Dear Friends,

Yesterday Jim Winkler was at Hillview United Methodist Church in Boise.  Jim is General Secretary of the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church.  That’s the group that occasionally makes pronouncements that aggravate some of you.  Sometimes they aggravate me, too.  Jim Winkler is likely to be asked to comment today or whenever the Supreme Court releases their Obamacare ruling.  Whichever way it goes, he will say something like, “Health care is a basic human right.  It is a governmental responsibility to provide all citizens with health care.”  (Actually, I’m just quoting from the Social Principles of the United Methodist Book of Discipline.)  The Bible has a lot to say about justice.  One thing the Bible doesn’t say is the very thing a lot of people insist is somewhere in the Bible:  “God helps those who help themselves.” It’s not there.  I promise.  What is there, in the book of Amos for example, is the insistence that God cares especially for those who can’t help themselves — the poor, the needy, the forgotten, the helpless.  Amos also warns that the nation that abuses its power by holding down the powerless must face the judgment of an angry God.  I don’t always like what Jim Winkler has to say, but I know I need to listen.  I’m glad I made to effort to drive to Hillview to hear him in person.  While we may disagree on how best to achieve it, I think we all can agree that followers of Jesus must be committed not only to being better people but also to building a better world.
In Christ, Pastor John Watts