I try not to make political statements on my blog. But the recent re-election of President Obama is world wide news and I thought I would add my personal response to this event. Note: some of my thoughts stem from something Shane Clifton recently posted about thanking God for Medicare, though it appears that post has now been taken down.
From my reading around the blogosphere, it seems that some people are adamant that no government should give people handouts, and that there is major objection to the new medicare system that Obama wants to put into place. They argue that people should be self supporting and that handouts only exacerbate the poverty of the people and if they want better for themselves, they need to get off their butts and go to work. On one level, I tend to agree with this sentiment. But on another more personal note, we need to acknowledge that there are times when a person is incapable of getting of their butt and doing something.
In October 2007 I was struck down with a sudden debilitating illness. Paralysed on the right side, high temperature around 41 degrees I collapsed at work and was to become hospitalised for 52 days. During this time I was to relearn to walk and talk and do many things that we take for granted; such as how to get up out of a chair.
I too thank God for our Australian Medicare System. While not perfect, it is a life saviour for those who need it. During and after my time in hospital, I undertook many tests. Many expensive tests. Eventually I was diagnoses with viral encephalitis. For the first time in my life, I had to go onto government benefits. Till that point in time I had worked hard, was fit and reasonably healthy and was fairly resilient. But now, I faced the truth that my once strong body was weakened, and I had to depend on others – such as undergoing shower and toilet assistance.
Its now close to five years since I was released from hospital. My recovery over this time has been steady; but extremely slow. I’m still on some government benefits which helps a little as I continue to study. It’s interesting that it was the early church that started our societal institutions. Hospitals, schools,orphanages and places to stay for the weary traveller. These institutions took in the many whom the general society looked down on with the same attitude that is prevalent within much of our so called upper classes.
Yet, while indeed Scripture does call us to work with our hands and to do what we can to be self supporting; those same Scriptures also call us to be generous towards those who have not, so that there will not be lack in the house for all in our community. The Old Testament tithe was meant to go into the storehouses to provide for the old, the frail, the infirm, the orphans, the widows. In fact the prophet Malachi 3:10 says to test the lord in this very thing..
New International Version (©1984)
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
If indeed America wants God to bless their nation, as they so often pray.. God bless America… then the nation needs to ensure that indeed they bring the whole tithe into the store house, so that their may be food in his house…..and then the blessings will follow…
So for those who are so vocal for Christian values…I just wonder how deep do they really value, that which God truly values… some food for thought!