The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian


Who’s responsible for health care?

posted by Robert Gelinas

Let’s cut to the chase, who’s responsible for health care? The answer:  The most powerful nation on the planet is responsible.

I think that it is clear that health care is a life issue and thus followers of Christ should have it, along with all other life issues, at the top of our agenda when it comes to seeking “the peace of the city to which God has carried us.”–I’ll take it even a step further, the most powerful nation on the planet is responsible for providing health care.
And, if you’re a Christian, who is the most powerful nation on the planet:  ”But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God.”  I Pet. 2.9ff
When we are happy that the government just signed a health care bill we are indicting our incompetence as Christians, for we are the nation with the mandate and motivation from God to care for the least of these.  When we indict the government for passing a health care bill we point our finger at the wrong culprit, for if the most powerful nation on the planet were doing it’s job then we wouldn’t see other institutions trying to solve our problems.

Let’s face it, the problem is us–the church–the holy nation of God.  We are called to follow in the footsteps of Christ, losing our lives for the sake of others.  We are the ones responsible for the orphans, widows and vulnerable of our society.  The average Christian in America has enough room in their houses and budgets to provide a home, health care and an education for more than their own family, yet the hard truth is that we are not doing this. 
If Christians in America would just start tithing there would be untold billions of dollars freed up for the whole gospel to go the whole world.  If we started to give sacrificially of our money (that is well beyond 10% instead of the the 2.5% that surveys tell us Christians actually give), homes and time then we would not be having this debate when it comes to health care.  There would be no children waiting in foster care.  Hunger would alleviated.  Running water would be the norm for people in developing countries AND we would still have incredible reserves available for world evangelization though church planting and missionary sending.
If only the most powerful nation on the planet, the body of Christ, truly treated life issues like matters of life and death and put our least valuable asset (our money) on the line so that our most valuable asset (our heart and lives) would follow.  For Jesus said, “Where your treasure is…”


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Ben MacLeay

posted March 23, 2010 at 9:03 am


Man made governments rule by threat of violence, to take away our property or our freedom in the event we violate the real or perceived public good. It is then appalling that we leave our orphans and our sick to be cared for by this same organization. Let us not wait for violence to level the playing field, let us not wait for love to be dispensed via violence.
2 Chronicles 2:6 “But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him? Who then am I to build a temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him?”
Church is not a place to hold God, but simply a place for us to sacrifice, I also believe Paul referred to even our bodies as temples. Let us stop going to church to see God once a week and start going to do one thing, sacrifice, and then get back to work outside the church walls.



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Scooter Buck

posted March 23, 2010 at 9:56 am


Hospitals, orphanages, adoption, feeding programs, education, etc.; These where not thought up by some government, these where signs of the church on a mission, a mission to bring hope, healing and justice to world drowning in despair and hopelessness. But as Erwin McManus said “We went from a church on a mission, to a church that supports missions.”



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Mark Lau

posted March 23, 2010 at 10:16 am


Lest we not forget, we are the most charitable nation on earth. The American people have been the shining light in this world of sin and darkness. We are and always have been a Christian Nation, regardless of what Mr. Obama has said. We have always taken care of those less fortunate, those in need. We do NOT need our corrupt government leaders to tell us to be charitable, or FORCE us to pay for someone else’s healthcare or welfare or abortions or drug addictions. Look around this country and you will see thousands of hospitals formed by the kindness of God. Every town has a St. Joseph’s, or St. Mary’s, or something similar. We Christians have been caring for the sick and weak for generations. Most doctors and nurses do what they do because God has spoken in their hearts, and given them the compassion and talent to do what they know is right. This world would be a better place if run by good, caring Christians and not by greedy, selfish politicians.



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nnmns

posted March 23, 2010 at 10:40 am


Gosh Mark with all that charity going on it’s kind of hard to understand the thousands of people who die each year for lack of health care and all those who lose their homes because of medical bills and on and on.
Could it be you are dreaming a little?



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nowanatheist

posted March 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm


“We do NOT need our corrupt government leaders to tell us to be charitable, or FORCE us to pay for someone else’s healthcare or welfare or abortions or drug addictions.”
Clearly you live on fantasy island. The government wouldn’t have to get involved if people/companies did the right thing. Thousands of people die from not having health insurance and that includes children not just the horrible “drug addicts” or those disgusting people on welfare. I am sure that Jesus would be so proud of you for choosing which people you don’t want to help. Just another reason that you prove to me why the government has to get involved.
In all the years I was a Christian I gave more money for “projects” and other nonsense. It was absolutely disgusting and appalling. Did we talk about helping people – sure. Did we do it – NO! The youth saw all this and most of them have left religion because of it. The hypocrisy is astounding.



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nowanatheist

posted March 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm


“If Christians in America would just start tithing there would be untold billions of dollars freed up for the whole gospel to go the whole world.”
There is untold billions being tithed that is going nowhere except to pay for buildings, etc. Perhaps if the churches started using the money correctly people would be more inclined to give. Perhaps if people had more money & weren’t living paycheck to paycheck then they could give more. Just because they don’t give as much as you want them to if they are doing it with a happy heart then I am sure your God is happy with that.
Perhaps churches should just require you to bring your paycheck & then take their 10 percent right there and then?



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Alan Baumbach

posted March 23, 2010 at 1:12 pm


Has anyone ever noticed how many hospitals the atheists have built?



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nnmns

posted March 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm


I don’t think we label the hospitals we build.
Isn’t it striking that the atheists here, on average, are more concerned about our fellow citizens than the Christians!



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Your Name

posted March 23, 2010 at 2:20 pm


Would be nice when the church rises to it’s potential- but for now love, let’s be real. We use the means God makes available to us. ex. if you’re sick, and God doesn’t heal you-go to the Doctor.
The answer lies in entering His rest-Hebrews 3 and 4. We take His authority and move as co-creators with Him in this earth.
Giving money to God isn’t what He wants-He wants YOU! All of you…have fun with That Lol!!!



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Terence Cooper

posted March 23, 2010 at 3:53 pm


Why do so many atheists come off so angry? Also it seems they are very quick to call christians hypocritical. From my experience, it seems that being a christian is a work in progress. We need to remain in Christ by reading the word and praying to allow Him to continually change us from the inside out.
If I may, I would like to address “NOWANATHEIST”. What was it exactly that convinced you that the god you were serving was not real?
This is really for the on going debate, but I know of so many people who did not believe in God and were amazed when they realized that He is. I have never met anyone who went all the way from loving Him to saying He doesn’t exist(which you may well know, the bible says that a fool says there is no God).
I’m just curious…



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Rebecca J Schaefer

posted March 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm


Health care is a choice. We have control over what we ingest, read, watch and the activities we invest our time in. We choose what & if we feed our children breakfast before school. We choose to care for our aging parents at home, or in a home. We choose to sustain life or detain life. Fueling our families, exercising our bodies, attending to our relatives, garnishing Sabbath rest empower us to move through life stages with grace & strength of body, mind & heart. I’d rather tithe to my church family, than to government programs that encourage shortening, rather than lengthening, the days of a human life. I’d rather invest in life, than death.



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nnmns

posted March 23, 2010 at 8:15 pm


RJS what the he** are you talking about? And how much help do you expect to get from your church if you need a $100,000 operation? Medicare works. Insurance companies work sometimes.



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nowanatheist

posted March 24, 2010 at 9:21 am


Terence, I am not going to hijack the thread about why I no longer believe. Nothing short of a book would/could state the reasons anyway. However, I will address why I may have sounded angry to you. It is appalling to me that Christians can sound so high and mighty talking so poorly about people they don’t think are worthy of health care or help. The Christians here want to decide how much to give and to whom.
The drug addicts have children. The homeless have children. The mentally ill people have children. If people can’t even think about the children it is just unbelievable. Even if these people don’t have children how can we be so cruel? No one asks to be mentally ill, and anyone can become homeless. Drugs & alcoholism are cruel problems and it is easy to just say that they should just quit. If it were only that easy!
As I stated before people should do the right thing but they don’t. It doesn’t matter what religion they are or their lack of religion. That is exactly why the government has to get involved.
And I want to address that just as you think atheists are angry or whatever you need to go visit more Christian blogs. Wow, you want to talk about hateful angry people. The Tea Party, who identify themselves as Christians, want a civil war so that our country can be strictly Christian. Who listens to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh & Ann Coulter – Christians. Look at who wants to divide our country (and are doing a good job of it thanks to Sarah Palin & her “real” Americans bull crap)? Not the atheists that is for sure.
I agree with nnmns about RJS. I am at a loss at what it is you are saying too. How is the government trying to shorten your life? What motive would they have to do that? Perhaps your church should form their own insurance plan & you will see that it takes ALL of us in America to share the pot. No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, etc. does NOT guarantee you won’t get cancer. One person at your church would wipe the whole insurance plan out.



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Banana021361

posted March 24, 2010 at 11:03 am


Last year I was unemployed for 3 months…for the first time I tried to get some kind of help from Uncle Sam. I am an Insulin dependent diabetic, my son has ADHD and takes medication.
Can you believe I was denied Medicaid because…”our records show you are making too much money to qualify for benefits”….me? Unemployed?
I went without glucose strips to survive…Do people in the White House know what that is??? I doubt it….and yes, this is the most
powerful nation in the world…What is the government priority? Weapons or People’s healthcare and public education?
Give me a break!!



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Robert Gelinas

posted March 24, 2010 at 11:43 am


Banana–Sorry for what you went through and I pray that your life has stabilized. Though, in my post, I didn’t say that the United States was the most powerful nation–I don’t believe that the U.S. failed you, I believe that it was US as Christians who were not there for you the way we are called to be. For that, I’m sorry.
jazz theologian



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Robert Gelinas

posted March 24, 2010 at 11:45 am


nnmns–glad you’re here and you’re always welcome join the groove on my blog–all I ask is that you do so with civility otherwise it throws the whole song off. :-)
jazz theologian



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Robert Gelinas

posted March 24, 2010 at 11:59 am


nowanatheist–your book would be one that I would read and take notes…perhaps once I get to know you here, I’ll ask you to share your story with us. Am I living on fantasy island? Perhaps. What I do know is that you are correct in your general assessment of the church. Sure I could provide shining examples to rebut your assertion but, in the end, they would not be adequate. So let me say that I agree with you–the church has fallen short of what Jesus desires.
You’re always welcome to join the groove here–an atheist on a Christian blog is like the blue notes in jazz…not always easy to hear but they music is so much better.
jazz theologian



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nowanatheist

posted March 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm


Thank you Robert. I have to say that I am impressed that you are open to listen to what others have to say. This past year or so I feel like I woke up in a different country. Neither political party is perfect but when our elected officials won’t even read something because it was proposed by a different party is unbelievable. They are like children who pick up their marbles & go home to pout. The only difference is that these people are paid handsomely for the privilege. John McCain already said that the GOP will not work with the dems the rest of the year because of the health care bill. What? Would you hire someone who says this?
While I realize that the people seen in the public don’t represent all Christians someone needs to speak out. Of course, Jim Wallis made the mistake to respond to the hatred & ignorance that Glenn Beck pedals. Now Glenn is trying to tarnish his reputation – over essentially nothing. Why are no Christians calling these hate & fear mongers out?
Why do Christians believe that just because someone says that they are a Christian that they should buy their books, go to their seminars, give them enormous amounts of money and believe them. Show me were Sarah Palin presents herself as a true Christian? It is also interesting to note that not even she gave 10% to church & she made over $175K that year. Never heard that mentioned.
All my Christian friends who absolutely love her can even give me one good reason why they like her. There is the ever popular – she is a Christian, she didn’t abort her down syndrome son. That does not make her a good politician. She lies all the time. Do Christians care? Apparently not.
We all need to live on this earth together. Will there be perfect peace & perfect people? Never! However, the people who claim that they know what God wants are the scariest persons I know at the moment. We have to listen to one another.
Sorry this is so long but I am really scared about what the right wing Christians are doing. If the people found one Christian leader to rile up the extremists there will be another civil war & this time it will be in God’s name.



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Dave LeMieux

posted March 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm


I would love to hear the perspectives of health-care or insurance professionals of various faiths concerning Robert’s post on health care. Anyone out there? Doesn’t have to be eloquent…just real and from the front lines. PEACE dave



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Robert Gelinas

posted March 24, 2010 at 2:32 pm


Dave,
Great question…look forward to any responses.
In the mean time, just study the history of the hospitals in the city in which you live…who started them and why…their names give you a pretty good hint (St. Josephs, Presbyterian St. Luke’s…Aurora South wasn’t always called that)…then, for an historical perspective check out those radical disciples of Jesus who were (and are) committed to Christ and science at the same time–The Jesuits.
As far as the numbers…I’ll post in the future on that.
Stay in the groove…



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Rob

posted March 26, 2010 at 6:59 pm


Robert is correct in saying that if “we” as Christians would do what we’re suppose to do with the money “our Savior” graciously provides then a lot of problems would no longer exist. Unfortunately, the tithing issue just seems to worsen as I type. I belong to a mega Church in the South and we’re doing OK but the tithing issue remains an issue just like everywhere else.
Praise be to God we help meet the need of local homeless by feeding them everyday, however after doing this we lack in ability financially to help meet the needs of our poorer members. This gets back to disobedience via stewardship, not handling our business God’s way. That said, as a community we Christians suffer tremendously from our unbelief, our lack of faith if you will. This is a serious stumbling block in the community of worshipers. Thanks for blessing us with your wisdom, understanding and your faith in Christ.
Grace and peace be with you always, Rob



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