Modern Slavery: The Welfare State

This post is part of an ongoing series called “The Intentional Destruction of the USA.” Find out more here.

Ex_20_17For the most part, people love their rights, but they’re not interested in personal responsibility. I mean, you rarely see protests about the need for greater responsibility. On the other hand, if someone suspects their rights are being violated, they’ll freak out. Don’t get me wrong, defending personal freedom is important. That said, no one has a right to receive goods and services at another person’s expense, and that’s what the American welfare system is all about.

Without question, everyone is born with rights. They’re given to us at birth by our Creator, and they can’t be taken away (Genesis 1:26-28). We can think, say and do what we like, as long as we’re not violating someone else’s rights to do the same. Goods and services, however, are things we need or want. We have a right to buy things like food, clothing and shelter, but nobody has a right to these things themselves. They must be bought, or someone can buy them for you.

Sure, the government can buy goods and services for people, but they have to use taxes to do this. Obviously, taking someone’s money and giving it to another person isn’t charity. That’s called theft, and stealing is sin (Exodus 20:15). To be fair, the government can also print money and hand it out to welfare recipients, but that’s just a sneakier way of stealing. After all, the more money in circulation, the less valuable it is. Prices go up, and the value of personal savings is destroyed. Why save money, if it’s only going to go down in value over time? People save less, there’s not as much money to invest, and it’s more difficult to create real wealth.

Unfortunately, this system is supported by arguably the most socially acceptable sin out there: envy (Exodus 20:17). Politicians like power, and they tend to do whatever it takes to stay in office. So, they take money from some people and give it to others in the name of compassion. As an added bonus, it makes the welfare recipient completely dependent upon them.

If you asked an unskilled worker if they wanted a low-paying job or a welfare payment, odds are they’d go with the welfare. Naturally, those who don’t work don’t gain skills, which makes them less employable. As a result, they become dependent on welfare payments.

Now, these days, refusing to support theft in the name of compassion makes you a terrible person. That’s fine. The Bible is strongly opposed to the American welfare system, and I’d rather be hated for believing God’s Word than cheered for rejecting any part of it. Indeed, the Bible says “For when we were with you, we commanded you that if any will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Certainly, the Bible encourages giving, but it doesn’t endorse theft under any circumstances. The family and the church are responsible for helping people in need, not the government (1 Timothy 5:3-10).

Really, this isn’t that surprising. When individuals become dependent upon the government, they are far more likely to worship it instead of God. The Bible observes that “While coveting after money, some have strayed from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus made it clear: you can’t serve God and money (Matthew 6:24). We’re not supposed to worry about our needs, because God will take care of us (Matthew 6:31-32; Hebrews 13:5).

Of course, a time is coming when the Antichrist will declare that you must worship him and receive his mark (Revelation 13:15-17). If you don’t, you won’t be able to buy and sell, and receiving government payments will definitely be out of the question. When this takes place, what will people do?

Unjust Weights: The Federal Reserve

This post is part of an ongoing series called “The Intentional Destruction of the USA.” Find out more here.

exodus_20_151913 was a rough year for the USA, and not just because the federal income tax was created. Incredibly, something even worse took place: the founding of the Federal Reserve. What’s wrong with the Federal Reserve?

There are two kinds of banks. “Full-reserve” banks keep all of a customer’s deposit, the money a person lets the bank store, on hand at all times. They charge a storage fee in return. How do they make loans? They need permission to lend any portion of a customer’s deposit, and the customer is paid interest on the money they allow to be lent out.

On the other hand, there are “fractional-reserve” banks. These days, all banks are fractional-reserve. Instead of charging a storage fee, they pay interest on the customer’s deposit. Of course, they only keep a portion of a person’s deposit on hand, while the rest is lent out. What could possibly go wrong?

As it turns out, a lot. Before the Federal Reserve, fractional-reserve banks had to worry about making risky loans. If they made bad investment decisions with other people’s money, they’d be in trouble. When customers believed their bank was misbehaving, a “bank run” happened. Customers rushed to withdraw their money, and the bank typically failed.

Due to a series of rough bank runs in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the stage was set for the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve would make loans to banks which were in danger of bankruptcy. This meant that banks didn’t lose money when they messed up. Where did the money come from to bail them out? The Federal Reserve would print it, and this is a serious problem.

When there is more of something around, it tends to be less valuable. Naturally, when the supply of money is increased, the money isn’t worth as much. Every time the printing presses run, your dollars lose more of their purchasing power. Simply put, the Federal Reserve is stealing the value of everyone’s money, so banks don’t have to be accountable for their bad business decisions.

Obviously, banks like this, but governments do too. Indeed, the Federal Reserve often prints money and loans it to the government, which lets governments spend more than they could from taxes alone. Politicians like being re-elected and raising taxes isn’t popular. Printing money lets governments spend uncontrollably.

Ultimately, the Federal Reserve was supposed to protect us from bank failures, but it hasn’t succeeded at all. Just look at the Great Depression, or the recent financial crisis of 2007–2008. In fact, it was a part of the problem. By printing lots of money, the Federal Reserve pushed interest rates down. Normally, interest rates only come down if people save more than they spend. There’s more money for banks to lend out, so loans become cheaper. Businessmen take advantage, and get loans to build more expensive things, like houses. What happens if interest rates were lowered because the Federal Reserve printed tons of money? Well, there isn’t as much demand for expensive items as businessmen think. They can’t make the payments on their loans. They go bankrupt, banks take losses, and the economy tanks.

On several occasions, God condemns unjust weights and measures in the Bible (Leviticus 19:35-36; Proverbs 11:1; Proverbs 20:10). We don’t use weights and measures today, but when the Federal Reserve prints trillions of dollars, that decreases the value of what we use to buy and sell. That’s theft, plain and simple. In addition, it puts the dollar at risk of being completely worthless, and that’s where things can get really dangerous.

For instance, in Germany’s Weimar Republic, the economy was in shambles due to government debt and a largely worthless paper currency. Who was elected to clean up the mess? Adolph Hitler. Could US debt and a worthless dollar lead Americans to accept a world dictator? It’s tough to say, but the Federal Reserve could definitely create the necessary conditions.

Satan’s Sheep

overcome_evil_with_goodYou’ve probably heard about the shooting of Michael Brown, and how Ferguson, Missouri burned last week because Officer Darrin Wilson wasn’t indicted for killing him. Yet, have you heard about the shooting death of Dillon Taylor? It’s unlikely, and sadly, that’s not a surprise.

Indeed, Mr. Taylor was a young, unarmed man who was gunned down by a police officer in broad daylight. Sounds familiar, right? Unlike allegations that Michael Brown attacked Officer Wilson, however, Mr. Taylor didn’t attack Officer Bron Cruz, the cop who shot him. So, why haven’t you heard about Mr. Taylor’s death? It’s simple: he wasn’t black, and the officer who killed him isn’t white.

Let’s be real. Everybody judges. Fortunately, Jesus commanded it. He said “Do not judge according to appearance, but practice righteous judgment” (John 7:24). In both cases, an armed government employee killed an unarmed man. One case received more attention because the victim had a darker shade of skin. Isn’t that judging by appearance?

The Bible says God “has made from one blood every nation of men” (Acts 17:26). There are no different “races.” We’re all human, and all lives matter. Why aren’t there protests over the millions of black children who have been murdered in the womb by their black parents? Why aren’t there protests over all of the crimes committed by blacks against fellow blacks, considering that’s far more common than blacks being killed by a white cop?

Of course, where there’s sin, you can be sure there will be someone twisting Scripture to try to justify it. Usually, in instances of riots, people cite Jesus turning over the tables of the moneychangers (Matthew 21:12-14). For starters, Jesus didn’t destroy their property. In addition, He rebuked them because they were in sin (Matthew 21:13). It was a teaching lesson, not a temper tantrum turned crime spree in the name of “justice.” Generally, you don’t honor someone’s memory by destroying the community they grew up in. Finally, after Jesus gave His impassioned lesson, He healed the blind and the lame (Matthew 21:14). Jesus rebuked the guilty parties, correcting them so that they would change their ways, and then He healed anyone who came to Him.

On the other hand, the Ferguson rioters destroyed the livelihoods of several business owners and employees, who were completely innocent of Michael Brown’s blood. The police station was noticeably unharmed. What was the message these rioters were trying to send? If it was to get trigger-happy cops to change their ways, they failed miserably. If anything, their behavior only justified more aggressive policing tactics in that community. Like Jesus said, “For all those who take up the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). Nice going, guys.

The Bible is clear: vengeance is the Lord’s, and it’s His alone (Romans 12:19). We’ve been commanded to take care of our enemies (Romans 12:20), pray for them, and love them (Matthew 5:44). We’ve been commanded to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). If you’re not down with that, it’s probably because you’re one of Satan’s sheep.

Obviously, the headline “white man kills unarmed black man” reinforces racist attitudes, and it promotes division. Put differently, it’s a tool of media manipulation, and the reaction by the people of Ferguson didn’t disappoint. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44) and a pro at twisting God’s Word (Genesis 3:4-5), all in an effort to deceive you. He’s the “god” of this age who blinds people to the truth (2 Corinthians 4:4), keeping them comfortably enslaved to their favorite sins and passionately worshiping the world system he manipulates with ease.

We’re all sheep (John 10:1-18). You either follow the world and its lusts (1 John 2:15-16), or you obey the voice of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ (John 8:47; John 10:4-5, 16). It’s either Christ and His cross (Luke 9:23), or Satan and his chains (John 8:31-36, esp. 34). Who do you follow?

The Will of the Holy People

Rom_11_25_26A few days ago, two Palestinian men killed a group of Israelis in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue. Naturally, Hamas cheered the incident, but most parties condemned it. Yet, after sifting through all of the commentary, it was Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni who had the most interesting assessment. She felt the recent uptick in violence between Palestinians and Israelis resembled more of a religious conflict, and as she put it, “a religious war cannot be solved.”

Now, with all due respect to Ms. Livni, the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis has always been religious in nature. Let’s be real. The Jewish people aren’t hated because they are back in their historical homeland. After all, they were persecuted long before 1948. No, they’re hated because of their God, even if they’ve rejected Him.

Sure, Israel is a largely secular country. After all, they recently chose to issue “gay-friendly” ID cards for children of same-sex couples. That doesn’t exactly sound like they’re observing the Torah (Leviticus 20:13). Despite that, whether they like it or not, they remain God’s chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6-8). Chosen for what exactly?

Well, Romans 3:1 asks “What advantage then does the Jew have?” The next verse says their advantage is that “the oracles of God were entrusted to them” (Romans 3:2). Most (if not all) of God’s Word was written by Spirit-inspired Jewish people. In addition, Jesus, the Savior of the world, came through the line of Abraham (Matthew 1). Likewise, the Jewish people show us what it means to have a relationship with God (Isaiah 43:10-12). To summarize, although we have all rebelled against God, He hasn’t given up on us.

Indeed, Jesus promised that along with Christians, Jews would suffer through “great tribulation, such as has not happened since the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). The testing of the Christian’s faith produces endurance (James 1:2-4), but why would the Jewish people suffer through this? In Daniel 12:7, we find out that “when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished.” In other words, God is going to allow the Jewish people to fall under the wrath of Satan, so He can bring them back to Him.

With this in mind, Ms. Livni’s comment about not being able to solve a religious war is fitting. Like many Israelis, she would rather negotiate and compromise for peace. Eventually, Israel will have a negotiated peace, but it won’t last. Since they continue to trust in their own ability to protect themselves, and not the Lord, they will make a false peace with the Antichrist (Daniel 9:27). God will let them experience the results of the “peace” they worked for, and as a result, they will be humbled and turn to Him. In Romans 11:25-26, we read that “Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved.” I say the sooner, the better.

Eat, Drink And Be Merry

Luke12_34In 2013, Americans spent just over 600 billion dollars celebrating Christmas, Kwanza and Hanukah. Where is all of the money coming from? That’s a really good question. After all, real median household income in the United States hasn’t exactly been going up. Just check out this chart:

So, what’s the deal? One word: debt. Here’s a chart looking at all of the consumer, government and commercial debt in the United States since 1949:

The United States, as a whole, is 57 trillion dollars in debt. To put this in perspective, that number was just over 13 trillion in 1990. Our total debt has roughly quadrupled in the last 25 years. Instead of sacrificing present pleasure for future gain, people are mortgaging their futures at a rapid pace. In other words, the party is over, but no one wants to turn the lights out.

Now, obviously, not all debt is bad. In fact, it can be very useful. Yet, when someone goes into significant credit card debt, it makes the person a slave to whatever they’re trying to gain from it. Jesus once said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34). Everyone serves something, and it’s far easier to serve our own desires. Of course, the Bible says “by that which a man is overcome, to this he is enslaved” (2 Peter 2:19). People are enslaved to what they treasure most. It could be popularity, power or prosperity, but whatever it is, they dedicate their lives to obtaining it.

Jesus said “Truly, truly I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34). Yet, He offered this glorious promise: “Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Christians have been freed from sin to become slaves of God (Romans 6:18). Since we have been bought with a price, Christ’s death, we are His slaves. We’ve been purchased from the slavery of sin, so we can no longer serve the sinful desires of the human heart (1 Corinthians 7:23). We can no longer follow other people into sin. We must obey Christ. Like He said “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (Luke 16:13).

Eventually, the debt-fueled party will come to an end in the United States. The illusion of prosperity can’t be maintained forever, and when it comes crashing down, what will people turn to? It’s tough to say, but the Bible offers this great promise: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10).