No! I Am NOT My Brother's Keeper,
And You are NOT Mine.
A man trying to get milk from a goose will be called nuts. It is also crazy to seek ethics from humanism. Liberalism does not give the milk of ethics; it is too self-righteous to be good.
Cain had just murdered his brother because he was of the devil and Abel, his brother, was righteous (I John 3:12). When God asked him where his brother was, Cain's response was to whine, “Am I my brother's keeper?”
Humanists, in order to sell their corrupt programs of power and control to unsuspecting Bible believers, have used Cain's question to justify intrusion into our lives and the subversion of our liberties.
Why must we need a national health plan? Because we are our brother's keeper. Why must we pass laws against the consumption of alcohol or tobacco? Why must we meddle in every affair of his life: from seat belts to free condoms in school?
No wonder we have a nation of whiners: we have built an ethical system on the whine of a murderer! Corrupt, apostate liberal theologians and politicians are in headlong flight from the God who made them, so they find affinity with Cain's rebellion and adopt it as their own. Church members, led astray by feel-good theology and compromised ministers, are ignorant of the manly theology of the Scripture.
“Where is Abel your brother?” God asked Cain. Using a classic debate device known as Reductio ad absurdum, Cain attempted to make God look like a fool. “Am I my brother's keeper? Am I expected to follow Abel around to make certain nothing happens to him? Am I supposed to look after Abel the same way he looks after his sheep? Am I his kennel guard? Do I look stupid?”
The typical modern Christian has only a superficial understanding of the theology of God and man and is defenseless. When asked, “Am I my brother's keeper?” he replies dutifully, “Why, yes, of course. Love requires it.” He is trapped and unable to respond to the intrusion of humanistic, benevolent (?), messianic governments. Knowing only feel-good theologies, he is trapped: one by one his freedoms are stripped away, and he becomes the ward of the state, kept by his keepers, who care for neither God nor man.
The right answer to the question is given by God. When Cain said, “Am I my brother's keeper,” God replied, “What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground....” (Genesis 4:10).
God was Abel's keeper. Even in death his cry came up to God. Abel's life was lived in the presence of the God, and he was responsible to God, not to Cain. God took very good care of Abel, and Cain knew it. The last thing Abel would have wanted was for Cain to be his keeper, even as the just man today wants the government out of his life so that he can look to God for his life and liberty. Cain knew that he was not responsible for Abel, but tried to turn God's word against God. It's an old device of unbelief.
Cain had no right to kill Abel, but the alternative was not an absurd “keeper” role for Cain. The Sixth Commandment forbids murder; it also requires us to protect our brother from the unlawful actions of others against his life, property, and reputation (Psalm 50:18; Proverbs 24:11,12; Deuteronomy 22:1-4, 24), to the extent of our knowledge. But the Sixth Commandment does not make me responsible to guarantee his life against his own actions or the “acts of God.” I am not responsible to see that he locks his doors, carries sufficient insurance, has fire and burglary alarms, etc. That would enslave me to my brother and make me take charge of his life to make sure no evil came to him. That is the exact absurdity that Cain would charge to God. But some want to do just that. Arrogant humanists think they have the right to keep people like cattle, preserving them from all evil.
The humanist does not look on the world in terms of God's promises and precepts. He thinks that the world is an evil place--a trap for people who are basically good; a place full of peril. The horror of death hangs over us, for in the long run we are all dead. If there is a God, He is either totally immersed in history and explained by history, or completely outside of history and irrelevant. His only hands are our hands, and if our poor brother, trapped in this misery and ruin, is to be helped, it will be by those of us who have risen by superior ability or fortune. Our brother's keep depends upon us, for he cannot help himself. After all, God only works through us. The humanist's worst enemy is the faithful Christian who looks to God, for this destroys the power of his dreams. To the humanist, the issues of life are not in terms of God's promises and commandments, but in terms of blind chance. Those more fortunate must keep those less fortunate.
How wicked and patronizing it all is! The Bible truth is clear: Psalm 1 declares that the godly man is like a tree planted by the rivers of water...that brings forth fruit in his season; that the ungodly man is like the chaff which the wind drives away. We are taught to look to God for our daily bread, not some “keeper.” Only Cain thinks in terms of “keeping” and that is because he hates and despises his brother. Animals need keepers, not men created in the image of God.
What do we do if our neighbor is needy? First of all, we relieve the immediate situation, because it takes time for good seed to grow, and immediate needs for shelter and food must be met. Then he must be taught the fear of God and those good and sound practices of work, management, soberness, morality, and frugality that will enable him to eat his own bread with quietness (II Thess. 3:12). If he persists in immoral, slothful, and wasteful behavior, he must be left to his sins: for if a man will not work, then neither should he eat (II Thess. 3:10). This is to honor him as the image of God, responsible to God, not to degrade him to some object of pity that must be “kept.” It also humbles me, for I am no man's savior.
It is too bad that sin and unbelief lead people to suicidal behavior. As a Christian man, I attempt to teach the care and mercy of God, the liberty of the Christian man in Christ, and the promises of God to those who walk uprightly. But it is not my responsibility to take charge of every person, curtailing his liberty, trying to conform him to my expectations, so that he feels himself blessed enough to want to stay alive. This dehumanizes man, brings both of us into bondage, corrupts government and church, and brings down the wrath of God, for it is frightful wickedness. Every man must give account of himself to God. Cain is not responsible for Abel's life and happiness; that is Abel's responsibility; Cain is forbidden to kill him.
But one evil leads to another. If I am responsible to keep my brother alive, then I am responsible for his health and must provide medical care. Then, when the medical care becomes too expensive, I must examine his life-style to keep him from smoking tobacco, monitor his drinking habits, keep unpleasant ideas away from him to maintain his mental health, monitor his eating habits lest he get too much fat or salt or whatever. In short, I must “keep” him on my plantation. No godly man wants a plantation: only modern humanists are arrogant enough to think they deserve one.
The opposite of murder is to provide a framework of liberty and responsibility so that a man can look to God for his daily bread and be safe from thugs and hoodlums. No man or state is any other man's keeper, but all are to be witnesses to the truth about God and man, who is in the image of God. Laws must emphasize personal responsibility and liberty. Actions which endanger the lives of others must be forbidden: drunken driving, homosexual intercourse, adultery, and such like, but men must take responsibility for their own actions, including the evil results that come from them. But whiners cannot make tough choices; and neither can humanistic theologies. (An oxymoron)
This is not to deny the Christian duty of hospitality and charity. If your enemy is hungry, feed him; but don't make him a dependent: send him out to get a job. If he is naked, clothe him, but teach him to make his own clothes. If you are successful, he will not need you and maybe won't even vote for you or come to your church, and there's the rub. There is great profit in plantations. True love is in terms of truth, the truth that man is responsible to God, and God will certainly provide for those who walk uprightly, but His hand is against those who do evil.
“But he can't do it on his own. He needs me and my programs.” Then your programs are arrogant garbage. He needs God, not you, and he needs that which you cannot give and ought to know you cannot give: the fear of God and the meekness of obedience. The very idea that he cannot live without your program denies God, His care over His creation; denies faith, and the promises of God to those who walk uprightly.
Keep him on your plantation, and for a time he may vote for you, but beware when he realizes your true motives. And his wrath will be nothing compared to God's wrath in the day of judgment; will you cloak your evil in the pretended garments of God's mercy?
Children raised on goose milk will not thrive, for you cannot milk a goose. Liberalism has no ethics, for that which begins in denial of Biblical truth, must end in the ethics of whining. When a man denies the authority of the Bible, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and the validity of the law of God, do not expect to get sound ethics from him.
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20)