Answer this…

Question: What is the biggest concern for the future of the church in America?

Answer: Statism.

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About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

6 Responses to Answer this…

  1. If you are against the government caring for the social well-being of it’s people, what are you doing to work against it? Not just voting, that’s a band-aid.
    Churches should be putting the government out of business. They should be donating, providing healthcare, housing, food, clothes, services. If you don’t want the government to have to do it, and you don’t want people to suffer (as a Christian I would think this would be a given.) Then encourage churches to really do Christ’s work and eradicate the need for government assistance.
    We can’t approach these things from the top down.
    We like Christ must be in the muck of it.
    ~A still working on it Christian.

  2. Chip says:

    Sacredstruggler,

    Churches ARE donating, providing healthcare, housing, food, clothes and services. The recent storm recovery effort in the New York area is a perfect example of this. Church organizations have been much more efficient than the government at helping those people. In fact, the government (in many cases) has been a detriment to the recovery. The city of New York actually outlawed the donation of food because there were no government “food inspectors” to access the salt and fat content.

    Furthermore, churches have always been at the forefront of this kind of work. Before government got involved in health care, churches organized and built hospitals that were underwritten by the donations of their members. That’s why there are “Baptist” hospitals and “Catholic” hospitals and “Methodist” hospitals. People who needed health care were never turned away because they couldn’t pay.

    I think you make a grave error in thinking there is a “need for government assistance.” Most of the “government assistance” we think is so necessary now didn’t even exist before 1960. And yet, old people weren’t starving in the streets and the sick weren’t abandoned. Private institutions and church organizations did quite well. Besides, the government didn’t get involved in “helping” people because they were compassionate. They did it because it is their nature to control everything and to manipulate things for their best interest.

    Of all the organizations that have administered help to the needy the government is the LEAST efficient. The reason I would like to see the government out of the business of helping people is because I care so much about those who need help — and their help needs to be handled by people better suited to the work than government bureaucrats.

    I’m all for Christians getting into the muck of it. And if the government would get out of our way we’d be able to do a better job of it.

    • I think you over estimate the church’s effectiveness. I agree the government is the least effective and the least desirable option, but I think that if the churches stepped up and provided everything well people wouldn’t need the government.
      I say need because I mean need. As a part of a family who needed that government assistance I did mean need. If you read my reasons for leaning toward President Obama in this election, I think you’ll understand. We can’t have the poor and needy going without while we reform. We need to be more efficient so they don’t need the government.
      If the Lord wills it and God’s people are dedicated how can we can we not be successful in efficiently helping them.
      Yeah, schools used to donate their left over food to shelters but then after some illness happened they stopped it here too. Shame we have to be so ridiculous.

      • Chip says:

        My family desperately needed assistance, too. The family farm where I grew up was completely destroyed by a tornado — three homes were just gone. I had two aunts and an uncle left homeless and a grandmother killed. The day after the storm there were private citizens and neighbors there to help. In the next few days more people showed up to help, including church groups. FIVE days after the tornado a car pulled up and three FEMA “employees” got out. They put on their official looking jackets, looked down their noses at all the people actually working, wrote on their clipboard for about 45 seconds and then piously declared that they would have to evaluate their findings to see if my family “qualified” for assistance. They didn’t.

        The people who were actually getting things done had a portion of their money stolen by the government to pay for this FEMA “assistance.” Just imagine how many more resources could have been utilized by the people who actually helped if the government hadn’t confiscated their earnings in the first place.

        I’m sure there are occasions when people receive aid from government agencies. But it seems ridiculous to have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to have access to money that was yours in the first place. On balance, government “assistance” is nothing more than a road block to the people who actually get things done.

        As I pointed out before, this sort of federal nonsense is relatively new. It’s been around for less than 50 years. I contend that America was more free and more productive before these agencies work formed. I think they should be abolished immediately. American churches and charities will pick up the slack. They always have. They will certainly do a better job than the federal government.

      • I have the exact opposite experience. Strange isn’t it. When our family farm was heading to the hole, the government funds helped us keep it floating for a few more years. We got no help but prayers from the church. Unless you count my boyfriends family coming out to help us do hay.

        I agree with you, we just have different life experiences that make us think it needs to be resolved different ways. I’m a bottom up change type of person, so I tend to put responsibility on the church to make the changes rather than the other way around.

        If it’s not private, where did you grow up? We had a couple tornadoes but they did more damage to our home than our barns, except for the one corn crib.

  3. Chip says:

    Don’t misunderstand, I didn’t form my opinion about “government assistance” on the basis of my experience following the tornado. My experience only served to confirm what I already knew to be the case — government is wholly inadequate as a dispensary of grace. They don’t have anything to give until they first take it away. The resources they give to people in need were taken from those same people in the first place.

    I’m sorry your family farm was in trouble. But I can’t help but wonder how much less that trouble would have been if the government had not stolen much of your farm’s income through confiscatory taxation. I can’t help but wonder how much more money your family would have had if not for government regulations and price fixing in the agricultural markets. I live in a farming community. I have several friends who are farmers. I know about the damage government intrusion does to the agricultural industry.

    And, to answer your question, I grew up in Arkansas. The tornado to which I am referring was one of the monster tornados that struck on February 5, 2008 (you can read about that outbreak here… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Super_Tuesday_tornado_outbreak )

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