There's nothing more annoying than politicians who quote the Bible out of context for political expediency or justification. And, such is the case with John Kasich.
Matthew 25:31-46 is often cited by proponents of government expansion because it speaks of feeding and clothing the needy, as well as visiting the sick and imprisoned. Contextually, it speaks to the judgment of gentiles (non-Jews), not the function of government! In fact, Matthew 6:1-4 reminds Christians when you give to the poor, don't shout it out so you can be noticed by your homies (Black International Version); otherwise, you're a hypocrite.
Due to his Medicaid expansion in Ohio, Gov. Kasich has no shot at winning the GOP presidential primary. In order to avoid what I like to call "faux compassion," we need to define what it means to be truly compassionate, needy and helpful. Additionally, we need to determine these things on God's terms, not our own.
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One's compassion or heart cannot be measured through coercion because it requires no individual effort on our part. Demanding the government take more income from someone else besides yourself hardly qualifies as generosity. That's theft! God doesn't determine benevolence based upon how much you're "forced" to give to the needy, as opposed to how much you're "willing" to give. In other words, when you die and answer to God for your alms giving, His mercy won't be based upon taxation – that's required. His mercy will be based on your giving that isn't required. That's why pastors, in most cases, ask for your tithes and offerings outside of the government. The attitude in which you give it, not necessarily the amount, is what determines your generosity. This is why Christ was so moved by the woman that placed all of her change on the offering plate. It cost her everything!
Gov. Kasich is a classic example of why it's dangerous for followers of Jesus Christ to focus on any one attribute of God, such as mercy or love, at the exclusion of others. For example, God is righteous, absolute truth, just, faithful, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, sovereign and intimate. It's important to understand that institutionalism will not replace what God really wants from us – intimacy. The idea that politicians are credited with "compassion" by confiscating the time, money and energy from the lives of others should be offensive to us all.
Next, we need to determine who is truly needy amongst us. Those who suffer from chronic indigence resulting from circumstances "beyond their control" should be obvious; the orphan, widow, cripple and severely injured, mentally retarded and, in some cases, spouses who have been abandoned by the sole provider of the household. Frankly, beyond that, everyone else should be thoroughly scrutinized before receiving any government assistance.
Proverbs 10:4 tells us: "Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth." Therefore, whenever we consider "helping" people, whether or not we're contributing to perpetual laziness or an entitlement mindset should always be a determining factor for public assistance. Otherwise, people will never seek better opportunity for themselves. Hunger is a great motivator for success. As a Christian, I do believe we should help people in need from the wealth of our own pockets. However, 2 Thessalonians 3:10 informs us, "If a man doesn't work, he shall not eat."
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Medicaid expansion will do nothing to improve the quality or access of health care in America – particularly when the system is overrun by crumb snatchers and we have a shortage of doctors. Instead of offering to hand Bibles to Medicaid expansion critics, as Gov. Kasich proposed, perhaps the nation would be better off if he studied his own Bible.
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