Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why the Church is Responsible for the Healthcare Bill

So the politically charged season continues to heat up as Healthcare continues to make progress. Both sides have some major issues with the current bill that could stall it indefinitely. It is interesting how many believers are having a hard time balancing their social and political views during this season.  Many see those in need in our country, and realize that quite possibly, the only way for these people to receive help is through the government. After all, the agency responsible for caring for the poor, that being the Church, is a little too consumed with its own initiatives, and in fact, so much so that many are willing to put their political opinions (such as a staunch pro-life stance) aside to allow the government to be the Church to the poor in this country. It reminds me of a little book in the Bible called Nehemiah. Jerusalem was so disfunctional during the time of Nehemiah that they couldn't rebuild their own walls. They had fallen from prominence and were in danger of being conquered all together unless someone came along and took care of that which they were responsible for, rebuilding their own walls. So God used a pagan king and one man of faith to take care of an issue that the people of God were no longer able to manage. I see the same thing happening with healthcare.

For far too long, the Church has neglected the welfare of the poor. In the last few weeks, one particular fellowship here in Dallas began their $130 million building campaign. Here is a quote from the pastor. "The finest facility in this area should be one that glorifies almighty God." Never mind that this is Dallas, home to around 40 fortune 500 companies. I am sure God is overwhelmed with joy because of the planned sweeping concourses or the fricken sky bridge. Boy, are they proud of their sky bridge. And I am sure than when people see that, they say, oh glory to God! Seriously? I really wish the guy could be honest and say, "We've got money, yes we do. We've got money, how bout you?" Meanwhile, in downtown Dallas where this construction project is going on, homelessness is rampant, and the believers that are part of that fellowship know deep down inside that $130 million could go a long way to relieve world hunger, fight human trafficking (which Dallas is world renowned for it's mad trafficking skills), and a laundry list of other social injustices rather than spending all of that on comfort and bragging rights, not to mention the countless number of families in Dallas that are hurting because they lost their jobs. Too blessed to be a blessing. 

But lest I be naive, it is certain that this fellowship could never raise that type of capital on those kinds of initiatives. After all, it is tough for you to paste your name on the forehead of a homeless guy like you can on the fricken sky bridge. So since fellowships are spending so much money on themselves, combined with a down economy, many traditionally conservative believers are turning in droves for a solution that will enable the government to cover for the shortfall left by our greed. Many voted Democrat for the first time, and do you want to know why? Because it is the party that seems to emulate the values of Christ on a far greater number of issues than the opposite side.  If the party wasn't pro choice, there might not even be a Republican party. The simple fact is that neither side is more one way or the other as it involves the Christ commanded initiatives of the Church. It is a battle of public opinion. If either can convince you that they are good, then they will win. Every time, and then we spend the next 4 to 8 years regretting that mistake only to repeat it again with the opposite party. We are a ridiculous political culture. That is for certain, and the combination religion and politics are equally as absurd. It's funny how we feel that the separation of Church and State is somehow destroying this "Christian" nation. We need to keep it separate, because I believe that our meddling politics rather than being Christ to others has done a great job at destroying the American Church's effectiveness in American culture. I shutter to consider the consequences of our putting more faith in our government to provide for the needy that we have in our God. That ship might have already sailed though.

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