Health care reform is needed here in the US. We’ve known that for quite a while. But nothing has changed for that same amount of time.
Today, the Senate passed (on strict party lines, 60-39) their version of the health care reform bill. Now they need to debate a little more and merge theirs with the version the House of Representatives put together earlier.
This was a monumental step toward reform, whether you are in favor of the two bills or not. Something is moving forward. Change is going to happen. My conservative Christian friends will be up in arms over this, mainly because of the abortion issue. I can understand their take: why should anti-abortion tax payer money go toward funding abortions? Heck! I ask the same thing about war funding: why should anti-war, anti-occupation, anti-imperial military machine tax payer money go towards paying for the military? And there will be a lot of hoot and cry over this for the next month or so as the debate grows.
But I will continue to say to my Christian friends, conservative and liberal and none-of-the-above alike: where is your focus? As disciples of the Lord Jesus, citizens and promoters of the Kingdom of God, we cannot get stuck in the mindset that to help this world we have to place our hope and faith in the kingdoms of this world. If this Senate bill had been voted down, 60-39 the opposite direction, would you be praising God that now nothing has been accomplished?
Or are you even now thinking, “How can my church bring true health care reform to our community? How can we attack the problems here in our community so no woman feels the need to have an abortion? How can we support those who cannot afford a health insurance plan? Who can we talk to to get donated supplies? Where can we go to establish a church-run clinic?” Maybe you remember that whether abortion is legal or not, funded by tax money or not, women will still have abortions if they feel it’s necessary (or just because they want to). That’s not an issue that will be fixed with the Senate passing or not passing a bill. Maybe you remember that the poor and homeless in our communities are for the most part caste that way because we the people have not cared about them (and it’s we the people who voted in the reps and senators that we wanted to take care of it all for us).
Jesus told us to take care of the sick, poor, widowed, not to let the kingdoms of the world handle it. Be the change, folks. Live the peace of our master.
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has a powerful slogan: Getting in the way. And their central question is just as profound: “What would happen if Christians devoted the same discipline and self-sacrifice to nonviolent peacemaking that armies devote to war?”
The goals of CPT are actually very simple:
Enlisting the whole church in an organized, nonviolent alternative to war, today CPT places violence-reduction teams in crisis situations and militarized areas around the world at the invitation of local peace and human rights workers. CPT embraces the vision of unarmed intervention waged by committed peacemakers ready to risk injury and death in bold attempts to transform lethal conflict through the nonviolent power of God’s truth and love.
Yet as formidably Christian as the organization is, as active around the world for the sake of peace driven by love and compassion—grounded in the Lord Jesus—CPT receives very little support from the greater Christian community. CPT members are willing to get in the way, to get their hands dirty and fight on behalf of the oppressed and persecuted.
Please consider learning more about Christian Peacemaker Teams. Go to their website: cpt.org. Read over their mission statement. Subscribe to their free quarterly newsletter and read about what CPT is suffering through on behalf of the weak, persecuted, downtrodden, mute, oppressed, poor, outcasts. Watch for the regular news breaks, and keep an eye on what is going on in Palestine.
Then consider how you might be able to help. Maybe you can train and join CPT somehow. Maybe you can provide some financial support. Maybe you can educate your congregation and together support these workers. Pray. Ask the Lord to open your eyes that you might see and understand.