This past week our US congress passed a new health care bill. I won't pretend that I know all about it, but I do know there is a lot of talk going on.
On one side, folks are against it. There argument is that we are going down the road to socialism and/or it will run our national debt up even higher. Some say that the government can't even efficiently run the programs that we have now how do they think they are going to be able to run national health care.
The opposite side claims that those who are against it are just heartless. Wouldn't Jesus want everyone to have health care? Shouldn't the poor have just as much access to health care as the rich? They say that this would ultimately save our country money because there would be less folks using emergency health services at the taxpayers expense.
Question of the week:
What do you think? Is this new health care reform good for our country? Do you agree with one of the above point of views? Why or why not?
I have to admit that I am not completely educated on the Health Care bill. I don't really have time to read it...it's rather long. And, heck, the people who get paid to read it (CONGRESS!) didn't read it either. So, I feel somewhat excused. As uneducated about the bill as I am, I am still against it. I don't think it fixed the problem...Insurance Companies. Did the bill do anything to control what it costs to have insurance? What about the doctor who pays tens of thousands of dollars a year for malpractice insurance? Don't get me wrong, they can afford it for the most part. Allow me to defend some of the medical professionals for a second (it's my blog so you can't stop me). Some of these people are honestly involved in life and death all day long. Every decision they make, which can be under extreme pressure with limited time and information, can save or cost a life. I kinda want those people to make a LOT of money. Why? Because that's how our society rewards people for a job well done. You can talk about doing it for the common good or that a personal thank you has great meaning. Those are good and admirable things. But I work a difficult job. It's not life and death, but it's a lot of money on the line for the company and often enough it's with little data and great pressure from several areas for me to make a decision. I am not well compensated relative to my peers and it irritates me that I work for a company with a LOT of money, yet I worry about paying my bills from time to time. Doesn't seem right. I say the same for a life and death kind of Doctor. They shouldn't worry about their bills. How much is enough? Not for me to say. But I say all of that because the cost of medical care isn't ridiculous just because Doctors want to be rich. It's because they are going to be rich, but so are the insurance companies who don't actually do anything. So, who pays? The patient. So, now the government is going to step in and make sure everyone has health care. But did what they passed fix the cost problem? It doesn't seem like it to me.
And what social program has the government ever run that went well, reduced debt or went away? The NYS Thruway system was supposed to be paid for when I was a kid. Not only didn't that happen, it keeps costing more to drive on it. My mother was once told to quit her job and go on welfare because she needed a little - $100/month - help with food stamps or something. Great idea. Let's fund her entire existence rather than giving her a boost and letting her keep her job and her dignity but not run out of food.
The government can't do anything effectively or efficiently because there is hardly an honest soul involved. Pressure tactics, back-room deals, all taking place just to get the bill passed. "But now, we'll all get along and run it for the good of the American people." Yeah, right.
A good point to the bill. A friend of mine hasn't been able to get help with her son who is autistic. Insurance won't cover the treatments. Now, she can. I am glad for her and her son. But again, it wasn't cost, it was some insurance bureaucrat deciding this young boy shouldn't get the help.
The other big issue I have with it is abortion. My tax money, your tax money, will continue to fund abortion. Planned Parenthood will end up in public schools. It's ugly. And it's being foisted on an American Public that does not want it. I saw an interview on PBS a week or so ago with Nancy Pelosi. The interviewer said, in effect, you didn't have the votes in your own party, no one across the aisle supports the bill, and the public is sharply divided. Yet, you passed the bill. Pelosi replied that it was a great example of determination and perseverance for her constituents. Blah, Blah, Blah. I think she missed the point. He wasn't applauding her. With so little support, shouldn't you stop and ask why you're doing this? It has nothing to do with what's good for America or what the people want. Do it because it's historic or to prove you can or prove how powerful you are. Well, I'm unimpressed by your power.
Here's the good news. God is still in control. Never wasn't. So, we can rant and rave all we like (or need) but the best thing to do is pray and to be still and know that He is God.
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This will be a multi-part post. I don't know if it will be one after the other as I have to finish the end. I started writing this about a year ago after a discussion with a friend. It was about spiritual gifts. The discussion broke down when we got to the part where you will have the gift of tongues if you are saved...as proof that you are saved. What follows is from a short paper I started writing as a result.
First, let me say that this is not an attempt to “convert” anyone to my way of thinking. It is an attempt to understand differing views on salvation and the signs of salvation as they bear on eternity.
Second, I began writing this as a way to educate myself. I am not one given to apologetics in general, but it is important that one be able to defend one’s beliefs. If you can’t defend what you believe, why believe it?
Mostly, I do not want to divide the body of Christ.
Tit 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
I do think it's important enough to research and answer because the body of Christ is divided by this topic. Some folks are being told they aren't saved because they don't speak in tongues. So, here we go.
What is required for salvation? What can we do?
Belief in Jesus Christ alone. There is nothing we can do to earn the free gift of salvation.
I find no scripture requiring anything but believing on Jesus for salvation.
Jesus says it Himself…believe on Me.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 6:45-48 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life.
It is belief in Jesus that saves us. Nothing more.
When the Philippian jailer was sure he was dead for having let Paul and Silas escape, he saw the example of Christianity in Paul and Silas. They knew he’d be killed for letting them escape, so they stayed and spared his life. And not only that, they showed him the way to eternal life in Heaven.
Acts 16:25-32 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.(emphasis mine)
Romans 10:9 is the whole Gospel.
Rom 10:8-11 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
It is Christ’s atoning blood that redeems.
Heb 9:14-15 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
If having the gift of tongues is required, what am I to do? I believe in Jesus. He is my Savior, yet I don’t have the gift of tongues. If the gift of tongues is a requirement for salvation, God has to give me this gift. Should God choose not to give me tongues, and I can’t be saved without it, then salvation isn’t a choice I can make.
I'll get into gifts more in the next post. One last thought for now...what about the thief of the cross next to Christ? Jesus promised him he'd be in Heaven that day. This guy was neither baptized (different topic) nor did he speak in tongues. As far as I know, there isn't anywhere in scripture where Jesus speaks in tongues either...still working on that one.
I also realize that the verses I have referenced talk about what it takes to be saved and I supposed you could make the argument that having Tongues is proof that you are saved. Not a requirement, but evidence. I'll address that as well.
To be continued...
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