It’s not that we’re totally opposed to government; we’ve just had enough of big government and of big government’s tendency to make itself bigger. This is not good for government. Bigness makes government unwieldy and susceptible to inefficiency and corruption.
It’s not good for the governed, either, because it creates an entitlement mindset that leads folks to get mad and throw tantrums – and worse – whenever government talks about cutting back their “benefits.” But bigness in government seems to be everywhere the trend. It will take some powerful persuading and some very committed and courageous politicians to turn around the direction government is headed in America and elsewhere.
And a lot of prayer too, as I point out in the Sunday section for this week’s Ancient Paths readings on government. One thing is certain: If Christians and others of “we the people” don’t become more involved in praying and persuading for smaller government, this trend toward bigness will continue until, finally, the whole house of cards comes down in a heap.
Here are some readings and activities to help you get involved in this important matter:
Resources for this topic
“The Sources of Big Government,” by Robert Higgs
“Good Government or Big Government?” by Chuck Colson (Two Minute Warning)
“The Tea Parties’ Big Sin,” by Mark Tooley
“Big Government: Didn’t We Get Rid of It?” by Charles Colson
“Government is Too Big and It’s Costing You!” by James P. Gills and Ronald H. Nash
“Does God Favor an Unlimited State?” by Mark Tooley
“Why Women Like Big Government,” by Charles Colson
“Christian View of Government and Law,” by Kerby Anderson
“The Best Form of Government,” by Russell Kirk
“God and Government: Biblical Foundations of Good Government,” by Chuck Edwards
“Gerrymandering Justice,” by T. M. Moore
For more insight to this topic, get the book, God and Government, by Charles Colson, from our online store.
1. Meditate on 1 Timothy 2:1-8. Ask some of your Christian friends to share with you their approach to praying regularly for local, state, and federal government officials. Put together an approach that you could reduce to a 3x5 card, including some suggested Scriptures. Begin to pray this way for your public officials. Share copies of your card with others and urge them to pray faithfully.
2. Talk with some of your church leaders about this week’s Two Minute Warning. Ask them if they think your church should take a more active role in equipping members to be responsible citizens. Suggest some resources they might consult in thinking about this. Remind them of the importance of the coming election year, and promise to pray for them as they think through the church’s strategy for equipping the members as responsible citizens.
3. Email today’s Talking Points column to several Christian friends. Challenge them to read some of the resources, watch the Two-Minute Warning, and take on one of the activities.
A conversation starter
Here’s a conversation starter you can use with others to begin a conversation about the role of government and the problem of big government: “Do you think that we can afford to keep expecting government to take up more of the responsibility for caring for our every need and want? What’s the alternative?”
This is a reprint from June 22, 2011