Is liberalism scriptural?

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A recent letter justified liberal political views as scripturally correct and demanded the rich pay “more.” The notion that God’s laws of mercy and love are best fulfilled through government spending programs is now widespread and politically influential. What does the Bible actually say?

The Bible does not teach that the rich must pay more so we can have bigger, more “compassionate” welfare and entitlement programs. Rather, it teaches we be impartial in judgment, esteeming the rich and poor alike (equality before the law). It teaches that we not covet the possessions of the rich, nor fret when they grow in wealth and power. God will judge their generosity, not man.

Jesus taught us to be liberal in giving our own wealth, not in redistributing the wealth of others. His teachings on love and compassion were directed to the individual, not to Ceasar or centralized bureaucracies capable of neither love nor compassion.

Those who find a scriptural duty to make the rich pay “more” (of course they already do) need to justify how much more. What is the marginal tax rate that will please God and fulfill the scriptures: 60 percent, 75 percent? What does God require?

When the Israelites demanded a king (big government) to relieve them of their personal responsibilities, Samuel understood the implications. By clamoring for big government, the people were rejecting God in whom they had lost faith.

God instructed Samuel to warn the people that their king would become oppressive in his taxation and mandates. The people would become servants to the bureaucracy. But they coveted the grandiose governments of other nations and persisted in their demands. They traded their liberty under God for the perceived security of human rulers who would tend to rule not in wisdom and justice, but through pride, selfishness and ambition.

Liberalism views the growth of government as a measure of social progress. But biblically it represents evidence of moral and spiritual failure, and an agent of divine judgment.

Burdensome taxation, debt and regulation, the culture of entitlement and dependency and the tyranny of public employee unions and other special interests which thrive on big government liberalism are evidence of failure, not progress.

When men govern themselves according to the laws of God, the need for government is minimized. This is why the founders viewed the least government as the best and crafted a Constitution to keep it small.

Lorne Blackman

Walla Walla

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