The above title is the title of an ad, produced by Sojourners, a self-described “evangelical” organization whose slogan is “Faith in Action for Social Justice.” The ad was signed by Sojourners president Jim Wallis and more than two dozen Religious Left pastors, theologians, and activists……… thus starts Dr. Youseff’s discussion of socialism and the federal budget.

Dr. Michael Youssef on his blog asks “How would you answer that question? My answer would be, “It’s a nonsense question. Your premise is faulty. Your priorities are not His priorities.”

Jesus had many opportunities to confront the Roman government about its spending priorities. It was, after all, one of the most brutal regimes in history. If the question “What would Jesus cut?” has any biblical relevance, we should be able to cite instances where Jesus lectured the Roman oppressors the same way the Religious Left lectures America.

Just compare ancient Rome with America today. Rome sent its armies out to conquer; America sends its soldiers out to liberate. Rome demanded tribute from other nations; America sends aid and emergency relief around the world. Rome enslaved nations; America rebuilds nations.

If the federal budget is a “moral document,” what does it say about America? It suggests to me that America may be the most moral nation on earth! Name one other country that has spent $15 billion fighting AIDS in Africa. Name one other country that has provided more disaster relief, that has built more schools and water treatment plants, that has supplied more food aid around the world that has sent more doctors, teachers, and technical advisers to developing nations.

Even America‘s military budget — much of which is being spent to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan — reflects the basic compassion and unselfishness of the American people. Clearly, America hardly deserves any scolding from the Sojourners soapbox.

I encourage you to read the entire piece at http://www.michaelyoussef.com/ and to bookmark the site and check for his promised follow up. Dr. Youseff does a very good job of pointing out some of the shortcomings of the religious left and their call for government intervention in social issues.

Reading Youseff’s piece tied in with a response I made to a friend after my last blog where I was making the case against a strong centralized government. I questioned why we would think that a strong central government was a good idea; after all, we left theBritish Empire235 years ago, eschewing the king and the arbitrary and unfair dictates that emanated from the epitome of a strong central government. My question was if we don’t want a king, why then do we seem so bent on entrenching an ever more powerful federal government?

While a powerful federal government is not quite the same as a king, the actions of chief executives over the past half century, and greatly accelerated under the current administration, are rapidly bringing us to a similar place. It is odd to me as this is the exact opposite philosophy from that of the founders of this country and the exact opposite of the warning of God to the Israelites about 3,000 years ago.

In I Samuel 8, the Israelites became disenchanted with the sons of Samuel who were not righteous men and asked Samuel to appoint a king to judge over them. Samuel did not want to do this, apparently knowing that this would not be God’s preference. Sure enough when he asked God about it, God told them He would give them a king, but Samuel must warn them and so Samuel said,

11This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. 12He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. 15He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. 16He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. 17He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants.”

These are the type of things that our founders protested against the King of England who was passing dictates against the will of the citizenry without their being properly represented. (No Taxation without representation)

In fact in The Federalist Papers #14,Madisonin trying to argue for the powers of the Federal government is careful in ascribing power to that entity as quoted here:

“In the first place it is to be remembered, that the general (federal) government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects (powers), which concern all the members of the republic…. The subordinate governments which can extend their care to all those other objects (powers), which can be separately provided for, will retain their due authority and activity.”

Also

“A second observation to be made is, that the immediate object of the Federal constitution is to secure the union of the Thirteen Primitive States, which we know to be practicable; and to add to them such other States, as may arise in their own bosoms or in their neighborhoods….” 

Madison and the other founders were very careful to specifically enumerate the powers of a federal government so as to keep a Federal government from becoming so strong as to be a de facto replacement for the king that had recently been put off.  

The Sojourners and their fellow travelers would do well to heed the warning from Samuel and the concerns of our founding fathers rather than advocate for “A government big enough to give you everything you want [and] a government big enough to take from you everything you have” as Gerald Ford stated during a Joint session of Congress on August 12th of 1974.