Is the Obamacare Debacle an Answer to Prayer?

God sometimes answers prayer in strange, mysterious, and even fearful ways (Ps. 65:5; Rev. 8:4-5). Perhaps we are witnessing one of these “awe-ful” answers in the present Obamacare debacle.

“What? You mean you prayed for Obamacare to fail?”

Yes, many Christians did, and for good reasons too. It’s not just because of the mandates that required employers and individuals to fund abortion, sex-change operations, life-killing contraception, etc. It’s also the deeper and wider principle of lost freedom and personal choices, especially when the thief of that liberty is an increasingly intrusive government that is displaying growing hostility to Christian faith and practice.

Secular Saviors
Some hoped that the 2012 election would stop the juggernaut; others looked to the Supreme Court; and some even hoped that the government shutdown would lead to an Obamacare shutdown. But when neither Mitt Romney, Chief Justice John Roberts, nor Ted Cruz proved successful saviors, many gave up all hope and could see no way of deliverance from this nation-transforming legislation.

Little did anyone think that President Obama would destroy it all by himself with lying promises, gross mismanagement, and incompetent leadership. It looks like a house of cards in a hurricane at the moment.

This is not coincidence. This is providence. It appears that God has answered His people’s prayers in a most unexpected way, in a way that no Republican gets (or deserves) the credit for, and in a way that may set back “progressive” liberalism for years. Even if some aspects of Obamacare do eventually get off the ground, the President’s loss of popularity and credibility has fatally weakened his pro-abortion, pro-homosexual militancy. God is not mocked.

“But don’t you care, and doesn’t God care, for the uninsured and for people with pre-existing conditions?”

Of course I do, and of course He does. (And how I wish more Republicans would share, show, and speak of that care too).

However, while Obamacare would have helped a percentage of the uninsured and the uninsurable, the moral, social, and financial cost was far too great. It may have started out with good motives but it was hijacked by “progressives” to fundamentally change public and private morality, to transfer wealth from the rich to the poor, and to transform America into a more government-centric and government-dependent society.

Hear the cries
But as we thank God for hearing the cries of His people, let us also now hear the cries of the uninsured and the uninsurable. This is a huge opportunity for conservatives to show what real compassion looks like, not just in words, but in policies, and action. Where is the conservative leader that will stand with these suffering and needy people? And where are the conservative policies that will fill this vacuum and provide justice for the weak?

For that matter, where are the Christian voices? With very few exceptions, all I’ve heard is “Stop Obamacare,” but how about “Start ChristCare.”

I’m convinced that if the Old Testament Prophets were living today, their passion for justice and their compassion for the oppressed would produce powerful sermons against our self-centered disregard for the suffering in our communities, and against our obsession with our premiums and our deductibles.

Jesus also repeatedly demonstrated his compassion for the sick by his healing miracles. We don’t have His miracles today, but we can have His heart and He’s given us His money.

President Obama would be well within his rights to turn around to us and say, “Well at least I tried. What have you done?”

ChristCare Principles?
Why can’t Christians and Christian churches step up and provide mercy ministry to those who cannot get insurance due to pre-existing conditions or the high cost of health care. Or at least we can outline the Christian principles of caring for the sick and the poor so that our politicians can have some biblical guidance to formulate a policy that will work.

What would be the basic principles and practices of “ChristCare”?  I’ll try to answer that tomorrow, but in the meantime I’d welcome your thoughts and ideas.

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Stop Being Negative: Live At Least Ten Years Longer
Dr Michael Mosley: ““There is almost nothing you can do which will do that [increase your life by 10 years]. If you took up fiendish levels of exercise, you could probably raise your life expectancy by four years, so 10 years is huge.” So why isn’t health policy being redirected towards eradicating pessimism by placing the emphasis on positive minds not fitter bodies?

Mesmerizing Photographs of Soldier’s Faces Before and After War
If ever pictures told a story…

The Real Truth About Boring Men
“Romance isn’t measured by how viral your proposal goes. The internet age may try to sell you something different, but don’t ever forget that viral is closely associated with sickness – so don’t ever make being viral your goal. Your goal is always to make your Christ-focus contagious – to just one person.” I think you could call this article “gritty.”

Why we Click Stupid Links
Tony Reinke: “By “stupid links,” I mean hyperlinks on the Web that do nothing but tap our kneejerk curiosity. They do little for us because they have little to offer. We click, we read, we watch, and often we feel dumber for it.”

Reflections on the Loss of a Daughter
A beautiful reflection from Pastor Fred Zaspel: “And so even in our loss, we do not doubt that for all eternity, one note of our song, looking back, will be “Our God has done all things well.”

Eight Themes in Thanksgiving
James Faris: “As our nation reflects more on the nature of gratitude at this November, here are eight themes in thankfulness from the Psalms that guide us to a more God-glorifying gratitude.”

Children’s Bible Reading Plan

Here’s this week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.

This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.

If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first year of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

The second year of morning and evening readings in Word and pdf.

The first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

Here’s an explanation of the plan.

The daily Bible Studies gathered into individual Bible books.

Old Testament

New Testament

Free Online Video Course on Suffering and God’s Sovereignty

Like many of you, via the Internet, I’ve sat at the feet of R.C. Sproul Jr. over the past couple of years and learned so much from his honest, transparent, humble, and Christ-filled walk through death-shade valley as he lost his wife to cancer and then his beloved special needs child, Shannon. As far as I’m concerned, he’s shed the Jr. tag along the way.

And now, courtesy of Ligonier Connect, we have the opportunity to hear RC’s answers to huge questions such as “Why does God allow hardships into our lives? Can God really use our pain for His glory and our good?”

The course description says: “In this powerful course, Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. seeks to comfort all Christians grappling with the sorrows of this fallen world as he shares poignant stories from his own life and presents important scriptural teachings about God’s role in human suffering.”

Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. will be moderating this special Ligonier Connect course. The class opens to students November 7, 2013 and ends March 13, 2014. The first lesson is due November 18. You may watch the lectures and complete the assignments any time of day. The due dates let you know when you must submit your questions for the Q&A session that will be recorded after each lesson due date. In this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Engage in discussion with classmates from around the world
  • Keep unlimited access to the course content
  • Watch lectures and complete assignments any time of day
  • Submit questions to be considered for a recorded Q&A session with R.C. Sproul Jr. that will be uploaded the Wednesday following each lesson due date
  • Attend a live class session at Ligonier Ministries National Conference for those who register

This is an outstanding opportunity to learn from a dear brother who brings us lessons not just from books, but from the crucible of personal suffering.

For more information and registration links, here’s Ligonier’s blog post on the course.

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Why we still need (some) monocultural churches
If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that I have a passion to see Reformed churches embrace and reflect the diverse communities that surround them. But this is a thought-provoking article.  Mono- or multi-? What do you think?

Three Things I’m Glad I Did In My Singleness
With my wife in Scotland the last 10 days, I’ve been thanking God that my single days are a distant memory.

Allie Brosh on Depression
Rod Dreher with a transcript of an insightful, honest, and harrowing interview about Allie Brosh’s depression.

Why is Calvinism So Influential and Not Lutheranism?
Asked by Lutheran Gene Veith. Answered by Presbyterian D. G. Hart.

Why Women Are Integral to the Vision of 20 Schemes
Women making a difference in the hardest urban mission fields.

Servants Through Whom You Believed
Tim Brister reflects on the tension between human responsibility and divine sovereignty in ministry.