What happens when we give people a gift they like? Sometimes they are grateful. Sometimes they want the gift, but not the giver. This is a problem that even our Savior, Jesus, experienced. Do you remember the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand using five barley loaves and two small fish (John 6:1-14)? I expect you do, but what about what happened next?
John 6:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.
He had fed them. They liked free food. So whether He liked it or not they were going to make Him their King. So Jesus left the area. That, however, was not the end of it. They followed Him. They got into boats and came to Capernaum, where Jesus had gone with His apostles, seeking Him. So Jesus confronted them.
John 6:25-27 New King James Version (NKJV)
25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?”
26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
Who do we want to lead us? Well, it is important to eat, but only God can miraculously create free food, and He does not seem to want to do that. Jesus wants us to love Him. So Jesus told us to seek from Him the food which endures to everlasting life.
So what about our earthly leaders? What about the promises of politicians? What is the “food” they offer? Since government produces nothing, what can they offer?
- Our better leaders seek the food from Jesus that endures to everlasting life. All these leaders promise is to work diligently to maintain law and order.
- Our most deceptive leaders promise us “free” things. To keep their promises they tax us with one hand and give us things with the other hand. Pretending to be that Robin Hood of old they may even go through the motions of taxing the “rich” and giving to the “poor”. Yet is it not odd how often the rich finance and promote their campaigns? Who would have expected the rich to be so generous? Makes you wonder why we have to tax them.
What happens when we allow our government redistribute the wealth? Our politicians discover they have the means to buy our votes. Read The United States Constitution. Consider the Federal Budget. Ask yourself this question. Where does the Constitution give Congress the authority to spend most of the money it spends? We are suppose to be a constitutional republic. The founders chose this form of government to protect the rights of the individual (see THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY).
So what is the problem? Why would we choose deceptive leaders over those better leaders. Why would the Apostle Paul have to write this?
2 Thessalonians 3:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
Truth be told we don’t like to work. We like something for nothing. Consider a famous statement from former president George W. Bush in context.
There are jobs that just simply aren’t getting done because Americans won’t do them. And yet, if you’re making 50 cents an hour in Mexico, and you can make a lot more in America, and you’ve got mouths to feed, you’re going to come and try to find the work. It’s a big border, across which people are coming to provide for their families. (from here)
Americans will do those jobs. They just won’t do them for the same low pay. That’s why America’s elites (people like George W. Bush) want open borders. They crave inexpensive labor to operate the factories and the other capital assets they own.
The fact we don’t like to work — don’t even like to pay some one else to work for us — is why slavery still exists. We are always conniving to get something for nothing. Hence, we must avoid the temptation to use government to get something for nothing.
More readings on the Social Gospel.
- How the social gospel movement explains the roots of today’s religious left (theconversation.com)
- Did Bad Theology Create the Welfare State? (tifwe.org)
- Sorry Mr. Salsman, But Christ Wasn’t A Communist (forbes.com)
- Theological Foundations of Charity: Catholic Social Teaching, The Social Gospel, and Tikkun Olam (socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu)
- Fundamentalism and the Social Gospel (pbs.org)
Why does the Social Gospel exist? Part of the problem is how we read the Bible (See King Solomon, Translate Wisdom, Interpret or Interpolate? Post One). The problem with interpreting the Bible is that we usually want it to mean or fear it means something besides what it says. So if we are not sufficiently devoted to Jesus Christ, we can easily find ourselves saying the Bible says what it does not say.
For Part 1 in this series => WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? / WHAT DID JESUS DO? –PART 1.