Clergy Column

September 7, 2013 

A recent writer called for Congress to pass legislation limiting executive compensation to 25 times that of the lowest-paid employee. This is one of many examples demanding “something to be done” in response to an issue or problem, whether real or imagined. What a chilling warning of how far we have drifted from the principles upon which this country was founded.

In the rush to appear to be addressing a problem, the knee-jerk reaction of more government interference in our lives through law or regulation is troubling. It is a short-sighted response that overlooks the long-term consequence of tightening the shackles of government control and further restricting our freedom. Far too many assume a large and powerful central government is a benevolent ruler. Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Desiring a strong ruler is further evidence of how far our nation has drifted from God. Desiring to cast off the shackles of religion in a quest for freedom, we have simply substituted those shackles for others that are far more restrictive. We have abandoned the restraints a benevolent God put in place for our safety and benefit, in exchange for those of an oppressive taskmaster that cares little about us.

Our Founders understood the evils and oppressiveness of the concentration of power in the federal government. The Constitution was written to deliberately define and limit the power of that government. The Founders understood the importance of the individual’s life being surrendered to God, striving to be obedient to his laws and the freedom that would result.

George Washington gave this advice to the nation in his farewell address: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”

John Adams wrote: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

When self-government is abandoned for self-serving opportunism, the health of the nation will decline. Politics has become dirty, and as a result, we are all infected with this poison.

That is the problem today. America has rejected the rule of a benevolent God in their personal lives, despised his laws and chosen the malevolent tightfisted authority of a callous bureaucracy.

“The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, (h)e that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” (2 Samuel 23:3).

Our leaders are not just, nor do they fear God. They are primarily concerned with the next election and feathering their own nests; that applies to both sides of the aisle.

As Mark Twain said, “Politicians and diapers are alike; they both must be changed often and for the same reason.”

The uninformed think that if their party gets into power it will get better. It hasn’t. The need in America today is not for my candidate to win, but for us to turn back to God, to honor his word and uphold his standard of righteousness.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Kenneth Codner is pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Spring Mills. Contact him at khcodner@yahoo.com.

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