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The Mandate Upheld

What the Decision Means for Christians

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A lot of legal pundits didn’t see this coming. So what does the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare mean for Christians? Find out, next on BreakPoint.

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John Stonestreet

You’ve no doubt heard that the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, upheld the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and the ACA itself.

The ACA will now, of course, be a major campaign issue in this fall’s election. The GOP has vowed to repeal the ACA if they’re elected. The Court’s decision will be scrutinized, and there will be no shortage of analyses about what this says about the Roberts Court.

What I want to do is start a discussion with BreakPoint listeners about the decision’s impact on Christians. While we can disagree about whether the ACA is good policy — and personally, I think it’s deeply flawed in very important ways — the health care issues addressed in the ACA cannot be ignored.

So while many of us may have been disappointed by the outcome of the case, the Court’s decision provides us with an opportunity to say what we are for and not just what we are against.

The first thing we can agree we are for is that the health care and insurance situation in this country is just not acceptable.  Millions in our country do not have adequate or any health insurance, and while some avoid this by choice, many, including many with children, simply can’t afford it. The current system is broken, and Christians need to care about those who suffer. The Affordable Care Act is not the best answer for the problem, but it’s still a problem that Christians shouldn’t, in good conscience, ignore. Morally, the status quo is unacceptable.

The same thing can be said about the rising costs of health care. When you hear about the tens of trillions in “unfunded liabilities,” the largest and fastest-growing part of that is related to health-care costs. These costs are by far the greatest threat to our fiscal future, a fact on which both parties already agree. So we should insist that this “agreement” translate into actual action.

Justice Roberts’ majority opinion, which upheld the individual mandate by justifying it under Congress’ taxing powers, invited Congress to revisit some of the ACA’s provisions. And we should urge Congress to do this, and provide better protection for the sanctity of human life.

I’m not only referring to taxpayer funding of abortion, although current provisions against that are woefully inadequate. I also have in mind what might be called the “monetizing of human life,” the cost-benefit calculations that prompt people to talk about “death panels.”

Also, it should go without saying that we must insist on better guarantees for the freedom of conscience. The ongoing struggles over the HHS mandate have made clear the administration’s intent to define freedom of conscience and religious freedom as narrowly as possible. Given this intention, they should not be allowed the kind of carte-blanche discretion the ACA currently affords them to change these definitions about religious freedom as much as they’ve already done.

This struggle over the HHS mandate underlines the need for courage. The first attempt to apply the ACA was a complete broadside against religious freedom. While I’m gratified at the loud and strong response from many Christians, I am certain that there are more threats to our freedom still to come.

Now that the ACA has been upheld, we need to be prepared to fight for something better than the status quo. We need to insist on something that addresses all of our concerns.

As Chuck Colson might have put it, this battle has just begun.

There will be a lot of discussion about the Supreme Court ruling at our blog at BreakPoint.org. I hope you’ll come and join this conversation. Go to BreakPoint.org and click on the “BreakPoint Blog” tab. Or click on this commentary to leave a comment.

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Comments:

Waiting for God
I agree with what John, James, Kenneth, and Lisa are saying. I guess I agree with what everyone is saying here. I just wanted to add:

The Bible states that God allows these things to happen when a nation turns away from Him. If they do not turn away from sin He allows them to sin exceedingly. He also knows that so many people are blinded by the evil in this world and in the end, of course He will forgive them. Despite the fact that some of the things people do are so despicable. He cannot even look at them.

The Bible states that before His return it will seem as if the enemy is winning and that, in fact, has already won. But the truth is, that is when a nation is becoming very close to good overcoming evil completely. And, of course, God wins. Good always overcomes evil. Only because His Son came and told us The Father was good do we even KNOW for a fact that that is true.

The government may have its plans, but God has been around since the beginning of time and we can be sure that what will ensue is His greater will.

Not because of what We The People have done- but because of what He has done.

But I believe that The United States of America is a chosen, beloved, precious nation to God. And - although it may not seem this way at times - the majority of the people here still adhere to what our forefathers believed when they wrote line 39 of The Declaration of Independence.

God is greater than man.
Sloppy reasoning
It's sobering to think that Congress' ability to tax can justify legislation that is latently socialistic in a number of ways. I wonder if Justice Roberts has other issues that would fall under this carte blanche judgement, such as taxing non-profits in order to pay for the ACA. The historical problem has always been that once the Pandora of precedent has escaped the box, she shows great reluctance in not venturing farther and farther away.
Making a Difference & Hanging In There
I would like to respond to Tina and Kenneth.

Tina, it is discouraging that those who promote unrighteousness are advancing their agenda . . . and it is an agenda. It is intentional and the purpose is control and dominion. It comes from their rejection of, hated and enmity with the triune God: the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. But for those who are in Christ, those who belong to God through Christ's redemption, they are secure. You may believe that, you may not, it depends on your theology, but it is absolutely Biblical and the truth. God has promised it and He is true to His word. Trust Him, trust also in Christ and be encouraged.

Kenneth is right, God is sovereign. But God is not only sovereign, He is The Sovereign. What God is sovereign over is His creation, His Word and His people. His sovereign Word calls His people to be in the world, but not of it. We are to be doing just what you are doing Tina, we are His light and salt. We are called to be good stewards of His creation and be responsible in the places where He has put us. We are to live and speak His Word in fellowship with Him and the people He has put us around. This includes our family, children, friends, neighbors, co-workers, at work, at home, everywhere, all the time. This is called taking all things captive unto Christ, it is taking dominion. It is not being domineering.

Since God cannot sin, doesn't lead us into sin. Since He is holy, righteous and just. The events in our culture can only be viewed as His judgment. Otherwise, He is ordaining evil. The political environment is a clash of good and evil, right and wrong based on law. It is a clash between God's law and man's law. It is man usurping and rejecting God law, His Lordship as the King of all creation.

Tina, you are on the right track standing for what is holy, righteous, true and just according to the God of the Bible. Read Ephesians 6:10-18f and stand. It is our calling to take a stand, it is not our calling to throw in the proverbial towel and give up.

I believe our current degenerate cultural is result of those who are Christ's not taking a stand. Our Christian culture, the church and our preachers tell us to wait on the Lord, or wait for His return and everything will eventually be made right and we will be happy then. But that's not the clear message of the Bible. What we are experiencing is God's displeasure, discipline and judgment. His purpose is to get our attention and turn back to Him. So read Eph 6:10-18f and other passages like it and continue to stand. Then live in the present Joy of the Lord, which is our strength and remember "I can do all things through Christ, WHO gives me strength." May the Lord bless you and keep you . . . and us all, in this time of trial. Let us persevere, and may God be praised!
Making A Difference
I understand Tina's frustration in the previous comment. There is one thing I continue to remember & that is the fact God is sovereign. The American people, Christians especially, need to stop depending on politicians & The Supreme Court among human means to change things for the better. Go to any conservative blog now & you will see so-called conservatives wailing that if Mitt Romney is not elected in November America will cease to exist. They are also calling John Roberts vile names I won't repeat. God is still in control & the ACA was upheld for a reason God has not disclosed yet. Nowhere do these so-called conservatives say we must turn to our Heavenly Father & put our trust in Him that the ACA being upheld will help us in some way down the road. Just raging anger, vile name calling, & profane threats. I am not for the ACA, but I know God knows better than I & I trust He will use its being upheld for His good purposes. We should never give up, but we should stop depending on flawed, fallible sinners like ourselves to bail us out of bad circumstances. In the end our politicians & justices do not posess the infallibility of our Heavenly Father & it's in Him we should place our trust. America's political & judicial systems are too corrupt to get it right. Only God can. Do I suggest hiding out & removing ourselves from the political process & voting & let God do all the work? No. I suggest we put our faith where it belongs. In The Almighty God who is sovereign. America's governmental & judicial branches are not our savior. God is.
Hang in there Tina!
I hope you keep fighting. There are many resources that are on this web site that can help you express your arguments in a clear logical way. Read them and use them as often as possible.

HOWEVER keep in mind that many people make up their minds based on what the TV tells them, not by thinking things through. When you show them the logic of the Christian position they will try to dismiss you as out of touch or a bigot. That does not mean we should stop.

Also we need to remember that this is a spiritual fight that has been going on since Genesis 3. Our main goal is spread the Gospel of Christ. This is more important than the culture battle.
Terribly discouraged . . .
I am heartbroken and discouraged by this ruling. It seems that the liberals win on EVERYTHING. They have won on gay rights. They have won on gay marriage. They have won on illegal immigration. They have won on don't ask, don't tell. They have won on the ACA. My efforts don't seem to matter at all. If I talk, they talk more. If I yell, they yell louder. If I scream, they scream louder. If I give an argument, they mangle it to pieces. If I say, "A + B = C", they say, "D + E = F + G". I don't dare talk politics with many of my friends--even with many members of my church--because I cannot hold my own in an argument. I do not feel as if I can make a difference anywhere.