Big Government and the Bible

President Joe Biden stood before a fully masked and socially distanced collection of Washington Congressmen and other dignitaries to tell us his vision of government. How does that vision line up with the Word of God? Let’s talk today on TruthCurrents.

Following the President’s speech this week, he has been given in the press the nickname, “Bidenhood.” It’s a descriptor that is meant to show that, in the President’s mind, government is all about consolidating responsibility to fix every problem in the world and spending money taken from the rich to give to the poor for a variety of reasons and solutions that Washington has determined to be the right course of action.

Let me just review a few things that came out of the President’s speech. And then I want to go to the Word of God to talk about a philosophy of government. This President started his speech by bragging on the American economy for booming. He talks about how American business is marked by excellence and able to compete internationally. Then in the next few minutes he proceeded to turn on a dime and tell us that we need to fix the economy. We need to reinvigorate the business world. Either the economy is booming and America is growing stronger or we’re not. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t take credit for a booming economy and then sell us a package of government interventions that will supposedly fix what apparently is not broken.

This American business community that he says must excel and compete with international competition, he immediately follows those compliments with a promise to hike taxes so high that competitiveness will almost certainly be lost. He says that he will not tax American citizens who make under $400,000 a year and claims that those who will be impacted by tax increases amount to only .3% of the total American population. But listen, I did the math. His proposals just offered, in the 100 days that he’s been President, take us $6 trillion beyond the annual Federal budget, which is already a trillion dollars a year in deficit spending. A trillion dollars a year in deficit spending, the net result of that is we now have a Federal debt that is north of $22 trillion.

Now this is not only on Joe Biden. This is both Republican and Democratic Presidents that go back a generation. Government spending in deficit has taken us to a $22 trillion deficit. We are told that not only are we seeing debt increase at a trillion dollars a year, but the liabilities that are in place from mandatory spending and entitlement programs tell us that in the next few years our total liabilities will top $86 trillion additional dollars. A trillion dollars a year in debt from our normal budget, this President in his first 100 days is proposing $6 trillion of additional spending on a budget that is set to have an $86 trillion deficit in the next generation. He promised no tax increases on those below the 1%. But there’s no mathematical way that that tax increase can cover the proposed $6 trillion dollars in spending. In fact, the most optimistic estimate I could find is that his tax increase over the next ten years would produce an additional $800 billion to the Federal treasury. Now, $800 billion is serious money. But receiving an additional $800 billion while spending and additional $6 trillion, we’re supposed to watch the bouncing ball and ignore the fraud happening behind the economic curtain. This President, as well as those who have gone before him, have already robbed our grand-children. And now, they want to take from our great-grandchildren.

The wish list in this week’s speech included police reform, immigration reform, gun control, new taxation that he says will amount to about $1.5 trillion, still well below the spending goals that he’s set. He mentioned the word “jobs” forty-three times in this speech, and talks about how Americans need jobs. It just made me think about the thousands of jobs that were lost within the first week of his presidency when he cancelled the Keystone Pipeline project.

In the first 100 days of this presidency he’s already spent $1.9 trillion under the title of “An American Rescue Plan.” Last night he proposed an additional $1.8 trillion that he calls the “America Families Plan.” This includes government sponsored kindergarten beginning at age 3, universal child care and virtually free college tuition at least through the first two years of college for anybody that wants to go. Now, if you’re in favor of kindergarten beginning at the age of 3 and universal child care, I have to wonder. If you don’t want to raise your children, why did you have children? The government is now proposing to take our children, to almost take our children home from the hospital and keep them under the influence of a secular worldview until they are at least half-way through college. That is a great recipe for turning out little secular pagans.

The assumption is that providing childcare, both parents will be in the workforce, which will produce more payroll taxes. The problem is nobody in Washington is talking about the inestimable damage that will be done to the American family if two income families are a requirement for survival because of the tax burden put on us by government spending.

On top of the $1.9 trillion plan already passed, the $1.8 plan proposed, he has a $2.3 trillion plan that he says is for infrastructure. With all of this spending, he offers zero proposals to pay the existing debt as well as the debt that will be added in the years to come because of this spending.
Here’s what bothers me the most. Polls show that Americans have less support for smaller government than in any year since 1984. In other words, all of this spending, all of these social programs, the population by in large is on board. We are eating ourselves to death.

Well, what does the Bible have to say about this? Well, unfortunately there is no Biblical proverb that says, “A wise nation keeps its Federal budget below 12% of gross domestic product and never runs more than a 1% deficit.” There’s no proverb that says, “A country that keeps voting for more and more entitlement programming is repugnant.” I wish there was a verse like that.

The Bible does, however, give us some examples of the tremendous damage done by what we might call “unlimited government.” The proposals that were put in force this week in the President’s speech suggest that he has a vision of government as the “be all – end all” for every problem in the human condition.

There have been some other moments in Biblical history when government took that view of itself and they all ended badly. Let me give you some examples. The first Biblical lesson on government shows up in the book of Genesis during the story of Joseph. Joseph was man gifted by God with interpreting dreams. And because of his ability to interpret a dream for Pharaoh king of Egypt, he was given authority to implement a plan where the government would take 1/5 of the annual production of all of the people in Egypt and store it up in anticipation of a coming seven-year period of famine when the people would need the grain. It sounded like a brilliant plan at the time. We’re told this story in Genesis 41. Over time, Joseph’s authority granted by Pharaoh, grew larger and larger over both the Egyptians and the Jews until we get to end of the story and we find out that the Jews had exhausted all of their resources and all of their grain. And the Egyptians approached Pharaoh, having turned over all of their livestock to gain food. They eventually offered themselves to Pharaoh as slaves if government would just provide what they needed. Well the story here is one of a government that consolidated power, that made itself the authority over every aspect of human life only to find that it produced tragic unintended consequences. We like Joseph so we tend to overlook this lesson. The lesson is, that what started out as a legitimate program in response to a national need administered by a godly man like Joseph, even that eventually, almost inevitably morphed into a government that was all powerful, all controlling and became all oppressive to its people.

Well flash forward from the book of Genesis to the book of Judges. In the book of Judges we’re told that Israel was led by a series of judges and the refrain that is told over and over again in that book is “that there was no king in Israel, every man did what was right in his own eyes.” The lesson of Genesis that was left sort of unstated is a lesson that out of the Judges period becomes an explicit statement by God in the book of 1 Samuel. Because following the period of the Judges, Israel decided they wanted a king. The elders asked the prophet Samuel to appoint a king. And the Lord gave Samuel the instructions to accept that request. But gave them a warning. He said, “Tell them that this king that they’re asking for, he will take the tenth of their flocks and you will be his slaves. In the day that you cry out because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, the Lord will not answer you in that day.” You see, what happened was, Israel was not rejecting Samuel’s leadership, they were ultimately rejecting God’s leadership when they wanted a king.

There is warning here to us. Anytime a government, a people wants the government to have such centralized political authority that it morphs into an overweening power that becomes a worldly substitute for the rule of God. Now I understand that the United States is not Israel. And this is not a theocracy. And I’m not suggesting that it should be. But I’m telling you that there are warnings in the Bible when government takes on the role of God and becomes the solution to every problem in the human condition. That is all I could hear as I heard our President outline one thing after another that he’s going to solve with money. Do you know that in his speech he even said, “We’ll solve cancer?” Man, I hope research does find an answer for cancer. But you know what? I’m skeptical that anything that the government does will be efficient enough to accomplish these lofty goals that are outlined.

There’s one last example of this. It’s in the book Revelation chapter 13. In Revelation 13 we’re told about the end times when there is a ruler who is referred to in the Bible as “the Beast.” The Beast is undeniably a horrific betrayal of a state dominating vast multitudes of people. In the twentieth century alone, we saw governments kill their own people, murder their own citizens to the tune of more than 100 million deaths. And that was just in Communists countries.

History and Scripture agree. Because of sin, governments with too much power become inevitably the propagators of evil and destruction. And that speaks directly to government debt, since deficit spending is a symptom of government doing more than it can and more than it should.

I don’t know which political party you’re in. And I really don’t care because this is a problem that branches out over both parties. But if we don’t figure out how to turn off the spigot, this President from a philosophy that government is the answer to every problem, he will lead us to tyranny, because that’s where a godlike view of government always ends up.

You like the spending? You going to get a little stimulus money? You like putting that government money in your pocket? Well, let me tell you this, that government money that you’re putting in your pocket, they stole it from your great-grandkids.

We as Christians need to recover a Biblical worldview about the role of government or we will find ourselves face to face with the Beast.

This is TruthCurrents.

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