The budget is out of control. Government regulations continue to increase. More Americans are receiving food and financial aid from the State. High school graduates expect the government to loan them money for college. Politicians are promising free healthcare or at least making someone else pay for it. Government-backed mortgages are common and expected. Government employment and wages are outpacing the private sector. The courts are redefining what constitutes marriage and a family. Government-appointed judges overrule the will of the people and elected officials. Money is created out of thin air to “stimulate” the economy. Our government is becoming more god-like every day, and not a very good god at that.
Herbert Schlossberg’s masterful study of power in his book Idols for Destruction is both prophetic and frightening:
Rulers have ever been tempted to play the role of father to their people. . . . The state that acts like a wise parent instead of a vindictive judge has been an attractive image to many people. They include ecclesiastical authorities who have completely misses the point of the gospel warning to “call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven” (Matt. 23:9). The father is the symbol not only of authority but also of provision. “Our Father who art in heaven. . . . Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:9, 11). Looking to the state for sustenance is a cultic act [an act of worship]; we rightly learn to expect food from parents, and when we regard the state as the source of physical provision we render to it the obeisance of idolatry. The crowds who had fed on the multiplied loaves and fishes were ready to receive Christ as their ruler, not because of who he was but because of the provision. John Howard Yoderhas rightly interpreted that scene: “The distribution of bread moved the crowd to acclaim Jesus as the new Moses, the provider, the Welfare King whom they had been waiting for.”