Monday, March 22, 2010

Random Thoughts on the Health Care Reform Vote

I was disappointed to see the result of the Congressional vote on the Health Care Reform Bill. It is unquestionably another step in relinquishing our rights and responsibilities and having them handed to our Government. That is always a poor choice, even when the motives may be noble.

Governments botch everything they touch. New infrastructures will be built, new taxes levied and ever increasing layers of bureaucracy formed. It is inevitable. And the bigger these things grow, the less efficient (read, more expensive) they become. Look at Social Security, which has become nothing more than a Ponzi scheme that is on a path to leave tens of millions of baby boomers (and subsequent generations) out in the cold.

I believe it is a tragic mistake to allow Government to take over health care. I pray that this fails quickly or is repealed by the next congress. It is bad business. There are less expensive, more effective ways to lower health care costs and improve coverage. Tort reform and and opening the door for interstate insurance competition are just two things that would create dramatic change overnight without added cost to the American people or the American Government. But we wouldn't expect a room full of trial lawyers career politicians to push a plan like that, now would we?

Having said that, I would suggest that the Church has been somewhat culpable as well. It seems to me that conservatives and evangelicals have often been so caught up in a right wing political agenda that we have neglected our responsibility to preach and teach God's word in a way that brings such a revival to America that our society changes from the inside out.

Sometimes, I can't tell the difference between a church service and a Republican National Convention. I see more tears and emotion at Memorial Day and Fourth of July Services than at Easter. I get the feeling that we are more excited about the freedom symbolized by the flag than the freedom bought on a cross.

Liberal and Mainline denominations have become virtual spokespersons for the Democratic platform. I am often dismayed at the emphasis on 'Social Justice' replacing a call to repentance. It's honorable to be concerned for the poor and disenfranchised, but it is cowardly and unbiblical to hand our individual responsibility over to secular government. What a waste of resources and a travesty of stewardship I see coming from the Christian left.

My heart aches to see Christians take up the Bible in one hand and a trowel in the other. I long for a day when we preach with revival fervor and work like crazy to change the culture at the same time.

I have a vision of health care, sustainable agriculture, education and commerce driven, not by political direction, but by devotion to the God of the universe and His great command to "Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself."

I would love to see God's people on the left and on the right ask for a 'Mulligan' and start over using God's Word as a guide for our behavior and doctrine. If we would return to Him, we will begin to see this country change, one life at a time. It will spread to homes, communities, States and finally national level. We can see crime reduced, poverty banished, needs met, divorces abandoned, literacy improved and justice roll like rivers.

Imagine a future that does not require Republicans and Democrats, but leans on something we used to call, common sense. It sounds crazy. But I still believe.

One more random thought: while I think the health care reform vote, if implemented, will be bad for America, I don't believe it will usher in the Apocalypse. I have lived under Socialized Health Care before. It is inefficient and ineffective. It is demoralizing to doctors and nurses. But it is not the end of the world. It is not even the end of America. There are bigger battles, greater needs.

Wake up, Church! Stop being the puppets of politicians left or right. Don't be distracted by the good, when you are called to do the great!

I have more rambling thoughts and even some practical solutions, but not today. It's time to get ready for work.

I am frustrated, but I cannot despair, because Jesus is Lord!


Niecey said...

Very well balanced opinion.
I think we've gone too far down a corrupt system that nothing can really improve things now. Whichever direction we will take we're just going to get ourselves in more of a mess. I really don't think America has a clue what it's asking for when it asks for socialized medicine. Of course I sympathize with the reasons they are seeking it, but I really don't think they understand what they are volunteering for.

But at the end of the day, should we be spending our energies making a stink about health care, or trying to fix the spiritual health of our nation? We can put tons of aggression into kicking up a fuss about politics or direct our passions towards the kingdom, and the effects will be eternal.