The problem with our country, they say, is that we’ve got our values all mixed up. They say it in different ways, but they are really saying the same thing.
“It’s time to take America back for God!” Some people shout it.
“We’ve forgotten this is a Christian nation.” Some mourn it.
“America is godless.” Some simply observe it.
The problem is, they say, that they took God out of our schools. Used to be you could talk openly of faith and even pray in schools. Not so anymore. In the name of political correctness, the public school system has resorted to atheism and secular humanism. The solution?
“We need God back in schools.”
But that’s just one for-instance. There are many others.
We also have so many ungodly laws. The government needs to be infused with Christianity in the legislative branch. We should be passing laws that honor our Christian heritage. Gay marriage should be illegal. This would restore our nation to its God-honoring position on family values. Abortion should be illegal, too. This would undo decades of immorality.
It is the mandate of the government to inject morality into the lives of its citizens, they say. And if we can’t do it via the legislature, we must do it in the judicial branch.
What we need, they say, are good conservative judges who will ensure that laws which are challenged are upheld. We should reverse Roe vs. Wade, for instance. Marriage Equality should be reversed, too.
If the courts can’t do it, the President should. In fact, we don’t even care if he or she behaves morally or follows Jesus so long as the President does stuff that injects godliness back into our government. Make sure churches stay flush with tax-free cash, for instance. Appoint those conservative judges that understand we must take this country back for God.
Or so they say.
It is the government’s job to stuff Jesus into every law and court case and executive order possible. Our country is so morally corrupt; so far from the framers’ and founders’ intentions.
We must do whatever we can to get God back in America today. All three branches. It’s the government’s job in all these areas and more.
Except for one thing, that is.
There is one area where the government must most definitely not interfere, they say.
Yes, the government must get God back in schools and the government must pass laws favoring Christianity and the government must repeal laws violent to the cause of Christ and in all these ways the government must honor the words of Jesus.
But the government must not interfere when it comes to helping the poor. That’s the church’s job, silly! The government should not welcome the poor from other countries, for sure. And it shouldn’t tax people to pay for programs for the poor, at least not more than it already is.
That’s an individual Christian’s choice. Or it is the church’s job. Or maybe a faith-based nonprofits job. Or even a generous non-Christians job. Anybody but the government’s job, they say.
We want God in our government, but not in this area. Every other area, yes.
But not that one.
That’s where we draw the line. We need God in schools, in the legislative branch, on the courts, and in the Oval Office. We need God in all facets of governance. Except in caring for the poor, welcoming the stranger, and providing healthcare to those who need it. Let’s leave that to individual Christian’s choice. That’s not what the government is here for.
“If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.” Deuteronomy 15:7
In addition to being the inspired word of God, that quote from Deuteronomy is also the law. It was religious law, but it was also civil law. It was the rules that governed the land.
“…there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.” Acts 4:34-35
There are a lot of things I’m middle of the road on. There are many things on which I am willing to seek compromise. There are a lot of theological perspectives that I’m willing to disagree on. But how can we claim we want a more Christ-centered government in American and not include caring for the poor in those claims?
I can’t go middle of the road on that. I can’t ignore the hypocrisy in that.
That doesn’t make any sense to me.