Should a Believer Trust The Government?
I find it curious that so many people still believe, and place their trust in, the fallacy that governments are going to make things better for them and their families. Ronald Reagan once said: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” That old saw has made the rounds many times and still gets a few laughs, but the premise behind it is not laughable.
There are literally thousands of recorded instances of people who relied on the government to help them in certain instances; and they were, for the most part, badly disappointed. For a non-believer to buy into the satanic deception that governments can be trusted is not surprising, but a large number of those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ are also among those who place a great amount of trust in government.
A large number of seriously deluded Americans, both Christians and non-Christians, have the idea that “Uncle Sam,” as the US government has long been called, is a beneficent ‘rich uncle’ who needs only to be asked and he will give you whatever you need. However, one must examine that idea carefully to avoid being further deceived by such nonsense.
To begin with, the US government manufactures no goods or products, it produces absolutely nothing tangible, and therefore has no inherent monetary wealth with which to be ‘beneficent’ to anyone. In order for the government to function at any level, it must tax its citizens to get the revenue it uses to exist and function. It has been thus with all governments since at least the time of Jesus.
When questioned by the Pharisees whether it was lawful to give tribute (taxes) to Caesar, Jesus asked for a coin that was used to pay the tax, and having verified that the inscription on the coin was that of Caesar, He told His disciples and the evil Pharisees to “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God, what is God’s” (Mark 12:17).
I am not, and would not, advocate that any American citizen, especially those who are believers, refuse to pay the taxes levied by any legitimate government. Jesus Himself told His disciples to pay the tribute levied by the Roman government. Failure to do so would be illegal and unwise. But, though we are to “pay Caesar” (the government) what is owed to them, we do NOT owe them our trust, or our worship.
Did the Founders Trust The Government?
Abraham Lincoln called the United States, “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” and that may have been true when the government was originally formed; at least that’s what was promised to all the citizens of the new country. However, it was not very long until the words of several of the Founding Fathers rang true. The Founders may have trusted the idea of a republican form of government, but, with a strong belief in God, and an understanding of human nature, they seemed to have serious doubts about those who administer the government.
For example, Benjamin Franklin injected this note of prophetic insight after writing much of the US Constitution: “I agree to this Constitution … and I believe, further, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.”
Samuel Adams said, “If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
These are just a few of the comments made by early American leaders who feared that corruption would turn the ‘grand experiment’ of what should have been a beautiful republic, into a democracy. A large majority of our Founders were God-fearing men who knew that, unless the government remained solidly based on the Judeo-Christian values upon which it was founded, it would soon turn from ‘republicanism’ into a democracy. Unfortunately, we are now living in a country that only faintly resembles the original republic. Having degenerated into a corrupt and sometimes chaotic democracy, our nation has been tainted by evil and greed and an unchecked hunger for power and control, especially in the political arena.
I contend that of all the names, or entities, a person can place his or her trust in, the United States government is certainly NOT one of them.
Accepting the Lie
Anyone truly interested in knowing what is happening in almost every segment of our society is easily able to educate himself/herself with available data on the level of corruption now rampant in the US government. Those who claim otherwise are merely allowing themselves to be deceived into believing a lie, or, they are a part of the corruption and are therefore complicit in the continuing deception of the American people.
Based on comments made by many college students interviewed on various campuses across America, the vast majority of them seem to have no problem with what is happening to our former republic and have seemingly bought the lie that socialism is a good thing. They seem to be in favor of implementing a system that will turn our nation into a third-world socialist toilet, as it has in every place it has been tried. The evil system of socialism itself is based on a lie, as is the claim that socialism is, was, or ever could be a sound system of government.
What is that lie? That everyone should rely on government to provide for their every need from cradle to grave, and that government can actually be trusted to follow through on the promise to provide those needs. Current promoters of socialism claim that previous attempts to make socialism succeed were ‘not done right’; they insist that when socialism is allowed to grow and flourish, everyone will be better off because the ‘wealth’ will be distributed ‘more evenly’ throughout society.
Personally, I have worked hard all my life and have been greatly blessed by God with a strong work ethic and blessed by Him in all my endeavors. I learned at an early age to accept that we live in a cursed world and that the curse pronounced on Adam has not yet been lifted. As a result, I have been very successful in most of my endeavors, thanks to God. The very idea that someone in a government should have the right, or authority, to determine what happens to my assets is totally abhorrent to me.
Wealth redistribution is, and long has been, well-established in our government and is a regular occurrence in the US Congress, whereby those who are supposed to be working for the betterment of all their constituents are instead working on ways to enrich themselves at taxpayer expense. Almost every representative in both the US House and the US Senate leave Congress much, much wealthier than when they entered it.
Those who so easily and eagerly accept the ‘socialism lie’ fail to understand that the socialist plan for wealth redistribution requires that only a certain small number of people, especially those who feel that, due to what they perceive as their higher ‘level of intelligence’ than all the rest of the lower class of people, will decide how all wealth is distributed. Because they have accepted the socialist lie, they still display some level of trust in those corrupt people who have been elected to political offices in Congress, or the presidency.
In 1837, President Andrew Jackson said, “I weep for the liberty of my country when I see at this early day of its successful experiment that corruption has been imputed to many members of the House of Representatives, and the rights of the people have been bartered for promises of office.”
Old Hickory would be horrified if he could see the extent of corruption that is so much a part of our American political system today.
The members of Congress alluded to by Jackson, as well as the majority of those who have served there since Jackson’s day, were, and still are, greatly enriched by the ‘backroom’ deals they make, lobbying each other, and FOR each other, to get money from the treasury allocated to their pet special projects, some of which money, amazingly, finds its way into their own pockets. The same corrupt congressional reps are privy to insider trading information and, even though it is illegal, when such information is used, it permits them to become extremely wealthy.
Where did the excessive wealth of congressional veterans originate? To some extent, it came from the very treasury they were elected to oversee and safeguard.
This information is public knowledge and is available for anyone who wants to dig for it. In spite of the availability of the info proving the corruption of government and its officials, many people still have some confidence in those to whom has been entrusted the oversight of the national treasury. Even worse, with all the corruption that CAN easily be seen through simple research, much more is hidden from our sight.
The Deception of Human Government
While some believers may be deceived into accepting the lie of the world and its governments — the lie that tries to convince us that our trust can and should be placed in that government’s ability and benevolence to care for all its citizen’s needs — the statement, “Government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have,” should be remembered and memorized by every believer. Though the original author of it is unsure, this famous statement has been made by many throughout the years.
Personally, I remember Barry Goldwater saying this in his campaign for President back in 1964. Regardless of who originally said it, it still rings true today.
It is very easy to make promises, especially during the emotionally charged setting of a presidential campaign. Following through on such promises is usually a much more difficult matter. It must be remembered that, since government is not a producer/seller of goods, all the money it promises to one group of people must be taken from a different group of people: “Hello, wealth redistribution! Hello, socialism! Goodbye prosperity!”
The thought of receiving something that one has neither inherited nor earned – something that can be had with little to no effort on the part of the recipient – is a temptation too strong for many people to resist; and they eagerly buy into the fallacy that ‘they have a right to it’ when, in fact, no one has the right to anything that was not earned by “the sweat of thy face,” based on the curse pronounced by God on Adam, and thus on the entire human race (Genesis 3:18).
The lure of things easily obtained through a promise made by a politician, if accepted by the recipient, is a destroyer of motivation, a work-ethic killer that has robbed millions of Americans of the joy of working, sometimes very hard, to obtain that which is needed for life and fulfillment. Those who mistakenly believe that they can have all their ‘things’ simply by putting their trust in human government will find themselves disappointed, disillusioned and usually desperate at some point in their lives.
Misplaced trust can lead to a state of complete confusion and a lost ability to trust anything or anyone again.
What to Do; Whom to Trust
Ayn Rand, in her colossal novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” said, “Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.”
Anyone who has placed their trust in government, then sees how corrupt that government truly is and how untrustworthy it is, will likely believe they are facing a ‘contradiction.’ However, their original premise, that governments can be trusted, is a ‘wrong premise.’ They cannot be trusted.
If believers ever find themselves confused, confounded or conflicted by what is happening around them regarding the level of government corruption, their only recourse is to go back to the basics of God’s Word to determine what a true follower of Jesus should place any trust in.
One can easily find Godly direction on trust in the Psalms: “O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me” (Psalm 7:1).
“In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me” (Psalm 56:11).
“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” (Psalm 91:2).
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him” (Proverbs 30:5).
Paul, writing to Timothy, said: “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (I Timothy 6:17).
These are just a few of the many scriptures written in God’s Word where we are commanded to ‘trust in God’ and not in the world or any of the riches of this world.
But, exactly what does it mean to trust God? How does one go about it? Is there a secret formula that can be followed to become a ‘God-truster’?
I go back to my earliest childhood experiences, remembering my father, a common man, poorly-educated, albeit a hard-working man from the south. Though uneducated, he was raised by a God-fearing mother who always taught her seven children to work hard, love and worship God and to live by His word.
I knew from a very young age that my father and mother loved me and wanted to provide the very best for me, to the extent they were able. I always knew that Dad and Mom would keep me fed, clothed and healthy, though we were quite poor. I never lacked for the necessities growing up, and I knew it was due to the love of my dad and mom for me, and the fact they trusted God for provision. I learned over a short period of time to trust my parents for my needs. Along with my trust, I learned to love Dad and Mom wholeheartedly.
Therefore, whenever I would approach my dad to ask for something I really wanted, I knew that, when he said he would do it, that he would do it no matter what the cost to him. There were times when he told me no, either because what I had asked was more than he could afford, or it was not a good thing for me. But, when he said yes to any request, he never let me down. I learned to trust his word, and trust HIM through his actions that fulfilled his words.
Trusting God is no different than trusting a human parent; it starts with knowing the words that they have spoken and believing they will put the full force of their authority behind those words.
Jesus taught this same precept to His disciples: “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:9-11).
When Jesus’ disciples tried to keep a group of small children away from Him, Jesus taught His disciples how anyone must relate to God in order to please Him: “ Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer (permit) little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:13-14).
We must relate to our heavenly Father as we would to our earthly fathers, by developing a simple, childlike faith in the words that God has spoken, by first believing, then knowing, that He will put all His authority behind those words to provide for us when we ask anything according to those words. Over a period of years, developing such faith will bring us to a place where we can approach the Throne of Grace boldly, and by simply asking and believing, receive from Him (Hebrews 4:16).
However, just as it took some formative years in my early life to trust my dad, building a relationship that led to trust, it takes time to build a relationship with God, through His word, to reach that place of loving Him and trusting in Him and His word.
The US government has multiple web sites where they post almost any information they are willing to share. Supposedly, in those postings, one can learn just what to expect from the government. But, keep in mind, that doesn’t mean that those words, though posted publicly for all to see, will always be what the government does. On the contrary. Anyone placing blind trust in any government will soon learn that the people who write all the legislation and the regulations that control so much of our lives are experts in ‘doublespeak.’
Just as I learned to trust my dad, then God, through experiencing their ability and their willingness to make good on their words, I have learned that one can only trust a government to the extent it has proven itself trustworthy. Since there has never been a successful human government in the nearly 6,000 years since Adam was created, it stands to reason that no government has earned that trust.
I realize that, no matter what I write here, there will still be millions of folk, both rich and poor, who will still place all their trust in a government, expecting that whatever that government has promised, it will bring to pass. This blind trust will likely keep them in the dark and unwilling to accept that governments are NOT to be trusted, until they experience the doublespeak of government for themselves.
The world is still blindly stumbling along in the darkness, and will continue to do so until a light shines in their lives and dispels that darkness. Until then, we can only pray that someone already living in the light will share it with them.
However, true believers should not be living in any kind of darkness. With eyes, both fleshly and spiritual, wide open, they should by now know that all the governments of the world are inherently evil, totally or nearly corrupt and are under the control of Satan (Matthew 4:8-9; Luke 4:5-6) and his evil minions, both demons and humans, who have no other motivation than to steal, kill and destroy. Somehow, it seems foolish to place any trust in a government that is mostly controlled by the persons who have determined to destroy us all.
In direct opposition to Satan is Jesus, whom God’s word says is the LIGHT, and He has come to bring LIFE (John 10:10). Only by placing all our trust in Him, in simple childlike faith, will we ever experience true peace, joy and fulfillment. No earthly government can make this claim, and should not be trusted to do so.
Loving someone and trusting them wholeheartedly go hand in hand. If you truly love them, you will trust them completely.
In Exodus 20:2-17, you will find listed the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. The first is: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:2-3).
God indicated that He is a jealous God who forbids the worship of any other god, in whatever form it may exist. Jesus, when asked by a lawyer, “What is the great commandment in the law?” replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).
The author of Exodus 20 doesn’t use the words “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” but simply says, “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
In my mind, since love and trust go hand in hand, the Lord is saying: ‘the thing that you love and trust most has become the god you worship.’ Knowing that God is indeed a jealous God, we must be extremely careful not to love and place our trust in anything that could come between us and God.
If one places all his or her trust in government promises, as though the government were capable of providing a person’s needs, has that person then made the government his god? That is a question every believer must ask and answer to his own satisfaction, all the while remembering that God will not share His glory with any man or government.
I am reminded of the words reportedly spoken by Nancy Pelosi, who after being elected the first female speaker of the House of Representatives in 2006, said: “You don’t need God anymore; you have us Democrats.”
The fact that she is once again Speaker of the House is a sobering reminder that anyone, other than God Himself, claiming to have godlike qualities, abilities and attributes is a person never to be trusted, EVER. Every person, whether saved or unsaved, has the right to choose whom to trust; as for me and my house, we will serve, and trust, the Lord.