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"Jesus is Lord" vs. "Civil Govt. is lord"

[COMMENT:  The 3 items below are a dialogue between myself and a family member, with whom I often have vigorous debates.  I did not put the other side of the dialogue below, but the responses will indicate fairly clearly what was said.   E. Fox]

A relative and I had gotten into a discussion on welfare, issuing out of an email I had sent out on my stay at the Minuteman encampment near the California-Mexico border recently.  It began as a discussion on open borders, and then... 

#1 ---

      I probably would agree to the open borders if we had a freemarket welfare system where government was not taking care of us, and we were taking care of ourselves and each other.  It is no doubt much more complicated than that, but that would be a start. 
        If Bush (or any other president I can think of) were to spend his time persuading the Mexicans to have a genuine freemarket system, where government did not collude with commerce for the benefit of the already rich, and remained just a referee, and so opened up opportunities for their own people to get at least the physical part of the good life, they would not have to go to another country for their opportunities.  (I doubt that that can happen with anything but a Biblical culture....) 
        The Mexicans who want our open borders do not have open borders either on their north or their southern sides.  If I were to cross the border, I would soon see the inside of a not very inmate-friendly Mexican jail -- if I did not get mugged first by one of the drug gangs habitually on the border.  Apparently there are people even poorer than the Mexicans on the south side trying vainly to get in to Mexico.  No way, Hose.  Not allowed. 
        I agree that there are many just wanting to improve a miserable existence.  But there are also a high percentage of drug runners, and other sorts of criminals.  The percentage of Mexican illegals in jail for violent crimes is considerably higher than their percentage of the population here.  The only way to sort out the good from the bad is through a realistic entry program, not by allowing ungoverned access. 
        Would any of us want people breaking into our houses seeking welfare?  One can raise the issue of why they want to do it, but that can be dealt with only after the breakin is dealt with.  Otherwise you end up with a Neville Chamberlain situation, feeling sorry for Hitler and making oneself believe that he has honest motives. 
        I am not against immigration or immigrants.  I am for both.  But how can we rationally allow people to make our laws for us by breaking and entering? 
        In my opinion, the deeper problem is that the West, including America, has all but lost any semblance of culture.  Our so-called multi-cultural culture is self-destructing in Europe, and we here seem to be on the same path -- maybe 50-75 years behind Europe.  If Bush et al have their way with a border-less North and South America, I predict that we will soon be a "third world" country with no economy or culture of our own, under the control of unelected and unaccountable governors and their bureaucrats. 
        Western Civ, as identified by the rise of science and due process in civil law (equality before the law, etc.), is based on the Judeo-Christian worldview.  I think it will soon be a thing of the past if we continue to destroy our Biblical foundations.  The signs make me think we are well in down that road. 
        And the blame lies mostly right in the laps of Christians who long ago, for the most part, gave up on following Christ.  The churches have become like most bureaucracies, defending their own turf, not either preaching or living the Gospel.  We have done more than the pagans or secular folks to erode Western culture -- by alienating both science and civil government, and by defending our turf rather than loving either God or our neighbor. 
        I think we will recover our bearings over the next century, but I think things will get pretty nasty for a while. 
        What does the future look like to you?  And what would you recommend for charting our course? 
Love, ....  
PS.  I appreciate the invitation to discuss...  


#2 ---  My respondent replied that a freemarket welfare system is an oxymoron. 

   By a freemarket welfare system (yes, a bit of an oxymoron), I mean a system which is not under the authority of government, which is always coercive.  With government welfare, we are forced to be "kind", taxes are taken, as it were, at gunpoint.  You do not have a choice about helping others -- which I think destroys the meaning of helping others, and creates a "gimme" and "you owe it to me" attitude.   It promotes an apathetic and dependent population, waiting for someone else to take care of me -- as illustrated by so many in the Katrina disaster. 
        As someone (one of our founding fathers, I think) said, a democracy will survive until the people find that they can vote the government to donate largesse to them from the public till.  Then the politicians buy votes from the people by offering more and more largesse.  That is where we are now, and  I see no way to prevent it, given our present way of doing things. 
        That is why Bush (and the democrats as well) are cultivating the Mexican immigrants.  Votes.  It has, I think, little to do with providing workers for anyone.  Well, yes, the industrialists want cheap labor, but not for the benefit of the laborers.   Along with this goes the collusion between industry and government -- industry buys out government, and we have a totalitarian government by the plutocrats.   But we are taught to like it by immersing us in a consumerist, pleasure- and entertainment-centered economy.  Bread and circuses. 
        When giving to others ceases to be a freewill giving, then it ceases to be honest welfare. 
        That would leave some people fallng between the cracks, to be sure, but the overall results would be much better and healthier.  People love people.  Bureaucracies love defending their own turf.  That is true everywhere, the church, politics, you name it....  But it is especially true where coercion is the nature of the game -- as with government.  Welfare then becomes just one more means of controlling a dependent population, not really setting people free. 
        I am not against government, but I think coercion ought to be limited to a small number of things -- as our constitution was originally designed -- welfare and education being among the primary items in which govt. ought never be involved. 
        Those are my thoughts on the subject. 
love, .... 


#3 ....  My respondent thought my view of people giving enough to help others to be very naive..., and that people give poorly and put too many strings on their giving. 

Dear .....,
        Yes, the population today, and for about 150 years, in America, has been steadily going downhill.  By downhill I mean compromising its dedication to God and to people.  The Church has split a thousand ways, and has become ineffective as a witness for justice.  But God and the Church are not the same thing.  God is building His own Church, not always the same as the institutions we see around us. 
        In any case, the failure of the Church does not change the fact that without God, we have zero chance of sustaining a society which will indeed care about its people.  And we will be strapped with endless new things the govt thinks it can do better for us than we can for ourselves.  They are about to clamp down on the use of food supplements, put that under the control of the FDA.  Maybe even fruit juices, according to some.  In a way, of course, which will benefit Big Pharma [pharmaceutical companies).    They are already mandating the psychological assessment of students, never mind that it has been our secularized government which has been a substantial cause (through our schools, and other helpful stuff, like welfare) which has helped create the deficits in our children and adult population. 
        Remember when  you said mandated psch testing would not happen because it is contrary to the Constitution?  It is happening, and growing.  And Americans are apparently happy with it all.  Hardly a peep of protest.  The constitution will not survive the trashing of our Biblical base. 
        The day is not far off when people like me will be jailed here in America for expressing our viewpoints on a whole range of subjects.  In some places, what I say would already be a criminal offense (Canada, Sweden... two places once known for their freedom). 
        The real blame rests with Christians and Jews who are unwilling or too ignorant to stand up with grace and truth for their faith.  But that is changing, very slowly.  It may take a persecution to wake us  up. 
        Our present govt is locked into a fascist sort of collusion with big industry and commerce, which is routinely betraying the people.  The elite think they know how to run everyone's life.  That is the nature of getting power.  And that is why the founding father of the US of A limited the power of govt.  all that is now being trashed. 
        There is only one sort of government which can sustain a free people, and that is a democratic republic under God.  Nothing else will do it.  We are headed for a severe curtailing of our freedoms, all in the name of our welfare, of course, and we are being taught to like it.  As in 1984, which I think you referred to once. 
        Even if what you say below is true, that people are too selfish to give to the poor, that changes nothing of what I am saying.  I would rather have to deal with a selfish people than a selfish, centralized government (with all the guns in its control).  By what possible reasoning can we conclude that a basically selfish people can produce a government which is not selfish?  Do people lose their selfishness by being elected to power?  The power and control minded are the first to gravitate toward government.  When has it been otherwise?  Without a good people, a government will never reform itself, it will only erode into more and more self-serving control/tyranny.  And there is no way of sustaining a good people without the law and grace of God. 
        God does not engage in forced charity.  I see no reason for us humans to do so.  It cannot end in a better society -- i.e., with higher intellectual, moral, or spiritual integrity, with healthier families, with a more free political system. 
        But no, I do not think I am naive about the feelings with which people give.  I am aware of what happens when people stop worshipping God and begin worshipping themselves, even if they call themselves Christians.  Or worse, worshipping government -- as their savior.  Has civil government put fewer strings on its giving than the people generally?  Hardly.  Government everywhere routinely uses its giving as a control mechanism.  It takes our taxes (mostly illegally) at gunpoint, and then gives back to those who will vote for it. 
        And, I am intensely aware of how many people, mostly Christians as far as I can determine, give their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to help other people.  The stories through history, including today, are endless, and without which, our history today would be very much the poorer -- right in the direction we are headed.  America is only about 50 - 75 years behind Europe in collapsing. 
        Where do you think we will be in another 50 years? 
        Our choice, I think, is:  "Jesus is Lord",  or "civil government is lord".   Freedom or slavery on a government plantation.  Those who follow Jesus will help their fellow men.   Most others, I suspect, will not.   No one but God can equip us and sustain us to keep helping the needy in ways that are realistic and substantial.  At any cost to ourselves. 
Love, .... 


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