Opposing Government Bureaucracy, But What About the Church?

12:13 PM Steve Scott’s latest essay is a real winner: Evangelicalism: Government Programs vs. Church Programs. Steve points out the irony that those Christians who want smaller and smaller government are often the same Christians who want more and bureaucracy in the church. In my book The Jesus Paradigm I referred to this as the “FDR-ing of the church.” Steve writes:

Many conservative evangelicals (CE’s) are not only conservative in their theology, they are conservative in their political and civil beliefs. They will talk about the Christian values that made America great….. But oddly enough, when it comes to the church, many of the things they despise about civil matters they adopt for the church. They hate government programs, but love church programs.

The problem, as I see it, is that we have the Gospel treasure in “earthen vessels” but confuse faithfulness to the Gospel with the cultural forms in which we received it. We mistake the vessel for the treasure, and the result is an Anglo-American Christianity that is a cultural adaptation of original biblical Christianity. This calls for, says Steve, a willingness to preserve whatever is within God’s will and change what is not. We do not really honor the Lord, I suspect, by blindly perpetuating traditions or by imposing secular ideals on the church.

(From Dave Black Online. David Alan Black is the author of Energion titles Christian Archy, The Jesus ParadigmWhy Four Gospels? and the forthcoming Will You Join the Cause of Global Missions?. Used by permission.)