Servants of God,
We are living in a “brave new world” that is saturated with ideas and philosophies as old as the fall in the garden of Eden. The big push toward socialism defies reality. One of the latest “new” ideas is what is being called “Universal Basic Income” (UBI). In a nutshell, the idea is that the federal government should give every individual several thousand dollars each year as a basic income. This, we are assured, will fight poverty. It is a failed idea that was proven disastrous in the United States between 1968 and 1980 in selected states. Then it was labeled the “negative income tax.” The hope was that if people had a basic income so they did not have to worry about necessities, they would be free to work harder. What happened was the opposite. The people who received the government’s handout worked less. Single males who were not heads of households worked 43% fewer hours because the government was subsidizing their lack of work. This is the problem with “good ideas” that are not grounded in reality.
God is the ultimate reality. All of life must be reckoned from Him. God created humans to work. Before the fall, humans were to tend the garden and have dominion over the earth. He also commanded humans to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1 and 2). Because the fall impacted every aspect of human thought, emotion and action (“total depravity”) humans tend to move away from God’s will in each of those realms. Christians know that the New Testament warns that anyone able, but not willing to work, is sinful and should be admonished to work (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Christian conversion leads to change in patterns of behavior. Before we come to Christ, we practice all sorts of sinful behaviors (including sloth), but Christ gives us new priorities and one of those is the priority of honest work (Ephesians 4:28).
When a small group of people in power decide what is best for others apart from the will of God, they give us laws, education and economics that is based on human reason alone. These ideas sound good, but they are rooted in what seems right to humans apart from the wisdom of God. The political and educational elites of our nation do not mind forcing their views on the rest of us. While we still have the freedom to do so, it is important to challenge their funky assumptions. They need a reality check (a truth detector, if you will).
When humans live apart from the truth, they come up with all sorts of better ways to live. They don’t bother to check out the consequences because they have such altruistic motives. They feel obligated to help the poor, ignorant masses by forcing utopian solutions upon the rest of us. There is a way that seems right to a human being, but the end of that way is death (see Proverbs 14:12).
If you take time to look at the direction of our culture you see people teaching the most ludicrous ideas with the greatest possible sincerity. Being sincere is nice but being accurate is essential. The great battle of our age is over whether humans will acknowledge that God has any say in human events. Of course, our sovereign Creator has clearly spoken. To deny God is to deny reality. Our cultural elites have long ago stopped believing they will be held to account by the living God. They are busy making it up as they go. They decide the value of human life (and who deserves to live or die), the make-up of family and whether biology or wishful thinking determines gender and marriage. The fraying of our cultural fabric shows that when humanistic good ideas trump biblical truth, there is hell to pay. If you want to see the results of a bunch of good ideas that leave absolute truth out of the picture look at the brokenness and squalor on the city streets of San Francisco or Seattle, Washington.
Christians can serve as salt and light if we are willing to speak and act from a biblical worldview. We may not be able to salvage our nation, but we must do what we can. When was the last time you pointed out the manifest foolishness of socialism? Do you ever have an opportunity to speak truth when some of the kinky ideas of the sexual revolution are being touted as “love”? How are you living when it comes to the stewardship of your time, talent and treasure? Do you vote with your feet (or your thumbs) by not frequenting movies or video games or web sites that degrade humanity and dishonor God? Are you practicing sexual purity in mind and body? Do you support ministries that foster life and fight abortion? How about your language? Do you speak of “luck” and “chance” or do you point to the providence and sovereignty of our loving and wise God? Is your pattern to complain about how awful things are or do you speak of how hopeful it is to understand the gospel of God’s grace in the person of Jesus Christ? Are your kids and grands seeing you prioritize regular and joyful participation in the body of Christ or is the ball game and your own ease and comfort a consistent priority?
Christians have all sorts of opportunities to influence others toward righteousness. One of the ways is to challenge the lie that socialism is a viable economic system. We can start by pointing out how it breeds envy, encourages sloth and has never worked anywhere it has been tried because it dishonors God and denies that fallen humans need incentive to work and be productive. The Christian faith is personal, but it is not intended to be totally private. Good news is for sharing and there has never been a time in our nation’s history when Christians have had a greater opportunity to point to the ultimate reality of our loving Savior and Lord.