Healthcare Reform and the Gospel

Everybody is talking about the passage of landmark healthcare reform signed earlier this week.  Like many political issues of our day, this one, probably more than anything else, has turned to a heated, polarized debate where emotion seems to interfere with rational discussion and levelheaded disagreement, and things are getting ugly.

In recent history, Christians have been far too politically motivated and aligned to enter into this conversation with any neutrality whatsoever.  This is sin to be repented of.  While being civic minded and politically involved are good, our higher calling is an allegiance to the kingdom.  When we pick teams, we stifle our ability to enter into a conversation about politics and identify where the Spirit is working in those we interact with, putting our agenda first and the kingdom on the back burner.

When we step back with and look with a kingdom lens, we will see that people on both sides of the argument are all longing for some of the same core values.  Some fear government intrusion so their response is a cry for less government intervention and more personal responsibility.  Others on the other side of the debate argue for the health and well being of everyone in society and the necessity to provide basic services to everyone.  Everybody believes his or her stance is what is best for our society.

Entering into this dialogue gives us the opportunity to be humble and learn from everyone (Titus 3:2); the Holy Spirit is able to work through us to use these conversations we have with others to present the truth of the gospel and describe the kingdom of God.  People are searching for politics (and other things) to fix something that is broken- that something being man’s fallen state of sinfulness and the fix being Christ who reconciles all things to himself (Col. 1:20).

Identifying the things going on around us and their spiritual significance are key to living what’s been called a ‘missional lifestyle’.  Rather than that just being a phrase, create some space in your day to love people enough to listen and see where God is already working in their circumstances, drawing them to himself.

9 replies
  1. Jason Fisher
    Jason Fisher says:

    My initial response it to scream that you are wrong, which probably proves you are right and it is just hitting to close to home. I have been trying to talk less about politics as to not prevent someone from listening to me when it comes to the Kingdom. God help me.

    Reply
  2. Micheal
    Micheal says:

    I would be interested in where there is a biblical foundation for forcefully taking the labors of one person and giving it to another.

    It would seem to me that the Christian view of caring for one’s neighbor is to be a selfless and voluntary act, not one compelled by sword.

    Reply
  3. Michael Clary
    Michael Clary says:

    Micheal

    I think Doug’s post was more geared towards the debate regarding healthcare than the merits of the legislation itself. I have gotten to know people who love Jesus and who are on both sides of the debate. When our priorities are to seek first the kingdom of God (Matt 6:33) then we can keep other discussions in perspective.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Reply
  4. Micheal
    Micheal says:

    I turns out Doug lives on my block and I’ve had a few brief chances to talk with him and I look forward to get to know him better.

    I’ve had a long interest in the different spiritual systems of the world, in part from having lived in Iran and traveling though the holy land and catholic Europe.

    I can understand the catholic support for the health bill since the Church is based on Plato’s republic, the precursor to Marx’s ideas.

    I would assume that the priorities to seek the kingdom are based on a value system, though that value system isn’t fixed or consistent though the Christan world.

    I posed my point from 2 perspectives. Is the value system for the kingdom the same as the value system for the physical world?

    And Jesus, a man that lived within a group that was oppressed and enslaved, support today using these institution to carry out goals used in His name?

    Reply
  5. Michael Clary
    Michael Clary says:

    Micheal… I think I understand where you’re coming from, so I’ll take a stab at responding. You asked the question about Jesus’ value system. Ironically, the name of this blog is “everything is backwards” for that very reason: the values of the Kingdom of God are radically different (i.e., backwards) from the predominate value systems of the world. Read Matthew 5-7 in the Bible to see what I mean. Jesus was/is really radical.

    Jesus was once asked about paying taxes. Should Christians pay taxes or not, especially if taxes are used by the state for evil purposes? His response was to “render to Caeser the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”

    It is futile to try to identify whether or not Jesus would support this or that legislation. But most certainly Jesus commands us to obey the laws of the land, whether we agree with them or not.

    So with healthcare, Christians who are “gospel minded” can engage in the conversation with a good perspective. Those who think Obama has inaugurated a new health-care Utopia will see how naive that notion is in short order. Our hope is in Jesus and his Kingdom, not Canadian style health care. And those who think that Obama has just destroyed America should also recognize that our hope is in Jesus and his Kingdom, not a particular legislative policy.

    Reply

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