Visit The Church of Stop Shopping for More of the Light
By Grant Lawrence
Lately, I have heard a lot of radio and TV preachers warn their flock that Americans are turning to Socialism. I have thought about it a bit and I just don't know why Christians should be against helping their fellow man and supporting a just society.
So I admit, often I miss the big picture. That is why I turn to experts for answers on subjects that are confusing to me.
In this case, I headed down to my local big box church to see if I could find a pastor to help clear up the issue on the dangers of a just society and social programs.
I entered the church but I must admit, it looked more like a retail store with nice carpet and some fine furnishings. I walked over to the office and I asked to see the head pastor of the church. I was told by the church secretaries that the Pastor is a mighty busy man with his TV, radio shows, and doing the Lord's work.
But surprisingly I was able to get a few moments of the Reverend's time. The Reverend came out with a big smile on his face and greeted me.
"Reverend Dollars," I said, "I am confused about a few things and I need some answers."
"Sure," he responded, "How can I be of service to you?"
"Well Reverend, I don't understand why it is bad for the government to help people?" I asked.
"Are you talking about Socialism?" he replied.
"I don't know Reverend. I don't know if it is Socialism, or if it is just helping people, or what. I am really confused about it all." I said.
"You are confused because I can tell you don't have a relationship with Jesus. You get right with Jesus and you will get the answers that you need. Jesus will get you straight. Then you won't need to know anything but the Lord and you will be happy," Reverend Dollars smiled.
"But Reverend, why do people go to church to listen to you when they have the Lord?" I asked.
"All right, I am going to try to help clear things up for you. Christians are against Socialism because they are for a free market. God in his infinite wisdom created a free market so that people could get rich and be free to fail. Now that means there is going to be a lot of poor people but that is fine with God because he wants all of us free. It is up to people to give to help the poor and no one should be forced into doing what is right," he said.
"But why does God punish people if they do bad, isn't that forcing them to do good?" I asked.
"Brother, God is the one in charge of doing good. It is not up to you and me to force people to do good?" he said.
"Now I am really confused Reverend," I confessed. "If we shouldn't force people to do good then why do Christians want jails and police? Why do Christians think people should be arrested for drugs and prostitution. Why do Christians want just wars? Why can't we bring about a society in which there is health care for everyone and more help for people in need?"
"Brother, you are asking too many questions and if you had faith it would be clear to you. Christians know that it is all part of God's plan and that people shouldn't go changing things that God has ordained. That is why there is always going to be sick people, poverty, wars, and criminals. You or I or anyone is not going to change that," the reverend said. He definitely seemed pleased with his answer.
"But Reverend, if we can't change things or society then why why do Christians go see doctors, go to hospitals, support schools, use technology, and support a lot of things that help people? If we can't change things then why do you preach on your TV show about the the evils of homosexuality, atheism, and big government?" I asked.
"It is clear you are a sinner and that is all I can say. But I am telling you that God doesn't want us to share our wealth unless we want to. God wants a free market because he wants everyone to benefit," he angrily said. "Read the bible!" The reverend was now shouting.
"Reverend, didn't the early Christians live in communes?" I inquired.
"That's it. I knew it. You are a communist. The Devil is bending your mind, brother. The early Christians were communists because God hadn't yet revealed free markets to them. So they had to share. But God has created America and freedom so that is why Christians are no longer practicing communists," he said.
"So the early Christians were practicing communists?" I was surprised to know that .
Then a disturbing thought came to me. Perhaps Jesus was promoting a type of communism when he talked about people selling everything and giving it to the poor. Serving God may have been the same as serving people to Jesus. Serving people and helping people is pretty much what Socialists talk about, I thought.
I couldn't say anything more to Reverend Dollars.
I now felt very guilty. I didn't want the Reverend to know this deep dark thought about Jesus being a practicing communist so I didn't say anything. If I said anything about Jesus promoting a type of social welfare then I am sure he would tell me that I was damned for all of eternity.
I excused myself and told the Reverend goodbye. I think the Reverend was happy to see me go but happy to show me the light.
But since my talk with the Reverend, I have been riddled with guilt. I have resolved not ever to think such thoughts again about Jesus advocating sharing, helping, and giving to the poor.
Since my talk, I block all thoughts about a just society from my mind. But once in awhile these crazy, sinful thoughts come to me about socialism and even communism. But I wipe it all from my mind by clicking on the remote and watching the Reverend Dollars condemn people and ask for money on his TV show.
The Reverend may not have answered my questions but he did show me that my questions were dirty and wrong.