"You cannot help small men by tearing down big men; you cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer; you cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred." - Rev. William J. H. Boetcker
Income inequality: it's weighing heavily on Obama's mind these days, so much so that, currently, he is pushing for a raise in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Many Americans support it; most Democrats support it and, roughly, half of Republicans support it - should I?
Mr. Obama, in his self-proclaimed "year of action" is pushing to deliver this pay raise to Americans because, he says, "It's just common sense." I might point out here that Obamacare (aka the Affordable Care Act) was supposed to be "common sense" too and we see how sensible this plan turned out to be. A law that was guaranteed to offer more people healthcare has resulted in millions having their healthcare canceled. Anyway, I digress.
In his 2012 state of the Union address, President Obama, speaking of the promise to bring about income equality, said: "The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules."
On one level it sounds very noble; after all, helping people who are struggling is something everybody should want to do and believers are, most definitely, encouraged to do this by Scripture. Then why not support an agenda that seems to support the concept of being "my brother's keeper" and helping those in need? Before I answer that question, I think it is important to first ask this question: Why does the President and other like-minded politicians believe it to be such a pressing issue when there are so many other issues to be considered as contenders for "most important"? In trying to discern this and ascertain why the current government is so driven to make income equality a reality, I think we should pause, look at the big picture (by that I mean the Biblical big picture) and reflect upon the fact that the Adversary seduced Eve to eat deadly fruit with the subtle message, "God has something you don't have and you deserve your fair share."
So then, what is this really all about? Is income inequality truly THE most important debate and greatest challenge facing us? Is this truly the defining issue of our time? Hmmm. I'm not so sure that I agree with that assessment but I have to marvel at the fact that so many people, including many believers, have conceded to this argument. I mean, I have to admit the argument is worded so well that, to disagree with it, one will end up looking like an uncaring, unsympathetic (and don't forget rich) jerk. Therein, lies the masterful deception first wrought by the Adversary, the greatest of illusionists. "Look at this hand over here that contains all the flashy, colorful items because you're not supposed to see what I'm doing with the other."
Before we get into what I believe to be Biblical objections to Obama's push for equality, let's consider some recent data released by the Congressional Budget Office. According to their findings, while 900,000 people would be lifted out of poverty by an increase in the minimum wage, it could also kill 500,000 jobs. Republican opposition seized on this information with John Boehner's press secretary saying, "This report confirms what we've long known: While helping some, mandating higher wages has real costs, including fewer people working." As a matter of fact, with all of his fervor to combat income inequality, the reality is that income inequality has grown since Obama has taken office. That being the situation, why would one continue pushing policies that are having the opposite effect on what you intended to remedy? Could it be that there is actually a "hidden" agenda within all this dialogue about being my brother's keeper? Could it be that all the "good" being discussed is intended to conceal the evil intent?
Frankly, that's my take on it all - something evil this way comes. It seems to me that the overall trend and objective of Mr. Obama's domestic agenda should be discerned by his direct or indirect support of what the Occupy Wall Street movement was all about - class warfare; let's make everybody the same. The so-called 99% and their agitation with the banking industry, Wall Street moguls and "big oil" was first voiced by Mr. Obama and other proponents of his political philosophy; that is how, in part, they were swept into power. So, might it be that he orchestrated the political stage that others might be inspired to take up the crusade against those who have more than others?
Face it, more than ever before, most of what we hear coming from Washington, our state houses and the talking heads on television is how to put everyone on the same level playing field; how to cut everyone a fair share of the economic pie. My problem, though, is that somebody more powerful is positioning everyone on that field; someone in charge has to decide how much of the pie each person gets. Someone, other than the players, is making the rules for those on the field and someone doing the cooking decides what kind of pie we get to divide up. I'm concerned that everyone on that level playing field will, nevertheless, be situated beneath the heel of those in power; what if I don't like cherry pie (which I don't); what if I prefer peach (which I do)? Might all this be about those who wish to be mighty are offering the wayward masses what they want - or what they think they want - in order to bring them into submission to the would-be master's will? Meaning that, in the end, you don't get what you want, you get what someone else tells you that you can have.
In a nutshell, here is why I don't support Obama's push for income equality, why I don't support Obamacare, his "Brother's Keeper" initiative, co-existence, tolerance, social justice and the "let's all just be one big happy multi-cultural family" nonsense - because it all smacks of the Babylonian mindset and objective, which means that it flies in the face of Biblical principle and God's purposes for His people.
Don't get me wrong - I believe we are to be our brother's keeper and I believe that we are to help those who are in need and if he needs my tunic I should offer my cloak also. I believe in unity and peace but not at all costs. You see, I believe in true unity that is born of true faith, not uniformity that says all roads lead to God. I believe in doing good and what is right in the Creator's eyes, however, I also believe that the Creator chose NOT to legislate good behavior. Rather, He detailed in His Word what He defined as pleasing unto Him, invited us to come into covenant with Him and, consequently, challenged us to do what was right because it was in our heart to do what was right. In sharp contrast, men are now trying to legislate what they deem to be right and are cloaking their wicked intentions with piety.
Remember, God rebuked Israel and their seeming "righteousness" by saying:
“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men." - Isaiah 29:13
My point here is, men often say things that sound good, noble and even righteous but their heart is no where near following God or His instructions. In fact, many times, the Adversary will quote God and, at the same time, lead people away from God. That is exactly what I think is going on right now. Men are waving "good" things before the masses in order to lure them into evil.
Not only that, but what do I do with Y'shua's statement that, "The poor you will have with you always" (Matthew 26:11)? I take that to mean there will always be social distinctions in this world whether it's rich and poor, educated and uneducated, etc. Yet, I don't believe the Creator gives one iota about how much money I have or don't have or what color my skin is. He doesn't place value on things the way mankind does and, so, the richest among us are some of the poorest on the planet while some of the poorest among us have treasures stored up in Heaven.
Finally, I wish to emphasize that my purpose here is not to oppose one political party, philosophy or personality in deference to another. In my view, a politician is a politician regardless of his or her leanings and political preference, meaning that power and expediency will trump what is moral, ethical and right almost every time. I should interject here that there is always an exception to each rule and there are a handful of cases where believers in political positions are desperately trying to make a difference for what is right - we need to pray for those brave souls. Furthermore, I believe that we should pray for all of our leaders - that the Father's will be done in their lives as in ours - so that we could live in peace, as spoken of by Paul when he said:
"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior." - 1 Timothy 2:1-3
That being said, I want you to consider that, overall, when politicians push for equality, unity, tolerance, social justice and co-existence, they are echoing a movement that began long ago and, I might add, in direct defiance of God's instruction to "be fruitful and multiply" and fill up the earth. That movement is recorded for us in Genesis 11.
"Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” - Genesis 11:1-4
Notice there was no blatant and violent call to rebellion against God; yet their objective was just that. God said, "Spread out" but Nimrod said, "Come together so that we won't be spread out." God said to multiply in the earth, Nimrod called for unity in one centralized location. God's habitation, Jerusalem, would be constructed of stone; Babylon, Nimrod's throne, would be made of brick which, unlike stone, is a man-made material comprised of clay, water and straw mixed together. In the end, you can't tell one brick from the other, meaning that all bricks are alike; there are no rough edges to offend the other bricks and, in the end, everyone gets their fair share - a veritable Xanadu of co-existence and social justice.
The troubling consequence, however, is that, if we follow along with Babylon's way of thinking and the world's way of acting we'll all end up as just another brick in the wall - a wall that will, one day, be torn down in order to make way for God's House. Call me intolerant if you wish, call me a hater if you must but I don't want to be just another brick in the wall. I want to one of those living stones that is being used to build up God's spiritual house, founded upon the Rock that is Messiah.
There's my two cents - for what it's worth.