No government will save us

“Vote 2008” is finally drawing to a close. (Insert loud sigh here)

The passion surrounding this election is breathtaking. Many people are pinning some huge hopes on “their” candidate. Fervently, they believe if the results go their way, that all of their troubles will be solved.

One woman was shown in a television interview praying the election would go a certain way because she is hoping that someone else would pay her mortgage and fuel for her car. Her rescue – her faith – was in government.

Admittedly, we’re not a fan of an elected official fixing anyone’s life issues. In fact, we see big government as a direct result of a little church. You see, for centuries it was the church cared for the poor, the needy and the disenfranchised of this world, following the Christ’s admonition to help “the least of these.”

But something happened along the way. The government stepped in and offered to take on that role. They promised they could do it better. And the church responded by washing our hands of the undesirables. Our tithe money was diverted to taxes and behold – we have created the monster. We quit caring.

Now, our churches focus on staff and buildings, programs and “ministries” – after all, why worry about the poor? They’ve got someone else to care for them.

Red Letter Believers, those who actually live out the teachings of Christ, don’t see government as the solution. Some have actually twisted Christ’s teachings on the poor to promulgate big increases in social spending. It comes down to a body of believers, living in community, effecting change in the world.

Jesus never called on the Roman government to feed the poor. His call was for those who will drink of the “water that will turn to a spring welling up to eternal life.”

That’s the city on a hill we ache for.

That’s our rock. That’s our salvation. That’s our hope.

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This blog post is prompted by the Group Writing Project from Robert Hruzek of Middle Zone Musings.

About David Rupert

Newsletter Editor for the High Calling Find me over at http://www.RedLetterBelievers.com
This entry was posted in Government, Poor, Red Letter Christians, Red letter meaning. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to No government will save us

  1. Jason says:

    Great post!!! I agree wholeheartedly. Isn’t it funny after two thousand years we have gone right back to looking for someone to save us with politics? Didn’t Israel reject Christ because he was the antithesis of that expectation?

  2. Robert Hruzek says:

    You guys make a great point that is too often forgotten in today’s politics. It’s sickening to me how many promises every candidate makes, when we KNOW they’ll never be able to keep them all.

    But at the same time, it’s an indictment to the Church as well. We need to get our heads on straight about our responsibilities.

    Great entry, and thanks for jumping into this month’s WILF!

    Cheers!

  3. Jennifer Dukes Lee says:

    Three cheers for this post. Red Letter Believers for President!

  4. Red Center says:

    A comment on these statements.

    “Our tithe money was diverted to taxes and behold – we have created the monster. We quit caring.
    Now, our churches focus on staff and buildings, programs and “ministries” – after all, why worry about the poor? They’ve got someone else to care for them.”

    I agree that is true of many churches but of the number of churches I am familiar with, I am seeing that they are ramping up their efforts to assist in community needs. I do agree that there may be a tendency to focus on “buildings” etc. but I don’t think churches that have run-down facilities, lack of ministries, etc. are the ones attracting members and seekers. A church needs to grow but for the right reasons. Without growth, there is less tithing, and less community outreach.

  5. Bill Peel says:

    The old adage is true for persons or churches: A person wrapped up in himself makes a very small package. Great diagnosis gentlemen! Now what’s the cure?

  6. KL says:

    I really like what you said about big government and little church. We as Christians really need to step up and step out. Thanks for the note about subscribing. We’re subscribers now!

  7. Red Letter Believers says:

    Jason

    I really like what you said and a great reminder. 2,000 years ago Jesus was rejected because he wasnt a political solution. And amazingly, we are still looking for political saviors, when the answer is really spiritual.

    Thanks for contributing
    David

  8. Red Letter Believers says:

    Robert

    Like you say in Texas, “its time for us to ‘buck up’ as Christians 🙂
    David

  9. Red Letter Believers says:

    Red Center…
    are we neighbors?

    I agree that many many churches are finally getting it! I go to one of those churches. But, you must admit, that as a whole we fed government by our malaise.

    David

  10. Red Letter Believers says:

    Bill

    The cure? I’m not sure we can wrestle government back. But we can start doing our job regardless of who else is doing it. I’m not advocating soup kitchens and clothing pantries as the answer — but its a start.

    It does start with a lessened emphasis on politics as individuals. In the end, does it really matter who is President or Senator or legislator or mayor? As long as we — as a church — and as individuals, are obedient, then God will do his good work.

    Christians flourished despite Nero’s purge…

  11. mia.speranza7 says:

    Great post!
    It’s so easy to wish that government will fix everything and blame them when nothing happens. But that’s not what Jesus told us to do; it is OUR mission to help the poor. I’ve noticed it too that some churches focus on buildings, programs etc. and neglect the command that Jesus gave. On the other hand, I know churches whose primary mission is to be green and do other kind of good things. This is becoming more and more common in Finland, where I live. It’s, of course, important to care for the environment and the underprivileged, but not at the expense of proclaiming the gospel. Churches should find a balance between these two extremities. I’m glad that some churches have already found it, and I believe God will lead us all towards it if we listen to Him. =)

  12. Anonymous says:

    Mia
    The green churches are even more of an abomination than the greed churches

  13. lynnmosher says:

    Great post! The church has fallen down in its efforts to take care of its own and others. Thanks!

    I also wanted to leave David a message…Wow! David, thank you for the nice comment on my blog and for the link. I deeply appreciate it. Blessings to you…

  14. Angel says:

    Now, I am an advocate for the government helping care for the poor … so we will disagree to some extent. 🙂 I see no reason why the government cannot assist in this endeavor and find that it is probably more efficient for them to do so. I have no problems with some of my tax dollars going to social programs.

    My church has ministries that assist the poor. We have a food bank, a clothing bank, and we do meals on wheels to shut-ins. We also provide transportation for those that cannot get to church by their own means. We freely give out diapers, baby wipes, and personal items to those in need. I know many churches that do these things as well, plus help pay utilities and medical bills. They haven’t stopped just because the government helps too.

    My family pays our tithes and gives in offerings. I give money to charities and donate items as well. For me … I don’t stop doing those things because I also give to social programs with my tax dollars.

    I think that if we expected the church, as an institution, to do all that the government can do … we would have a lot of people doing without and going hungry. Many, many churches would buckle under the need. Many churches in larger cities already do. They have to turn people away. They don’t have the resources to help them.

    Plus, as someone who volunteers at a church … I know that many Christians do not tithe. Trying to get a penny out of them is like pulling molars. And … you can’t blame the government for that. Either a Christian believes what the Bible says about tithing and giving or they don’t.

    Giving through taxes is just one way to help the poor. I think intention (wanting to glorify God with our actions) and attitude (giving cheerfully with charity in our hearts) is everything on this issue. 🙂 Do I think the government

  15. Angel says:

    Part of my comment got cut off … 🙂

    All it said was, “Do I think government is the answer for everything? Well, no … but it can help where it is needed and caring for “the least of these” is a very large need and we need to meet that need the best way we can.”

  16. Red Letter Believers says:

    Angel – thanks for your post. As the far less prolific half of our blog efforts (David is a force that’s hard to keep pace with!), I agree that there is a middle ground – the government can have a role and should (perhaps smaller, but maybe not…). I have no problem paying my taxes and wish more would go to help those in need. I also believe the church can do more and agree with David’s premise that the church is very inwardly focused (as a sweeping generality, obviously there are many churches that are doing great things). I’m glad David challenged us (and me in particular) to be mindful that We are the church and that it is incumbent on each of us to do all we can to live out the Lord’s call to us as Christians.

  17. ellen weber says:

    Terrific post and thanks. In agreeing that no gov can save us – I was hoping none will kill us either! Thanks for the inspiration – glad to find your site:-)

  18. Monique Attinger says:

    This is a great reminder that we are called as individuals to take care of the poor – and we often forget that. While I do think there is a place for the government in taking care of the populace (see the story of Joseph and how he ensured the food supply for seven years of famine… by using the government to do the right thing), that doesn’t mean we are off the hook as individuals.

  19. Tabetha says:

    It is true that the government has the ability to those in need, but it is also true that the church does have the ability to do it also. It may be true that one single church is turning people away, but I am going to guess that there were other churches in that same area who have not stepped forward to do their duty. There are many churches who are doing more than their share of helping those who need it, but because there are also those who are not doing enough, it appears that God’s churches cannot keep up.

    God is definitely more able to help those in need than our measly ole government. As a matter of fact, I am afraid of our government right now, because they seem to be leaning toward a Communist way of thinking. If we let the government step in and get overly powerful in areas the church should be taking care of, our whole country could be in for a real shock and soon.

    For those churches who are doing more than their fair share, God bless them (and Thank you!). I believe this post, however, was written toward those churches who aren’t doing enough (if any) to help people in need.

  20. Dan King says:

    Well said dude! Well said!

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