A Higher Standard of Truth

A nation’s culture should be viewed through a single lens—God’s truth. Is the position, law, policy, program or argument true or false as measured against God’s Word? Life is far less confusing when we use the Bible instead of our own judgment to determine what is good or evil.

While we are a priesthood of believers with equal access to the Bible, with that direct access to God’s Word comes great responsibility. We are not allowed our own position on Scripture to suit our personal interests.

The recent speech by President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. is just the latest example of a public official making erroneous claims that the Bible supports a particular position or policy. Let’s take a closer look at the President’s disturbing misuse of Scripture.

Obfuscation of Church and State

In his Prayer Breakfast address on February 2, President Obama stated that his policies of universal health care, increasing taxes on the wealthy and serving the world’s “least of these” are roles and responsibilities of government and are derived from his understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ:

“…I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years, and I believe in God’s command to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself.’ I know the version of that Golden Rule is found in every major religion and every set of beliefs from Hinduism to Islam to Judaism to the writings of Plato.”

A comparison of Mr. Obama’s beliefs to Jesus’ actual words reveals that the President has confused the role of the State with that of the Church and, further, the role of the State with that of the individual. The President said that his policies, which seem to call for government to grow until it meets every perceived need in America, are based on “God’s command” that we love our neighbor as ourselves.

But look carefully at Jesus’ actual words found in Matthew 22:34-40:

“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments’” (NIV84).

It’s clear that Jesus is talking about an individual mandate for each Christian to first love God and then to daily pass that love on to others. “Yourself” is singular. He does not call for government to accomplish this value through economic reform or health care legislation. God ordained government to provide justice—the Church to provide mercy. I see nothing in Scripture that supports the idea that love for our neighbors takes the form of confiscating money from others to meet this command or forcing people to buy healthcare they don’t want or using tax dollars to fund abortions or the endless anti-biblical policies the President advocates.

Also, it is no doubt easier to equate Jesus’ message to love one another with the ubiquitous “Golden Rule” found in Islam, Hinduism and who knows where else, if one ignores the first part of that teaching—the commandment to love the God of the Bible above all other counterfeit gods. Yet the President would placate his non-Christian supporters with the notion that all religions are somehow morally equal.

To Whom Much Is Given, Much Will be Taxed

But President Obama was not finished. He went on to twist the meaning of another biblical principle to support his political agenda: To whom much is given, much will be required.

“And when I talk about shared responsibility, it’s because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income, or young people with student loans, or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone. And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense.

“But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’ teaching that ‘for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.’”

President Obama would be well advised to steer clear of the Parable of the Faithful Steward. There is inherent danger for any believer who twists the meaning of Luke 12:35-48:

“Peter asked, ‘Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?’

“The Lord answered, ‘Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? …He will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose the servant…begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk.The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.… From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked’” (NIV84).

This passage has nothing to do with money or material things. It is a warning that knowing “the will of the master” but failing to follow it will result in a more severe punishment than if one did not know his master’s wishes. Believers have been given the gift of knowing Christ and are therefore held to a higher standard. They are responsible for carrying biblical truth and the message of salvation to a world trapped in darkness.

President Obama should take heed when asking the wealthy to pay for his profligate spending. This action is a long way from the actual intent of the passage which is holding Christians to a higher standard of truth—a standard that he, as a confessed believer, will be held to as well.

I would love to hear your thoughts, please leave them below.

Chuck Bentley

About Chuck Bentley

CEO, Crown Mininstries
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52 Responses to A Higher Standard of Truth

  1. Penny says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I was commenting the other day to my daughter about the way people in our culture fail to think deeply and analyze what others in the culture assert as true. The primary problem is ignorance of the Word, along with a fear of being perceived as narrow minded.

  2. Mike says:

    The Jewish and early Christian church of Bible Times also were ONLY serving or helping the Christian/Jewish community, not the Romans or other pagans. Our society has expanded that into a “secular” version where the entire nation benefits (showing the influence Christ’s teachings have had on America in years past). The Church does much, as all mainline denominations nationwide (United Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Baptist, also Salvation Army, and Roman Catholics operate various sorts of assistant programs to help the lesser than these of all faiths or no faith unlike in Jesus’ day (see Romans 12:13 that says: “Contribute to the needs of God’s people [sharing in the necessities of the saints]” (Amplified Bible). But it is not enough as there are more folks (be they Christians or not that are hurting in America, many through no fault of their own – especially the children), so there’s nothing wrong with the government picking up the slack where those others in the nation (non-Christians) can also contribute to help the lesser than thees in America. Yes, you and I also get to donate additionally to this fund as we already do contribute via our churches, but as Christians, we want to help those lesser than thee folks. That’s a far better use of our tax dollars than much of the other junk the government finds to waste our money on.

    I’m a Born Again Christian, I am a registered Independent, so I support neither political party. I have a major problem with the wealthiest 2% paying less percentage wise in taxes than the working folks who make far less. Sorry that is not right and should be changed. Someone making millions of dollars each year is complaining. Hey, I’ll switch places with them and gladly play the additional tax, I’ll still come out far more ahead financially than I do as a working middle class American. Those folks should be ashamed to be complaining. No one, is worth the kind of money those folks get paid be they CEO’s, sports stars, music celebrities, etc, etc. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this issue. I enjoy your weekly column and most often agree with your point of view and am blessed by the column, but I can not agree at all this week. Thanks for allowing me to voice my views. We both love and serve the Risen Christ.

    Blessings to you and your ministry.

    • Minnesota Dave says:

      I fully understand your perspective. I was there, but have reconsidered this position after recently reading a study related to this. Over the decades, as the wealthier were taxed higher the economy suffered. When they have been taxed at a lower percentage the economy grew. Why? Because this is the group that drives the economy through the creation of jobs.

      Here’s a related point: The top 1% of earners earn 18% of all income earned in the U.S. And they pay 28% of all federal taxes. I recently ran across a report from the Congressional Budget Office. It relates to the quesiton of what percent of taxes the top 1 percent pay and what percent of the income they make?

      This info from http://www.factcheck.org: The top 1 percent of all households received 18 percent of all personal income. They paid nearly 28 percent of all federal taxes in 2005, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The top 1 percent now pay a significantly larger share of taxes than before President Bush’s tax cuts, and also have a larger share of income.

      • Mike says:

        Minnesota Dave, thanks for your reply.

        Unlike what the GOP constantly claims, most of those wealthiest 2% do not create jobs. Granted some do, but many are employees themselves of major corporations. What I’d propose is as charitable donations are deductible each year on our taxes, so should be a deduction for each job you created THAT year. So as if I do not make any donations to church, etc, in 2012, then I can not deduct. Same should be for these so called job creators. We give them gigantic tax breaks based on the hope that they’ll create some jobs. Where have these folks been? Not many jobs being created in America, sure they’ve been creating jobs like gangbusters in Asia and Mexico. They should NOT get any deduction for that. In fact they should be penalized in my opinion. With my plan the nation (meaning America not China, etc,) gets the job creation THEN they get the tax break, not before.

        Those 2%er’s make most of their money via investments as Mitt Romney has shown, pays far less in % of tax than those of us who work for a living. That is not right. As I said before, I’d trade with them in an instant, I’d gladly pay that tax to make as much money as these folks rake in each year. They should be ashamed to be complaining about paying more. There’s something wrong, where we protect the wealthiest of the wealthy while not shedding a tear over some senior citizen who only has ONLY her Social Security check of $900 /month to live on, and propose cut backs on Social Security benefits. That is not an exaggeration as I do know of a woman in that situation. So the GOP will never convince me that what they propose is correct, or what Jesus would do. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this.

  3. Kent Usher says:

    Mr. Bentley, You appear to be a good steward of that which God has entrusted with you. “Life is far less confusing when we use the Bible instead of our own judgment to determine what is good or evil.” Agreed. The God of the Bible alone defines good and evil. Any other definition is inherently wrong. Thank you.

  4. Susan says:

    It’s sad to see how we, using God’s word, maneuver to tare down one appointed by God.

  5. Minnesota Dave says:

    And sadly, “his gospel” (Obama’s) becomes “the gospel to his (Obama’s) followers. And that means we (true believers) are called to shed light on these falacies to those in darkness.

    • Carlina Shepherd says:

      As a nation in great debt Mr Obama should be aware of the wisdom in Proverbs 22:7 The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender. We are a nation that needs leadership in setting the financial house of the USA in order
      Thank you for The Higher Standard of Truth and being bold enough to call attention to the twisting of the Word.

  6. Thank you Chuck for giving us the Biblical TRUTH and God’s standard. I am so grateful for your wonderful clarification of the President’s remarks. It is shocking how he is twisting both the Bible AND the Constitution to advance a frightening agenda.

  7. David Cole says:

    Obama has taken the low road of the door to door salesman that shows a shiney new product to a housewife and after taking the order has the company (government) ship an inferior unit with missing parts to the home. His speech is glib and his promises lies.
    His inaugeral speech stated clearly that the huge bail out funds of near a trillion dollars would be “timely, targeted and tempory.” None of the three promises were kept and the bill passed before the congressional voters could read the 2,000 or more pages. Half truths are the terms of a despot and not of a president. I could sincerely wish I was wrong with my complaint!!!

  8. Lynda says:

    Thank you for a well written response. The truth is light. May the light shine in the darkness.

  9. gee eisma says:

    This is a reminder to all of us who are in the light to continually stay focus on His words that we may not be swayed by human logic, and not to stay silent on issues especially those that involve the use of His name.

    Though I cannot blame the president who interprets His words that way because
    “the level of our revelation to Him, is only equal to our level of relationship to Him”

  10. dhh says:

    A slogan that I’d like to see is “Don’t Outsource your Compassion to your Government”. Unfortunately, I don’t think most people would even understand it, even though it speaks directly to the twin ideas of personal responsibility and government non-intervention.

  11. Robert Ward says:

    Obama’s benevolence is born of tyranny. He is proclaiming the tenets of a benevolent tyrant — a Sadam Hussein in soft shoes weilding a rubber hose. We will do well to stop this false witness who warps the Word to fit his own commandments. Let’s vote him out!

    • JoAnn says:

      Obama benevolence is born of people like you who seek to decieve through words that the ignorant take at face value. The boot wearing person I can recall in this country weilding a rubber hose are those who continue to carry the racist tenents of people like Bull Conners of the Sixties. His generation continues to pass down hate and trickle down economics that has gotten up to the point where we are now. It’s ok to bailout banks with taxpayer money, but not to make healthcare available to the poor and infirm. Shame on all of you. The only thing I agree with in the article is that there truly is a day of accounting, how did you treat and speak of the person who God placed as the President of the Country at this time. God is incontrol of not only America but the universe. I suggest we all meditate on, are we ready to give an account. Jesus Christ the righteous is the only Judge.

  12. Adrian says:

    This is very true, “Christians” quoting scripture out of context are heading down a dangerous road. Remember to pray for our governments as the bible tells us to 1 Tim 2:2 so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

  13. Joseph says:

    The only mis-use of scripture is by Mr. Bentley…If we are going to Exeget the scripture we really need to
    be a skilled Exegetist. Please we need to stop twisting scripture for our own political purpose. Why is only NOW are we so concerned with the size of our Government ? We need to examine our true motive’s…For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God. 1 Peter 4:17a.

    • Minnesota Dave says:

      Mr. Bentley is a much more skilled exegetist than Pres. Obama. Was not it Obama that twisted it for his political purpose? Bentley is right on as he explored the deeper meaning of these verses.

      • Joseph says:

        That is my point…their is no deeper meaning,it is plain. We put our own interpretation in…Just
        as we claim he did. ” Faithful stewardship applies to every area of life” As do the responsibilities
        of all American’s…If we belive what was said is out of context, then let us pray for him and all our
        Leaders. I know that’s Biblical.

    • Kris says:

      I heartily agree Joseph. I think Chuck has gone out of his way to twist these texts to condemn Obama, the same thing he accuses Obama of doing. I’m not a fan of Obama or his policies but say that Matthew 22 only applies to individuals and not to communities or organizations or governments and then go on to make a political case that government should not be involved in helping the poor, this is very poor exegesis! It looks like we’re in the minority on the blog but thanks for speaking up.
      I usually appreciate Chuck’s thoughts but not today.

  14. Max (from Israel) says:

    Looking at the events ,which are taking place in US with pres. Obama , I can hardly say he is a Christian at all guys!

  15. Pastor DuBois says:

    How can you faught President Obama for interceding for the least of these, when it’s been proven by many Christian studies that so-called U.S. Christians spend most of Gods money (thithes & offerings) on themselves, instead of the Great Commission or the least of these.

    • Minnesota Dave says:

      It’s not that he doesn’t care. It’s that he’s promoting a government that will take care of all our ills. We develop more and more dependence on the government, and soon it’s the benevolent dictator.

      Caring for our world’s poor, destitue, down and out is what the church is called to do. Sadly we have not done well in this area. Why? We have allowed the government to take over our role, and now no one is doing it . . . well, that is.

      • Mike says:

        The scope of helping lesser than thee has changed greatly since Jesus’ day. The Jewish and early Christian church of the Bible were ONLY serving or helping the Christian/Jewish community, not the Romans or other pagans. Today The Church is not only serving the Christian community, but any and everyone. If the church served only Christians as it is referred to in Roman 12:13 that says: “Contribute to the needs of God’s people [sharing in the necessities of the saints]” (Amplified Bible), they’d probably be meeting all the needs of the believers and those folks wouldn’t need any government assistance. Of course the pagans would need the government.

        However, today’s church IS serving all, not just Christians, which it is not equipped to do so does fall short in not being able to meet the need. As a result, our society has expanded that into a “secular” version where the entire nation benefits showing the influence Christ’s teachings have had on America in years past.

        You folks here keep ignoring this aspect of the issue. I don’t agree that the church is not doing enough in helping the lesser than thee. The church needs to continue to reach out to the lesser than thee, but the church isn’t called to be the ONLY social safety net for America. Sorry, I don’t see that in the Bible, again I refer to Romans 12:13.

        The church needs to be spending more effort and energy on reaching the lost for Christ and NOT trying to win political battles. That has put up such a barrier for people to come to Christ. Our job is to make disciples not win political battles. Changing hearts one at a time for Christ, so that they’ve been cleaned up on inside by the Holy Spirit, so that it wouldn’t matter if Abortion was legal or not, that changed heart for Christ wouldn’t be living the lifestyle that would put them into the spot of needing to abort a child. But rather than winning hearts and souls for Christ, the church spends its time fighting endless verbal battles to get their agenda passed in Washington. Somehow I truly do not believe Our Lord will be blessed by that. I see no where where Jesus fought political battles to further his Father’s work. We as the church need to refocus on being the light on the hill, a place of Agape Love, peace, hope, and a place where the lost can seek and find the Grace of Christ so they can come to the altar and be made new.

      • Penny says:

        You are misinformed. The early Christians did minister outside of the Body to the citizens in the Roman Empire. In those days, abortion was as common as it is now. The only difference was that if a woman “chose” not to have her baby, it was usually either thrown off a bridge or abandoned somewhere to die. Josephus, a Jewish historian, records the believers of the early Church would come out at night, rescue and adopt these babies. It is also a matter of record among secular historians of the time that Christians were the only ones who nursed those afflicted by plague. Both in history and in the Word it was noted that the early Christians were known by their love for one another and for their neighbors. No one who truly knows the Lord and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God will fail to exhibit love for their neighbors whether they are saved or not. It was this behavior that turned the Roman Empire on its head. It was the teaching and life of Christ lived out through these believers which impacted the Roman Empire and turned it from paganism to Christianity. It is that same life which runs counter to every culture and continues through the agency of the Holy Spirit to change hearts and lives all over the world.
        It is critical we adhere to and live out the principles of the Word of God. Socialism may be fashionable and politically correct, but is it Biblical? Scripture clearly places the responsibility for widows and orphans within the Church on individual believers within the Body, as well as the corporate Church itself. As a Body we are to take care of one another. On the other hand, Paul writes if anyone refuses to work, nothing should be done for them. Practically, socialism has proven to be an utterly failed experiment in the former Soviet Union and in Europe. Biblically, it cannot be supported.

        All human beings possess a sin nature, called the “natural man” by Paul in I Corinthians. As such, it is “natural” for people to be slothful if they are continually given something for nothing. In fact, many of the European nations are re-examining their policies of overly liberal unemployment benefits. Studies show that those receiving those benefits (which often lasted as long as 5 years) did not begin to find employment until the benefits were about to run out. In other words, rather than a safety net, it had become a snare. When Christ spoke of giving food or a cup of water to the “least of these”, I don’t think this is what He had in mind.

        One of the dangers of the “benevolent” dictatorship is that what the government funds, it controls. So while we encourage one entitlement after another, we encourage the individuals utter dependence on the government until it controls every part of our life. We lose our liberty in return for the entitlement. In other words, the only result can be tyranny.

        To quote Patrick Henry: “Is life so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! Give me liberty, or give me death!” I agree.

      • Mike says:

        Penny, I totally agree with what your wrote. My only question is about Romans 12:13. Obviously St. Paul had a different opinion. He seems pretty clear in what he wrote. So are you telling me the Bible is wrong, that St. Paul got it wrong?

        It would be great if the church did more, but it’s too busy fighting political battles to force the secular heathen to follow God’s law, which the heathen doesn’t even understand, I know I sure didn’t prior to being saved. So why do we hold those folks to a higher standard than we had before Christ and the Holy Spirit came into our lives?

        Those folks don’t think abortion or prostitution is wrong, so until their heart comes to Christ and that change comes from the Holy Spirit, we’re talking Greek to people who only understand French. They look at us like we’re crazy. So spin it any way you want, but as the church we need to be way more focused on winning people to Christ than winning these stupid political battles, that only seem to make a higher barrier for these unsaved people to come to Christ.

      • Penny says:

        Romans 12:13 states exactly what I stated: we are clearly responsible for one another in the Body. Paul doesn’t say “only” responsible for those in the Body, however. I’m not sure what I said to imply the Church should focus on political battles rather than evangelism. I certainly don’t believe political involvement should circumvent winning the lost. In my mind, involvement in our culture and evangelism are not mutually exclusive. However, we are called to be salt and light in the world. That means there are certain principles in Scripture such as the value of each human life for example which we should bring forward to any dialogue involving our culture. Many of the principles of socialism run contrary to what God’s Word indicates is wise. Part of impacting our culture means speaking up for what is beneficial denouncing what is destructive. This is the loving thing to do. In this particular discussion, socialism is the topic, but there are equally unwise policies in the capitalist camp involving greed and disregard of the poor. My point here is that as believers we have to stand up for Biblical principles. Where the Lord dwells, there is liberty. Any political system, socialist or otherwise, that runs counter to the truths of Scripture will result in tyranny.

      • Mike says:

        Penny, here is Romans 12:13: “Contribute to the needs of God’s people [sharing in the necessities of the saints]” (Amplified Bible). That seems pretty clear to me. The early Church may have also loved and helped others, but apparently were not required to do so, where as it does appear that they weren’t given the option of helping fellow believers. I don’t see how you can interpret this piece of scripture differently.

        It’s easy for us here to say that the government should not be helping those lesser than thees, because the church should be doing this. But in 1932 apparently what the church was doing wasn’t enough as millions of elderly were living in destitute, not to mention all the others including children whose parents were now unemployed. Remember 33% of the work force was unemployed, that’s far more than our 9% today, and we can see how bad that has been.

        So are you saying that in order to avoid being called a “Socialist” FDR should have just let all those folks starve. I’m sorry, to disagree, but FDR would have been evil (in my mind) if he’d had let those folks starve. We’re not talking about Welfare bums who don’t want to work, but first, elderly who’ve worked their entire lives and still ended up with nothing, plus the 1/3 of the work force who were laid off due to the Depression. Those folks wanted a job. So the Thessalonian thing where Paul says, if you don’t work you don’t eat doesn’t apply. Today, we have people who through no fault of their own are laid off due to this economy. These folks want a job, these are not welfare bums either. Oh by the grace of God go I and You. I’m assuming you and your family have a job as I do. So should the government stop helping these folks while you and I try to get the church to pony up more money, mean while these people and their children become homeless and starve? Sure doesn’t sound like something Jesus would do. To the hungry homeless person, they don’t care if its a church or the government that gives them that meal and shelter. If it were you and your family, my guess is, you’d not be picky either. A hot meal is a hot meal. I totally agree with you that it would be great IF the church was able to cover all the needs out there so the government wouldn’t have to help them, but that is not the reality of the situation. Until THAT changes the government has no choice, but to help those folks. Call it socialism if you must, but I call it compassion and Godly Agape Love that is far more like what Jesus would have done than what you folks seem to be proposing.

      • Minnesota Dave says:

        Good debate/dialogue, Mike and Penny
        Mike, it really is not true that the church is doing well, that it’s doing all it can in serving the widow, the orphan, the needy, lonely. Over the last 30 years because of employment moves, I have been part of about 8-10 churches, and today I in (mostly) evangelical churches across the country, for I work as a church consultant. The church I attend today has as part of it’s vision serving the local community – food shelf, counseling, emergency housing, etc. (And it is the most effective evanglism tool I have ever experienced, short of personal evangelism.) It is as effective at this as any church I have personally experienced. And yet, the giving (generosity) in our church is still right there with the rest of the churches, average giving at 3-4% of income. So are we doing all we can? Absolutely not. And I have yet to see any church that is doing all it can. We all (churches & individuals) fall very short in this “service to the saints,” and to those outside our church community.

        I am not saying the Government should do nothing in this arena. But the current administration continues to seek to meet all ills of all people (in order to stay in office), and goes far beyond what government should be doing. For its creating an ever widening dependence on government, the entitlement mentality continues to grow, the general populace is getting less dependent on their own resources. And more and more have less and less, not because of government policy, but because of their own failure manage their resources wisely, their earthly kingdom building focus, failure to plan for the future, the consumer mentality of the rich & poor alike. The rich consume, build their earthly kingdoms, ignore the needs of others. Many of the poor are poor also becuase of their consumer mentality, and scraping and clawing to get a piece of an earthly kingdom, rather than use their resources wisely, etc.

        Somebody else in this blog in response to “If you will not work, you shall not eat,” said something like, “But most of the poor cannot help it.” We’ve all heard sources of the resourceful poor who made an intentional effort to pull up their boot straps and get out of that “loop of dependence, and have successfully been able to do it. But I dare say that aside from the sick and elderly, a large portion of the able bodied do little if anything to improve their stead. They sit at home watching TV, or running the streets, but using their ipods, cell phones, and just waiting for the next welfare check. And they are mostly there because our governments, today and in the past, has become the true enabler. And that dependence is not going to be broken by the government throwing more money at it. That just strengths the death grip on the enabler/entitlement loop.

        Should we think we can solve this? Jesus said, “The poor will ALWAYS be with you.” Those are both current reality and prophetic words. We will never close the gap. Jesus even said that! But as the church we must continue to go deeper and deeper in serving – first those a part of our church, and then into the community.

      • Mike says:

        Minnesota Dave: Good comments. I also know of Mainline Churches in my area ( I live in Delaware) that are doing the food closets and clothes closets (Lutheran and United Methodist). We also have various homeless shelters, soup kitchens, battered women shelters, crisis pregnancy centers, etc, run by Lutherans, Catholics, Salvation Army, and the Sunday Breakfast Mission, which I know gets financial assistance from many of the mainline churches, and probably from the non-denominationals.

        I don’t know of any non-denominational or non-Mainline Denominational church doing those things in my area. I do understand your point that sure THE church could do more, but they aren’t. Somehow THAT message needs to go out first, before government stops helping folks, so that the Church could then eliminate the things government is doing. THEN sure the case could then be made that the government could get out of the welfare business, but until the churches take up the slack eliminating the need for government help, it would be irresponsible to try to get the government to stop helping these less fortunate folks.

        Here’s where I see the “fly in the ointment”, with shrinking membership in most mainline denominations nationwide these services are having an even harder time helping the folks they do help now much less try to do more. I don’t see any of the more popular conservative type non-denominational or non-Mainline Churches stepping up to the plate and starting these sorts of ministries, it’s the old mainline denominations usually considered to be more liberal churches carrying the load (think about that for a moment). So as the old Mainline Churches continue to decline those services will also decline, meaning that there will then need to be more government help. That doesn’t mean that no non-Mainline church isn’t helping with financial donations to these existing agencies, but I’ve never heard of it being done as those more conservative churches usually don’t co-fellowship with the more “liberal” churches and none of those non-mainline churches have started their own food/clothing/shelter/soupkitchen operations in this area. I today am a United Methodist (for about 18 years), used to be in a Non-Denominational church, and I see a great difference in heart attitude towards helping the lesser than these. Again that doesn’t mean that none of the non-mainline churches are doing anything, but in my area, it’s not evident.

        So I guess the bigger question is, how do we get all the churches, to do more and eliminate the need for the government to do any of this?

      • Minnesota Dave says:

        Mike, good perspective that as the churh community declines, so will the need for others (govt) to pick up the slack. It seems somewaht inevitable. Unless we as nation have a dramatic repentence, 1)The church continues in decline in numbers, 2)The govt continues to pick up a bigger share of the tab, 3)Our country inevitably experiences the full economic collapse, 4)Now there is no ability left for govt to help the poor (unless we have moved into a full socialistic state). 5)And might such a scenario result in a true nationwide revival.
        Oh Lord come quickly!

      • DuBois Temuru says:

        Well put brother! Hats off to all the positive posts on here that encourage we the Chuch to step up to the plate a whole lot more. But to Minnesota Dave and the rest of the bunch who condem the President insted of praying for him and the rest of our leaders and leading by example themselves… I have this word for you.

        1 Peter 2 12-17
        12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
        13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

      • Mike says:

        Minnesota Dave: you may be on to something. Would a Soviet style economic collapse launch a revival in America? It might. Part of the problem I see is our nation has been so blessed and has so much wealth, etc, that many believe they don’t need God, because they believe that they are the rulers of their universe.

        Just to throw “a cat out among the pigeons”, here is a link to an article that tells who gave the most to charity last year in terms of % of their income, of the Presidential candidates, including Obama.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/romney-and-obama-vie-for-title-of-most-charitable-santorum-gave-least-to-charity/2012/02/16/gIQA3YPyHR_blog.html

      • Minnesota Dave says:

        Yes Mike, when we are rulers of our own kingdoms, and we have access to resources to continue to build it, why should be focus on the Heavenly Kingdom. “I’ll worry about that later.” And then from I Timothy 6, we miss out on the result of “storing up treasure in heaven” which is experiencing “the life that is truly life.”

      • Minnesota Dave says:

        I would use at least tithing (10%) as the litmus test for those who claim to be Christians. Sad to see how low Santorum and Gingrich’s giving level is.

      • Mike says:

        It is interesting that in some ways, Obama has better Republican values than Gingrich. In the family values arena (Gingrich is a multiple running around on wives with secretaries, divorcing them, etc. On his third wife (Calista) who while a Catholic had no problem with running around with Newt even though he was then married to wife #2, making Calista wife #3) vs Obama having no such scandals. Funny how many in the GOP who claim to be Christians are ready to over look Gingrich’s peccadilloes, but made a big deal of Clinton’s. If it is wrong for Clinton, it is wrong for Gingrich.

        Also Obama gave a far greater percentage of income to charities than either Santorum or Gingrich, both Catholics, yet the Mormon Romney gave almost the same percentage, about 1/2 % less than Obama.

        Don’t misunderstand my words, I’m not saying I think Obama would be better as Prez than Romney or Santorum, but the Obama is evil incarnate non-sense gets old. He’s not evil, he just sees the solutions to our nation’s problems differently than Santorum or Romney. It gets old when each party paints the other’s candidate as the “anti-Christ” and yes both sides do it.

        If the GOP is going to keep saying their the party of family values, then maybe they ought to make that a requirement to be considered a nominee. What a concept, have some standards.

  16. James Byrne says:

    “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. Render to God the things that are God’s.” Obama would do well to heed those words of Jesus, recognize the wall between church and state, and to stop violating his oath to uphold the Constitution. I doubt he will.

  17. Kim Wilde says:

    Thank you for allowing us to see which book you are using when you are trying to quote Scripture (niv84).
    If any of you believe that barry soetoro, the bushes or the clintons have any Christ like leanings please review your basic beliefs in JESUS. They all belong to the same sad club of debased individuals that care not for you or I.

  18. Paul Becker says:

    For a man who has vowed to do everything in his power to defend Islam to show up at a Chistian prayer breakfast strikes me as a wolf in sheep’s clothing at best. Even the devil himself quoted Scripture in his three-fold temptation of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. The problem is that when upwards of 40% of the people think he is is the goose that lays the golden egg, e.g. guarantees their government check will keep coming every month, and are biblically illiterate, those who speak the truth will be perceived and portrayed as hate-fillled flakes. Our only hope, humanly speaking, is to push back on the state and local level.

    • Minnesota Dave says:

      Yes, yes, yes. Read Obama’s book everyone. In it he vowed to “always” defend Islam. How in the world was that not enough of a danger signal to keep him out of office! Satan is alive and well.

  19. Vickie Brammer says:

    I love reading “Handwriting on the Wall”. I often share it with my non-Christian friends as it is very clear in showing the role of the Bible as God’s Word in how we should live our daily lives. You have a gift for presenting God’s word in a non-threatening/non-judgmental way and demonstrate clearly that Biblical truth is applicable across generations.
    I say often that the government has stepped in to take the place of the church. We as Christians are commanded to care for widows and orphans. Unfortunately, the government has taken on that role and widows and orphans has expanded to anyone who doesn’t feel like working. There are truly people who need care, but that really should be the role of the church, not government.

  20. salvatore says:

    wake up america because it is almost too late,to put this ship on the right course again.vote this person out of office.

  21. Joel Webb says:

    Mr Bentley,

    The Core Values of Crown according to the website are:

    Lordship – Jesus Christ is our Head. All that we do should reflect our humble submission to His leading. We will seek Him first in our personal lives and corporate decisions.
    Stewardship – In all decisions we make, we do so with a desire to please the Lord with our management of the resources He has entrusted to us.
    Generosity – We commit ourselves to foster a culture of biblical generosity, practicing generous living and gracious giving, within our spheres of influence through modeling, teaching and equipping.

    I could not be more fully in support of these principles and have seen their effectiveness in my life and the lives of others. However I am challenged by your post above.

    Would sharing your wisdom with Christians regarding the core values of your organization and their biblical foundations would be more useful than the highly political debunking of the words of a very specific polictical leader? From my perspective this does little to encourage us to generosity in response to Jesus Christ and loving our nieghbors as ourselves.

    I’m also challenged by the recent IPad giveways sponsored by your organization. Is holding a contest to give away an expensive, highly desireable consumer device reflective of your core values?

    If all Christians used their time and treasure biblically our churches would be much more able to bring the gospel and help to those in need rather than relying on government programs. However from Barna the highest estimates of tithing in Protestant churches are 1 in 5. We have a lot of praying, educating, and encouraging to do in our own backyard for which the resources of your organization have proven valuable. Thank you for your faithfulness to the work to which you were called.

    • Sue says:

      Chuck is a very thoughtful, learned, and godly man. He was not attacking the President personally, but was pointing out accurate issues of misquoting Scripture to justify wrong policy decisions. I am a senior who lives almost totally on Social Security – far less than what I need. However, some personal circumstances and health issues have significantly impacted going out and earning more. God has been very faithful. My Social Security is not an entitlement. I worked 40 years, piad in to Soc Sec, and I have earned that money. What so many don’t realize and it is never pointed out, is that since we have killed aproximately 50 million babies through abortion since 1973, we have also killed off 50 million contributing members of society – workers, tax payers, etc. We cannot have it both ways. God is not mocked – as we sow, so shall we reap. Pray for our leaders, our nation, and our churches to wake up and get back to God.

      • Minnesota Dave says:

        Well said Sue. The government owes us nothing, but because it has tried to take over all the social issues of the day we have come to rely on it, and now we have a runaway entitlement program, but worse yet, a RUNAWAY ENTITLEMENT MINDSET!

      • Shirley says:

        I so agree with Sue. I am a senior citizen who worked for 51 years. Social Security is an entitlement program only in the respect that I paid in to it for 50 years because it was my “security” for my senior years and now I am “entitled” to receive that savings. I am single, retired with limited savings and need what I expected to receive. I also agree that had we not aborted millions of babies we would not have a problem funding many things because those people would be producing, working, inventing, changing the world, paying taxes, and contributing to society. We need to pray like never before for our nation and the mercy of God. I thank God for Chuck Bentley and others who have the courage to speak out about Biblical truths as they apply to today’s issues.

      • Mike says:

        Prior to 1936, the first year folks actually received benefits from Social Security, many elder folks who had worked their entire lives (so these were not lazy bums), were living in destitution. FDR and Congress passed the Social Security Act in 1932 and then used the next 4 years to fund it via payroll taxes. Then in 1936, the first benefits were paid out. That’s what Obama is doing with the funding of Obamacare. Interestingly, there were folks back in 1932 who tried to stop Congress and repeal Social Security. They were conservative Republicans, who formed what was called as “The Liberty League”, much like today’s TEA party movement. Many of the big shots in industry were involved. In 1940 the Liberty League disbanded as they had not been successful in stopping the New Deal or Social Security. Most Americans back then had a photo of FDR hanging up in their homes. He won 4 terms, he died during the 4th term.

        Social Security is a type of insurance program, like auto insurance. Each of us pays into it, some are getting the benefits now, some will get it later. You pay into your auto insurance plan, you may not have an accident now, so your money is benefiting someone else today, who needs it. Someday, you might have an accident and then you’ll get the benefits. So both Sue and Shirley have done their part, and have paid into the system during their working years. Now it’s their turn to receive the benefits. I’ve got a few more years to go, I’ve paid into the Social Security plan for 42 years as of now (4 years while serving in the Air Force during Viet Nam, and 38 years working for my present employer. I am looking forward to that assistance Social Security will provide in my retirement years. This is a government program that has worked well for 76 years. So it is NOT a failed government program. It has worked as FDR designed it to work. Our nation has changed and that’s why it needs to be tweaked. Back in 1932 when they passed the Social Security, America had larger families, few abortions (it was illegal so any were backroom deals, etc). We had far more workers paying into the system then. Old folks didn’t live as long. Today yes, old folks live longer and we’ve aborted almost 50 million babies who’d be tax payers today which would have meant Social Security would not have had a problem, as it has worked just as FDR designed it to do. Social Security has been a blessing to many Americans and most folks still to this day consider FDR to be one of our greatest Presidents as he had a heart for the people. Today old people can at least have that Social Security check to help them make ends meet. I know of a woman who worked most of her life. She didn’t get a pension, she worked retail, no benefits, no 401K, etc. So all she has for retirement IS her Social Security check. Without that check, she’d be homeless. THAT was why FDR and Congress started Social Security. It’s not some evil socialistic plan to make the US like Europe or the former USSR, etc. It met a need back in 1932 and still is meeting that meeting that need today in 2012.

        I think all of us probably would agree that we need a real revival here in America. Our churches need to stop fighting political battles and get back to winning souls for Christ, one at a time, just as Jesus and his disciples did and as Jesus has commanded us to do. Jesus didn’t waste his time fighting political battles, or trying to legislate Christ like values into the society. Instead Jesus went about his Father’s business of winning souls to the Father. We are to be doing likewise, not fighting verbal battles with the knuckleheads in Washington.

      • James Byrne says:

        I agree with Mike. The Johnson administration decided to take social security withholdings and use it as part of general revenue. If any plan administrator or trustee had done that it would have constituted a breach of fiduciary duty and a crime. If those funds had been properly administered, the program would not be in the mess it is in today. The taxpayers had and have a contract with their government. I have paid a lot of money into that system and have a RIGHT to those benefits on reaching retirement, assuming I don’t die standing up with my work shoes on. That said, as Jesus spoke, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. Render unto God the things that are God’s.

  22. Sandra says:

    Regardless of one’s political views regarding taxes or anything else, it is wrong for public figures to twist or distort the Scriptures for their own purposes. If they do so, with intent or out of ignorance, it behooves Christians to speak the truth in love and make whatever corrections are needed to clarify Scripture in context. I appreciate the clarification given by Handwriting on the Wall and only wish it could be more widely read.

  23. Max (from Israel) says:

    When the government wants to take care of everything in the country ,guys, it looks like socialism (communism). I have lived in that system for 25 years (former USSR), Praise God it’s been broken by our Mighty God. First they say they care about everything then they start to controll through their “care”. May be you won’t believe me ,but with the time people(mostly unbelievers in the country) start putting their trust into government ,like in God. Those who want to take God’s place in people’s lives are sinners and don’t know God.

  24. Susan Dent says:

    Thanks for your godly perspective. You are right on…we need voices like yours because too many are ignorant of what the Bible really says and they don’t know how to interpret it aright because they have no real relationship with the author. Sadly, many call themselves Christians. God bless you for sharing the Truth.

  25. Doug says:

    Thank you Chuck; your biblical analysis is on target. I am enjoying “Handwriting on the Wall” … keep up the great work!

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