Liberals love the Bible when they can turn it into theological Silly Putty. They can find support for every leftist doctrine as long as they skip words, read verses out of context, and read their own views into specific texts. Even the Devil quoted the Bible (Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13), so we shouldn’t be surprised if we encounter politicians who peddle the Devil’s wares with the Devil’s methods.
If you’ve ever seen the film The Book of Eli (2010), you’ll understand why the Bible can be popular with tyrants. If its content can be controlled, and the masses are ignorant, a tyrant can use it to have his way with the people. We saw this prior to the Bible being translated into the language of the people. Whoever controls the Book, controls the people. William Tyndale understood the principle well:
I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the scriptures than you!
A people well acquainted with the content of the Bible cannot be easily fooled. Sadly, however, there is now a general ignorance of the Bible.
Speaking before the United Methodist Women’s Assembly, Hillary Clinton naturally appealed to the Bible to support her expansive view of the State.
There are enough religiously misinformed people in America that will believe almost anything a politician says if it is wrapped in a blanket of compassion and care for others even though the proposed policies will have long-term negative implications. How can anybody be against helping people? Jesus helped people. Therefore if you do not want to help people (in the way they propose, of course), then you are against the teachings of Jesus.
When you apply this sort of subtle logic when speaking to 7,000 church goers, you know it’s going to have an impact.
And because there is general ignorance about the Bible, millions of church goers will fall for Hillary’s claims about Jesus and the poor and vote for her because (1) she loves Jesus and (2) she’s compassionate. It rarely dawns on such people that a person cannot be compassionate, by definition, with other people’s money.
Of course, while she’s staking her claims on contextually suspect passages, no one seems to care how theologically schizophrenic she is. The same United Methodists that embrace Hillary’s appeal to the Bible on Jesus’ feeding the 5,000 don’t find a contradiction in her support of abortion and same-sex marriage because they are equally theologically schizophrenic.
Clinton said she struggled as a young woman between her father’s insistence on self-reliance and her mother’s concern for compassion. She reconciled those in the Biblical story of Jesus instructing his disciples to feed 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread and two fish.
“The disciples come to Jesus and suggest they send away the people to find food to fend for themselves. But Jesus said, ‘No. You feed them,’” Clinton said. “He was teaching a lesson about the responsibility we all share.”
This story, found in the 14th chapter of Matthew’s gospel, is hardly a recipe for economic equality. It was one meal, and it was a miracle. Jesus the feeder of 5,000 also said that “man does not live by bread alone” (Matt. 4:4; Deut. 8:3). The same schools that provide “free” breakfast and lunch to poor school children using other people’s money prohibits the other type of feeding that Jesus required, that is, “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4b).
The liberal State actually believes it can do miracles, and it doesn’t need any actual loaves of bread or dried fish to perform them. All it used to need was a printing press, cotton and linen sheets of paper, and barrels of ink. Today, the State only requires a few key strokes to perform digital alchemy—to turn “stones into bread” (Matt. 4:3-4).
Hillary failed to mention the crowd response to Jesus’ feeding so many with so little. Details, details. We have to pick up the story in John’s gospel:
Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone. (John 6:14-15).
The crowd’s reaction to Jesus’ miracle is exactly what Hillary and other liberals want. If we feed, clothe, house, and educate them, they will make us kings. But instead of withdrawing from the people, they desire to embrace them with promises they cannot keep in order to make them dependent on the State forever.
Looking to the state for sustenance is a cultic act [an act of worship]; we rightly learn to expect food from parents, and when we regard the state as the source of physical provision we render to it the obeisance of idolatry. The crowds who had fed on the multiplied loaves and fishes were ready to receive Christ as their ruler, not because of who he was but because of the provision. John Howard Yoder1 has rightly interpreted that scene: “The distribution of bread moved the crowd to acclaim Jesus as the new Moses, the provider, the Welfare King whom they had been waiting for.”2
Jesus never issued a call to plunder the rich to pay for the needs of the poor even if the intention to help was seemingly for their good and the people wanting to help had the best intentions.
Once the State gains power, it works relentlessly to maintain power. Since it gained power by promising the masses security, it must offer more security to maintain the gained power. The time will come when its promises cannot be kept because the productive members of society have been plundered of their ability to create wealth. The incentive to work, create, and profit from their labor has been destroyed. The people most in need will suffer the most when this happens.
Politicians like Hillary Clinton pick up on the desire for security and dependency from the masses and use them for political gain: “The idol state uses the language of compassion because its intention is a messianic one. It finds the masses harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd, needing a savior.”3
- John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus: Vicit Angus Noster, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1972), 34–35. [↩]
- Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books,  1993), 183. [↩]
- Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction, 185. [↩]