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On implementing God’s kingdom here on earth

Posted by Chance on April 18, 2008

Katherine Coble writes this concerning the Social Gospel:

As a Christian Libertarian, I find myself frequently a more vocal proponent of what some call “Social Gospel” and others call “Pinko Liberal Commie Collectivist Bull.” I believe that Christ has called his Church to minister to the Least of these, an umbrella which includes everyone from those stricken with AIDS to those who live next door to you and are too busy at work to mow their lawn. Where I differ from many folks is that I believe the Social Gospel is absoluletly not to be confused with political socialism and active redistribution of wealth through forced means such as taxation. We as a church are supposed to do the going us therefore into all the world on our own. But of course, I’ve said this before and there’s nothing new in that idea.

I agree. God is an all-powerful being, but he typically interacts with us through free will. He let Adam and Eve freely eat the apple, Christ freely died for us, and we freely accept Him or reject Him. Despite God having a hand in the world and our lives, he typically gives us choice and does not rule us by force (I’m not sure how it will work during the End of this Age, I think we will still have free will, but there will be no sin…).

To me, forcing people to be generous seems to go against how God typically works. In the Mosaic law God did order that people give a certain percentage of their tithe, but the New Testament model seems to indicate freewill giving that is from the heart.

This doesn’t have to be a matter of whether or not someone has a right to spend my money, although there is a worthy conversation there. I just don’t believe actions from force can truly change the world, only actions out of love. Private initiatives involve something of the heart, simply more than a deduction from our paycheck. I do believe in some welfare, but I see the role of government here as providing a safety net to prevent people from starving to death. I don’t see the role of government as our way of ensuring God’s kingdom here on earth.

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2 Responses to “On implementing God’s kingdom here on earth”

  1. 4simpsons said

    Yep. Forced giving is an oxymoron. And those who push the forced taking for their pet social projects should not be releasing any endorphins and congratulating themselves on their “generosity.”

    As you noted, we are taught to give what we have decided to, not reluctantly or under compulsion. We are also promised that we’ll reap what we sow. We should be opening our wallets regularly and seriously and with discernment.

  2. Josh said

    Great post & I agree. Perhaps if the church did a better job caring for the “least of these”, the gov’t would feel less obliged to help.

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