I just watched a video of a “prayer-in,” where a few of the minor Evangelical celebrities got together with a few of the minor Republican celebrities to invoke the wisdom and aide of God Almighty.
Their goal? Defeating health care reform.
First, let’s establish a few ground rules:
1. The proposed health care bill does not fund abortion.
2. “Obama’s Death Panels,” and variants thereof, are a fabrication.
Please keep those things in mind, if you chose to debate me.
Anyway. This is probably the fifth such prayer meeting I’ve seen, and it honestly leaves me wondering: when did American Christianity stop following Christ?
That’s harsh, but understand where I’m coming from. The Jesus I read about was pretty big on “living in peace with one’s enemies” and “caring for the poor, sick, and disenfranchised,” but the Jesus I hear preached in these meetings is more about “preemptive military action” and, I don’t know, HMOs or something. It seems an awful lot like their God is dictated by their beliefs, and not the other way around.
Now, there are good reasons to be against the current proposal, the lack of a public option and the individual mandate being chief among them. The thing is, these failings are largely because of the Republicans, or at least the Democrat’s attempts to barter with them. It isn’t the particulars of the bill that the Republicans are against, but the idea itself. The idea that we, as a society, should provide health care for one another is repugnant to them.
And I just can’t square that with the Scriptures they claim guide their lives. I mean, when he commissioned his disciples, one of Jesus’ charges was to heal the sick (Mt. 10:8, Lk 5:17, Lk 9:2, Lk 10:9, etc). And yes, I know he was talking about miracles, but isn’t regular old medicine a good place to start? First in the natural, and all.
And then there’s his famous parable of the sheep and the goats. Jesus castigates the goats, in part, because he “was sick and in prison, and you did not look after me.” And what does Jesus do with these people? He damns them. Literally consigns them to hell for their heartlessness and cruelty.
All of this happens in Matthew 25, if you don’t believe me.
So we have a God that tells us to love our enemies, and bless those that despitefully use us (Mt. 5:44), and a political party that pounds the drum of war. We have a God that tells us true religion is looking after orphans and widows (Js. 1:27), and a political party that says they’re pretty much on their own. And they claim to be the ones that fear God?
I honestly cannot reconcile the platform of the Republican party with the God they claim to worship. So I leave it to you: where am I wrong? Where did my hermeneutic err? What Scripture did I forget? What, exactly, am I missing?