Brad Green, who teaches theology at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., published a commentary on health care in The Jackson Sun. Green, an alum of Acton’s Toward a Free and Virtuous Society program, is also a co-founder of Augustine School in Jackson.

So, what would Jesus do? Jesus would (and does) command people to repent of their sins, care for the poor, the sick, the lame and the down-trodden. And Christians are commanded to do the same. But is a Christian then obligated to call for increased federal power and a massive expansion of the federal government’s role in controlling or managing America’s health care industry? Probably not.

Such an expansion of federal power is not even legal, since the U.S. Constitution does not grant the federal government such power. What Jesus would not do, it would seem, would be to encourage those in power to break the law without good reason, and the proposals currently being discussed would – if enacted – be illegal since the U.S. Constitution does not grant the Congress the power to enact such legislation.

Those calling for massive federal health care legislation are making two key errors. First, they are being imprudent in naively calling for a radical and dangerous expansion of federal power. Second, and perhaps more serious, they are calling for their elected federal officials to violate the law of the land, and to violate their oath of office, by clearly and unabashedly taking one more step in the destruction of the very Constitution they have sworn to uphold.

Read “What is a Christian to think about health care?”


  • http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/ Paul W. Primavera

    The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is opposed to the current health care reform measures and that basically is all I need to know. However, I agree with your writing.

    http://www.usccb.org/healthcare/

    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/2009/10/bishops-call-for-opposition-to-abortion.html

    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/2009/10/alert-from-bishops-on-obamacare.html.

  • Roger McKinney

    The biggest mistake that people can make in trying to determine what Jesus would do is to apply the Gospels to state policy. The Gospels and the entire NT were written for guidance in personal behavior. They are not treatises on political science. The OT is the best source of guidance from God on governmental authority. The nation of Israel is the only government that God ever created. And the OT prophets are full of condemnations of the policies of the state.

    Based on the constitution for Israel in the Torah, the legitimate role of the state is police work and national defense. Anything else is illegitimate for the state. Healthcare should be the realm of charity and not the state.

  • http://www.theupsstorelocal.com/4553/ PATRICK POWERS

    News: Today (11/02/09) 1000 Black Methodist Ministers phoned the White House in support of Federal Universal Health Care.

    It is a sad commentary on the American understanding of the Christian Faith and the Constitution. This excites a meditation of the level of ignorance, greed, and materialism that confronted the Apostles, and the Courageous Faith required to deliver Christ’s message.

    One wonders if these ministers didn’t purchase their seminary education with food stamps.

  • Kirimi Sindi

    Sometimes I ask myself where is the soul of America. The main question we should be asking is how best to take care of Americans. In every system there are losers and winners. Even in the health care debate none will be perfect. So let us not hide under faith and constitution, big government or small government and ask how best to take care of majority of the Americans. Either way some will fall through the cracks.

  • Becky

    What Lord Jesus did was to FREELY GIVE up his life for others so that others may have life more abundantly. He taught us what true love, (sacrificing for our neighbor) is, and he gave us the CHOICE of whether to follow in his footsteps. The problem as I see it is that the liberals have twisted/interpreted this idea of Charity to mean that it is okay to TAKE from someone, even their life, to benefit someone else. In other words they promote theft and murder as a way to enrich others. This has resulted in some very brutal policies: indian removal, slavery, segregation, abortion, euthanasia, etc. They do this by shifting the blame and the responsibility for thier circumstances to someone else – better able to justify the theft and murder. Seems to me this thinking process has led to a general idea in the U.S. today of not taking personal responsibility for one’s own actions, much less being responsible for caring for one’s neighbor.

    On the flip side conservatives, while accepting personal responsibility, can tend towards a Pharisee Complex: They sit in their ivory towers thinking how great they are and how horrible the other person is. They neither want to waste their time nor their money on helping these people. They just write them off.

    Christ does not write people off, nor does he not hold them personally accountable. What he does do is reaches out to everyone to give them a new lease on life. This is done by forgiveness of past sins, teaching the right way to live, and giving people the time and the grace to change – if they choose to do so.

    Personally, I think this is the way we should approach these issues. Working together to help people get on thier feet and able to accept and handle their responsibilities. From a conservative approach reaching out to those who are less fortunate by saying ‘hey let’s figure out how you can get your life straightened out’, and helping them do it. Knowing that some people will not choose to do so, and some people will not be able to do so, and it may take some time and investment for a person to change.

  • Neal Lang

    “Sometimes I ask myself where is the soul of America. The main question we should be asking is how best to take care of Americans. In every system there are losers and winners. Even in the health care debate none will be perfect. So let us not hide under faith and constitution, big government or small government and ask how best to take care of majority of the Americans. Either way some will fall through the cracks.”

    “Taking care of Americans” is NOT the business of government. Most adult Americans can take care of themselves. The ONLY thing the government should provide is a vigorus economy with minimal interference and a government of laws so the American people can earn enough to take care of themselves. The entire fantasy that government owes anyone anything other than the “Rule of Law” and a stable currency, is sadly mistaken and the root of the real problems that are wrong with our country. As for taking care of those “will fall through the cracks” Churches and Charities have been doing that quite effectively for many centuries. Government should get out of their way and let them do their thing.

  • sini ngindu bindanda

    What is a Christian to think about health care?

    My greetings to you in the Wonderful name of Jesus Christ. First all I confess that I am ignorant about american constitution, may it about the health or what ever else area. Someone in his answer quoted the Unites states Conference of Catholic Bishops to be opposed to current health care reform mesures and that seems to give a strong reason to all american people to be carried away by refusal until even the huge strike and manifestations. All that may be said well. But, but …
    You said what Jesus should have said if he were us… and surely the implicit answer you wait seems to be “opposition” like does it Catholic Bishops conference. Humble, I councel to not confuse Jesus with Institutions whater sacred may it be. Let us go through the Bible to collect some examples.
    Let me start saying that the health is a Common Wealth. And look how God distributed the material Common Wealth.
    In Exodus 16:1-36, we have the manna. v. 16 This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded (note the strong verb, commandede): “Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in the tents.” v. 17 and the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less (N.b. according the number composed by each family). Note also the act of obedience.

    v. 18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.” In our present case every man (woman) sick gathering according to how much is weak in his health. If you gathered much, even you are rich, if you are strong, you just will take accordingly to your need, allowing the weak to be healed properly as it must be done, even it costs very espensive, since it constitues a kind of mutuality.
    (The RYRIE STUDY BIBLE (KING JAMES VERSION).
    Another example I propose to deliver is the one we find in the book of 2 King 7:1-9. Here I quote NRSV. The story we know it well. I prefer to quote verse 9: “Then they said one to another,What are doing is wrong. This is a day of good news; if we are silent and wait until the morning light, we will be found guilty; therefore let us go and tell the king’s household.” Here we can not that America goes everywhere in the World collecting whatever is there that America uses. And so few collect from America. When America collect all that, America wants to keep it only for a few group, privilegged group with high, highly standing of the welfare. When America sends his troups to invade other countries even without reason, true reason, American use as militaries in majority of cases those who come from the poor class. And when they try to organize the common welfare, healthcare, those who prefer status quo present Constitution as pretext as to say that “man is made for the Constitution” and not the “constitution for man”. Jesus Christ should say exactly the contrary of what say the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishop Church and the Constitution as pretext to seek the commonwealth, the common welfare. Jesus shoud have said what He said in his time. And He said unto them: “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.”
    The Pharisees of Jesus time are still in action, they still will take party for the power. They don’t care to ask to people the questions Samuel asked to the people at the end of his live (see 1 Samuel 12:4-5).
    All the Old Testament contains God’s rebuick, God’s dooms towards injustice, greed, indiference. We may reread with spiritual eye Jermiah, Amos, even Isaiah. In the New Testament it is enough reading James to understand with a correct interpretation instead of a singular exagese outside of realty to see. I don’t want to quote the texts which will give the impression of what many prefer to cal “communism”. As Christians we can not hold the outside form of godness but denying any good whicn is the power testimony of our christianity.

    May the Lord help us to present rightly explaining of the word of truth the gospel independently without giving impression to defend interests of nanyone greatest.

    With regards,

    Rev. SINI NGINDU BINDANDA

  • Neal Lang

    “You said what Jesus should have said if he were us… and surely the implicit answer you wait seems to be ‘opposition’ like does it Catholic Bishops conference. Humble, I councel to not confuse Jesus with Institutions whater sacred may it be.”

    The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes the current medical care plan because it does not deny funding for abortions, the murder of the innocent unborn child, thus forcing those who morally object to this barbarous act to paid for it. Unfortunately, aside from that, I don’t believe the USCCB has many objections to Obamacare. I do believe that Jesus, the Christ, spoke of not causing children to suffer saying “whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

    BTW, even if the USCCB supported ObamaCare, I would oppose it, because it will be based on the same “Culture of Death” that promote abortion, as it will of necessity you “euthanasia” as a means of rationing the the limited availability of medical care resource it will promote.

  • Neal Lang

    “Let us go through the Bible to collect some examples.
    Let me start saying that the health is a Common Wealth. And look how God distributed the material Common Wealth.
    In Exodus 16:1-36, we have the manna. v. 16 This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded (note the strong verb, commandede): “Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in the tents.” v. 17 and the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less (N.b. according the number composed by each family). Note also the act of obedience.

    “v. 18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.” In our present case every man (woman) sick gathering according to how much is weak in his health. If you gathered much, even you are rich, if you are strong, you just will take accordingly to your need, allowing the weak to be healed properly as it must be done, even it costs very espensive, since it constitues a kind of mutuality.”

    If HEALTH was indeed a COMMON WEALTH no one would require Medical Care. God did not provide everyone with equal health as He provided the Children of Israel wandering in the desert equal Mana from Heaven. If Medical Care came from heaven and was sufficient to provide everyones needs equally, there would be no need for government to get involved. Instead there is a finite amount of medical resources that far exceeds the demand. The question is what is the best means to insure the finite resources increase to a point where the availability and cost of medical care is within the means of the most people. To think that government can provide the best solution to this problem is to ignore the facts, as everything the government gets involved it destroys more that it fixes. Every single US/State government involvement in the medical care field reflects that result.

    It were in fact God distributing medical care and not the government bureaucracy, I would agree, by all means, let Him do it. But you cannot make the government god and obtain satisfactory results.

    Sini, remember this, that God mercy and grace is sufficient to save us all, but as Jesus, the Christ, instructed us while “many are called, but few are chosen!”

  • Neal Lang

    “Here we can not that America goes everywhere in the World collecting whatever is there that America uses. And so few collect from America. When America collect all that, America wants to keep it only for a few group, privilegged group with high, highly standing of the welfare. When America sends his troups to invade other countries even without reason, true reason, American use as militaries in majority of cases those who come from the poor class.”

    First, America, unlike many other countries, does not “go everywhere in the World collecting whatever is there that America uses.” The fact is that America gets most of its resources from itself, and uses them to better not only America but the rest of the World as well. America and Americans are the most generous people in the World. I challenge you to point a more selfless generous people anywhere. Without American aid, the AIDS deathtoll in Africa would be 3 times what it is. If not for American food aid, millions more would die each year from starvation. People from around the World seek to come to US for a freer, better, healthier, and wealthier life. America does not simply “invade other countries” “without reason.” In virtually every case America has gone to war only to save people from oppressive dictatorships. As for the composition of the US military, the fact is “in majority of cases” the volunteer recruits do not “come from the poor class.” That is a lie, bearing false witness! America is responsible for freeing more people from the oppressive collective that attempts to “kill God” than any other Nation in the World. For you to deny that is surely a lie and a sin. In America, everyman is free to believe as his own conscience dictates to him. Those millions in the former USSR and Eastern Europe can now worship God, something the ALL POWERFUL COLLETIVE STATE denied them.

    “And when they try to organize the common welfare, healthcare, those who prefer status quo present Constitution as pretext as to say that ‘man is made for the Constitution’ and not the ‘constitution for man’.”

    Sini you are obviously clueless as to the purpose of our Constitution. First, it was instituted by “We, the People” to form a limited Federal Government. Government is not the Church and is definitely not God, but you seem willing to give the attributes of both. That makes your “Big Government” a false god, something I think you will that the God of the Bible condemns and punishes most severely.

    “Jesus Christ should say exactly the contrary of what say the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishop Church and the Constitution as pretext to seek the commonwealth, the common welfare. Jesus shoud have said what He said in his time. And He said unto them: ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.’”

    To just what church do you proport to be a reverend, Sini. You pick an interesting citation (out of context, of course) to try to make you “big government” case. Surrounding Jesus, the Christ, quote regarding Sabbath from Mark 2, it is obvious that Jesus, the Christ, was not making the case you support. Here the disicples of Jesus, the Christ, are “gleaning” the left overs from a harvasted field to feed THEMSELVES, when some Pharisees accosted them accused them of breaking the Sabbath. Jesus, the Christ, uses the example of David and his men, defiling the house of God and feeding THEMSELVES from the people’s “tithings” of “the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests.” Actually, Sini, Jesus, the Christ, said pretty much the opposite of what you propose when He told us to: “Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and give unto God that which is God.” Had Jesus, the Christ intended that government, and not the people and the Church, to provide for the less fortunate, He wouldn’t have told His disciples to do it, but would have instructed them to institute big, powerful governments to carry out works of charity through their coerce and power. Unless you feel that paying your taxes under threat of punishment is somehow a source of Salvific Grace, then the idea that Jesus, the Christ, wanted government to perform the Charity and not His Church and its members. Hardly Scriptural understanding, IMMHO. Jesus, the Christ, knew that “Caesar” was not the right person to care for and help the poor!

    “The Pharisees of Jesus time are still in action, they still will take party for the power.”

    Yes they are, Sini, and they are the ones, such as you, who would substitute government for God, His believers and Church!

  • Neal Lang

    Sini, both the Old Testament God, and His New Testament Son, Jesus, the Christ, NEVER instructed Their believers, sit back and do nothing, and I will do it ALL FOR YOU. Whether it was Children of Israel defeating the Philistines or Jesus, the Christ, feeding His disciplines, the recipient of God’s assistance was required to do something for themselves to receive God’s aid.