Perhaps President Bush is teaching a most unintentional lesson to Christians with the ear to hear. I’m obviously upset with his SCHIP decisions and have written about it here and here and here and here.
But read what Pudge writes:
I’ve heard no one — not you, not Jim Wallis, not anyone — who advocates a Christian-compassion justification for government charity ever justify why government should be used as the agent of that charity. Indeed, to me, charity is love, and government charity is forced charity, which is an oxymoron. If I may be so blunt: there is nothing Christian about forcing someone to give to someone else.
And then read to what my friend Greg Boyd writes about Christian political obsession:
…instead of confessing our greed and ungodly divisiveness and sacrificially pooling our resources to serve the poor, we tend to rather point the finger at government while positioning ourselves as people who are smarter at spending public funds and solving tough issues and more righteous in caring about the needy. I suspect the American Church has been so divided, so influenced by American greed and thus so impotent for so long, most can’t even imagine it being otherwise. Related to this, we’ve relinquished so much responsibility for caring for the poor to the government for so long, most American Christians can’t picture the Church itself, without the aid of government, taking responsibility for this.
Due to this impoverished imagination, we sadly assume our highest calling is to be the high priests of Caesar’s court, telling it how God allegedly wants it to spend its money.
Both are speaking truth.
While there is obviously a vital role for government in caring for people, that role is greater than it need be because the Church of Jesus Christ (all the millions of churches) in the United States isn’t fulfilling its mission to sacrificially love and give to those who need the help.
If the church were really, truly being the church we wouldn’t have huge debates and discussions about funding faith-based programs because, frankly, those programs would be so flush in cash the last thing they would need is more money.
Isn’t it time that we start talking at least as much about the revolution that needs to occur in the church as we do about the changes that need to occur in government?