We live at a time when there is a disposition to think that the Government ought to do this and that and that the Government ought to do everything. There are things which the Government ought to do, I have no doubt. In former periods the Government have neglected much, and possibly even now they neglect something; but there is a danger on the other side. If the Government takes into its hands that which the man ought to do for himself it will inflict upon him greater mischiefs than all the benefits he will have received or all the advantages that would accrue from them. (William Gladstone, 3 times British Prime Minister).
When a people’s religious inclinations are so perverse that they seek for a government that will be their Saviour, they always get something they hadn’t bargained for. Why?
Because the rejection of the true Saviour, Jesus Christ, is not merely a religious matter. It always has personal, political, social and economic consequences. It always leads people to seek a kind of Saviour substitute, which is religious and political irresponsibility in their worst forms. They never get a Saviour; they get a predator, who purports to be saving while he’s killing.
This pretty much describes twentieth century governments, right around the world, and nothing has changed with the commencement of a new century.
All of this will be severely challenged with the onset of economic crises, which Saviour States inevitably bring upon themselves. They’ve been doing this since the Caesars (who actually considered themselves to be Saviours, providing bread and circuses for the masses) initiated the process. These “saviours” ignore the fundamentals of sound, Biblical economics, and of course the people suffer deprivation and hardship as a result. But they voted for this, and thus they get what they deserve. The blind are led by the blind, and thus they all finish up in the ditch.
When that day comes, Christians had better be ready with the biblical answer: voluntary charity, the tithe to finance the church, and all levels of civil government combined limited by Constitutional law to under ten present of the people’s income.
Have we learnt anything yet?
Not really, but we will. And what we will learn is that there is a great advantage with smaller government. Why? Because smaller governments have less power to abuse, because abuse on the scale that governments perpetuate, requires money and power.
Less money for government means that individuals get to hold onto more of their pre-tax money. It means that they are under less pressure, meaning it’s easier to tithe and give in other ways to the church, and to assist others. This means that the institutions that should shoulder the load of care in the community, can more easily do so; they’ve got the cash in their pocket, and the time to use it properly.
This is where Stephen commenced his ministry (in Acts 6). This will provide many others yet, with a great and powerful ministry within the church, permitting the church to stand strong in the community again.
Economic crisis will lead to an economic opportunity, and the church is going to get another opportunity to stand tall again, as it goes back to scripture. And the scripture says, “He who gives to the poor shall never want…” (Prov.28:27).
It’s time to get ready.
 Gary North, prologue to Greg Bahnsen’s “By this Standard,” 1991, p,xxv.