This is not a diatribe about the current state of politics, the 2012 election or President Obama. I leave most of that stuff to people who are much smarter than I am. Any time I get involved in a conversation about politics, I end up feeling like I’ve lost a few I.Q. points in the process. But I believe I am right about this.
When George W. Bush first came into office, he pushed through his “Faith-Based Initiative” where religious organizations got federal money for helping with social programs. Although I disagree with the idea of churches and religious organizations receiving federal money I agree with the idea behind it. The church, not the government, should be taking care of the poor in our country. I believe I can back this up with scripture.
But, the government has slowly taken on this role. Instead of relying on the generosity of the people who have the resources to give to those in need, many of our government officials feel compelled to force people to be generous by “taxing the wealthy,” to fund their government-run social programs.
The church needs to get out of the political arena and in it’s rightful place of holding the moral standard and doing the right thing. Conversely, the government needs to put aside its social agenda and go back to running the country. This is a place where I can fully get behind the idea of separation of church and state. The state needs to stop doing the church’s job and the church needs to step up and do its job.
I saw an example of this same phenomenon in an ancient building. In the Irish town of Kilkenny is an old poor house, built by the city to house the poor and homeless after the British rode in and destroyed the church. The battered Catholic church and deposed priests could no longer care for the lowest of the low, so the city government had to take over.
Perhaps, in a way, that is what has taken place in America. The church has lost a lot of its power in our society. It has lost the respect of many because it has veered from what God originally intended it to be…. a gathering of Christ followers who serve each other and the community around them. If it did take on its proper role, then the government would have no reason to get involved in such things and could focus on national security.
What a concept.