A Christian’s Response to THE FISCAL CLIFF

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

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“How did we get into this situation?” (cartoon by Ruth Elliott)

Well, we have just gone off the fiscal cliff and the consequences have not been as some have predicted! As Christians we are challenged to be helpfully involved in the society of which we are a part.

“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”(Jeremiah 29:7)

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and
thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.” (I Timothy 2:1,2)

As we might expect, God is looking out for us. He wants things to go well
for all peoples in all cities, counties, states, and nations! We find that goodness,
which he desires for us, in his teachings and instructions. God seeks to be of help;
he does not want us to walk into harm. Indeed, he warns us against harming
ourselves.
We have been reminded in the past few years that most politicians have one
thing in mind, and that is being reelected, reelected and reelected! They seek
to please their constituents by getting things for them from the general treasuries.
They raise the funds to do this through taxation, and if they cannot get enough
money through the revenues that taxes produce—then, they borrow the money to
placate us, and let future generations worry about the consequences. I remember
the statement of John F. Kennedy in 1960, “Ask not what your country can do for
you, but ask what you can do for your country.”
What has happened to that
spirit?
As we are concerned about the financial health of our nation and the states,
we need to follow some basic biblical principles:

“So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this
is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
“Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others
better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own
interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3,4)

Many of our politicians are teaching us to seek our own welfare and give it
top priority. If we are not careful, we will become like pigs nuzzling each other out
at the trough (if that has not already occurred). As Christians, we should be
motivated to seek the welfare of our cities, states, and nation. When something
comes our way that is to our benefit, we should ask if this is also to the benefit of
the nation as a whole. We may believe in separation of church and state (if we
properly understand what that means)—but surely we do not mean separation
from the high ethical and moral teachings that the Bible gives to us.

Foster H. Shannon

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Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is:www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.