“Jesus and Sequestration”

Here it is March 1, and the Congress and the President still have not agreed to a plan to avert “Sequestration,” a self-imposed across the board collection of spending cuts that will begin to take effect today in order to help reduce the federal budget deficit. These spending cuts greatly threaten the economic well-being of our local and national economy, and according to news reports, it appears that a major sticking point to getting a deal is disagreement over getting the wealthy to pay more in taxes and the size of cuts to be made to social service programs. In thinking about his whole drama, my question is, what would Jesus say about Sequestration?

This is an interesting question to ponder and especially during the time of Lent as we review the life of Jesus and seek to walk more closely with him. First of all, it is worth noting that Jesus’ mother and father, Mary and Joseph, found themselves in Bethlehem when Jesus was born because Caesar of Augustus had issued a decree that all of the world should be taxed (Luke 2:1). In other words, this issue with taxes is nothing new. We also note that Jesus wants us to pay our taxes because he said to the Pharisees upon being questioned by them about taxes to Caesar “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:19).

I also believe that Jesus would want the rich to pay their fair share of taxes and this is because when he was asked by the rich ruler what he needed to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told the man that although he kept the great commandments that there was one more thing that he lacked and that was that he needed to share all that he had with the poor to build his treasure in heaven (Luke 18:17-23).

Finally, I think that Jesus would encourage the Congress to avoid making cuts to programs that protect the poor. I say this because He said in his “End Times” discourse in the 25th Chapter of Matthew that our treatment of the poor – the hungry, the sick, and the imprisoned – is a proxy for how we treat Him. In other words, Jesus is represented by the least of our brothers and sisters. Therefore, let us as Progressive Baptists do all that we can do to help the least of our brothers and sisters and encourage the Congress and the President to do the same. Please call, tweet, facebook, fax, your federal lawmakers today and tell them to back-off of the sequester!

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Kip Banks, Sr.

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