Below is an article that my good friend and spiritual leader Randy Bohlender posted recently, if you’d like to read it straight from his page, click here. Other wise enjoy, and let me know what you think 🙂
In recent months, I’ve spent more time writing on family issues. That doesn’t mean I’ve kept my head completely in a bucket regarding national events, but they’ve taken a back seat to important things like diapers and destiny. This morning, driving to the prayer room and listening to NPR, diapers, destiny and health care all converged on me.
Let me preface by pointing out the obvious. I’m pretty conservative….particularly for a guy with three earrings. I have very strong political beliefs shaped by my moral beliefs. I think it should be that way. At the same time, I don’t buy into a lot of the conservative rumor mill or radio shows. On the rare opportunities I have to see it, I yell at FOX News as loudly as I do at CNN. I don’t forward emails. I’m pretty sure the President really is a US citizen. My bumper stickers are for things like In-n-Out. I don’t have the energy to listen to conservative talk radio (How can you be that mad every day?). What I do listen to and read usually contradicts what I believe. I’m okay with that. In fact, I do it on purpose. I find it far more interesting.
I’m only offering that snippet to explain that as I start this mini-rant, it’s not because I can’t tolerate to be in a room with a differing opinion . It’s because I fear for the state of the leadership of the church, which seems hell bent on appearing kind, even at the expense of being Godly.
This morning, the radio was doing a spot on a new initiative between President Obama and religious leaders entitled 40 Days for Health Reform. The brief radio piece featured quotes from Soujourner’s Jim Wallis and other religious leaders.
One pastor was quoted as saying – paraphrased here, although I think the quote is about 90% dead on, I was driving and couldn’t write it down – “We need to realize that healthcare is an issue of human rights and pass a healthcare reform bill even if we don’t agree on the details.” It was shortly after this that I attempted to rip the stereo from my truck dash and throw it into the river as I crossed the Red Bridge.
It is false nobility to agree on the broad brush strokes and ignore the details when the things in the details are life and death issues – particularly life and death for the most vulnerable in our society, the unborn and the elderly.
I am not proposing that we do nothing. I don’t know of anyone who thinks the system is working for everyone. Even if it works for most, we do have an obligation to those who are falling through the cracks. I am for caring for people…but I am not willing to become so romantically entagled with the fable of helping people that we ignore the details.
Pastors and leaders, those details that you suggest we gloss over….those details are where the devil dwells.
For thousands of years, he has haunted the details of our narratives and solutions. Satan has never argued with us about who is on the throne, only in how we relate to He who is on the throne. From Genesis, he has convoluted the details. “Did God really say…?” “You shall surely not die….”. His most boldface lies always appear to be slight tweaks of the truth – things that the more reasonable among us would tell us we should look over in the name of making progress or doing good.
Do not become so consumed with the myth that we are making progress on health care if the details of the plan push forward an agenda that has you paying for abortions that you claim to oppose.
Those details are important – perhaps not to you, perhaps not to your fame or the size of your congregation or your desire to appear compassionate – but certainly to the child whose destiny is snuffed out. Certainly to that elderly person whose value might be questioned by a society consumed with the idea of population control and social efficiency.
To roll over and concede on issues like abortion and care of the elderly is to display one of two things: a lack of faith that God can affect real change or the shameful reality that many of us as leaders don’t care enough about these issues to go to the mat on them.
I’m for some form of health care reform…but not reform at any cost. Now is the time for the politicians that the church has been in bed with for so many years to step up with a plan of their own that honors people and God with a healthy regard for life.”