Friday, February 05, 2010

Obama and Faith based organizations

For once I agree with the ACLU, although for different reasons. Christians should not be fooled. This is a deal of Faustian proportions. And we were losing at this one under the Bushes and Clinton. What's different now is Obama has promised to restrict our religious freedoms, and I believe it’s a campaign promise he will keep--most likely through a faith czar so he won’t have to take the heat. Don't let the prayer breakfast fool you.
    “President Barack Obama's willingness to keep Bush-era policies on government-backed religious charities opposed by many liberals is helping to woo traditionally Republican evangelical leaders who can influence key blocs of voters.

    The approach, according to conservative leaders and liberal critics alike, is part of a broader strategy by Mr. Obama and fellow Democrats to regain credibility with centrist and conservative voters who tend to be more religious and have supported the GOP in recent polls and elections.” WSJ story
After churches have been weakened by accepting government money for everything from summer lunch programs for children to housing renovations in declining neighborhoods to work release programs for prisoners, they are at risk of having their "missions" dictated or coming to a screeching halt at the whim of a government bureaucrat.

We do not worship good works. Even successful ones. Leave that one for the people who have a heart for social programming and no faith in Jesus. We worship Jesus. Not an idea. Not an -ism. Not a government program. When the government can tell you where and whom and how you can evangelize, it's time to stop the grant writing, send the volunteers home and to get back in the business of telling the good news. Jesus never took tax money to feed the poor or to provide a job. Churches shouldn't either. He never robbed Peter to pay Paul. If he had, Peter probably would have gone to his grave denying him instead of founding the church.
    "You should grasp Christ, his words, works and sufferings in a twofold manner. First as an example that is presented to you which you should follow and imitate. . . However this is the smallest part of the gospel, on the basis of which it cannot yet even be called gospel. For on this level Christ is of no more help to you than some other saint. . . before you take Christ as an example, you accept and recognize him as a gift, as a present that God has given you and that is your own. . . .when you have Christ as the foundation and chief blessing of your salvation, then the other part follows: that you take him as your example, giving yourself in service to your neighbor just as you see that Christ has given himself for you." Martin Luther
Churches provide millions of unpaid laborers in the form of "volunteers" to run these government programs. This is not the Gospel of Christ. This is not the harvest. By accepting grants from USDA, Dept of Labor, HHS, Dept of Ed. etc., the real figure for federal and state workers is kept artificially low. It is just government "out sourcing." It's time for churches to reread Matthew 25 and then rewrite their mission to the poor, sick, widowed and imprisoned.

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