Government as Good Samaritan
An open letter to Elizabeth Warren
Dear Senator Elect Warren:
In your speech at the Democratic Convention you said, “I grew up in the Methodist Church and taught Sunday school. One of my favorite passages of scripture is: ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ Matthew 25:40.” You went on to say, “this passage, teaches about God in each of us, that we are bound to each other and called to act. Not to sit, not to wait, but to act – all of us together.”
As a Christian and a Methodist, I agree that “we are bound to each other and called to act. Not to sit, not to wait, but to act – all of us together.” But the “all together” that Jesus speaks of is the Church. It is not the government. This teaching from Jesus is to the church not to government. This is to each individual who makes up the body of Christ to do what they can do in whatever their situation or circumstance might be. I support you in anything that you do as an individual to show Christ in you the hope of all glory. But to juxtapose your position in government, now that you are Senator elect is not proper. To take scripture which clearly speaks to the individual and then juxtapose political and or social activism into the equation is not what the Bible teaches, nor is it the meaning of the very scripture you referenced.
The Bible is not a blueprint for political activism, nor does it delineate a social mandate for a governmental system. It does tell us what we as individuals should do in our relations with other human beings, but it is to the individual that it speaks. It is not a collectivists blueprint. When you juxtapose government in the place of the individual you are imposing a state mandated government. Man or woman made grace via a political system is not graceful. It is in fact onerous. The god of this system is government. The god of this religion is whatever political party is in control. It is an ever-changing god who exists by a plurality, as little as one.
Your quoting of scripture and then putting government into the equation as the “good Samaritan,” is frightening. The God of Christianity is a God of such overwhelming grace that those who receive it are struck down by the sheer audacity of it. This grace is revealed at a cross in blood stained hands, blood stained feet, and most profoundly in an empty tomb. It does not impose an idea on your mind but it transforms the heart and mind of the believer.
The Christian is called to love each other as Christ loves his church. Not to take from one to give to another. The giving must come from a contrite and broken heart that recognizes that God in His Providence, will provide for them as they give from the abundance of their hearts. By doing this the Christian reveals the heart of Christ. It forces closed the mouth of the faith baiter who attacks the religiosity of people who see their Christianity as a badge of honor, those Christians who are quick to point the finger of accusation, who stand with the Pharisee who tells God that he is glad that he is better than the publican.
Jesus said, render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s. And while it is the duty of the Christian to reach out and do these things, we cannot let government do this, it is our calling to do this.
The Christian who understands this will give. They understand why they do it. It is out of the abundance of the heart, not “out of the abundance of government.” The Christian sees the love that God has revealed at the Cross. It is because of God’s unmerited favor that has been shown to the Christian, and the grace that has been given that he/she acts. It is not to earn more grace or more blessing. It is because of the blessing of grace that they act. It is the Christian revealing Christ in them to the person they tend to and a sign to the watching world.
I agree wholeheartedly with you that we must act upon Jesus’ teaching “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” I strongly disagree with your methodology which would raise government to a position of Deity and in reality impose a state mandated religion on all of us.
I shall pray for you and all our leaders that we all come to see the Grace that is in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And that out of that grace that we as individuals do what you seem to think is government’s mandate.
May God Bless You, Dennis Mullen