Caring for the Aged – A Christian Theology

Caring for the Aged – A Christian Theology One of the things I discuss frequently is the topic of Sphere Sovereignty. God has ordained various spheres of authority in society, and given duties, responsibilities and authority to each. These spheres, ordained by God, are forms of governance on the earth, to provide for the needs of people and to maintain cultural stability. Several of these spheres are: The individual, the family, the church, the corporation and the civil magistrate. Each one has its own domain, and should not endeavor to do the work of the other spheres. It is when we cross these important lines and neglect the faithful attendance to duty in one sphere, expecting a different sphere to cover for us, or when a sphere is encroached by force, that deterioration of the proper moral framework and order ensues. As Cornelius Van Til said, “The Bible is authoritative on everything of which it speaks. Moreover, it speaks of everything.” Increasingly, many people, especially in the West, are becoming lazy and expecting the civil magistrate to handle the duties of every sphere. This leads ultimately to poverty and tyranny. One such sphere that has been abdicated to the civil government is health care, including the care of the aged. Charity (including healthcare, education, welfare, housing, etc.), Biblically speaking, is never the mandate of the civil magistrate. They are to bear the sword, to punish evildoers and protect the citizens (see: Romans 12 and 1 Peter 2). Instead, the role of caring for the aged, in Christian theology is placed first with the individual and the family. “But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.” (1 Timothy 5:4) “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8) 1 Timothy 5 explains that the church will take up responsibility for “widows indeed” (women who meet very narrow and specific criteria), but except for those rare exceptions, the individual and the family are commanded to fulfill this duty. How Do We Care for the Aged and Dying? We are so far from the original order of things, that it feels like we are moving to another planet when we endeavor to take on responsibility for our lives that nearly everyone assumed just...

Why Government Needs to Get Out of Healthcare

Healthcare is not the domain of the civil government. Medical expenses, above and beyond the ability of an individual or a family to pay, falls into the category of a charitable need. In this essay, I will seek to outline how God has directed these needs to be handled in the Scripture. In the Bible, God has created various spheres of government: The Individual, the Family, the Church and the Civil Magistrate. Each of these spheres has been given authority over separate and distinct spheres and should never cross the jurisdiction of the other. This concept is called the doctrine of Sphere Sovereignty. When Paul was talking to Timothy about the care of widows in the church, he puts the responsibility squarely on the individual (in particular on the man) to care for widows who are in financial need (this falls under a charitable need). “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8, ESV) If an individual and/or family cannot or will not care for their own relatives, then Paul directs the church to  provide for widows who meet the necessary requirements for church care: “If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.” (1 Timothy 5:16, ESV) What should be done for people who have no family and cannot find help within their local church? Well, they should find another church. Never is the Civil Magistrate given the role of being involved in charity. “For (the Civil Magistrate) is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:4) “(The Civil Magistrate is) sent by God for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” (1 Peter 2:14) The civil magistrate’s role is one of force, and the Bible forbids the concept of force ever being used for charity. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, ESV) You can learn more of why government funding of charity (legal plunder), including tax-payer funded healthcare, is immoral HERE....

The Death of Truth (Understanding Postmodernism)

If you have been hearing about these terms, “Modern” and “Postmodern” but aren’t certain where to begin, The Death of Truth, (Dennis McCallum, General Editor),  is a great place to start. The topics are dealt with in a scholarly manner, but are explained in an easy enough manner for the common person to understand. One of the most helpful aspects of the book are the wonderful charts, that give a great visual aid to the comparison of these worldviews. This book contrasts the worldviews of Modernism against Postmodernism as they apply to: Health Care, Literature, Education, History, Psychotherapy, Law, Science, and Religion. If there is a downside to the book, it may be that some of the authors tend to defend Modernism a bit too much in their zeal to show the imbalance of its rebellious progeny: Postmodernism. This shows up the most in the chapters on education and health. In health, the author seems so opposed to any form on alternative medicine that I think he goes a bit far and throws the baby out with the bath water. Not all alternative medical approaches are “new age” or bogus superstition. In education, there is more credence given to the modern approach to education that is warranted. Modernist education wasn’t Biblical either. On a good note though, they do have a great explanation of the views of Multiculturalism and the real relatvisitic motives behind the facade. With those disclaimers aside, I really think this book is a very useful tool for anyone who wants to understand the culture in which we live. Ideas have origins and destinations. This book does a good job of filling in the gaps between the two. http://www.xenos.org/ministries/crossroads/dot.htm  Bethany House Copyright 1996 ISBN #1-5561-724-0 288 pages. On a scale of 1-5, I’d give this a 4...

© Israel Wayne.