It has always bothered me that some Christians think that the role of government is to redistribute wealth, that is, tax the rich to give to the poor. Other than the fact that the government waste more money than it actually uses to help the poor, and that a big institution such as the government simply cannot do a good job with accountability to actually aid the poor, it is not even Biblical.

Here is a thoughtful excerpt from Greg Koukl:

“Now, if we’re Christians, it seems to me that we ought to have our votes informed by our Christian view of the world. We ought to elect people for government that will be good representatives for us to fulfill the godly purposes of government. I’m not saying necessarily that they must have all the same moral views that I have or have all the moral views of the Bible. That’s not my point. I don’t actually think that’s necessary. But I think we have to find people who will fulfill a very specific job description, defined by the biblical view of government– What is government meant to do by God?– then elect people who will do that. That will fulfill God’s purposes for government.

How do we know what those purposes are? Well, we look in the Bible…

What is that purpose? I’ll tell you one thing it is not. The purpose of government is not to make us wealthier. The purpose of government is not even to help the poor, quite frankly, though I don’t think this is the big issue here. I think it’s the purpose of the church to help the poor. I think it’s a moral obligation for human beings individually to voluntarily help the poor.

The purpose of government is very, very narrow, scripturally. It isn’t to help the poor. It isn’t to redistribute wealth. And the biblical purpose of government is not– listen carefully– is not to build the economy. It may be valuable for the government to do that, but that is not the biblical purpose…

What is the purpose of God for government? You read in Romans 13 these statements. Listen carefully: “Rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. You want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same, for it [authority] is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword for nothing. For it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.”

So, what is the goal of government? It’s to be an arm of God for a particular purpose, for the punishment of evil-doers and the praise of those who do right. The main purpose of government is to execute justice as the arm of God. That’s the main purpose.

I know some of you are very taken with the notion of using government to redistribute wealth because, after all, it’s a justice issue that the government take money from the rich and give it to the poor. You think, well, that’s kind of a Robin Hood thing.

Do you know what Robin Hood did? The government extorted money from the people. Extorted it. They took it from them through unfair taxation. Robin Hood took it back! The people who had the money were the rich who were associated with government, who used the machinery of government for illicit and unjust purposes and made the middle class poor by stealing their money. All Robin Hood did was to give it back to the people it had been taken from, who were now poor, by the way. He didn’t take from the rich and give to the poor. He took from the government– who stole it from the middle class and made them poor– and simply returned it to the rightful owners.

The goal of government is not to redistribute wealth. The fact is, in many cases they’ve been illicit in the use of power to take from people and give it to someone else. That’s not charity; that’s theft. That is unjust. The goal of government is to do justice, not injustice.”

In the Old Testament when God berated the people for not helping the poor, He is talking to the people, not the government.

Since the liberals who are so concern for the poor and want the government spending on all kinds of social programs, do they put their money where their mouth is by personally giving more to the poor?


One Response to “The role of government”

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