Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Charlie Rangel, What?

Congressman Charlie Rangel is appealing to pastors to ask their congregations, "What would Jesus do?"

Mr. Rangel is suggesting that preachers encourage their congregations to call Republican representatives and implore them to raise taxes so more money can go to help the indigent and needy. This, Mr. Rangel believes, is what Jesus would do.

It's funny that Charlie puts himself out there as an authority of sorts on things Jesus would do. First of all, Rangel has been in big trouble for tax evasion and I'm pretty sure that Jesus denounces that sort of thing. The apostle Paul reiterated this in his letter to the Romans when he said, "If you owe taxes, pay taxes." (Romans 13:7)

James 1:27 instructs us to "look after orphans and widows in their distress". In other words, it is the church - the body of believers - who should be helping, serving, and meeting the needs of the less fortunate, NOT THE GOVERNMENT. So, no Mr. Rangel, I will not be calling my Republican representatives and asking for a tax increase.

Now, I must say here that I do believe the church has dropped the ball in this area. Or, have the needy stopped going to church? It's a complicated issue for sure.

I've seen a lot of financial abuse and ball dropping from the body of Christ. I know a family who has ten children and has been receiving subsidies from the church for many years. Dad works and mom home-schools the kids and they're not particularly needy, they've just had more kids than they can afford. I have trouble understanding how that fact has become the church's burden.

On the other hand, I've seen families whose children were lost to drug addiction. They begged the church for financial help to pay the exorbitant cost of rehabilitation. The church's response? "We don't pay for drug problems." Um.....?

Matthew 6:2-4 tells us to go about giving to the needy and doing so silently and without fanfare. Come on church, get off the pew, help the helpless, love the unlovable, reach out to the lost, and do the right thing. If we all pitch in, there will be no need for the Charlie Rangels of the world to guilt us into handing more of our money over to the government.

No comments:

Post a Comment