A recent poll conducted among 1500 adults confirms what we have long suspected: even Evangelical Christians support statism. The polling group—Public Religion Research Institute—determined that social issues, like abortion, are proving to be less important to Evangelical voters when compared with economic issues like unemployment. Apparently the economy trumps infanticide even among those who have been historically pro-life.
This shouldn’t come as too great of a surprise to any readers of this site. The allure of statist control is a familiar refrain trumpeted by the mainstream media. It was only a matter of time before conservative Evangelicals should begin to believe the lies. What should come as a surprise though, is that Democrats see this as an opportunity to pull voters their way for 2012. While most Christians will (and should) voice support for economic aid to those hurt by the downturn in the economy, it is disheartening to see that some apparently believe the federal government should be the mechanism for this aid. This self-inflicted view that the government is the ultimate solution will only exacerbate the problems. When Americans turn to the government for help they can be assured that help will come packaged with red tape.
What is particularly disturbing about this poll is that the Evangelical churches in America are supposed to be the very ones who understand where and how financial hope should be distributed. Far from being an anonymous government check in the mailbox, real financial help comes in the form of a recognized face or faces at the front door, ready and willing to strive and help the individual in need. The apostle made it clear: “The one who doesn’t work, doesn’t eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). However, this same man also gave the admonition to “do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Galatians 6:10). Christians should be relying on fellow Christians, not federal bureaucrats, to come to their aid in time of need.
As a deacon at my own church, I can assure you that this very thing happens from time to time. Members of the church occasionally come to us, seeking financial help during difficult periods. Sadly though, many of these same people only think to come to us when it is entirely too late: the shelves have been bare for weeks, the car has been repossessed, and the house is already in foreclosure. We have a fairly steady supply of funds coming in to the church for these “times of benevolence,” but most members only use it as a “last resort.” They tend to believe that coming to the deacons and elders for help is the ultimate form of humiliation and destitution, when, in reality, it should be their “first resort.” I know for a fact that many Evangelical churches are actually looking for opportunities to give away money and food because the members of the church are too proud to take a “handout.” This is not only a tragedy; it is a waste of time and resources. It is, in actuality, poor stewardship.
Evangelical Christians should be the ones leading the charge into the economic mess of America. Although few Evangelicals actually tithe 10 percent to their local church, there is often plenty of money residing in the benevolence coffers because even Evangelicals look to the government rather than the church when the bankbook and the pantry become thin. They have willingly handed the church’s God-ordained role as the guardian of the poor and widows and orphans over to the federal government, all the while complaining that the government is involved in too many things that it ought not be. Hello pot, meet kettle. It is this sort of hypocrisy that the Democrats are counting on to be able to skim a significant portion off the conservative Evangelical vote next year. They really don’t even care if you lie about how you voted after the fact. They don’t need your allegiance, just your vote.