Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Church - now the whipping boy of the GOP?

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said, "There's $1.7 billion fraud in the food-stamp program. If the churches had done their job and followed Jesus' teachings, the government wouldn't have started all these programs and created all these problems."

Oh. So the church is to blame, now?
  • First, Coburn is one member of the "churches" he talks about. The first paragraph of his Senate bio tells us he and his wife are members of Muskogee's New Community Church. He should thus frame his remarks in terms of "we" instead of "them." As in, "if we the church had done our job..."

  • Churches probably don't give enough in either money or effort. But ask, for instance, who the real heroes of Katrina relief is and the suffering will tell you - it is the Church, not government.

  • Churches would have a lot better chance of helping now if government hadn't created such an "entitlement" and "victimization" culture that they have. Helping the poor now with that mentality in the air is tough, as I can attest as a pastor.

  • I would like to know what Coburn, as a private citizen and not a legislator, is doing to shoulder his part of the blame. And that is also a good question for each of us part of that greater Body, the Church.

  • Fundamentally, I disagree with Coburn. If churches had been doing their job, government with its "Messiah" conplex would still have come smashing in to mess it up. It is never done good enough for Coburn and his crowd that more money and another layer of bureaucracy won't help. Check their latest budgets.

  • And yet, I will not deny, churches need to do more. My church needs to do more. The Church Universal needs to do more. I need to do more.


At 2:30 PM, Blogger Tommy Alderman said...

Dr. Friedeman -

I agree completely that the Church should do more to alleviate physical suffering - salt preserves, salt heals, salt seasons, salt melts frozen things, and light brings warmth and comfort in darkness. Our good works should cause an unbelieving world (and government) to glorify "our" Father in Heaven (which is not evangelism, by the way).

But we cannot fall into the trap of preaching and espousing a "social" Gospel only. To do so is to risk doing what the late Adrian Rogers described as, "making the world a better place...for people to go to hell from."

At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Diane Fitzsimmons said...

Excellent commentary on this complex issue.

At 9:25 AM, Blogger jokenmar said...

As a victim of Katrina, I have to say that yes, the "church" speaking of God's Children, helped me tremendously more that the government did or the Red Cross. How many millions did red cross get for us? I left my life long home in South Mississippi and moved to Michigan with only a few changes of clothing. I wound up in a small country town where the people are just great. The members of the non-denominational church and the catholic church were the first to welcome us and to help us by seeing that we had a bed to sleep in and a chair to sit on. (have not heard from the Baptist) Not only when we first arrived, but regularly call and check on us to make sure we are doing ok and not in need of something we cannot get. Christian love as I have not seen it in a very long time.

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous carson king said...

Let's give the Senator some kudos for having the guts to be a leader. He was part of the contract with America revolution and he is continuing to try and change this country. I am an Okie myself, currently residing in North Carolina. I would trade Senator Coburn for Senator Dole or Senator Burr any day.

At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Mary E said...

There is a ministry available to churches to help in the feeding of food stamp recipients. There are over 160 churches, that number is growing monthly, in Senator Tom Coburn's state of Oklahoma involved in Angel Food Ministries. It is available in many other states also. Anyone can purchase food for themselves or to give to others in need. I also believe that Larry Jones Feed the Children is working in many states. The church I am a member of will begin the Angel Food Ministry this month.

I am thankful I voted of Dr. Coburn and I believe he is being unfairly whipped by Dr. Friedeman. What other senator is speaking out about the governments out of control spending?

Thank you, Carson, for your support of Senator Dr. Tom Coburn.
Check out his book "Breach of Trust"

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Friedeman has hit the nail on the head. Government should put churches in charge of doling out welfare aid. Then there would be some accountability for personal behavior, failure to obtain a free education our government provides and sloth.

But this will never happen because we've been conditioned to feel sorry for the poor instead of learning how to really help them.
We're not a rich family by any stretch of the imagination but we know personal behavior, values, and education goes a long way towards eliminating poverty. When the War on Poverty was launched, it was the beginning of adding millions to the welfare rolls, citizens and illegal aliens alike, and the beginning of the "I'm a victim" mentality.

How many people actually get off welfare permanently even with the new two year limit that went into effect during the Clinton administration. That provision has so many loopholes, it can be extended indefinitely.

At 2:40 PM, Blogger The Thief said...

The only problem with Coburn's assesment was that he used "them" language instead of "us" language.

At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The churches cann't really help the poor. Gotta keep that money for all those multi-million dollars "fellowship halls".

At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Dan said...

I will agree with the points that the church has done alot, but at the same time have we done enough?

The last 2 churches I have worked with refused to start any aid programs of any kind. They didn't want to help anyone that couldn't become a tithing member. With ideas like this going on in the board meetings of churches, maybe we do need to do more as a church as long as aid doesn't become the primary focus.


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