Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Church Or Government - Who Is Responsible?

Over at Trying To Follow, the question comes up once again, "Whose job is it to take care of the homeless, the church, or the government?"

To that question, I left this comment:

Yeah, everyone asks “whose job is it” or “whose responsibility is it” to care for the homeless. Well, it is nobody’s, really. Yet, if any organization makes a declaration to the public that they are assuming the role of care taker of the homeless, poor etc, then they have a responsibility of living up to that claim. Jesus told his followers to take care of those in need. So, as Christians go about claiming Christ, then they need to follow through on Jesus’ instructions.

The government of the United States of America, declared in the preamble of the Constitution that one of its objectives was to - well just read the whole thing - which at the time it was written, government was synonymous with citizenry -

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,[1] promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America

“…promote the general Welfare” sounds to me like a promise by the government to take care of those in need.

So, yeah, if someone says they are going to do something, then we have every right to expect as much from them - and if they don’t, to demand it.

Both the Church and our Government should be held responsible for taking care of the needy.