Saturday, March 27, 2010

No, I’m not excited about the Health Care bill that just passed.

Sarah and I talked a bit about it this afternoon, as I told her about Aunt Helen and Grandma’s visit. Aunt Helen is the completely good-intentioned and compassionate liberal who wants to see people helped and is, I think mistakenly, trusting in government to offer compassion. But government is a machine and can never offer what is truly needed—it’s not reason, it’s force. And when programmed “mercy” it will soon be short-charging everyone, dealing out merciless “healthcare” and reading out the death sentences of those deemed “unworthy” of the limited resources. Aunt Helen said I might be right, or I might be wrong. “We can’t see what will happen,” she said, “and it doesn’t have to happen that way.” She might be right, but history repeats itself and the history that has repeated itself so far shows exactly what I predict—in Nazi Germany, in Communist China, in Soviet Russia. It’s a strange thing to hear a person that I consider very intelligent and much my elder in experience and knowledge sharing their thoughts and be completely convinced that they are completely deluded. I hate it when the thought whispers through my brain, “That is not the truth because you know the truth...” It seems conceited and disrespectful for me to be so certain of the right when it so opposes those older than I. More and more often these days, I hear what is said, and I judge it and condemn it—in sorrow. It’s one of the most painful things for me to feel certain that someone I love or someone I respect is mistaken. Especially if the issue of mistake is an issue of obedience to God.

My Aunt is what everyone would consider a “good person.” This visit, I tried to think of her as a good, kind person, but when I listened to her speak, it wasn’t “good” things I heard come out. It was the weirdest sensation. She was not talking about evil things or wicked things, but all her words sounded hollow to me. Empty. Lost. Like they were falling from her lips into a black abyss of eternal worthlessness. She stooped a little, seeming weary, yet her eyes and words and heart stirred restless, looking for something new to conquer and to seek for fulfillment. I looked into her bright blue eyes and saw dissatisfaction. No peace.

It bothered her that Nick said that the American people are worshiping their government as a God—looking to the government for “salvation” instead of trusting God. “If that kind of religion demands that people be poor and unhealthy and groveling to worship God, then it’s not right!” she insisted. Ah, God doesn’t demand that we be poor and unhealthy and groveling to worship Him, but He does demand that we worship Him. And often, it is not until we are poor, unhealthy and groveling that we see just how small and helpless we are and fall on our faces and worship Him. For this reason, He is willing to allow us to be poor, unhealthy and groveling.

As I listened, at a loss how to explain to someone who does not love the Lord, how the Lord loves, my heart felt heavy. Someday, my Aunt will worship God, because that is what He has decreed. And all His creation attests to His worthiness of worship. I would to God that she should come to the place of worship before the day when every knee bows and, cruel though it sounds to the ears of flesh, I would even gladly see her poor, unhealthy and groveling if it brought her to that place before the day of judgment.

Do I not love her because I could wish this? I love her, with a small part of the mercy which Christ extends—patiently giving her yet another day, another year, to humble herself and submit to Him. She will one day submit, and oh how much better to do it now, whatever the means which bring that submission may be!

Several times before I have shared the gospel with her, hoping praying that she would turn to the Lord. She is kind and accepts my attempts as love, though I know she disagrees. As I’ve been studying Romans lately, so much of it pressed back on me—the description of how we are all shut up before God because our conscience teaches us from creation to worship Him—yet we seek other fulfillments and other gods. I’m sure my Aunt would say regarding eternity “We can’t really know.” She might feel like I am wasting life opportunities, though I know she is pleased to see people content and enjoying what they do. Yet my heart sinks knowing that she’s wrong, and not only that, but that I believe she does know, yet is resisting the Lord’s grace. I longed to tell her again of His mercy and compassion, waiting for her to turn to Him, yet she seemed more spiritually closed than I have ever before noticed.

Suddenly to me, the things she said that seemed like they were “close to the truth” or even open or tolerant of the truth, became stark lies. “We can’t really know,” is not openness to the possibility of God’s view of eternity. It is rejection of what He has proclaimed as truth—that He will one day judge the earth in righteousness. We could argue that it’s a difference of opinion and each is entitled to her own opinion. God has given us the ability to form opinions. Yet God is absolute and one of us is wrong. And it will separate us for eternity.

So I weep.

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