progressive Christians should not categorically condemn those who claim their faith must publicly inform all they do. But we should remind those who make such claims that when they take such a stance, they place a much higher burden on themselves. [Read more…]
The tendency of many leaders of the religious right and Republicans to focus on purity and on following the letter of the law while ignoring its spirit is not a problem unique to American politics…the idea–repeated by the prophets, Christ, and then throughout the epistles–that more is required of us than simple belief or a statement of faith is made especially clear in James. “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and they shudder!” (James 2:18-19).
The Bible is quite clear and unambiguous about our responsibility to the poor. The question Republicans need to ask themselves is if they think the teachings of Jesus and the prophets are still relevant today…or do they need to be taken with a grain of salt and not at face value?
Indeed, the Republican rhetoric to support tax cuts completely undermines any idea that the money will be freed up to help the poor—for Republicans, the tax cuts boost the economy by being reinvested (usually as capital), not by being bestowed upon the poor as private charity. Simply put, starving the social services is starving the poor. Cutting social services is the policy option railed against by all the prophets, and it is thoroughly unbiblical. [Read more…]
Time and again the Bible makes clear that what God demands and takes pleasure in is not acts of piety and the scrupulous following of purity codes. Instead, God asks His followers to witness love through our actions and the policies we enact in government, business, and all other institutions. [Read more…]
Scripture Guide, Part 2: The Responsibility of the Nation and Its Government to “the Least of These”
The Bible has a lot to say about economic policy and the responsibility of government leaders to care for the vulnerable. The Bible leaves no room for trickle-down economics. Jesus and the Prophets do not say, “Help the widow and orphan by supporting businesses in an effort to prop up the stagnant economy”! The Bible’s call is for direct action, and it is a call placed on both society and government. [Read more…]
Republicans are still trying to have it both ways–claiming the mantel of faith and citing Scripture on a few hot button issues—and then putting away their Bibles and turning to Darwinian social and economic theories to support their primary policy positions. Republicans have largely been getting away with it because we don’t call them on their hypocrisy. [Read more…]
Myth #1: “Asking the government to care for the poor and weak means we are failing to depend on God.” Not true. Most of God’s care for us takes place through the created order He has established, not despite it. “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28), but our continued [Read More…]