What Would Jesus Steal?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, March 15, 2017 0 comments

by David Odegard

If we could discover together a better way to provide for the values that we share concerning the poor which was not based on corruptible government coercion, would you help to bring that vision into reality? (Jesus steals nothing, but I stole this title from Dr. Gary North.)

Leftist Christians, liberals, and progressives have all become secular in their approach to poverty relief. They believe that salvation arrives on Air Force One. They believe that the most important arena to be contested is that of political power, because they believe that all real change comes from central planning and control. Jesus didn’t believe any of that. “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest” (John 18:36).

Jesus believed and taught that the place of real change was in accepting His Lordship over one’s life. In response to this, the church of yesteryear sang, “Soul by soul and silently her [the Church] shining bounds increase; all her ways are gentleness and all her paths are peace.” The Christian vision was unanimously tied up in the spiritual arena. Prayer was the means of deliverance from evil, not voting.

The Lefties rejected the reliability and then the authority of the Bible. As their view of God and His word diminished, their faith in themselves and mankind grew. Soon they believed that if anything was going to get done, they themselves must do it. Around the turn of the 20th century, progressivism and the social gospel converged to grasp the means of political power in America and began to use governmental power (prisons, bullets, and manipulative threats) to achieve ends that most of us would agree are noble, like education and eliminating poverty. But does the end justify the means? Leftist Christians and their secular counterparts believe it does.

Jesus wants us to help the poor. He told us so. The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) is probably one of the clearest examples of Jesus’ expectation for us to take care of the downtrodden, the hurting, those suffering misfortune. In it, a traveler is set upon by thieves, beaten, and left for dead. A good Samaritan comes along and picks him up and voluntarily provides the means for his restoration. He helped the man out of his own means. He did not say, “Let me get a social worker, let me see if I can make someone pay else for this.” In no way did Jesus’ parable imply a use of force, whether governmental or otherwise.

What the Lefties advocate is that political power be used to force people, even under threat of a gun or prison, to surrender the money they earned in honest labor. Then a burdensome “rake off” is taken by the gun holders for “administration fees,” then some of it is given to those whom the government deems worthy. To top it off, leftist Christians point the finger at the rest of us and say, “Shame on you if you don’t go along with this scheme! That means you are not like Jesus. Anyone who claims to follow Jesus should give the secular government even more power!”

But the story of the Good Samaritan does not imply that the Samaritan in any way owed the man anything, or that the beaten man had a claim on the Samaritan’s money and service. That is what makes the Samaritan so good; though he didn’t owe the man anything, he provided everything. Jesus wants us to be like that Samaritan. But to advocate for a system that uses governmental power to take other people’s money or services is immoral and non-Christian. They should be ashamed of themselves. First, they should be ashamed for abandoning the Kingdom of God for secular power. Second, they should be ashamed that they bring the power of secular government to bear on others to advance their objectives by force. Third, they should be ashamed for their part in creating this secular behemoth that believes that it can steal to achieve whatever ends it justifies as noble. Today, these ends include abortions and dropping bombs all over the world.

Fourth, they should be ashamed that they have helped produce more power for the government, and this government power has been sold to the very people who abuse the poor. The government gets its cut no matter which way the power is used, whether it is used to steal from the rich to give to the poor, or whether it is used to steal from the poor to give to the rich. It is all the same to the secular power.

But lastly, the Leftists should be ashamed that their empowering of the secular government has eroded 98 percent of the value of the dollar, left many elderly people impoverished, and created astronomical levels of poverty. Leftist Christians are certainly well-meaning people, but they are completely unaware of the results of their policies. It is time for them to go beyond good intentions and actually do good. At times, I am greatly dismayed when I point these things out to them, because many of them seem to value feeling good about themselves more than doing actual good for others. This, too, is something to feel ashamed for.

So next time you see a conservative Christian, don’t assume they don’t care for the poor; statistically they are probably doing more than any liberal you know to alleviate poverty. They believe in a better way, a more effective way. They believe in following what Jesus actually said and did, not what Che Guevarra thinks Jesus meant.

Next week, I will look at something else Jesus himself actually taught.

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