Sunday, January 29, 2017

Against a Compassionate State

There are three great institutions in the world that God has put here for our good: The Family, the State and the Church.  They each have their job in the world, and when confined to their job, make the world less than the hellhole it ought to be.  But two of these, the family and the state, can only restrain evil, they can’t overcome it.  The family does this through discipline and teaching and basically instilling Proverbs into their life together to form “good” people.  The state does this by threatening the sword against those inside that step outside the law inside the state and protecting against those outside the state. 
That is over simplified, but it is generally true.  What neither of these two institutions can do is save you.  They can’t overcome your sin and remake you in the mold of Christ your Savior.  The best they do is keep you from being as bad as you can be. 
The Church on the other hand can save you and remake you and make you better than you are.  The reason it can is because Christ lives in Her.  She is His New Creation, His body and His Temple Building.  This is the place where all His accomplished work is applied to believers and the world.  He has promised to use His Church to bring His Compassion and Work to the world.  He has made no Promise like that for the state.
The State isn’t built for compassion, because that isn’t how God spreads it abroad in the world.  It can try, and, all things being equal, I would like to live in one that tries than one that doesn’t, but it is bad at it.  I read one post today about how compassionate the government workers were, but then said that the poster had heard that things had improved since computers had been brought in to help.  How bad are you at compassioning, that a computer actually improves your human compassion? 
So many are confusing the job of Christians as voters with Christians as soldiers of the Church.  One article even goes so far as to proclaim the failure of American Christianity because they voted for Trump, and Trump isn’t a compassionate guy.  (It ignores, needless to say because we have already forgotten it, was that the option given to Christians was a guy that was apathetic towards the church against a person who had shown every indication of being hostile to it.  I don’t say this to justify their vote, I voted for neither because both were grossly unqualified to head a government, but to remind you of the choice).  The church hasn’t failed, there are 100’s of millions of dollars spent by the Church in areas that have intense human suffering.  The lack of Christian help in Syria, it should be remembered, is because a large portion of the Christian populations, missionaries and indigenous, have been slaughtered.  But there are still Christians that want to and try to go there to help.  That is their job, and the Church is the only entity that can actually accomplish what needs to be done. 
The Government can only bring the sword into play; it is its only tool.  While it is great for certain jobs, it isn’t suited cutting bread and saving souls.  All of the compassion that governments can bring to these people is to either bring them under its own sword here at home, or destroy their enemies abroad.  While these can be good things, they aren’t compassion, and are poor counterfeits for it. 
If you think that we as Christians have failed is because the government acts in basically the same way without nice words, you are wrong.  The Church is still at work.  And for those that I know that are now criticizing the Church for its votes, while not being part of the Church; if you criticize Christians that promote biblical morality in their churches, for not forcing others to recognize it through government action, while condemning those same people for trying to do the on a different moral question, I don’t want to hear your critiques, and you shouldn’t make them.  That goes doubly if you ignore clear teaching of the scriptures in your own life while foisting your idea of what the Bible esoterically teaches (or not) on the Church.

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