Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Brother’s Keeper

(The above video is for illustration purposes only.  I did not endorse John McCain and do not endorse him in his current bid for reelection to the Senate.)

Ever since Barack Obama gave a speech in which he said, “I am my brother’s keeper,” I’ve been hearing this phrase used more and more.  I have even heard it used in a Christian song (which otherwise has a good message).  People seem to have a vague notion that this phrase comes from the Bible and the increased usage of it has been positive.  (In other words they think that being your brother’s keeper is a good thing.) 

The Bible records in Genesis 4:9 that Cain did in fact say, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” in reference to his brother Abel after he had murdered him.  But does that in fact, mean that being your “brother’s keeper” is good thing?  Let’s take a closer look.

In Genesis 4:2 it says that Abel was keeper of sheep.  In other words, if you are a “keeper” of something (i.e. a flock) means that you have been given authority over it and are responsible for protecting it from harm.  The relationship between the keeper and the thing being kept is like the relationship between a man and his animals. 

Cain’s response, in light of this reasoning, can now be seen for what it is.  Cain was mocking God’s question, “Where is Abel thy brother?” (Genesis 4:9) as if the only reason to expect that he would know Abel’s current location was if he had been personally responsible for the well being of his brother.  We all know how that turned out.

Now you can see what Obama really means.  He wants you to think that you are personally responsible for your neighbor’s behavior.  He wants you to make sure that your neighbor buys the health insurance policy that he thinks everyone should buy.  He wants you to spy on your neighbors and turn them into the authorities if they are not using the right kind of light bulbs.  He wants to make sure you pay over half your income to the government so that the money can be used to pay off the contributors to his campaign and the campaigns of others who support his policies.  You don’t have to worry about making any wrong decisions.  Obama (and his faithful minions) will be there to protect you.  We are all like animals to him.

But if you are a believer in the God of the Bible, there is One who is your Keeper.  He is Jesus Christ.  He said,
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers...I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.   
John 10:2-5, 11 (KJV)
The difference between Jesus and Obama is clear.  Jesus has the authority to be our Shepherd (or “Keeper”) because he is the Only Begotten Son of God and He died on the cross for our sins.  Obama is setting himself up to be our “keeper”, but there is nothing in the Bible which gives him this authority and he has not laid down his life for the sake of the sheep.  The President of the United States is supposed be our Commander in Chief, and has the responsibility to protect the lives of Americans when called upon to do so by Congress through a formal declaration of war.  When the Presidency was established, the authority that was given to it was given by the People.  Thus, the President is supposed to be our servant, not our master.  Obama is the stranger pretending to be the Shepherd.  The sheep of Christ do not follow him because they do not recognize his voice.  That’s the difference.

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