Why are so many enamored with big government? When the economy has been shattered by reckless spending, why is that the first reflexive reaction by so many is to increase government spending? How can people be so obtuse as to continue to support politicians, charged with fixing the problem, but only make it worse? What will be the end result of it all – will we be able to pull ourselves out of this mess?
Wow! What’s with all of the questions? Well, as weird as it may sound, I don’t think some people’s desire for big government is necessarily a social issue. The goal of big government is in essence a government that can do everything for us, that can take care of us, protect us, shelter us, feed us, provide for us. I think the reason that so many who are opposed to religion find themselves on the political left is because they are looking for something to replace God. With big government, they’ve got a human solution to life’s problems. After all, if we can save ourselves by creating a government that can do all the things that God can, at least in the physical realm, they won’t need God.
The problem with this thinking is that government, in this country and many others, is a mess. Spending is out of control. Corruption is rampant. Debt is out the window. If we are looking to government to save us, we have chosen a fatally flawed savior for government is incapable of even saving itself. Witness the recent budget talks between Republicans and Democrats. They argue over fractional cuts while coming nowhere close to addressing the actual problem. Members of Congress get away with crimes for which most of us would spend time in jail. Our government is self-destructing and all some people can think is that we just need to spend more money.
The real problem is that we as individuals, or corporately in a social construct such as government, cannot save ourselves. Government is flawed because it is made of flawed individuals. As you bring flawed parts together, the flaws simply compound. The whole truly is the sum of the parts. I think some believe that collectively we somehow become better, but that goes against common sense. If you take a bunch of criminals and bring them all together, the community created isn’t more moral or ethical than any of the individuals. If it were, prisons wouldn’t have bars or walls. Imagine building a car out of nothing but flawed parts. When you drive it? Imagine an airplane built by mismatched, broken parts. Would you fly in it? When you bring together angry, greedy, lazy, arrogant, lustful, selfish, gluttonous people, the sum isn’t goodness. Yet for some reason many believe that government is good and trust it. It is not.
Back to government, what if it somehow magically did defy nature and was better than the sum of its parts. That it was actually good and could take care of us. It would only be able to do so in this life. Where would we look for salvation in the next life?
Over this Easter weekend, I would suggest you consider whether you have been trying to save yourself by depending on your own self or on others. If you have, you need to turn to the only One who can save you both here in this life and in the next. A good place to start that journey is at your local church. If you want to find a church to attend Sunday, check this site.