Faith In Uncertainty

The people who seem to enjoy the journey they most are those who have learned the secret of enjoying God’s grace in the face of uncertainty, not those who try to remove uncertainty from their lives. Wayne and Brad dip into the old mailbox as they discuss our attempts to manipulate life and even how some manipulate their spouse all in an attempt to fulfill their own well-being. In the last part of the Podcast they revisit their discussion about national health insurance after some listeners ask some very pointed questions about the politics of compassion and entitlement.

10 Comments

  1. Thanks guys for taking this on. Amazing to me how the conversations about this on the sidelines, like this, what is going on around the country at the kitchen tables is so much richer than the debate going on in Washington and the debate being displayed in the media. This is real similar to me to the conversations we have had in our family. There are intelligent solutions to these very real problems.

  2. Wow! Cool podcast guys. Full, frank, and robust discussion; good healthy stuff. Thanks Wayne for defending the questions. Thanks Brad for your comment – “I really rankle about the equating of the message of the Gospel and the responsibility of each one of us as citizens…..”; such a succinct articulation of the issue. I wish I could have summarized it so well. Rock on guys!

  3. Wow! Cool podcast guys (full, frank, and robust discussion; good healthy stuff). Thanks, Wayne, for honoring the questions. Thanks, Brad, for saying what you think. Your comment, “I really rankle about the equating of the message of the Gospel and the responsibility of each one of us as citizens…..”, neatly illustrates what prompted my inquiry.

    Moving on, the reference to all politicians being “corrupt” is troubling. Not because it is not true (in a sense at least), but because it does not actually get us any place useful. Politicians, good and bad, are there to make a difference. The reality of achieving that end is, however, very much about the “art” of compromise. For those of us of faith (politicians included), the concept of compromise can be deeply challenging. Added to this is the proliferation and dominance of political parties. A political party is an organization, initially established to serve its members, but which is inevitably an entity with its own predominant and self-serving needs (sounding familiar). The quagmire that results from all this is our present-day democracy. Good intentions (the public good) become lost in this fog.

    I too have had some first hand experience in pursuing a public good through the democratic political system. I discovered a harsh reality that shocked me. It was this; public good occurs only as an incidental by-product of our party-based, adversarial, political democracy. Maybe you could label this as corruption, but the more important question is, where to from here? It is easy to condemn the system but impossible to disconnect from it. You can effectively disown an organized church, but not your own political democracy. Unlike tithes, taxes are compulsory, and most aspects of daily life will continue to be effected by Government. Better, I think, to avoid labels of condemnation, uphold the light, promote solutions, work towards that common good, and celebrate those “incidental by-products” when they occasionally appear!

  4. First of all, thanks for all the great insight you have opened up to me and so many others through the podcasts.

    Now, about the politics, specifically the debate about healthcare planning: As one of your many listeners from the rest of the world, you need to know that we who live in these countries where there is so-called universal health care really do not get the current debate in the US at all. I am from the UK and live in Japan. In both of these places there is universal (UK) or virtually universal (Japan) healthcare. In both of these places, having this health care costs me less than it would in the US to cover myself and my family, and at the same time I know that my payments are covering care for others. In the US, somehow you are managing to spend 16% of GDP on healthcare (about twice the norm of developed countries) to have only 60 percent of the population covered, and many conditions that those 60% of people who think they have coverage are not covered in reality since they are pre-existing etc. And then even if you are covered, you still have to fork out a lot out of pocket to cover the co-pay. It seems the case that in order to have the same level of coverage that all other developed countries take for granted would cost maybe twice as much – or 1/3 – of your GDP. So, I think I can safely say that pretty much all of your listeners in developed countries outside the US are almost certainly scratching their heads on this one when from their own experience – as both tax payers and healthcare recipients – it all seems such a no-brainer: Better coverage for more people for less money.

    I think that this issue is one that really does have some deep cultural roots. In fact, I would put it at the same level as the British never wanting to contemplate getting rid of the monarchy, or the Japanese refusing to consider changing Article 9 of the constitution (which specifically forbids the state having any military capability) when we have the bonkers North Koreans for neighbors and have the largest military in Asia disguised under the name “Self Defense Forces”. There are some issues that are such cultural touchstones that they are almost beyond discussion.

    If you are worried about how badly the government might run a healthcare system, perhaps first you should consider whether it would be run any worse than the current privately-run one, which is as hugely and inefficient use of national resources as mentioned above. If private is better, then how come the (presumably corrupt) governments of the other developed nations manage to get much more bang with much less buck? The private sector should be able to at least match the performance of a corrupt public bureaucracy – unless it was extremely corrupt itself and (as is natural for private business) in the game to, what a surprise – make profits that syphon off resources that could be used for the job in hand.

    If you are looking for government corruption that really blows huge holes in any budget, you need look no further than gigantic and hugely ineffective and inefficient spending on weapons systems to fight wars that are incredibly unlikely when your military is so far ahead of every other military on the planet. How many nuclear submarines are really needed at multi-billion dollar price tags each? How many stealth fighters does it take to wipe out the next strongest military on the planet that is still struggling to get on par with the previous generation of fighters. And how will any of this help when all you need is 19 committed individuals with knives to inflict huge casualties in a large US metropolis anyway?

    Oh, did I mention it? I am going to be moving to the US soon with my family, so I am going to get to see all this on the inside. And one of the biggest concerns that my (US wife) and I have about the move is – you guessed it – getting any kind of half-way decent coverage at a price we can actually afford.

    Sorry about the long post! i usually agree with so much you say, I never get the impulse to write :).

    Blessings from Japan.

    Stephen

  5. Sorry for the double post. The first just disappeared presumed lost, only to re-appear after the replacement post. Please ignore the 1st one.

    Regards

    “The-peter-pointed-at” and Peter

    Hey Stephen, some nice work!

  6. Universal health and other care programs are doomed to failure because there is no longer a moral standard. Man has become god, responsible for the world’s climate (Global Warming), and all the world’s problems and only the governments of man can fix them. Headline in the newspaper “Governments agree to address the problem but have not set a deadline for controlling the world temperature”.
    When a situation gets me so upset I need to rant and vent, I find that the Father has a ready ear and a cool drink for when I’m done.
    The only way we can walk the line between being in the world and not of it, is through tranquility of the Father’s Love.
    What is more disturbing to me is how I am hearing Preachers use the terms Father’s Love , Relationship and such, then tell the listeners how they must strive to enter into this Love.
    This attempt to confuse the sheep is more concerning to me then any government program.

  7. I really got an impulse to write. I’m so thankful our Father is the most joyous God/Person in creation and that He’s got His plan. I appreciate listening to you guys. I learn more and more about freedom. Here are some thoughts on my concern about the health plan.
    Someone made a comparison of US economic bankruptcy and this universal health plan and Germany in the 1930’s and their health plan.
    Here were some of the parallels:
    1. Ger. mark became inflated- money worthless/Amer. dollar printed without backing-money soon worthless.
    2. Ger. economy couldn’t afford h. plan proposed by Hitler earlier/Amer. econ. can afford universal plan?
    3. Ger. reduced expenses by cutting health benefits (eliminating retarded, insane, etc)/Obama’s Health plan -abortion and euthansia (counseling for 65+years) endorsed. (No provision for pro-life doc)

    Hopefully, we won’t repeat history, but here are a few interpreted lines from the legalese of the 1,017 pg document/bill. (www.lc.org)
    1 The government will use groups (i.e., ACORN & AmeriCorps) to “inform and educate” (sign up) individuals for government plan.
    2. Sec. 1156, Pg. 317-318, Lines 21-25, 1-3 – “PROHIBITION on Expansion of Facility Capacity.” The government will mandate that hospitals cannot expand (“number of operating rooms or beds”).
    3. Sec. 123, Pg. 30 – THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE deciding what treatments and benefits you get. (I don’t know if there’s any redress).
    4. Sec. 142, Pg. 42 – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your benefits for you. You have no choice!
    5. Sec. 152, Pg. 50-51 – HC will be provided to ALL NON-US citizens.
    6. Sec. 163, Pg. 58-59 beginning at line 5 – Government will have real-time access to individual’s finances & a National ID health care card will be issued!
    7. Sec. 59B, Pg. 170, Line 1 – Any NONRESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay for their health care.)

    I think the scary part of this admin and this health policy is the CONTROL of so many aspects of citizens rights. Obama says 46 mil need h care. I heard this breakdown: 10 mil-illegals; 17mil-folks making $50,000+ who pay their own costs; 17 mil between jobs, so not permanent h care loss. That could mean that more than 10 mil need h care, so why is this admin wanting to enforce a plan for all 340 mil.?

    This little story is interesting because so many Americans don’t know US immigration policy. My husband, a Brit, wanted to move with me (amer) and kids to US in 2005. We’d been married for 20 years and my kids have Amer. passports. Not only did he have to get a green card which took about 5 months to procure, transfer most of our savings from European banks to a US bank, but also was told that he was ineligible for any Fed. funds for the first 5 years, such as welfare, etc. and would be means tested for many other benefits. If he didn’t sign for that we would need a sponsor in the US for him to enter!!!
    The 2 inch file a UK citizen, my husband, keeps, makes a mockery of citizenship and benefits. When my husband returned his green card to the embassy, the staff were flabbergasted. They didn’t think it was so obvious that the “esteemed green card holder” was actually paying the taxes for so many illegals and their benefits.

    May our Father’s wisdom and discernment be showered on us all in these difficult times.
    Blessings Mari

  8. Hey guys,
    I cannot tell you how many pastors / former pastors I have passed your stuff on to and the healing it has brought. Wayne, your “Transition” series has utterly changed my perception of Jesus, the cross, and guilt.

    I have worked in the church for 4 years and have been almost completely burnt out… and in desperation reached out to some friends who I had tagged as having “flaked out” or burnt our or lost sight of the church and was shocked to see the HUGE world that they had to offer – one of GRACE! Grace for myself and to love others.

    Currently, I am headed to Marine Officer School in October but have kept a strong interest and faith in who Jesus is. In fact, it was due to much of your teaching that I have written my most current blogs- the latest one called, “Jesus Without Religion”. Thanks for the hope and healing you are bringing.

    http://www.roseontheright.blogspot.com

    -Devin

  9. Wow Wayne, you really have a problem with someone else deffending their position when you’re on the opposite side. Brad was responding to the accusation “do we have a compassionate society” by rightfully pointing out the humanitarian aspect of our government when disaster hits, but you shut him down saying “stick to the point” when he was addressing the point. Maybe the fallacy you should of addressed is that universal healthcare coverage is the only way to show compassion. The fact that other countries may do a better job managing their healthcare does not mean ours will too. All we have to do is look at Welfare and Education and see that money spent does not equal good outcome.

    I was hoping that a dissagreement between the two of you could demonstrate how two people on the same journey can dissagree gracefully, but I didn’t hear Brad getting the respect to give his oppinion without interruption and without belittling…ie.”have a little respect for the point..don’t be so threatened by the accusation” I felt the same way that Brad did when you read her email that she was lumping the two of you into a collective group that did not do justice to your beliefs or actions, and when Brad was going to point that out you shut him down again. I guess it just goes to show that we all still need God’s grace on this journey. Is healthcare an important discussion to have, absolutely. Are we doing it right in this country? Probably not, I think we all agree that reform needs to take place. Maybe you guys can get Bridgebuilders to come and mediate this discussion sometime 🙂

  10. Thanks so much for this podcast. As my company is dissolving-it was good to hear these words that I can’t trust even in my job. My point-I think the Government has taken over a place the Church should be. The Church should be the Light on the Hill. In Acts-when the H Spirit comes upon the believers-the natural affect was they were all in One Accord; and no one lacked anything. People who fall through the cracks; even if by their own mistakes (Grace-remember..Unconditional Love and Compassion) should be able to seek assistance (and whatever form that may take) via the Church rather than the Government (and yeah-even if that includes financial assistance). Doesnt mean the Church solves all my problems; but rather helps relieve the burden (my yoke is easy; my burden is light). If the Church shrinks from this position-the Government will take its place…and how do you think that will turn out?……

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