by the Night Writer
“Jesus was a socialist, and you like him.”
— Minnesota state senator and DFL gubernatorial candidate Tom Rukavina
In that case, wouldn’t passing laws to raise taxes and forcibly re-distribute wealth be mixing Church and State? Isn’t that forcing (and enforcing) one’s religion on others? Did he go on to say that it was appropriate to rob Peter to pay Paul?
I suppose it does mean that when I stand before God and He asks me if I gave to the poor then all I have to do is say, “Well, I paid my taxes.” Or maybe I just have to say “I voted to raise other people’s taxes.”
Somehow or another I’ve always figured that giving to and serving others was a personal responsibility and not something I could farm out. Apparently it’s not self-government we need, just more government. Yet its been my experience that loving my neighbor brings me closer to both God and my neighbor, causes me to consider the state of my own heart and stimulates my appreciation for the blessings I’ve received. It also seems to me that if my neighbor loved me, he wouldn’t covet what I had or want to do anything to make himself a burden. My experience is that when people take it upon themselves to help others they end up sowing peace and reconciliation. When it’s left to a third party to do it on your behalf, however, the result is strife and enmity. Which would Jesus chose?
Along those lines, I recently shared a message with the Inside Outfitters group on the importance of “living with an open hand” and what I’ve seen in my life as a result. You can hear the message here (the first couple of minutes of the podcast features someone else, and then I get to talk).