The Good Samaritan Tries Political Activism

A certain man set out on a trip from Washington, DC, to Greenville, South Carolina.  He was held up by terrorists, who stripped him of his raiment, wounded him, and departed, leaving him stranded on the side of the highway, half dead.

By chance, a certain pastor drove by; when he saw the man, he switched lanes.

A Red Cross worker, when he reached the spot, slowed down to take a look, but quickly hit the gas again and then took the next exit.

But a certain Mexican, as he drove his old banger on a visit to his relatives, reached the point where the man was lying, and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.

He went to him, and bound up his wounds, applying Hydrogen Peroxide and Neosporin; then he helped him up into his own car, and brought him to a hotel, and took care of him.

The Mexican questioned the man as to what had happened, and was horrified to discover how long he had lain neglected by the side of the road.

The next day, when the Mexican left to continue his trip, he went to the hotel manager, and said to him, “Take care of him; whatever you spend, when the government realizes its duty to the victimized, it will repay you.”

Javier, for so the Mexican was named, went straight to his relatives and told them the whole sad story.  Everyone agreed with him; more government workers were clearly needed, to help this poor man and others like him.  Tax money ought to be appropriated to care for these poor destitute individuals until they could be returned to their homes.  The private sector had obviously failed in its duties.  A new army of social workers would be needed to help out every victimized individual they could find.

Javier organized marches and protests.  He spoke at rallies and conventions.  Years later, his persistence was rewarded with the FBVR – the Federal Bureau for Victim Relief.

But a strange thing started to happen.  Suddenly, there were more and more victims crowding the streets.  People writhed in agony along the highways until a social worker came by, picked them up, fed them, helped them on their way, and maybe even provided a little pocket money.  And it was remarkable how often the same exact people would be picked up, day after day – now in one city, now in another.  Obviously they were really out of luck!

Meanwhile, the average person watched in dismay as taxes soared.  The cost of living went up and the price of money – i.e., the amount of goods a dollar could buy – went down.  People who, a few years ago, would have been glad to help out any truly needy person, now discovered that they could hardly make ends meet themselves.  And what was the point of helping, anyways?  Big Brother would take care of it.

Churches started to worry about their tax-exempt status more than the needs of those around them.  It wasn’t like they could compete with government welfare, anyways.  In fact, it was actually convenient for these mundane necessities of life to be taken care of by someone else.  Now they could focus on the really important things.  Like wondering why people were suddenly starting to look at God as if He were some sort of vending machine; if you just acted the right way, went to the right church, and said the right words, somehow He was morally obligated to pour favors on you.

The weirdos that thought there might be a connection between the two were laughed out of countenance.

Still, more and more people began to suspect that something had gone seriously wrong.  When they opened their Bibles, they noticed that believers hadn’t waited around for Caesar to provide free handouts for the poor.

And there was one parable, in particular, that caught their attention as being specifically applicable to the case on hand.[1]

A man had been attacked and victimized by a gang of thieves, but his forlorn condition was ignored by the spiritual leaders of the day who happened to notice it (quite a few concerned Christians had to hang their heads in shame once they had read this far).  But one of the Samaritans – the social outcasts of that time – had passed by the spot where the victim was lying.  He had compassion on him, bound up his wounds, and took him to an inn.  Then the Samaritan paid the innkeeper and asked him to continue caring for the victim – assuring the host that later on he would refund him whatever more was necessary.

Not a word about calling the FBVR.  The problem had been resolved by individual action.

Strangely, even after so clearly seeing what had gone wrong, there were still people who shrugged their shoulders in despair.  They insisted that the government was already so involved, that their only hope lay in making sure the Hillary Clinton of their day didn’t get elected.

Perhaps they hadn’t read the next verse.  For after Jesus had finished relating the actions of the Samaritan, he said, “Go, and do thou likewise.”[2]

Godliness, not political activism, is profitable for this life, and for that to come.[3]

Notes:

[1] Luke 10:30-35

[2] Luke 10:37

[3] I Timothy 4:8 – That is not to say, of course, that a Christian should not or cannot be active and concerned politically.  However, such concern ought never to override the Christian’s duty to God, to himself, and to others as he follows his calling in whatever walk of life God has placed him.

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