Posts Tagged ‘faith-based ministries’

There Is No Such Thing As Part-Time Christianity

April 12, 2010

Recently, the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships issued recommendations to President Obama concerning the faith-based initiative.  In response, Barry Lynn has critiqued this report in two ways that show a fundamental misunderstanding of religion. 

First, Barry argues that faith-based organizations that have received government funds need to be closely monitored because they, according him, are misspending the monies.  As proof, he said “some faith-based ministries take public funding for ‘secular’ efforts while proudly proclaiming on their internet sites that they are Christ-focused 24/7.” 

In other words, a religious organization that is focused on Christ all of the time cannot accomplish secular things.  What kind of useless religion does Barry believe in?  The religion I adhere to commands us to feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, welcome strangers, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and those in prison.

But according to the religion Barry apparently promotes, if you are focused on Christ, you cannot feed the hungry or provide medical treatment for the sick.  According to this warped religion, if you love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, then you are precluded from building a shelter for the homeless.

What this is essentially saying is that Christians can only be Christian some of the time – that there must be times in our life where we can discard our religious beliefs.  While there are some out there who would like it if they could dispose their religious beliefs when it impedes their sinning ways, this is not our calling as Christians.  Our true calling is a full-time job.  We are Christians 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  And Barry’s assertion that a faith-based organization cannot be accomplishing secular good just because it is focused on Christ all the time is simply wrong.

Thankfully, Barry’s radical view of an impotent religion is not mainstream.  To the contrary, throughout our nation’s history, Christian men and women have lead the way in charitable work, including the building of hospitals, universities, homeless shelters, youth programs, rehabilitation programs, prison ministries, adoption agencies, and the list goes on and on.

One such ministry is Heart to Heart International.  This incredible organization, founded in 1992 by Dr. Gary Morsch, brings much needed medical help to needy people all over the world.  But according to its website, this vitally needed service they are providing is not the result of some secular mindset to do good.  Rather, they “believe that each person is uniquely gifted by God to help those in need—and that acting on this belief has the power to create a healthier world.”

You see Barry, it is wrong to think that you cannot do real social good in the world if you are focused on Christ 24/7.  Quite to the contrary, you are compelled to meet the real tangible needs of others when you are focused on Christ all the time.

Next week, I will focus on Barry’s crusade to force faith-based organizations to rid themselves of their faith-based make-up.

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