed to step up and take on the responsibilities that God has ordained for them. In order for America to be great, its families and churches must be what God intended them to be and do what God intended them to do. Then the Government can be free to do what it should do. And America can be the nation God wants it to be. In the meantime, Government has its work cut out for it, and needs new leadership—leaders who will lead from a Biblical worldview.
I want to make one more point about the so-called “separation of church and state.” Everyone knows that is not in the Constitution, and the principle has been perverted by liberals and the ACLU. What is in the Constitution is freedom of religion—not freedom from religion. Our founding fathers never intended to keep God out of Government, but to keep Government out of interfering with our free worship of God.
Needless to say, my vision of an America in which the Family and the Church do an outstanding job of taking care of welfare and education is not merely one election away. It’s taken us 100 years to get into this mess. It might take 100 years to get out. The welfare and education systems are well entrenched in American society. And we have several generations of people who have paid into programs like Social Security and are rightly expecting to get something back out. As idealistic as my vision is, I’m realistic enough to know that some changes need to be phased in gradually, like welfare (for example, everyone born after 1995 should be exempt from Social Security and benefits end altogether in 2070) and education (school choice and vouchers would be a good start).
Other problems could be tackled right away. In terms of practical issues, if I had to prioritize America’s most pressing problems, this would be my list:
1. Need a Constitution Amendment ending abortion.
2. Need faith-based initiatives and Family-Church-Government cooperation to address the breakdown of the family caused by:
b. Normalization of sodomy
c. Absence of male spiritual leadership
3. Need a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment.
Imagine a world in which the Family functioned as God intended, the Church functioned and was funded as God intended, and Government did not overstep its bounds and hamper churches and families. Yes, it’s idealistic and would require more of a theocracy than a democracy. Yes, it’s possible, but not likely to every happen. So in the meantime, my prayer is that God will ordain Government leaders who will have the wisdom and courage to tackle these problems and keep God in the center of it all. And may our families and churches rise to the occasion and take responsibility for what God has ordained. May God bless America—our Families, our Churches, our Government—a three-fold cord that is not easily broken.