A PRESUMPTUOUS SIN

May 30, 2017

 

President Trump is proposing a budget that is causing many of the rats to flee the ship.  The plan proposes $3.6 trillion in cuts to domestic agencies, food stamps, Medicaid, highway funding, subsidies to farmers, crop insurance, and the reduction of pension benefits for federal workers by $63 billion by eliminating cost-of-living adjustments for most.  Just that number with the addition of $70 billion annually for food stamps is $133 billion which Congress seems to be willing to tolerate, but they reject $1.6 billion for a wall on our southern border.

 

Is it possible to maintain so many debt incurring programs in view of a $20 trillion national liability?  A significant number of Democrats and Republicans are whining about these proposed cuts calling them draconian, but not one of the complainers have submitted a serious suggestion about reducing our unsustainable accumulating debt.  Congress has not demonstrated the will to tackle the elephant in the living room; one day the sofa will collapse under a weight which it cannot bear.  While the liberal media continues to focus on Russia conjectures, we are reminded that it is not always necessary to destroy a country with a flood of armies or misinformation when a deluge of debt can accomplish the same thing.

 

A Pharisee named Simon invited Jesus to his house for a meal.  Somewhere between the appetizers and dessert a woman who was known as a sinner in the community crashed the party for the purpose of washing with her tears, wiping with her hair and anointing with ointment the feet of Jesus.  Simon was put off by the intrusion using the occasion to question the deity of the Saviour:  “Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him;  for she is a sinner.” (Luke 7:39)

 

The Lord received the telegraphed thought instantly and responded with:  “Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee.  And he saith, Master, say on.  There was a certain creditor which had two debtors:  the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.  And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both.  Tell me therefore, which of them will love him the most?  Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most.  And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.”  The intent of the story is obvious…the greater the sinner, the greater the gratitude for forgiveness.  Jesus then puts the principle in motion by telling the sinner “Thy sins are forgiven…And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”

 

The depth of the incident is more than a curious spectator can grasp.  The Master Teacher has made a comparison classifying debt and sin in the same can of worms.  Lest we be tempted to think of this as an isolated coincidence, the “Lord’s Prayer” delivers the same message; “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). The same prayer as recorded in Luke 11:4 reads: “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.”  The word “forgive” is generally associated with sin but even modern secular language utilizes the word in reference to debt.  The doctrine is clear; the sinner (“for all have sinned” Romans 3:23) has accumulated a debt that no amount of money can satisfy:  “For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…But with the precious blood of Christ” (I Peter 1:18, 19).

 

The question that begs an answer is: when does the national debt cease to be an economic inconvenience and become a national sin?  This can only be understood when one allows the Scriptures to explain the many tentacles of iniquity. The Psalmist sheds light…”Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression” (Psalm 19:13). Is it not presumptuous to incur debt with no distinctive plan of repayment?  If there were such an effort in place, the debt would not have doubled during the Obama administration.  Sin works in similar fashion; it continues to compound itself with no plan for pardon.  Roget’s thesaurus describes “presumptuous” as: bold, nervy, confident, audacious, forward, rude, brazen, lordly, arrogant, egotistical, insolent, and pompous.  Is it not all of these things when long term consequences are never considered?  The permanent is gladly sacrificed on the altar of the immediate.  An unbearable burden is passed to future generations to pacify ignorant special interests.

 

Gerry Spence, the flamboyant western attorney, told the story of ants destroying Wyoming rangeland.  Scientists devised a number of remedies to eradicate the pesky critters…all to no avail.  Eventually, a poison was developed that had no visible effect for several days.  When the hammer of reality finally came down, the ants had lost the ability to make the connection between cause and effect and continued on the same path of self-destruction.  The ant hill of Washington seems to be afflicted with the same malady.

 

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