News tagged as 'Jesus'

Fiscal Responsibility is Good Stewardship

By: JonWakefield

This is the second post in my continuing series on the Tea Party from a Christian perspective. My goal is to convince my spiritual brethren who are skeptical of our movement that they actually belong on its front lines. I believe an e-book (or a series of them) with the same goal would make a valuable addition to Voices of the Tea Party. This is merely one Tea Partier’s view on how our core principles relate to my faith. 

Click here to read part I.

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With the ongoing debt ceiling debate, it seems appropriate to post about fiscal responsibility. This is an easy one from the Christian perspective. Every resource we have comes from God, and he demands wise stewardship of his gifts. Without my citing even a single statistic, would you say that our government has been a faithful or a poor steward of the money we have entrusted to them through our taxes that God first entrusted to us?

That’s what I thought.

Instead of carefully weighing every dollar they use to meet the needs of the nation as outlined in the U.S. Constitution, they spend, spend, spend–and tax, tax, tax–to grow their own power, while rewarding and punishing political allies and enemies. The quickest of glances at the more than 70,000-page federal tax code and $3.5 trillion dollar annual budget proves this many times over.

It took America 200 years to accumulate its first $1 trillion of debt, yet we’re facing a $1.6 trillion deficit in 2011 alone, adding to our already unfathomable $14.5 trillion debt. This is real money we owe to real people who expect us to honor our financial commitments. This burden will fall on us, but even more so on our children and their children, who had no say in the matter. But still, President Obama wants to raise the debt ceiling by another $2.4 trillion without accepting any real spending cuts. All those proposed–and promptly rejected—so far barely even nipped at the annual deficit.

Our leaders from both parties are not serious about cutting spending, and never have been. It is the duty of Christians to hold these poor stewards accountable and find a way to force them to stop abusing the resources God has lent us and them. Not raising the debt ceiling would be a good start. If we allow it to be raised again with no significant cuts, though, our government will further accelerate the fiscal shuttle toward an economic black hole from which there will soon be no turning back.

This (chillingly) reminds me of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) in which Jesus teaches that poor stewards of his resources will have them taken away. (Weeping and gnashing of teeth are also involved—never a good thing in the Bible.) How much longer can our government pile trillion upon trillion in debt in the face of credit rating downgrades and expect to have a functional economy?

Not much.

And the weeping and gnashing of teeth will commence.

Jon Wakefield is the a leader of the Richmond, Virginia Tea Party.

Jesus the Socialist?

By: JonWakefield

Many of those steering the Big-Government steamroller have recently been framing the debate over the budget in religious terms, asking the question, “What would Jesus cut?” On his radio program this week, Rush Limbaugh flipped it and instead asked, “What would Jesus take?”

Rush’s question highlights that every dollar government spends must first be taken from some taxpayer somewhere, whether he likes it or not. People of good will can debate the best way to collect necessary taxes (the FairTax is the correct answer, in case you were wondering), but it is futile to try to advance the case from a biblical standpoint that Jesus would somehow advocate taking huge portions of citizens’ money to fund an inept, corrupt bureaucratic body interested only in expanding its own power.

But that doesn’t stop the Big-Government disciples from giving it their best shot. Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC reacted to Rush’s question, asserting that the answer was that Jesus would take “everything” and that he was “the first recorded advocate of a progressive income tax.”

Really? I never learned in Sunday School that Jesus was a socialist.

As evidence, O’Donnell cites Mark 12:43-44, in which Jesus commends a woman for giving out of her poverty to the temple treasury, saying that she has donated more than any who gave out of their wealth. Are you seeing the obvious link to a progressive income tax in this story?

Me neither.

The temple treasury was a religious collection of offerings, which is no way analogous to the U.S. Treasury, the coffers of a gargantuan, power-hungry government. To equate the two is silly. But even if we were to accept the false premise that Jesus was referring to offerings for centralized government, the point of the story is that—in direct contrast to O’Donnell’s claim—Jesus cares not about how much one gives, but about where one’s heart is toward giving. The Apostle Paul made this same point when he wrote, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). Does the income tax encourage “cheerful” giving?

Also note two other key words Paul used: “under compulsion.” Jesus wants us to give out of our free will, not because we are forced (which fosters resentment). He never takes anything from anyone—the choice is always ours.

With the income tax, though, we have no choice.

It’s pretty much impossible to offend me, but if something could, it would be when the Bible is hacked up to suit a Big-Government political agenda. I’d like to see Voices of the Tea Party push back against the manipulative use of a religious book many of us consider a sacred text about the salvation of mankind—and that salvation comes from God, not from Big Government trying to be God.

 

Jon Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virginia Tea Party.



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