Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Want to shrink government? Increase the Church!

I heard an acclaimed author recently say "Government has increased social programs to the needy because the Church has retreated."

That statement goes against our very core beliefs as "Americans".  We are all called to be self-sufficient and take every advantage of the "American Dream."  While that is certainly true, it has to be balanced with the core faith that our country was founded on, which we can read in The Bible.  As Christian Americans we are faced with holding in one hand the flag of freedom and opportunity and in the other hand the book with the words of Jesus.  Those words of His tell us to love our enemies, feed the poor, take care of the widows, think of others better than yourself, don't repay evil with evil but repay with love and good deeds.

Socially, we have the lower margins of society and wonder why they don't dig themselves out of whatever economic hole they have created.  We look down on them for their lack of discipline and ethic...knowing that we are all in a country where we can do anything we want with enough effort and perseverance.  This has created a social barrier that Jesus never intended.  A vacuum is created between the haves and have-nots that we, the Church, are called to fill.  Not dependent on whether someone is deserving or not, but because we love our neighbor AND our enemies equally...we take care of those less-fortunate or weak in character and stamina.  We shine the light of Christ because we are the only ones here to do it, right now.

Since we, the Church, have left the holes in this vacuum of society...places where needs and love are left empty, the government, our society, has stepped in.  Why?  Because we are a country founded on basic biblical principles of taking care of those around us and making sure no-one falls out of the boat and drowns.   Are there going to be those that take advantage of the system?  Yes, of course....does that make them and enemy?  No, I don't think so...but even if it does...what are we called to do?  Love them!  Jesus says if a thief comes to steal something, give him more!

If we, the Christian Right, want to decrease the size of government, maybe our efforts should be in the direction of removing the problems that government is there to solve.  ie. if there were more mentoring/tutoring programs that neighborhood churches did for the schools around them, we wouldn't need to fund education initiatives.  If we would feed just the single mom families around our churches, perhaps we would decrease the need for food-stamps....and bring people to Christ at the same time.

Want to shrink government?  Let's increase the Church!

No comments:

Post a Comment