I’d rather the church were stuck in the issues of theology, practice, and practice than out and out paganism and Gnosticism, which is where we are today.
Salvation is a union between God and man, the church is a covenant relationship among believers under the blood of Christ. It gives every believer a claim on his brother via their personal relationships with Christ.
I believe you know a great deal about the Scriptures, I , too, am a student of the Book, and a seeker of truth.
I also believe in faith and practice, lave and trust, but I ‘m not sure what you mean by these terms, or what your point is.
It is about the end result: that Christ be glorified, not that we love and are loved. The love is mercy, and adds to His glory. I could go all-out Piper here, but I’ll stop.
It’s not so much that I “trust” the private sphere. I recognize the self-interestedness of man, and that the market system best takes advantage of this quality and turns it to the most efficient allocation of goods. However, in such a system, the truly poor and helpless are neglected. Thus, the church is necessary to care for the least of these. I don’t understand why anyone outside of the church would give a damn about the least of these, although I know that many of them do. If they choose to help the poor it is a reflection of the common grace upon them, but not an imitation of Christ. God alone knows in each case, but the question is about whether it is right to FORCE anyone to do good by caring for the poor. I do not see how this can be justified. The need does not justify the means.
Serfdoms were forms of statism, on a micro level. The private sphere ought to be brutal and competitive. In this manner it engages in creative destruction and finds new sources for expanded wealth which is shared by all. Of course the wealthy enjoy more of the expanded wealth, but inequality is not important to me at all except in terms of equality under the law.
I believe that God’s love is effectual for changing my behavior. I believe that my life has a different quality now that I have accepted His love. I am a different person. If I were not, what would that say about the saving power of Christ’s death and resurrection? Do I continue to sin, of course. The difference is now I have the ability through the power of the Holy Spirit to choose to do good. I can do as Christ did, seeing the things that the Father is doing, and participate in doing them.
Your examples are of foreign states, not of the people God intended
You call me naïve, but perhaps I am just young and optimistic. I really believe this message, and the potential of the church to accomplish it. What is required is assumption by the church of full responsibility for the least of these. This message is consistent with the scriptures and the Christian ethic. Engrandizement of the state is not.
I don’t trust people to be the hands which feed, either. I trust the power and decree of God. He has given this responsibility to the Church. He trusted us. He did not give this responsibility to the state. Christ did not trust the state.
I would rather be free and starving than enslaved and fed. I hope you can agree with me here.