Monday, March 17, 2008

Jesus was a Conservative

Or such is the theme of Austin Hill's latest article. He references Obama's pastor controversy to move on to a larger discussion. He takes shots at Rick Warren for encouraging Evangelical Christians to be involved in more than the narrow issues of Gay Marriage and Abortion; specifically he worries that concern for the poor or for social justice might lead to Marxism.
So while Warren and other Evangelicals awaken to a broader realm of social concerns (which is in itself a good thing), all American Christians should keep in mind these core realities: the Bible itself (both Old and New Testaments) presupposes that it is quite a natural thing for private citizens to own the means of economic production (land and other resources); and that it is okay for individuals to create wealth for themselves and their families; and that private citizens should care for the needy of society, rather than abdicating this responsibility to “the government.” From this foundation, we can then envision the private sector doing a much better job with the pressing domestic issues of our time - - healthcare, environmental stewardship, and energy independence.
I'm not sure about Hill's prescription. I'm not sure the Bible advocates clearly any of the points he suggests and there seem to be scriptures that both support and contradict his arguments.

I will note however that Government was used in the Bible to address certain societal concerns and in our day it is also used to address societal concerns. Poverty in America is justifiably a societal concern; how should we best address it as a nation? Hill has every right to believe that you address it through private charities. But I have the same right to believe that the Government can and should have a role in fighting Poverty; and I can have that opinion while also being a Christian.

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