“[F]or everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.”
1 Chronicles 29:11

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1:3

It’s been five years since Barack Obama, during a re-election campaign speech, told entrepreneurs they weren’t really responsible for the successful businesses they built.

It was July 13, 2012, while campaigning in Virginia, Obama had this to say:

“There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me – because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t – look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

“The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.”

The immediate reaction to Obama’s astonishing remarks effectively made the following points:

  • He was diminishing the power and virtue of individual initiative.
  • He was exaggerating the role of federal government spending in creating wealth.
  • He was suggesting that without federal government programs, enlisting cooperative and collective efforts among individuals was virtually impossible.

Reflecting on this speech five years later, though, it hit me right between the eyes that there’s a much bigger point no one made at the time.

First, however, you need to recall the point Obama made was derivative of one made nearly a year earlier by another ultra-“progressive” member of his party, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Here’s what she said Aug. 11, 2011:

“I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.’ No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own – nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory – and hire someone to protect against this – because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless – keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

You can clearly see the connection between these two addresses – and the latter’s inspiration of the first.

But there are elements in Warren’s message missing from Obama’s:

  • Her remarks were predicated as a defense against accusations that the ideology of the left and the Democratic Party was based on “class warfare,” a strategic Marxist term.
  • She introduced the term “underlying social contract” into her message, suggesting that government is, or should be, the manager of this vague, undefined moral imperative to determine how much wealth individuals should be permitted to keep or how they should dispose of it.
  • And, she fleetingly introduced, perhaps even unwittingly, a religious element into the equation with two words: “God bless.”

It is the religious component of the left’s argument for collectivism that I seek to address today.

First, it must be stated emphatically that it is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the God of Christians and Jews – who is 100 percent responsible for all blessings. He’s the God of Creation, the God of life, the God of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we consume. Everything we have comes from Him. Everything we have has been given to us as a trust. Individuals are merely stewards of these blessings.

Like what you see here? Read Joseph Farah’s latest book, “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age,” a radical new look at the Scriptures and the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith.

Even the skills and talents you demonstrate are not yours alone. They are gifts he has bestowed upon you – gifts that can be taken away if He, in His sovereign will, determines to do so.

All good things any of us have, including our health, our mental acuity, our eyesight, ability to hear, our friends and relationships, are blessings from Him. All you have comes from God, and, ultimately, it all belongs to God. And that is true of Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren, as well.

The Bible – Old Testament and New – teaches that the blessings God gives to us are for several purposes:

  • to provide for the needs of ourselves, families and neighbors;
  • to bless us and allow us to participate willingly in the building of His Kingdom;
  • to share with those less fortunate;
  • to judge our hearts on how we use what He gives us.

It’s worth noting that God does not do any of the following:

  • diminish the power and virtue of individual initiative;
  • extol the power of government to create anything;
  • rely on government to execute His “social contract”;
  • deny that individual people built things using all the resources He provided.

Of course, God hates the pride that men can develop when they do not acknowledge their Creator in all they accomplish. So, He selected a people to carry forth His Word to make Himself and His will known to the entire world. The descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were chosen to be that vehicle, guardians of His Scripture and the seed through which would come the Messiah, His Son, who will one day rule as King of Kings over the entire planet from Jerusalem at the time of “the restitution of all things.”

Like what you see here? Read Joseph Farah’s latest book, “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age,” a radical new look at the Scriptures and the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith.

The real problem with governments, the left, with Obama, with Warren and others who seek to position themselves as the moral arbiters of what individuals do with their God-given gifts, their time, their talents, their energies and their wealth is that they are attempting to place themselves in God’s throne. They are, in effect, establishing a counterfeit religion.

The most effective counterfeit religions tend to have a grain of truth. They deceive with half-lies and half-truths.

So, it is when they say, “You didn’t build that,” they are half right. You didn’t. God did, not government. He made everything possible. He provided all the necessary resources. He even provided the ground upon which we walk and the gravity that keeps us on it. He didn’t just build the roads that made the building possible, He provided the earth upon which the roads were built and the raw materials that were used to pave it.

The left and its ideologues, like Obama and Warren, seek to replace God as the actual Architect – the One who created everything from nothing. Governments seek empowerment, not virtue, when they assume the role of God in the lives of individuals and seek to impose upon constituents their own commandments, their own morals and their own values.

And that is illustrated nowhere more effectively than when they deny that God built everything, not them, not government and not their collectivist and utopian ideas. It is their worship of government over God that is their biggest offense and most evil lie.

Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].

Receive Joseph Farah's daily commentaries in your email

BONUS: By signing up for Joseph Farah’s alerts, you will also be signed up for news and special offers from WND via email.
  • Where we will email your daily updates
  • A valid zip code or postal code is required
  • Click the button below to sign up for Joseph Farah's daily commentaries by email, and keep up to date with special offers from WND. You may change your email preferences at any time.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.