Whether or not Lincoln said this has been questioned. But nonetheless, the tenet stands.
The following quote is from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) who was the pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church and founder of Love Worth Finding Ministries.
“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that, my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
So I tackle the hard subject of what Christians in America are being taught about the role of our government. As far as I know from my Christian teachings, Christ was all about personal charity and compassion for the downtrodden. Period! The key word there being ‘personal.’ Christ, as far as I know, did not suggest that a government bureau or the reigning class should have the right to take from some people to give to others. There is no biblical teaching that I can find where God says it is O.K. to steal from rich people to give to poor people. Or that says, it’s O.K. to steal from anyone, rich or middle class, to give to someone else. In fact, biblical scripture teaches exactly the opposite.
Somewhere along the way, Christian churches in America have nearly collectively decided to condemn wealth, create an atmosphere of guilt among the middle class, and encourage people to tolerate the intolerable. Ministers are admonishing Americans for their own hard earned livings and telling them, in order to be a “good Christian,” they must support the designated poorer class through government policies. Ministers tell their flocks to vote for diversity, give understanding to criminals, tolerate other faiths who are sworn to kill Christians, and tolerate all kinds of behaviors that are anti-Christian. Affirmative Action is one example of this. (Ask Thomas Clarence, Thomas Sowell, or Walter E. Williams what they think of that dastardly scheme.) Welfare is another. Medicaid and Medicare are further examples. Social Security and the The Community Reinvestment Act are yet other examples. The new Affordable Care Act is the latest example. On and on and on.
So, I would like to ask good Christians across our country, what gives the government the right to steal from you to give to another? Can you recognize the difference between theft and charity? Do you know the difference between force at the point of a gun and a gift from the heart? What is the proper role of government? Where in the Constitution does it say that stealing from some people to give to others is the way of our America?
And asking another serious question, why would ministers do this? This push toward government collectivism was not part of my religious catechism when I was growing up. Church teachings used to be about your personal commitment to God’s laws, not about giving over your spiritual or physical energies to a government agency. Do you think it might have something to do with protecting themselves from government intervention…i.e. if they don’t play the government game, will they lose their exempt tax status? Said another way, what would happen to these churches if ministers actually stood up to the government and if preachers told the truth about government stealing? When did being a good Christian become a reason to vote for force from government to take from my neighbor to give to someone else? Theft by proxy? Do you suppose God thinks that is just fine?
There is something going on in the way of collusion, either voluntary or not, between the Christian Churches in America and the government. Some invisible pressure is being brought to bear. The successful are being told to feel guilty by both the churches and the government. That much is clear. The middle class is being told to feel guilty for living in a country that used to afford opportunities for all. The entire country is being told to be ashamed for living a better life than those poor third world countries who struggle or those poor in our midst who didn’t work as hard as I did, or as hard as you did. Our hard working citizens are being told it isn’t fair that we have what we worked to earn, but rather we have too much. We are being told in churches and by government to feel guilty about everything, the air we breathe, the land we till, the homes in which we live, the goods we manufactured, the ability to buy what we need, the very life we live. And churches, along with government are in the business of playing on the guilt they try to make you feel. And, in the process, the churches and the government now are holding hands in a collective propaganda operation to fleece the flocks.
Well, I guess I’m not playing the game. I don’t feel guilty. I feel grateful for the life God gave me to live in a country for some years that recognized that God blessed us with this gift, along with the lives and blood spilled to save us in defense of it. I don’t believe that gives the government the right to steal from me to give to others without my consent. I have no choice in the matter as long as I have some income from my work. The government, politicians, have taken that right by force. That is not God’s law. That is not to say, I don’t believe in charity. I do. But I don’t believe in theft. I don’t believe God says I need to regret and feel bad about whatever small successes I have had in life. I don’t think you should either.