If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. . . . And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (Rom 8.11, 23).
A revolutionary spirit blows across the Fruited Plain. Arguably sensationalized by a ubiquitous media, congressional “Town Halls” erupt with vehemence over government-sponsored health care. The issue has become too unwieldy for even those-(supposedly)-in-the-know to sort through the details. For the federal government the infamous “public option” has become a public relations nightmare and a financial boondoggle. For the church, however, it is another golden opportunity to proclaim the excellencies of Christ.
Christians cannot be disinterested in health care. Like Jesus, we are to be the world’s strongest advocate for merciful, timely, indiscriminate care for suffering people. We champion the sanctity of life and must encourage any and all means that encourage life in every context. And by “every,” we must mean “every”! Being pro-life means more than being pro-breathing. The church is God’s “welfare” provider as she takes seriously the commands to care for her widows and orphans. But our Babelesque compounds have eclipsed “pure and undefiled religion” (Jas 1.27), hogging all the light to leave the least of these in our impressive shadow. But I digress.
Our concern for health care is not an ultimate concern. Even the world’s greatest health care “system” (which the United States obviously has) merely prolongs the inevitable. No health care system in all the world at any time will ever be able to remedy our greatest enemy: death. The libertarian and the socialist may live differently but they die just the same. They may stand on opposing sides of the aisle but they share the same coffin. They may differ on the government’s public option but they will both run out of options when the wages of our sin come due.
The church, therefore, offers a public option from another world that is guaranteed to secure life for all those who “buy” into it. That option is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The best free-marketeers, socialists or anyone in between can offer when it comes to health care is a way to temporarily sustain this life. The church offers a way to live eternally. Our hope is not in health care no matter who runs it. Our hope is in the Risen Lord Jesus who has solved our health care “crisis” by resurrection, not legislation. And we proclaim that Christ Jesus gives life to our mortal bodies through a glorious resurrection. This option is already paid for by the blood of our Lord Jesus and all who repent and believe are guaranteed eternal care.
Health care options may help us die painlessly, but no health care option helps us die well. Only the gospel can do that. So, dear Christian, have your debates and assert your convictions. But make sure your zeal is not misplaced or sinfully earthbound. Let us not leave people hoping in affordable health care, but in the redemption of our bodies by the Spirit of God. That’s something worth shouting about.