Christians and Participative Government — Part 5 Social Issues & Individual Responsibility
Something we must always keep in mind is that while it is good and right to want the government to support righteous agendas, whenever they do, those do NOT absolve Christians from personal responsibility in those areas. We should not absolve ourselves from personal, or corporate church, responsibilities against sin issues in our times by relying on, or attempting to create government programs. Government programs should never be seen as the fulfillment of a Christian’s responsibility toward God’s Kingdom in that area.
For example, any kind of socialist, communist, or “welfare state” does not absolve Christians from personal responsibility toward helping those who are truly poor. In the same way, voting to make abortion illegal does not change the Christian’s mission to reach out to those who are seeking to kill their unborn children to begin with!
We cannot confuse governmental solutions with Kingdom solutions. Just because the government has a program for it, that does not mean we do our Christian duty in that area by merely supporting the government program.
In fact, government solutions are copy-cat imitations of what the church is called to! The goal of communist states is to provide every social care that Christians would so that they can tell people the lie that Christ’s message is irrelevant and unneeded for society! The lie is egregious since social programs almost always have the opposite of intended effect on the hearts of the people, whereas only the gospel has the power to change people from the inside out! Welfare makes beggars, prohibition of activity drives the desire deeper into sinful hearts rather than pulling it out by the roots (as was seen in the literal prohibition).
The gospel, however, offers palpable social solutions by solving the root cause of human selfishness, what the Bible calls “sin.”
The gospel changes the focus of a young woman to love others sacrificially, and so she turns away from the abortion clinic out of love for the child whether or not abortion is permitted in society. The gospel changes the promiscuity of young men by teaching him to let God’s Spirit reign over his body instead of his carnal desires for sex.
The gospel provides a more healthy balance to the wealth inequality of a society by eliminating the limitless greed which so often runs in the top percent of the capitalistic machine, and replacing it with generosity and goodwill where those in need are cared for by this with abundance and by demanding a fair wage be paid in which one can live. The gospel also eliminates the astonishing greed of society at large by challenging all to be content.
The gospel eliminates the welfare poverty state by instilling a desire to “work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord,” (Col 3:23) and so instills deeply within the character of people a pride in working for a living rather than just leeching off of others.
The gospel breaks the shackles of generational abuse by healing those who live in shame and strengthening them by God’s grace to build a healthy family which can pass down a tradition of family health to the next generation.
These, and all other social issues ultimately arrive out of the sinfulness of human hearts, and God is in the business of tearing down these sin structures in the world by tearing them down within each person who understands the gospel message. “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” 1 John 3:8
just some thoughts from the minister with the Ft Cobb church of Christ.