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Allan Bevere, at his blog, engages the Christian and the State issue, and here’s a major idea.
My thesis throughout this multi-part discussion will be that the main reason the practices of discipleship are in such sad shape in Western culture is not because Christians don’t want to read their Bibles, nor because they don’t want to take time to pray, nor because they would rather hoard their money than give it to those in need. While all of those may be true to a greater or lesser extent, they are but symptoms of something deeper. The main reason for the decline of the church in the West is Christian support for large government, which undermines the very integrity of the church itself as the counter-story that interprets the world’s politics. The reason it is so difficult to get Christians to attend to all the practices of discipleship is because they frankly see no need in a society where the government is the major player in the lives of people in the way that makes the church irrelevant. As the state becomes larger Christian identity is supplanted by national identity because the state requires more from its citizens as it does more. Thus it becomes more important for Christians to work, not so they can tithe, but so that they can pay their taxes.