Monday, February 2, 2015

God, The Government, and Governor John Kasich

Governor John Kasich (R-OH)

In his latest turn on Fox News Sunday, Ohio Governor John Kasich spent a lot of time talking about God:

I'm a believer, as a conservative, that everybody has a God-given purpose.

Welcome words in a very secular period in this country's history, a gracious remark, yet pronounced in a forced fashion:

It is our job on a temporary basis to try to give them a chance to fulfill their God-given purpose by helping them. Now, it can't be a way of life. It can only be a situation where you can help them for a short period of time.

The focus is "God-given", not "Government-Giving", and Kasich seemed to do well on that point. Still, when discussing the critical importance of helping the less fortunate, that ubiquitous word "we" jumped out, as if to justify big government programs. Who is "we", and are they choosing to use their time, money, and resources to help others?

And we are demanding, we are doing to demand personal responsibility.

Once again, who is "we"? Are all the people whom the Buckeye governor is referring to aware that they are paying for big government proposals? Later, Kasich explained his turn-around on Obamacare:

I just want to be a good leader. I just want people to feel like they've got a chance, no matter who they are. And I'll tell you one interesting thing, Chris. I was in Utah, Chris, and I was walking through the capital, and I saw a bunch of inmates. I don't know what they were doing there, maybe cleaning things up. I shook every one of their hands, and you know what I told them? "God has a purpose for you. You're in a tough spot right now, you may be in a tough spot later, , but remember that the Lord has a purpose for you. Be hopeful.

What was going on with all the God talk? Is Kasich seeking the Congressional chaplaincy? Or is playing the religious card to win over Iowa voters? His frequent referrals to the deity seemed forced, not faithful, or even heartfelt.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace reminded viewers that Governor Kasich had begun promoting Obamacare by referring to the Bible, particularly Matthew 25:

“Now, if you ever read Matthew 25, I think, ‘I wanna feed the hungry and clothe the naked. . .
“Now, I don’t know whether you ever read Matthew 25, but I commend it to you, the end of it, about do you feed the homeless and do you clothe the poor. . .

Ohio Watchdog then added:

Kasich cited Matthew 25 when defending his Obamacare expansion during a Fox News interview aired Jan. 22, during a Jan. 22 Hugh Hewitt interview and during an NPR interview aired Friday.
Regarding Obamacare critics, Kasich told NPR, “I don’t pay much attention to narrow ideologues.”

Free market critics, including Catholic apologists, resoundingly rejected the Big Government agenda which Kasich wrested from the Scriptures.

Karl Bloch's Painting "The Sermon on the Mount"

Besudes, what does Matthew 25 say?

34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  . . .

On a crucial note regarding Biblical exegesis, every statement uttered by Jesus while on earth must be read in light of the Old Covenant, with a deeper understanding that Jesus would fulfill this covenant completely (Matthew 5:17, John 19: 30), thus ushering in a New and Everlasting Covenant (Matthew 26: 28; 1 Corinthians 11: 25; Hebrews  12: 24).

When Jesus taught on the Sermon on the Mount that men should cut off their hands and feet instead of committing sin, Jesus as Prophet was restoring God's standard to the pristine, impossible whole where it belonged, bringing man to the end of himself, and his need for the Savior. For this reason, Paul mentored his younger charge Timothy about "rightly dividing the Word of Truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).

Rightly dividing the Word of Truth rests on understand the Old Covenant  and the New Covenant, the one which Jesus provided, promised in the Old Testament, revealed in the New:

"10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
"12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)
The New Covenant is God's Promise to take care of each of us, not the Government's mandate that we must take care of others with our own resources. The New Covenant is about God justifying man through His Son, not governors justifying Big Government takeovers. The New Covenant is about salvation through a Savior. That Savior, by the way, is not the government, but Christ Jesus. Not Governor Kasich, but He on whose shoulders the government rests (Isaiah 9: 6)
There is nothing in the Bible which defends government "charity" subsidized by forced taxation, but rather posits that all things belong to God, and yet He freely gives us all things (Romans 8: 31-32)
Yet even then, God does not force, but invites us to give:
"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9: 7)

Notice that every man purposes, makes the decision on his own, and gives willingly.

Whatever appeal Kasich offers to promote Obamacare, the Bible clearly does not justify this secular, false Gospel According to Barack. Jesus also declared "The poor you will always have with you", and Paul also reprimanded his fellow Christians:

Portrait of John Kasich
(Jennifer White)

"For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." (2 Thessalonians 3: 10)

This verse was never in the context of punishing those who cannot work, but rather those who refused to, and were busybodies meddling in other people's business. Even with this recognition, there is nothing in the Bible which justifies taking away from one group of people to subsidize the poverty and disease of others.

Governor Kasich should be commended for balancing his state's budgets, running a surplus, and presiding over phenomenal job growth. His national circuit on passing a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment through a Convention of States is notable, and noteworthy. As for his flawed, even perverse self-justification of Obamacare through the Bible, Kasich fails to make a convincing case. If the Ohio Governor cares about God-given purpose and rights, he would give up the forced subsidy of health care, which is costing his state two billion dollars, and get back to letting private citizens and charities reach out and help the downtrodden.

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