Let’s be honest. There is a lot of frustration today in our country. Obama’s HOPE has not worked out as promised. It seems like every matter the government addresses, by republicans or democrats, only seems to get worse causing nearly everyone to get angry.
And right now, Bernie Sanders seems to be able to capitalize on the anger. “If everything sucks, then come look at what I have to offer” seems to be his battle cry. Even young Christians are calling for their friends to cast aside any misgivings and concerns about socialism, specifically about Democratic Socialism and just listen to what Bernie has to offer.
I am particularly fascinated by many young people around the age of 30, my children’s age, who have been raised in the church and now as they start their families they have turned their back on the more fundamental Christian beliefs of their parents as well as abandoned the more conservative political views of mom and dad.
Honestly, this was predicted years ago. Ironically, the very “conservative, fundamental” Christian leaders, who are now routinely mocked, said this would happen. The influence of parents and church has shrunk significantly with media and schools taking up the slack. And so many Christian young people have demanded answers to their questions and find they like the answers coming from people like Bernie Sanders.
Frankly, if I were asking the same questions, the very questions the media and public schools are drumming into our kids’ heads, I would probably like the answers coming from Bernie Sanders. But here are two significant issues that are guaranteed to eventually break the spirit and hopes of these young people.
Worldview and Truth
To back up a moment, let me explain that each of us has a set of basic assumptions. Based on these assumptions we then follow down a path in our minds and come to a conclusion. Then based on our conclusions we assign what we believe to be bad, not too good and good.
Let me explain. There is a large argument going on in the scientific world. It does not matter if you are a young or old earth subscriber or a creationist or evolutionist to understand this. What matters is how each of these individuals processes information. Old earth and evolutionists believe that you simply cannot practice “good science” unless you understand evolution. So they routinely ignore any conclusions that young earth or creationists may share. Many of today’s behavioral science studies on human behavior are explained by showing how behaviors sequentially progressed using the theory of evolution. Many behavioral theories are formulated and supported based on this evolutionary progression. So these scientists believe that without these explanations giving scientific discoveries more “credibility” studies can only be practicing “bad science.” On the other hand young earth and creationists believe that including these theories creates a distraction which due to the wrong assumption can only denigrate such conclusions and theories and even lead scientists to come to wrong conclusions. Thus believing that using this viewpoint is to practice “bad science.”
So you see, both sides have very different worldviews, or underlying beliefs and assumptions, therefore both conclude that the other must be practicing “bad science.”
Here are two examples of how worldviews often collide and the different questions that are asked according to those worldviews:
Worldview #1 – Money is created through ideas and hard work vs. Money is limited and anyone giving a decent days work deserves their fair share, but if they don’t get a fair share it is because someone is wrongly taking more than their fair share
Question: Why are you not working to create your wealth?
Question: Who is taking more than their fair share forcing others to be poor?
Worldview #2 – Morality is dictated by a god much larger than ourselves and can be understood through Religion vs. Morality is a personal matter and different for each person, with immorality seen clearly in upsetting or hurting others
Question: Why are you being immoral and desecrating the one woman one man marriage?
Question: Why are you being immoral by hurting and stopping those who want to have a two men or two women marriage?
Unfortunately, many young Christians today are simply asking the wrong questions because they have a secular worldview instilled in them from their exposure to media and public education.
Sooner or later, truth will win out.
Democratic socialism assumes there is limited money and because certain individuals take more than their fair share, this money should be rightly taken and redistributed so everyone can live comfortably. Yes, I understand that Bernie and crew want to have a “softer” redistribution program by primarily using taxation and making some areas of our economy such as health care come under the national government, but it is still basically the same idea. Unfortunately, this has not worked for centuries. Just look at the world stage for the last 100 years. Where has all the wealth come from? Non socialistic nations and those closer to the free enterprise system have created the wealth. You may argue that this is not true, look at China and the wealth it has created. Actually I have had 3 high school students from wealthy families in China live at my house for at least one school year. I can tell you first hand the wealth being created in China is from those who are free to create businesses, etc. and keep the money. Not from any redistribution of wealth. And what of the European nations? Unfortunately, many of them are a mess. Even those touted by Bernie are not doing so well. The simple truth which has been true for hundreds of years: any type of wealth redistribution effort – war, socialism, communism or democratic socialism, has not worked long term. And unfortunately, heavy taxes have been a huge disincentive to create wealth.
Bernie assumes that morality is not important at the national level and is irrelevant in a nation’s success. I don’t believe that. For instance I have witnessed and have seen that those nations who have honored and blessed Israel will be blessed. I have witnessed and have seen that nations attempting to adhere to biblical truths create a framework where people can work and live free from large scale theft and other crimes and lawlessness that destroys. Where in the US are individuals not having great success? In our inner cities where the traditional family is falling apart and where crime is all around. When God’s plan for the family fails and when theft and lawlessness abound, poverty and pain follow. We would be a smart nation to recognize that our democracy, and any government for that matter, and any wealth people can generate can only happen when people are moral according to the biblical set of standards. If we don’t get this truth right, we are destined for serious trouble.
Bernie’s “compassion” is not compassion, but dependency. This idea has been tried thousands of times and has yet to show itself as a long term solution, and instead seems to destroy people’s desires and/or abilities to support themselves. Yes, there is a place for temporarily helping others in need, but this should not only include redistribution of money, but help in getting out of the poverty trap.
Bernie will not eliminate Crony Capitalism. (A term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state interventionism. – Wikipedia) Socialism only seems to shift the players who get special favors. Instead, we should be seeking a moral individual who is committed to being fair, honest and transparent. Cronyism is always going to be a problem, especially given the amount of money Washington spends. Spending less and electing moral individuals is the only way to slow such practices. Getting big government involved in medical care, education and more will only drastically increase cronyism. And ironically, higher taxation limits profit margin which only encourages cronyism as a way of insuring profits.
One final word –
I find it interesting that the younger Christian adults who seem to be hyper focused on grace offer little of that grace to their parents’ generation. Young Christian adults will soon be judged by their own children and will no doubt find that life has brought the same flaws and imperfections that their predecessors suffered from – a truth always realized due to the fallen nature of man.
This younger group would be wise to take another look at the Christian and Political views of their conservative parents. While there are cries of poverty and unfair gain, when the dust settles they will realize their parents have paved the way for them to follow their dreams and desires, something rare in most countries and ages. They also eat well, sleep well and have at their disposal more than any generation in history. Something Bernie Sanders’ politics is likely to take away from future generations.