Obama, Jesus and Economics

When it comes to the subject of economics – or any subject for that matter – I would rather go with what Jesus says about it than President Obama. And you can almost be assured that if Obama starts quoting Jesus to support his position, he is misquoting him and mangling the Gospel accounts.

We found this very thing happening when Obama gave a speech at the recently held National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. He tried to drag Jesus into supporting his economic policies, and he of course failed miserably in the attempt.

Actually, he offered four brief quotes from the Bible in his speech – a speech filled with just as many references to Hinduism, Islam and other faiths by the way. His first quote was “love thy neighbor as thyself”. He of course has cut this most important text in half, ignoring the vital bit about loving God first. Without doing the first we cannot really do the second.

His next three quotes are also meant to justify his economic policies. He cites Jesus who said “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required”. This is simply another text out of context. Luke 12:48 is part of a larger message on watchfulness (vv. 35-48). It of course has nothing to do with government tax policy, or with taking money forcefully from the rich and giving it to the poor.

But more on this in a moment. He next mentions a proverb, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” This happens to be Prov. 31:8, and it is rather repugnant of Obama to be quoting it. This passage can equally be applied to an issue such as abortion and the care of the unborn.

Given that Obama has been one of the most pro-abortion presidents ever, he really should not be citing biblical passages which clearly condemn him on the spot. He simply has blood on his hands in this regard.

His last passage is “be doers of the word and not merely hearers”. This, coming from James 1:22, also should not be so glibly coming forth from his lips. He has rejected God’s word so many times on so many levels, that he really risks major judgment by invoking such a passage.

But back to economics. Obama’s economic policies are hardly the stuff we find in the Gospels, or in the rest of Scripture. A number of commentators have already noted his blatant mishandling of Scripture. Doug Giles for example said this:

“This past Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast, Obama said that his Christian faith crafts his domestic policies—particularly his desire to rob from the rich and give to the poor. In my humble opinion, I think the president is getting Jesus and His disciples confused with Robin Hood and his Merry Men.

“I don’t know which White House wizard crafted that speech for him, but the verse he or she gave to our Spender in Chief to back his socialism was more twisted out of joint than a Gumby doll being worked over by a frustrated Gary Busey.

“I can’t believe that hot coffee didn’t spew from hundreds of Christians’ mouths when Obama took a text that refers directly to believers’ judgment and contorted it to be interpreted as a ratcheted-up government imposed higher tax rate upon those who already bear the brunt of the tax burden.”

He concludes, “Lastly, with just a cursory glance at the gospels, the honest reader will note that Christ Jesus never commanded Caesar or Herod to collect taxes in order to take care of the poor. He told his disciples to give to the needy, of their own volition, as worship to God and in service to mankind, and only—only—when it’s done by these means and motivations is it deemed virtuous and Christian.”

Michael Youssef put it this way: “The president quoted the Bible to justify punishing those who have worked hard, and most of whom are very generous givers, in order to take their money and give it to many of his constituencies who are always standing outside the doors of the White House with out-stretched hands.

“Mr. Obama, in justifying his misguided policy, quoted Jesus in Luke 12:48: ‘From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.’ No, you do not have to have a seminary degree to know that Jesus is talking about individual stewardship in an individual’s relationship with God.

“For it is God who gives each person different portions of gifts, talents, and treasure to manage according to His sovereign will. It is God who entrusts people with what they have, not the government. God is the One who will judge the faithfulness of each individual’s stewardship and blessing, or lack thereof. In Luke 12:48, Jesus, God the Son, is exhorting individuals to be faithful and give generously without regret.

“Understanding this, one has to wonder if Mr. Obama has replaced God with his administration. He must believe that when he says ‘much is given,’ he refers to what is given by the government, and ‘much is demanded,’ as that which is demanded by the government. This is 180° opposite to the truth.

“This is a very dangerous precedent. We have had egotistical presidents before, from both political spectrums, but never to my knowledge have we had one who saw himself as replacing God, or one who views his administration as acting on God’s behalf or instead of God.”

Gary DeMar also weighed in to this: “At the National Prayer Breakfast, the President said that as ‘a person who has been “extraordinarily blessed,” he is willing to give up some of the tax breaks he enjoys because doing so makes economic, and religious sense.’ Then why doesn’t he? No one’s stopping him from giving more money to the government if he wants to. Just do it and quit talking about it!

“There is not a single word in the Bible that directs the State to confiscate money from the rich to enlarge the power and authority of civil government. Governments can’t follow the Golden Rule. Government doesn’t have any money to be gracious with. You can’t love your neighbor with someone else’s money. If I stole money from a rich person and gave it to a poor person, I would not be following the Golden Rule. President Obama wants to be benevolent with someone else’s money.

“In biblical terms, the State is a minister of justice not a dispenser of benevolence (Rom. 13:1–4). Jesus challenges the Rich Young Ruler to give his money to the poor not to Rome….

“Gleaning is the closest thing the Bible comes to in requiring the prosperous to help the poor (Lev. 19:9-10; 23:22; Deut. 24:19-21.). But gleaning is hard work. The owners of fields, vineyards, or orchards were not required to harvest the leftover grain. If the poor wanted to eat, they had to work for it. Paul most likely had these passages in mind when he wrote to the Thessalonians, ‘Don’t you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? “If you don’t work, you don’t eat”’ (2 Thess. 3:10).

“Wealth redistribution today is punitive; it’s about punishing the rich, not helping the poor. The rich don’t hoard their money. They loan it, invest it, and spend it. It’s these actions that help the less prosperous.”

I have already had one believer ask me in relation to all this, ‘what about the Year of Jubilee in Lev. 25?’ I said that I had already written on that passage, so I directed him – and I direct you – to this article: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2010/09/02/difficult-bible-passages-leviticus-25/

This is not the place to go into a detailed look at what the Bible has to say about economics and related issues. But if you want to know what it says, please do not go by the gospel according to Obama. He will take you light-years away from the Scriptural teaching on all this.


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15 Replies to “Obama, Jesus and Economics”

  1. I find such cynical misuse of God’s Word by people like Obama to be utterly loathsome.

    I’ve noticed with Obama that he’ll be Christian when it suits him, or Muslim when it suits. He’s like a chameleon, changing as it suits to get his way. He believes in nothing but himself.

    Morris Otte

  2. Doesn’t the US have laws against diliberatly misusing religious texts? The MB offshoot does this all the time don’t they?
    Doesn’t the leftocommies demand that religion be kept out of anything public? Don’t the left demand that Christians not be allowed to run for office?
    Why are they allowing thier messia to bring religion into politics? isn’t that kinda sorta hypocritical? Again does the left not say that any mention of religion is “extremeism”?
    Where is the lawsuit by the athiest and humanists organisations against obama for bringing religion into the presidency? Have they not done this to get rid of any evidence of the Christian origins of America?

    Oh how one must enjoy being able to have complete double standards when one is the messia (sarcasm off now).

    I wonder how they would be able to twist, turn, difuse, blend, obscervate this to mean that obama can do it or your racist, bigoted, islamophobic, radical, extremist, anti (insert name of idiology), etc.

    You might be able to answer this Bill, seeing as you were one of them once (not meant in a derogatory way), as for me it is just plain confusing to have to play by so many differing rules depending on which side I am on.

    Neil Waldron

  3. Thanks Neil

    Yes the religious left is a bundle of contradictions here (and I am not referring to the believer I mention above). They are forever blasting us when we stand up for various moral issues (marriage, life, etc) and appeal to some OT passages. But when it comes to economics issues, they often appeal to the OT, and texts like Lev 25. Consistency is not their strong point.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  4. If Obama can twist verses like that, I would think he could say just about anything.
    Daniel Kempton

  5. Thanks Bill, I can simply think to myself in regards to the leftocommies, “pull the other one, it plays jingle bells”, or would that be too “Christian” even though jingle bells isn’t a Christian Hymn.

    Neil Waldron

  6. Bill – slightly off topic, but can US Evangelicals countenance voting for a Mormon alternative to Obama – which seem now to be the choice they will have make in November?
    Stephen White

  7. Thanks Stephen

    There are two main problems with Romney:
    -many evangelicals are not thrilled with him and will not likely vote for him;
    -many conservatives are not thrilled with him and will not likely vote for him.

    But if it is him or Obama, most will go for Romney, but very grudgingly, or simply not vote at all.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  8. WOW! This would actually be very amusing if it wasn’t so serious. How does a president think he can get away with such a gross misuse of scripture for essentially stripping money off Christians? Is this acknowledgment that the Christians are the most significant group in America that actually contribute money into their society? At the very least if you want to use verses against us to tell us you need our money to run your country shouldn’t it be required you acknowledge maybe this group are getting something right if they need to prop up the rest of the country? I’m guessing this will never be verbalised:) Thanks again Bill for keeping us all informed and risking ongoing unpopularity for speaking truth.
    Neena Tester

  9. Thanks for your answer Bill. It seems that US might have 4 more years of Obama by default.
    Stephen White

  10. Thanks Stephen and Peter. Hopefully it won’t come down to a choice between Obama and Romney. If it does, it will be pretty much like choosing between McCain and Obama last time. What we need is a genuine conservative Republican to stand up to Obama.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  11. Just finished reading “Life and death in Shanghai” by a former director of the Shanghai office of Shell. It is an autobiography describing her experience in the “cultural revolution”. The tactics and arguments used there bare a frightening resemblance to what is happening in the west today. Beware frog, you are slowly boiled, rather than suddenly cast into the boiling water, out of which you could escape due to healthy instincts.
    James 1:22, out of Obama’s mouth? I wonder if anyone has asked Him if he therefore accepted the fact that he is a sinner and needs to bow the knee to and confess the name of Jesus Christ as Lord, just as that Word says that he said we should be a doer of?
    Rhetorical question, no need to answer.
    Many blessings,
    Ursula Bennett

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