I wish the Affordable Health Care Act could work, I really do.

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I wish the Affordable Health Care Act could work, I really do.

I am frustrated!

Political propaganda has so twisted fundamental Christian principles I almost feel like a bad guy for wanting to help the poor and destitute!

It’s crazy!

I also can’t help it. The dream, as lofty as it is, that everyone could be given medical care really does sound appealing.

I am saying this as a middle-class, registered Republican who also is responsible for over thirty employees through a church and two childcares.

I also represent a family that has been blindsided by the reality of the Affordable Care Act. We lost the coverage we had and wanted to keep. We were also the family who was offered a much more expensive “comparative” plan.

As I cringed at the ridiculous price increase, I honestly thought if I knew the money really would directly help poor, destitute families, I would give it! I love the concept; I just don’t trust the system. Taking care of the poor should never be used as political propaganda, yet that’s exactly what has happened.

Here is the huge danger we face! In our frustration with a struggling political system we may unintentionally turn our backs against real people. People who really do need support, encouragement, and yes even their physical (medical included) needs met!

I want to give educational opportunities and medical care to children who have very little hope and resources. I don’t want to enable generational poverty; I want to empower people to really break free from it. I fully believe it is wrong to turn our backs on those who are truly destitute. This is what may happen if we become myopic because of the politics.

Yes, I get it. The Affordable Care Act is flawed, but the desire to help those in true need should never be abandoned. If you find yourself like me, torn between good principles and bad politics, let me offer a suggestion…

Don’t let political frustration stop you from loving real people! Be the tangible example of what love should look like. Proactively seek out local organizations that really do help those in need. Why local? Because you can go see for yourself exactly how your money is being spent and even serve alongside them! Accountability is much higher.

I pray somebody someday can create plans for the healthcare problems that actually work economically, but I refuse to turn my back on the hurting in the middle of this season of political insanity. You can disagree with HOW a political party wants to help people, but please don’t ever stop actually loving them. I believe no amount of pseudo-spiritual, esoteric “knowledge” should ever grant a Christian the freedom from tangibly being the hands and feet of Jesus.

So vote for what you believe in as an American citizen, but remember first and foremost you are to represent Jesus well, not just to the rich and powerful, but to the poor and destitute!  That’s right, This holiday season represent Jesus well to the poor and destitute too!

Pull out the old dusty Bible and read James 1:27 and Matthew 25:40.

Here is the sermon this came out of.

*Photograph acquired through Google’s reuse license image search engine

5 thoughts on “I wish the Affordable Health Care Act could work, I really do.

  1. Pastor Mike… well said. We are also to soon join the ranks of the uninsured as our Obamacare alternative is priced at $1,400 per month. Seems odd that almost all the “news” is about all those who are finally getting health insurance… not much about all of us losing our health insurance. But my real concern from a public policy standpoint is what is happening to the healthcare providing side of the equation, not simply how people are going to afford to pay for insurance. This side of the question will get addressed, unfortunately however, it will be too late to sslvsge what we have become accustomed to. [For example, I made an appointment for my annual physical back in September and got the last available slot to see my doctor two days before Christmas.]

    I realize that you are not trying to make a political statement here (understandably so), but it seems that the best way to save the poor is not so much to be reminded of our Christian responsibility to them, but to actually become involved in the political machinations that will decide who gets what and how much.

    Unfortunately, it is my experience that Christians generally, in their compassion for the poor, will fall for the manipulations of those who say the right things about wanting to help the poor and “caring” generally. The details seem to be of little consequence until everything falls apart. They focus on intentions rather than actual tangible results. Shouldn’t there be a place in our Christian teaching for being wary of “good intentions” and caring language in order to focus on economic and social implications of our compassionate spirit? The cost of so-called solutions from government edict ought to factor into our desire for compassion. It seems that this is a legitimate consideration, but sermons on helping the poor (undefined) seem more spiritual and appropriate. But this isn’t helpful when it comes to the development of public policy. There should be ways to help the poor that don’t involve giving away free stuff, but the focus is too often on “giving” rather than the implications of doing so. This is enormously frustrating and counter-productive on so many levels. I cringe when I see how easy it is to manipulate kind hearted Christian folk. Having a generous attitude does not have to equate to redistribution of income from one group to another. I reject “cheap grace”, and I reject “misdirected compassion”. Please put some ” “meat on the bones” in teaching our brothers and sisters how should we view “caring for the poor” and how that is best done in a free society. It is the “how” where we disagree most often. Not sure if the Church is able to deal with that…sadly.

    1. No doubt, it is complicated! Or we have made it complicated. 🙂

      The church (not the building or organization, but the actual people who call themselves Christian) is good at saying “love the poor” and really bad at actually doing it. Now when people ask me what our compassion ministry looks like I don’t give them a long speech or a pamphlet, I just tell them to visit and see first hand what we are doing.
      I wonder if many Christians abandon any type of service because they find imperfections in every program. It’s like the dad who abandons his family because he can’t see the perfect way to raise them or the servant who buried his talent because there was no right, or safe way to spend it, or maybe he just wanted to use the talent on himself!
      We can’t be foolish, but we also can’t justify a faith with no actions. I think we have to be tangibly active and constantly making spiritual adjustments along the way.

  2. Good morning Mike. Way to navigate the landmines! Please permit me to add my ‘hot sports opinion’ to the mix without partisanship but with radical loyalty to our Lord and Savior.

    Those who subscribe to the side of the equation that government is the best facilitator for helping the most vulnerable do so because we, the U.S. Christian community, have spent the last 80+ years ceding our biblical mandate to the politicians. A short history lesson: FDR made lots of political hay during the Depression by taking what was a church function, that is feeding the poor and caring for the elderly and widows, and making it a function of the government. Pres. Johnson expanded it many times over in no small part with Medicare and welfare. Now, the current administration has tagged the citizenry with healthcare reform across the board.

    Agree or disagree with the actions, the truth is those functions were previously roles and responsibilities of the body of Christ. Why do you think there are so many healthcare systems named after religious organizations? Baptist, Jewish, Catholic, Presbyterian, and Methodist systems all exist here in Dallas/Ft. Worth and are relics of an age when the church funded care for the indigent. Anymore, I couldn’t tell you of a church that exists with that purpose. Most are focused on attendance numbers, buildings, promoting books and popularity contests while couching it in a Jesus wrapper.

    Imagine what would happen if just the mega-churches with campuses designed to look like Six Flags over Jesus and a Mad Max inspired Bapti-domes would instead fund and support missionary endeavors right in their own backyards by caring for the sick, feeding the hungry, caring for the widow and orphan. Instead most churches are focused on things nowhere to be found in the Holy Scriptures. And, to paint with a broad brush, both church leadership and the individual believer is guilty for buying into the lies of the enemy on this one.

    Frankly, socialism prospers in large part because we are ineffectively faithful to our calling in the Messiah. So, to your headline asking for healthcare reform to succeed, I would say I hope if fails. I hope it fails because there has been an overwhelming army of the faithful living out in Spirit and in Truth the calling we have received.

    1. You said “I hope it fails because there has been an overwhelming army of the faithful living out in Spirit and in Truth the calling we have received.”
      What a powerful thought! I may be a dreamer I know, but I love the thought of the church being so faithful to loving those that are struggling that this type of system became irrelevant.

  3. One other thought: We, like you, have received notice our plans are being cancelled. To get equivalent coverage under the ACA would raise our costs 40%. So we have chosen to enroll with a religious based health sharing organization which exempts enrollees from the penalties of not having Obamacare coverage. There are several out there but Samaritans Ministries and Medi-share are the two largest. And I love that they follow the biblical mandate to bear one another’s burdens. I also love they are about half the cost of my current coverage. But best of all, I love the idea that many people are recruited to pray for me and I for them when either is in need.

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