Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Church

We can see that the only read way to have a lasting impact on our world is through the Church. By being the Church - practicing the peculiar ethic Christ demonstrated for us, and enables us unto - we achieve much more than by competing for the opportunity to manipulate the political mechanism. Christians have all sorts of ideas on issues, but when we approach Christ, we find that there is but one ethic, one model to emulate.
We can take different positions on what the government should do, because the government is outside the church. It is not a part of Christ's ethic. It is not our means to achieving His commands. The Church is. When He commands us to love our neighbor, He does not say to do this by paying our taxes and politicking for wealth redistribution to the poor. No, He commands us to personally care for our neighbor. There is no room for an "I gave at the office - I paid my taxes" attitude amongst those who are spiritually renewed. Neither is there room for believers to demand charity of unbelievers. How can they love if they have not accepted the love of Christ? They are spiritually dead. Any "good works" they perform are out of guilt or alternative motivation. It is not for them to love their neighbor, and it is not for us to command them to. It is our responsibility, only.

4 comments:

snatie said...

yes it is not thier job but be very careful about judging others motives even non-believers. All people have the breath of life in them, God's breath. All are capable of giving out of kindness. In fact I think in part that the good feeling they get when they do give out of kindness is one of the ways God uses to draw people to Him.

Juris Naturalist said...

I agree, God does resound in the hearts of those He is calling to Him when they give. An excelent point. But I don't know whether all are capable of giving out of kindness. Out of reasonable self interest that may also satisfy others, yes, but out of pure charity, I doubt it.

Kevin Sawyer said...

With the Sojo blog beginning to resemble a meth-addled version of Dailykos, perhaps I should engage your ideas here.

I agree with you for the most part, but do we all have the breath of God in our hearts? Can giving charitably bring us closer to God, when God calls the works of the righteous filthy rags.

If the unsaved can draw themselves closer to God, and if the act of taxation reduces free-will giving, then we certainly err in raising taxes for this very purpose. So, either way, I think the point stands.

Juris Naturalist said...

ha ha! kevin, I just posted over on yours!
I take a slightly different doctrinal stance. Every good work is as a filthy rag, except when prompted by the Spirit. Then it is just obedience, and we receive no merit for it. Our merit is wholly in the righteousness of Christ.