Monthly Archives: August 2009

A Christian Perspective On Health Care Reform

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(image of Creative Rescue Organization public option t-shirt)

This post is part of a synchroblog on Christian approaches to health care.

When it comes to the current health care reform debate I am totally dumbfounded that conservative Christians (for the most part) are against a public option and/or a universal health care plan.  I understand how Christians can fall on both sides of the abortion issue or both sides of the same sex marriage issue (for the record I am pro-choice but not pro-abortion and I am in favor of legalizing same sex marriage) – but I do not understand how they can be against a public option and/or a universal health care plan and not have it conflict with their faith. 

I know that there is contention over the issue of abortion but perhaps it should be considered that many of the private insurance carriers to whom we pay premiums presently cover abortion care.

I think the “socialistic” argument  is bunk.  We have medicare/medicaid and public schools – they are federally funded to educate and care for others and no one calls them socialism. 

The other arguments I hear seem to mostly have to do with individual rights and conveniences and it seems that those arguments fly in the face of the Christian faith.

Do I have scripture to support a public option and/or a universal health care plan?  No, I don’t – but neither is there scripture to oppose such a thing (although many twist and turn and contort scripture to support their position).  Although there isn’t a specific scripture that I can offer up to support a public option and/or a universal health care plan I would go so far as to say that it seems much more likely that the heart of scripture would support such a thing.  Scripture repeatedly calls us to care and provide for the poor and the sick, to give up our own rights, to put other’s interests above our own, to take action to help those less fortunate, to protect the most vulnerable, to share one another’s burdens, to be a voice for the oppressed and the weak.

From a Christian perspective it seems we must look at this from the perspective of the needy, of the poor, of the uninsured…and I don’t think we will hear many (if any) needy, poor, uninsured people rallying against a public option and/or universal health care plan.  From a Christian perspective it seems we must look at this from the perspective of Christ, the one who identifies himself with the least of these. 

Check out the other synchroblog participants:

How Healthy is Your Health Care? by Steve Hayes

Self-evident truths and moral turpitude by Steve Hayes

Christian perspectives on health care by Ellen Haroutunian

The Christian’s responsibility to healthcare by KW Leslie

Baby steps towards more humane humanity by Beth Patterson

Is Healthcare a Right  by Kimber Caldwell

Clowns to the left? Jokers to the right? Stuck In The Middle by Phil Wyman

Its Easy To Be Against Health Care Reform When You Have Insurance by Kathy Escobar

A Christian Response To Health Care In America by Jeff Goins

Carrying Your Own Load by Susan Barnes

Caring For Human Dignity by Lainie Peterson

Is Professional Ministry A Help Or A Hindrance To The Church?

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There’s a good post and discussion going on over at Baptimergent  regarding professional ministry.  You can find the post here.  Here’s my response: 

I’ll start out with a couple of disclaimers – I am not and have never been in full time paid ministry and I do not believe that it is “wrong” for pastors to be paid a salary.

Even though I do not think it is wrong for pastors to be paid a salary I do not think that it is the best way for the church to operate. I think that it causes the church to have to be managed like a business, the congregation to have an unhealthy dependence on the paid staff of a church and tends to silent prophetic proclamation. I know many wonderful people who earn their living by being on staff at churches but I think the system needs to be dismantled.

Many of the comments I hear  talk about “all the things” that a pastor has to do. IMO all of those things should be shared by those who are members of the community. The problem is that the present system causes the members of the community to believe that the pastor should be doing those things because he is paid and the pastor to believe that he should be doing all those things because he is being compensated. Perhaps one reason most Christian’s are unaware of what spiritual gifts are bestowed upon them is because the system we have created implies that “the working body” of the church is made up of a few people who are on staff.

I know they are far and few between, but, there are groups of Christians meeting in the world without a paid staff and where the work of ministry is done by everyone in the group. So …  it is possible to do it differently.

In addition, it appears to me that a lot of “the things that have to be done” in churches today are things that have to be done to keep “the system” running and “the system” seems to resemble a country club a lot of times with all of it’s internal programs and activities.

I am always hearing that there is a problem these days getting college aged and young adults to attend/get involved in a local church but they aren’t the only ones. Many middle aged and older adults, like myself, who have devoted most of their lives to “the church” are leaving the church (if not physically, then emotionally) because it has become more of a hindrance than a help in our spiritual journey.