Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Churches help the government redistribute the wealth

When I mention my concern about "faith based initiatives" (i.e. churches) taking money from the government to 1) run the church's programs, or 2) run the government's program, I get little or no support--except from non-Christians who also seem to see it as inappropriate, although for different reasons. I just can't imagine (what would Jesus do) our Lord and Savior suggesting that his disciples petition the Roman government for money to feed the poor, offer a cup of water, and bind up the wounds.

Folks, we're going to be in big trouble when the President moves off health care and starts fulfilling his campaign promises to shut us down if we don't have nondiscriminatory hiring (other faiths, GLBT) or offer a sermon on marriage and it's declared "hate speech." This can be done by any number of "czars" or congressional threats by pulling the tax exempt status (one senator has already suggested that because of the Catholic Bishops' opposition to abortion in the recently passed House health care bill), stopping expansion of building programs through zoning, denying church supported nursing homes Medicare and Medicaid, disallowing church schools certain government services, removing a license for adoption or fostering programs if they have requirements that married couples be male and female, etc., etc., or (and it's coming) recognizing the moral and legal rights of animals as equal to humans.

But let's take a look at one "peace and justice" quasi-Christian group, which includes our own ELCA:
    "Jesus said that the poor would always be with us—but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to bring them broadband. A coalition of Christian churches and the Islamic Society of North America has launched a new campaign to bring broadband to everyone in the US so that "our poorest communities, our rural areas, our public libraries, our public schools, and community centers" benefit from the communications revolution that the Internet hath wrought.

    The "Bring Betty Broadband" campaign casts the broadband debate in moral terms. It's about the "right to disseminate and receive information," it's a "right that helps to define ourselves as human beings and political actors," and it's absolutely essential for everyone in a modern society.

    In addition, in the modern economy, just distribution of access to communication and information is essential to promote economic justice," says the group. "Increasingly in the United States, the fundamental right to communicate is meaningless without high speed Internet access."

    The joint effort is part of a media reform project called "So We Might See," and it's spearheaded by the United Church of Christ (which organizes a lot of these "justice" groups). It has also been endorsed by the National Council of Churches, the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, the United Methodists, the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), the Lutherans (ELCA), and the Islamic Society of North America."
I wonder how much of the truth of the gospel is going to be sent via high speed Internet if Main line Christians are cooperating with Muslims on the project? If the government provides the internet access, it can also decide on the content, just as it does for radio and TV. Castro has shut down bloggers; so has Chavez; so has China.

Now through these various clutches of faith groups which spend more time writing grants and having meetings than telling people about the way to salvation, we've got racial justice, environmental justice, media justice, peace and justice, battered women's justice, social justice, justice for women, etc. etc. Justice, the biblical word, is nearly synonymous with "righteousness." God is eternally righteous and the source of all righteousness which can only be understood in his revelation. God's righteousness was revealed in the 10 commandments and the life and death of his Son Jesus. We are declared righteous for Jesus' sake--it's not our own and never will be. Nor will we ever achieve Biblical justice for others by redistribution of goods and services through taxation. And it's definitely not "good works" that follows from faith.

Think about it. Isn't it mind boggling, that many of the Christians in this group who believe that broadband is a "right," don't even believe in the right to life of an unborn child, or the right to medical care for the inconveniently sick and elderly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The 'stumbling block of the cross' remains. Sinners hate it because it tells them that they cannot save themselves. Preachers are tempted to avoid it because of its offensiveness to the proud. It is easier to preach man's merits than Christ's, because men greatly prefer it that way." --From "Our Guilty Silence" (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1967), p. 40.