Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Christian Socialism

Star Parker writes about the Pope today commenting about an encyclical he wrote called "Centesimus Annus." In it the Pope raises some very key and powerful points about government, Socialism, and the welfare-state. Mrs. Parker, in reference to this encyclical, cites that Americans, specifically Black Americans, need to take heed of what the Pope had to say regarding these key issues, especially in regards to the notion of individual freedom and the role of government in our everyday lives. One point she brings up is the fact that while the black community in general, according to a Pew research pole done years ago, are for the most part the most religious of any group, their voting actions tend to contradict their faith. She notes:
I believe African-Americans mistakenly, and destructively, disconnect the way we express our religious convictions on Sunday and what we do in the voting booth on Tuesday. In church we express our conviction that our lives reflect and are the result of our faith, our choices and our responsibilities. Yet, we then buy a political message that government is the place to turn to solve our problems.
I tend to agree with this statement for some Christians where she says that there is a disconnect between religious convictions and politics. Yet, for the majority of blacks there isn't a real disconnect, if anything, I believe that a 90% support of the democratic platform coincides with what is actually be preached and taught in much of the black church today. If anything, what is being delivered to the people from the pulpit only perpetuates much of the ideology purveyed by the left such as the over emphasis by many preachers on material blessings from God rather than spiritual growth, stating that the kingdom of heaven is already here on earth, and the very popular name-it-to-claim-it mantra. Many preachers have been known to tout the idea of man being "little gods", intimating that we have the same attributes and abilities that God has and therefore should have all that He has as well. The focus ultimately is to get all you can from God now while here on earth, that God has nothing but material blessings for His "children". Such doctrine only serves to create a culture of entitlement among those who believe it and this in turn carries over into everyday life decisions. So rather than using scripture as a mirror to demonstrate our sinfulness in order to bring about true accountability, responsibility and ultimately repentance for ones actions, it is used by the preacher and encouraged to others as a tool for obtaining more from an already overly generous God who is apparently oh so ready to bless us with even more.

Keep in mind that at the very core of Socialism and Socialistic ideals is a notion of materialism, that through physical things rather than spiritual truth can one obtain happiness and contentedness. When all needs are met for all then all can be happy. This is exactly what is being taught in the black church today, that if you struggle with money and finances, then the answer is to give more money to the church and God will bless you with even more money in return. Little to no emphasis is given to the moral character of the person struggling with finances. That the answers to many of our problems is in whether or not we are living according to the will of God.

Give a little, get a lot is the order of the day, where the emphasis is constantly on what we can get from God rather than what we ought to be doing in service to Him and ultimately lends to the practice of putting government, the arbiters of money and power in this earth, in place of God or at the very least a conduit for doing "God's will" on earth. If we are constantly taught that we are entitled to live a certain way and that way is wealthy, where we are told that God has given all things to us, and that wealth is easily obtainable by way of the government then it becomes natural to not only rely on the government for sustenance but to expect it, even demand it as a right, a God-given right.

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