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Preview: Comments on: The Evangelical Crackup

Comments on: The Evangelical Crackup



Sniffing out the work of God in the world...



Last Build Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2018 12:38:54 +0000

 



By: Leland

Tue, 06 Nov 2007 06:59:17 +0000

Mindgaamer, "Note to Leland: You missed the point and wasted some crude language." Naw!



By: Michael

Tue, 06 Nov 2007 04:57:09 +0000

I have lived in Canada all my life and watched my wife give birth to two kids, several relatives battle cancer, and personally had surgery in our medical system. The care has been excellent, prompt, and professional. It was only several years ago that I even realized that our health care had the reputation in the States that it did, and, frankly, it's still astounding to me. The system has flaws, of course, but no more so than any other. Most of you have probably heard some story about someone friend's uncle who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone in Vancouver who had to wait for surgery and taken it as an opportunity to write off an entire medical system because it's not what you're familiar with. Too often (myself included) we see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear, I'm afraid. Our health care system is just fine, thank you very much. We like it and - in spite of its weaknesses - are proud of how inclusive it is. Between that and our smoking economy (the loonie is kicking your dollar's butt right now if you didn't know), maybe some of you should look into a move to the north!



By: Mindgamer

Mon, 05 Nov 2007 18:54:03 +0000

A personal witness: I tithe from the gross. Making that decision was both life-altering and faith-changing. Each month I am reminded that what I have is on loan from God and I am the steward of it. IHOP, if you do not tithe, you have no voice in the social justice conversation nor should you complain about how much and where the church spends the Lord's resources.



By: Mindgamer

Mon, 05 Nov 2007 18:47:32 +0000

Note to Leland: You missed the point and wasted some crude language. It does matter who is getting abortions within the context of who we think are getting abortions. The reason that there is no political solution to the problem of abortion is that even among those politicians that profess to be opposed to abortion, their constituencies are overwhelmingly opposed to legislation that limits abortion. So they say just enough to get elected but then take no action whatsoever. Note to Dan: Social justice has nothing to do with equality whether in opportunity or outcome. Social justice will never be achieved by government - of any kind. Social justice is defined by our response to the world's inequality. Do we care? and do we act? From the prophets to the gospels, true religion is reflected in our actions toward the poor, the widowed, and the orphaned. Note to Amanda: FYI, according to Barna Research, fewer than 10% of evangelical Christians give at least 10% of their income to their Church. As of five years ago, the MEDIAN annual gift to the church was $300 - and that was a decrease. With all this talk of government and minimum wage, it would seem that one of the first steps toward social justice would be for evangelical Christians to simply tithe. We have seen the enemy, and he is us....



By: C.

Thu, 01 Nov 2007 22:14:06 +0000

Thanks, Snapshot and others. It seems that so many want to bang on their drum proclaiming social justice, while the govt spends other people's money. They pat themselves on the back but have hardly put in a dime of their own money and probably none of their own time. For those that back their words with their own time and money, what great influences. Come on Amanda, that's what will get people moving - witnessing others work. You don't need unlimited resources or to know a huge circle, just the intestinal fortitude to get out there and do something and realize that one person CAN make a difference.



By: Doug

Thu, 01 Nov 2007 19:40:17 +0000

blah, blah, blah, blah, blah......



By: Terry

Thu, 01 Nov 2007 14:39:07 +0000

I have spoken of this before. My dad lived to be 91, his body heart,feet,eyes, well you get the idea just wore out. He did go to doctors frequently and I got to be with him occaisionally on these little jaunts. He lived in Flat Rock, MI and went to Woodhaven, Trenton and other doctors in the surounding communities. His hearing was not to good either, so he talked in stage whispers and it could at time be embarrassing. He always had a smile and would talk to other seniors waiting in the doctors office, which was always crowded. I could not have been more surprised by other seniors that said they came from Canada-right across the river. Seems they have to wait forever to have the doctor treat them. One gentleman with a twinkle in his eye related to my dad. They bet if I don't get to see a doctor I'm going to die quicker. But I still drive. Sometimes the wait was a long time that day but they still came to Michigan to SEE a doctor. Told me all I needed to know about government run healthcare.



By: Mark Hobbs

Wed, 31 Oct 2007 19:52:20 +0000

Glenn: You said "Conservatives are not against things like government-run health care because they hate poor people and don’t want them to have any medical care. They simply understand what happens when you let government run the health care system." So, what is the "conservative" answer to the very real problem of 50 million people (10 million children) in America that have no health insurance? No one is accusing you have hating poor people. But screaming "socialism" every time someone tries to address this problem is not helpful. Why not advocate an alternative solution? Would you be in favor of eliminating the Medicaid program? What about Medicare, the FEHBP (federal employee plan), or the VA hospital system? If not, then would you be opposed to expanding Medicaid to cover more low-income families? If not, why not? Surely you would agree that ignoring the problem is not a solution. So how do we solve it? Despite what you might think by listening to Shawn Hannity or Rush Limbaugh (as I do from time to time), neither Clinton or Obama advocate a nationalized health system like that adopted by most of the western world. The Democratic candidates advocate expanding our current programs (Medicaid, FEHBP, Medicare, the CHIP program, etc.) so that they reach more low-income families. But neither candidate is proposing anything like the British NHS. Some on the very far right advocate no government-funded healthcare for anyone. Some on the very far left advocate a nationalized health system where everyone pays into a single government fund, the government owns hospitals and employs doctors nationwide, and everyone is provided whatever free health care they need. These are extreme positions that are almost universally understood to be a bad idea. The real discussion is happening in the middle, between those that think our current programs are good enough and those that think they should be expanded somewhat. Unfortunately, it doesn't make for good talk radio.



By: Keith

Wed, 31 Oct 2007 16:37:29 +0000

If we allow the government to demand that buisnesses pay higher than what the market demands, the price of the product will increase with the wage increase. It doesn't do anyone any good get a raise if it doesn't increase more than the cost of living.



By: Amanda

Wed, 31 Oct 2007 15:21:48 +0000

Kyle The only thing I can comment on about minimum wage and low wages is that we will always need people to be our cashiers at Wal-Mart, heat our food at McDonalds, clean our hotel rooms, etc. and as long as we allow employers to pay those people wages that do not allow them to live significantly above the federal poverty line ($19,971 for a family of 4) and to not provide any benefits like healthcare, retirement, etc or only minimal benefits, then we will always have poor people and poor families. Someone simply has to do those jobs and there are not enough teenagers to go around. I also agree that no problem is bigger than God, but I also believe that God expects us to work on problems. We can do that in a whole lot of ways. I personally see democracy as a great opportunity for Christians to work toward solving problems on a large scale. It's not the only opportunity Christians have but I think it is an important one.



By: Kyle

Wed, 31 Oct 2007 13:43:34 +0000

Amanda - 1 First I'm not sure if I agree with you about how many people give and how much they give. I used to think that was true and I still do a little, but I have been surprised on occassion to see someone sacrificing. However, I agree wholeheartedly on how church money is spent. I was discussing with an atheist recently why church contributions are tax deductible. But when it comes down to it, a large percentage of most church budgets is turned around to take care of it's members. Scarily, that makes it no better than most civic clubs. The problem is, without that spending, people will leave a church. I would guess a majority of a congregation is there for the "production" on Sunday morning. 2. I'm still trying to dispell this mindset that there are all these families living on minimum wage and if the government would just raise it, they would be better off. The problem is that only a very small percentage of families subsist on a min wage income, and even if they do an even smaller percentage do it for more than a few months. In reality, raising min. wage causes employers to pay a premium to a bunch of high school and college kids who are likely not living in poverty to provide very little relief to families that need it. It's a $130 billion fix for $3 billion of problem. 3. Even though you may feel like the problem is bigger than yourself, it's not bigger than God. I'm sure you will continue to help your neighbor. If every single Christian would just look out for poor, the problem would be almost eliminated. I just left a government job. I know they can make a dent, but I also know we can do it better. The church may not be ready for the unity it's going to take, but it's a better goal than trying to get a government to do something it will ultimately fail at.



By: Snapshot

Wed, 31 Oct 2007 12:58:25 +0000

It's shameful that we have so much faith in the Government system and so little faith in God's people. If we had all that money back in "our systems" just imagine how organizations like the ones you mentioned could help. Dream for a moment on the amount of good that could be done with millions of dollars distributed by benevolent minded churches and Godly leaders. A radical change in the mentality of this nation would mean we aren't talking about what an individual family could do to help the needy, we are talking about what a network of millions of Jesus minded families could do to help the needy. Yes, you are right many churches aren't using God's money to do the work He laid out for us. We get sidelined with "extra" things like big buildings, high powered technical equipment, high paid staff, etc. I realize that. But it doesn't have to be that way. I am more willing to believe that a church can think like Jesus than Government. I'm willing to put my eggs, as you call it, in the Christianity basket to solve big social problems because I believe the God who created the universe is willing to help us solve those problems HIS way, not Governments. How sad that the church has the mentality of thinking big where Government is concerned but is small minded where the church is concerned. Big problems require big solutions and be solutions come from God, not Government. I would love to see a test done, where the government was willing to give ONE church family a large amount of it's tax dollars for a year And allow that church to minister with that money. My guess is that you'd see more sacrificial giving because we'd see up close and personal the good that our resources could do. We'd see the benefit. As of now the majority of God fearing people just see the abuses of government spending with the money God blesses us with. But you see, the government is not willing to do a test of this kind because Government doesn't want us to see the difference. The powers that be like to feel the power it gives them to Lord over it's citizens, be important, pull all the purse strings and be their salvation. It's called Government slavery and it comes from being small minded.



By: Amanda

Wed, 31 Oct 2007 04:57:31 +0000

I disagree with Terry and others with similar points for two main reasons 1. Systemic problems require sytemic solutions. Each individual can make a difference and should try, but in order to really make a big dent in a problem you have to have the means, power, and organization. Government has that going for it. I as an individual can give money to a family struggling on minimum wage but I don't have the power or organization to increase the minimum wage and instantly and consistently put more money in millions of workers pockets from now on. I can assit those in poverty in many ways, but my resources are limited, my time is limited, the circle of poor people I know is limited, I can't dramatically change how welfare is structured like during the war on poverty and take the poverty rate from 16% to 12%. I can help my parents when they retire, but I can't create a system of social securtiy that took the elderly from the most likely segment of the population to live in poverty in the U.S. to the least likely. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't do anything ourselves, it is just recognizing that as individuals we are limited in many ways that government is not. Big problems require big solutions. Read Larry James' blog sometime he often speaks about these kind of issues. 2. I agree that Christians should be doing more and that it is a shame that we NEED to rely on government for help or to do most of the job. But I don't buy that as an argumnent for little government involvment for 3 reasons. 1. I don't believe that all or most Christians now consistently give money to their church or charitable organizations 2. I don't believe that most of the Christians that do give money give at a level that is consistently sacrificial, that they regularly give something up in order to give money 3. And most importantly, even if I am wrong about the first two, where does most money that Christians consistently and sacrificially give to their church go? Does most of it go to directly or indirectly benefit them by paying for church maintenance, staff, and activities for members, or does it go to help those who are in need in the community (not just the church family but the larger community)? How many of us really think about where the money we give to our church actually goes and where it should go? When those three things change I may be willing to put most of my eggs in the Christianity basket to solve big social problems.



By: Amanda

Wed, 31 Oct 2007 04:40:57 +0000

I disagree with Terry and other with similar points for two main reasons 1. Systemic problems require sytemic solutions. Each individual can make a difference, but in order to really make a big dent in a problem you have to have the means, power, and organization. Government has that. I as an individual can give money to a fmaily struggling on minimum wage but I don't have the power or organization to increase the minimum wage and instantly and consistently put more money in millions of workers pockets from now on. I can assit those in poverty in many ways, but my resources are limited, my time is limited, the circle of poor people I know is limited, I can't dramatically change how welfare is structured like during the war on poverty and take the poverty rate from 16% to 12%. I can help my parents when they retire, but I can't create a system of social securtiy that took the elderly from the most likely segment of the population to live in poverty in the U.S. to the least likely. Big problems require big solutions. 2. I agree that Christians should be doing more and that it is a shame that we NEED to rely on government for help or to do most of the job. But I don't buy that as an argumnent for little government involvment for 3 reasons.



By: Glenn

Wed, 31 Oct 2007 03:15:54 +0000

Keith, I am with you on this. One thing I find very interesting is that the religious left, who wishes the religious right would go away, chastise the right for neglecting Christianity for the sake of political power. The religious left then, in the name of compassion, advocates blatantly using the power of the state to bring about their idea of the perfect society, -- call it social justice. What they do not understand is that when you curtail individual liberty and incentive in the name of social justice you end up with less justice, social or otherwise, for everyone. Conservatives are not against things like government-run health care because they hate poor people and don't want them to have any medical care. They simply understand what happens when you let government run the health care system. However, those on the left are persistent optimists regarding their own abilities. If they can just put Hillary (or whomever the latest left-wing savior is) in charge, she will do it better than the British or the Canadians or all of those others who have tried socialized medicine and failed. Voting for a politician who will use the power of the state to take money from whom you believe is less worthy and give it to those who you believe are more worthy does not make you a better Christian. It simply makes you a believer in income redistribution, not necessarily a believer in Jesus. What I don't understand is why all those people who want to raise taxes on everyone else always pay the legal minimum regarding taxes. Is there any law that prevents them from kicking in a little extra to Uncle Sam if they think he is so good with their money?