Several years ago I became acquainted with a farmer in Washington State from whom I purchased oats for our horses. One day he remarked that he was planning a trip to Russia which enlisted the obvious question… why? Rather surprisingly he said he was going for a job interview with the prospect of managing a number of government collective farms. A couple of months later we bumped into each other in town which gave me the opportunity to inquire about his adventure. In no uncertain terms he stated that Russia wasn’t for him; again…why? It seems the entire agriculture community is so mired in dependency upon the government that nothing happens unless some form of bureaucracy is leading or intervening. This was illustrated by telling of numbers of various pieces of farm equipment broken down in fields and roadsides. When the locals were questioned about it, the answer was always the same…the government hasn’t sent anyone to fix them.
Socialism has created a dog that has bitten the hand of the master who feeds it. Individual initiative which is fostered by a capitalistic profit motive has been replaced by complacency. The American farmer will not sit idle until the equipment is returned to service. The Soviets are so desperate they have turned to an enterprising entrepreneur to help salvage a societal breakdown. In the estimation of my friend, it will take several generations to overcome the quicksand of dependency addiction, if in fact it ever is conquered.
The best friend of communism is atheism because the absence of God simply requires a replacement. And who is better to fill the gap than government? Of course, when the demand outstrips the supply, there is no one to turn to that has unlimited resources. The physical productivity of a people rides on a parallel rail to the spiritual mindset of that civilization. The objectors would argue that communist China has become the world’s leading exporter in Wal-Mart trappings but they overlook the almost impossible hope of the individual to accumulate any real wealth. Others would maintain that in the final analysis there is little difference in the closing outcome; dependence on God or government results in the same mental condition. This may sound plausible to the Biblically illiterate, but the wool is not so easily pulled over the eyes of the informed.
The Bible presents a blueprint for human responsibility that far exceeds anything Marx or Lenin ever invented. The formula is simple…do all that you can do and when you have, leave the miracle to God. The Scriptures present far too many illustrations of this principle to list them all, but a few may suffice. Before Jesus turned the water into wine in John 2, he commanded the servants to move the pots about and fill them with water. Each pot of stone contained 18 to 27 gallons which translates into a lot of weight and work. When they had done everything that was humanly possible Jesus provided the miracle. It was God who flattened the walls of Jericho, but that great event was preceded by required human activity. The Lord gave instructions for Israel to march around the city for six days in a prescribed order and only when this was completed did God respond with divine intervention.
The children of Israel quivered in fear when they stood on the shore of the Red Sea and watched as an Egyptian army approached with only murder in their hearts. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward” (Exodus 14:15). The picture continues to unfold requiring little imagination to see some wet to their chests, some to their waists, others to their knees before God came through, but when He did, it even exceeded anything Charlton Heston could envision.
Familiarity with this eternal truth has led America to an unparalleled prosperity and greatness that has become a target of hate for the Left. The problem can be reduced to one simple sentence…the God of Heaven cannot be allowed to replace the god of government which rewards the non-producers. A general acknowledgment of God recompensing labor not only produces wealth but discovers generosity as its companion. The unfortunate destruction caused by hurricane Harvey has been met by armies of volunteers from several southern states. Even the liberal media has quietly admitted that the longest lines in Houston are not those waiting for gas or groceries but average citizens desiring to lend aid. Darn that Bible Belt, those rednecks sure can mess with a good socialistic plan. If government can rise to the occasion of providing resources…
God bless it! But untold thousands have been rescued by private individuals manning their boats, vehicles, money, and energy.
This past Sunday I spoke to our congregation about a church in Houston that I am very familiar with. They are coordinating volunteers from a number of areas to help clean up, rebuild, etc. The church family is also engaged in feeding 300 people every evening. This is not a mega-church, and consequently, has limited resources. The presentation was not an emotional appeal but simply a presentation of the facts. In moments $7000 was raised to help these good folks out. It wasn’t the preacher who did this or a line of tear jerking stories…..it was just the Word of God.