Good Intentions, Bad Results

We all know from experience how often good intentions lead to less-than-desired results. Nowhere is this proven true more often than with the promises and resulting policies of politicians. I do not want to question anyone’s heart even when some may seem suspect. Surely most are not intentionally trying to create a nation of dependents in order to maintain power, although there is much room to wonder.

There are only a few things government is established and designed to do. Governments will always prove to miserably fail when attempting to substitute their agencies and bureaucracies for what the private sector and individuals can do very well when inspired to focus on any need or challenge. Still, populations most often settle for the wrong approach, seriously complicating the problem and seldom solving anything. In the President’s State of the Union address this week, government was consistently presented as both the hope and source for almost every problem. Nothing could be further from the truth and the additional debt load and increasing tax burden will contribute to the destruction of our once great nation.

Unless people filled with love and proven answers are actively involved helping those in need, little, if any, progress will be made. There will never be a substitute for God or for loving our neighbors – period! We will never effectively help the poor and needy with mere handouts or checks from Uncle Sam. There is no meaningful help without inspiration, instruction, living examples, and training with emphasis on positive pursuits and personal responsibility. America has accepted many very expensive, failed substitutes. We must support people and programs that are known to work. One of the most damaging practices we continually witness is the attempt of politicians to produce equal outcomes for all citizens.

Our nation’s founders defined what they meant by “equality” when they said that we are all “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.” The point they were trying to emphasize was equal rights under the law, not equal outcomes for every individual. And notice that the three rights they enumerated as examples were the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Happiness is not a guaranteed right, and even our right to pursue it implies some action and effort on our part. Any attempt, therefore, to legislate equality of outcomes or to impose a one-size-fits-all standard on society is misguided and simply will not work. It should be obvious that the differences between people and the unequal distribution of abilities, motivation and aptitudes make it unlikely that the playing field will ever truly be “leveled.” But that’s no excuse for people not achieving their maximum potential. As a nation, we should be doing everything we can to remove barriers that hold people back, but it will always be the responsibility of the individual to make the most of his or her opportunities.

I endured tough circumstances as a child, but I saw my situation as a challenge to overcome, not an excuse for not working hard to improve my situation. I did not wait for someone to take care of me, feel sorry for myself, or resent those who had what I did not. At age twelve I got a job paying way below minimum wage and started digging my way out. The gates of hell did not prevail! There will always be obstacles to freedom, success and advancement, but therein lies the challengeand the opportunity. It is imperative that we understand equality is not sameness.

The New Testament says we are each uniquely created as “living stones” that God is using to build a spiritual house. The idea of stones suggests unique shapes, sizes, and colors, not uniformly shaped bricks – not sameness. We are also pictured as members of Christ’s body, the Church. Just as each member of our physical body, uniquely formed with great diversity, must come together in healthy connectedness in order to be built up into the fullness of the stature of Christ, we must submit to the head, the Lord Jesus, to fulfill His kingdom purpose. We must learn to recognize and appreciate the diversity and importance of each person, every member of the whole.

I am amazed at the wonder of God’s diverse creation. People are so different yet every one of us expresses the character of God in unique and defined ways. Diversity was God’s idea, which He incorporated into His creation of the earth and everything in it. And when we allow diversity to work for us, we can achieve unity in spite of our differences, we can tolerate distinctions in others, we can work together to accomplish what is good and right and true, and we can promote beauty, justice, and freedom.

When we as humans come along and try to make everything uniform – in our communities, denominations, political parties, and social movements – in a sense we’re “stacking bricks,” and in the process we overlook the distinctive beauty of what God created and intended for us. If we are to succeed – as a nation, a church, a community, or a family – we must recognize and respect our differences, learn to utilize our strengths, and overcome our weaknesses. Only when the “living stones” of our society learn to fit and function together will we be able to stay strong, coexist in peace, and fulfill the dream of freedom and opportunity.

What is the best way for those of us as citizens and Christians who have been blessed to effectively assist those who have legitimate needs in our community, our nation and the world? How do we go about ensuring equal protection under the law and equal opportunity for all? We need to start by confronting the prejudice in our own hearts and in those around us that would keep us from extending the privileges of equality to everyone. The institution of government cannot achieve this, but we the people can. When we see all of the opportunities afforded us in America, it should inspire in us a greater appreciation for our freedom and motivate us not only to dedicate our lives to guarding these privileges, but also to developing the underprivileged in every possible way. Jesus said, “Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.”[1] This by no means refers to anyone at any income level giving more money to support ineffective government efforts.

When those of us with greater privileges, greater advantages, greater resources, and greater opportunities offer the advantage of those resources to others less fortunate, in effect we extend equality to them. We need to do this in all areas. When we see others who are struggling and who have fewer opportunities for advancement, we ought to pour ourselves into trying to help them find more opportunity and achieve beyond their wildest dreams. Somewhere in our local communities, in our nation, and in the global community, we must unleash a spirit of harmony that says, “We’re in this together, and I must build you up to make us both strong; I must work to help you overcome the limitations that are holding you down.” Whether those limitations are due to poverty, prejudice, lack of opportunity, lack of education, or lack of resources, we must take responsibility for tearing down the walls of bondage and oppression. The federal government cannot do this. It is up to “we the people”.

Just because one person has a greater capacity for learning or a greater ability to succeed than someone else doesn’t diminish the value or importance of the one less gifted. In fact, if we would really pay attention to what Jesus said about the greater serving the lesser, we would see our advantages as opportunities to serve the less fortunate.

Jesus said that when we feed the hungry, offer a glass of water to someone who is thirsty, show hospitality to a stranger, clothe the needy, visit the sick and those in prison, it’s the same as if we had offered that food, water, clothing, hospitality, and compassion directly to Him. If people in the church would apply the principle of serving the less fortunate with the same zeal that they use to defend their theological positions, if churches competed to out serve each other instead of competing for new members, there wouldn’t be so many hungry, thirsty, homeless, suffering people in the world. There wouldn’t be such inequality in our society, because a service-oriented church with Spirit-filled believers would eradicate it.

True justicethe principle of right action in conformity to truthis the model for how we can deal with poverty issues in our country. It’s the model for how we can deal with minority issues. Right action can only be sustained by right motives and dedication to Christ’s commission. We need to genuinely care about people who are in need – not as a political strategy to advance the agenda of our party, nor as a church-building strategy to get people to join our congregation, but because it’s the right thing to do. Loving God with all of our heart and loving our neighbors will always work!



[1] Luke 12:48

 

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10 comments

  1. On the eve of his second election, heading back to Crawford, Geo Bush gave a speech at SMU and said, “The government cannot give someone a hug, only you can do that”

  2. James makes this statement in his opening paragraph:

    “We all know from experience how often good intentions lead to less-than-desired results. Nowhere is this proven true more often than with the promises and resulting policies of politicians. I do not want to question anyone’s heart even when some may seem suspect. Surely most are not intentionally trying to create a nation of dependents in order to maintain power, although there is much room to wonder.” This is very true.

    I support his comment that “Surely most are not intentionally trying to create a nation of dependents in order to maintain power…” However, there is one thing we are 100% positive of and that is Satan’s intention. His intention is to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” His intention is to deceive, corrupt, defraud, pervert, and take as many to hell and the lake of fire as possible. His intention is to cause the human race to disbelieve the word of God and become dependent on human leadership and Satan has found vessels he can work through.

    Satan is the antithesis of the original, Jesus Christ. For example, Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed…” Satan’s antithesis of that original word is manifest in this manner, “the unholy spirit of iniquity is upon me, because I am anointed to preach the perverted news to the poor. I have come to destroy freedom and keep the people in blindness and to oppress the masses…” Satan initiated this in the Garden of Eden. Notice…

    Cain’s intention in the Garden was to offer a sacrifice to Elohim and be accepted. “Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell…”

    We can see the same two spirits and intentions at work in the Garden. Cain’s intention was for Elohim to accept the offering of the works of his hands and Abel’s intention was to offer a sacrificial lamb. John wrote, “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.”

    Father God’s intention is for us to be identified with his original word and sacrificial lamb. Satan’s intention is to deceive mankind into the idolatrous worship of the works of their hands and ignore the Lamb. What are the results? Those who are identified with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, bring repentance, salvation, peace, and prosperity to the world. However, those who are identified with human effort and worship the works of their hands are the antithesis of life and blessings and their results bring death by abortion, slavery to sin, prisoners to oppression, blindness by deception, the curse of sexual perversion, and death to the soul.

  3. cant read he article becausethe ground color is as dark as the font. Can you make the backgrond colo lighter?

  4. Every week I read James’ commentaries and I am inspired by his compassion, steadfastness, faith, love, and conviction. I am also saddened and my heart breaks at the gift of God in his life being ignored by our government leaders. Please bear with me as I speak boldly.

    The political leaders find it appealing to the public emotions to be seen rubbing shoulders with the elite of Hollywood and the celebrities of the sports world whose lives are filled with sinful intention, corruption, adultery, divorce, drug abuse and addictions. They love the praises of men more than the praises of God, says the scripture. However, these politicians do not want to be seen with the men and women whose lives manifest godly repentance, blood bought redemption, the divine gifts of God, the Spirit of God, and the revelation of God, which is Jesus Christ. Therefore their good intentions reap the sinful fruits of evil results.

    I trust you will bear with me for a moment.

    I want to ask the following questions: Is this what Jesus Christ died for? Did Elohim, the Creator, manifest his complete Godhead in Jesus Christ for the world to accept good intentions instead of the divine counsel of the Son of God? Did Jesus Christ sacrifice his life, as no man has ever sacrificed, so mankind would be subjected to the frivolous whims of human intentions? Was Jesus Christ subjected to such beatings by the hands of wicked men, in so much, that his face and body was marred beyond any past present or future comparison so mankind could serve their idols of selfish ambitions? Was Jesus Christ wounded for our intentions?

    Was he bruised so human governments could be the source of hope? Was he subjected to our deserved punishment so politics could dictate peace and safety? Or, were the stripes that wicked men placed upon his back by a Roman cat-of nine tails for the purpose of human ideologies to replace the infallible word of God? Is this what Jesus Christ suffered and died for? Was his intention to make such a sacrifice so the human heart would remain sinful and the condition of the world to exist in gross spiritual darkness? Was the intention of Jesus Christ to give sovereign gifts to the world so the consequence of human philosophy and political discrepancy would reign supreme?

    These questions have grave consequences and each individual will be forced to face the challenges of the answers they chose.

    There is no such thing in Satan’s Eden as a level playing field. He has come to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. The only level playing field in existence is when the human heart makes preparation for the LORD of Glory. For it is written, “The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley will be exalted, and every mountain and hill will be made low: and the crooked will be made straight and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.”

    The only prosperity promised by Father God is when his prophets are believed. God’s prosperity does not exist outside of his prophets. If this nation truly wants the blessings of their Creator, Jesus Christ, it will require a leader with the intentions of King Jehoshaphat. During his leadership he was lauded for overcoming sexual corruption and destroying the idols of Baal. In the third year of his reign he sent out priests and Levites over the land to instruct the people in the Law. He did not dispatch politicians to support idolatry and sexual perversion. Jehoshaphat’s divinely inspired declaration is still true today; “Believe in the LORD your God, so will you be established; believe his prophets, so will you prosper.” The intention and revelation of Jesus Christ is to “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”

    The scriptural revelations given by God’s prophets and preached in the power and demonstration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by his ministers, are the only hope for every individual and each nation under heaven. “When Jesus Christ ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.

    And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

  5. One of the best columns I’ve ever read! People need to be exposed to these truths.

  6. I agree – we have been in Plan B for too long… Plan A is for us to BE the church – more more than just GO to church….

  7. I just want to say how much I look forward to reading James Robinsons articles every week,he is so filled with Love, compassion, & Intelligence . If only we had more Men like him in this world what a wonderful world this would be.

  8. My comment is in regards to the following statement made by James:

    “Our nation’s founders defined what they meant by “equality” when they said that we are all “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. The point they were trying to emphasize was equal rights under the law, not equal outcomes for every individual… Any attempt, therefore, to legislate equality of outcomes or to impose a one-size-fits-all standard on society is misguided and simply will not work. It should be obvious that the differences between people and the unequal distribution of abilities, motivation and aptitudes make it unlikely that the playing field will ever truly be “leveled.”

    The ‘equality and level playing field’ philosophy is an interesting propaganda which has its origin in the Garden of Eden and was initiated by the serpent to the woman, Eve. Allow me to explain. First, we can clearly understand that the six days of creation demonstrates a divine diversity of the attributes and characteristics of Elohim, the Creator. This diversity can be seen as Elohim divided the day into evening and morning; he made a difference between light and darkness; a distinction between the waters above the firmament and the waters below the firmament, and a separation of seas and dry land. His specific distinctions are observed as each fruit and herb seed was to bring forth of its own kind; the lights were created and designed uniquely different for signs and seasons and days and years; the sea creatures and the winged birds brought forth after their own kind; the cattle, creeping thing, and every beast brought forth after their kind; and on the sixth day Elohim created the man, first and made a distinction between the man and the woman taken from Adam’s side. The man was called Adam and the female was called Woman, because she came out of man. Eve did not receive her name until she gave birth and then she was called Eve, the mother of all living. And, all of the divine diversity created for six days, Elohim saw that it was very good. All creation was created equally by the spoken word of Elohim, but each unique creation multiplied and became fruitful after its own kind. The outcome of each creation was diverse, but equality of creative power was experienced the same.

    Lucifer, in the serpent, did not agree with the diversity of creation and the way Elohim had formed a perfect union, established justice, and ensured domestic tranquility from such a diversified revelation. Elohim was at the head of Adam and Eve, Adam was the head of Eve and Adam and Eve was told by Elohim, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” There exists and hierarchy in the kingdom of Elohim and it unveils his all-powerful might and Godhead.

    Suddenly the serpent shows up and initiates a conversation with the Woman. She had just received the equality but diversity message from Elohim. Of every tree of the garden you may eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, don’t eat it or you die. Elohim’s message spoke of the diversity of partaking of the creation in the Garden and also spoke of different outcomes for attempting to level the playing field. The serpent said to the Woman, you will not die! For Elohim knows that in the day you partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will be as gods, knowing good and evil. This was the genesis concept of how to rebel and level the playing field. The serpent’s message was a message of fairness. He wanted Adam and Eve to be deceived by a socialist message and rebel from the original revelation of Elohim. Look, Elohim is the head over Adam, Adam is over you, and look at me, the serpent, I am under you. But, this can evolve in such a way that we can level the playing field and make things fair and equal. Now you will have to understand the word by Elohim said you would die if you eat from this certain tree, but he does not understand the equality of civil rights. Elohim is all spiritual and he does not grasp things like civil rights issues. He wants you to stay conservative. If you stay under this type of administration you will not experience your true civil freedom and equality. So, listen to me because I have evolved on this issue. Listen, Elohim said you would die if you disregarded his word, but my revelation is that you will not die. For Elohim knows that when you partake of the tree in the midst of the garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will be as us, knowing good and evil. The playing field will be leveled and you will experience a one-size fits all liberal standard instead of settling for his conservative diversity and hierarchy. He wants to be the head, but listen, we can all be the same.

    Blessed is he that reads and understands; In the beginning, the genesis of every seed brought forth of its own kind, and with that came pride, a haughty and jealous spirit in the serpent from Lucifer, the devil, and it liberated Eve from Elohim’s conservative truth and freedom of eternal life. She accepted an antichrist substitute and Elohim’s word came to pass and they died. Thus Saith the LORD, The same deceptive seed of rebellion is unfolding before our eyes. Elohim has a divinely created diversified order, but the devil from Genesis, is continually attempting to market his evolved teaching and propaganda by changing Elohim’s original word.

    “I am amazed at the wonder of God’s diverse creation. People are so different yet every one of us expresses the character of God in unique and defined ways. Diversity was God’s idea, which He incorporated into His creation of the earth and everything in it. And when we allow diversity to work for us, we can achieve unity in spite of our differences, we can tolerate distinctions in others, we can work together to accomplish what is good and right and true, and we can promote beauty, justice, and freedom.”

  9. Amen to that James! Couldn’t have said it better myself. You hit the nail right on the head!