Embracing Denominationalism and Rejecting the 401.C3

After the reformation the fractured nature of the church actually helped to guard it from amassing the kind of political power it enjoyed in the past. If the Christian church were to hold true to the mandate of Christ to care for the poor, it would powerfully serve as a mechanism to diffuse the political power transfer that occurs in transactions of dependency. The ideological fracturing of its overarching organization would actually serve in the interest of the people as it would not be able to appropriately organize and achieve a congruent political power structure that would inevitably fall into the hands of incompetent and corrupt human administrators. However, with the Federal government comfortably entrenched in power through ubiquitous entitlement programs that feed, clothe, house, provide medical care, and other services to the poor, churches and charitable organizations are left to pick up only that small part of the population that falls through the cracks of the federal system.

Tax laws governing non-profit institutions provide an additional incentive for donations; however these incentives come at the cost of any political power that might be garnered through the charity. Tax exempt charities are not permitted to be political and retain their tax exempt status. This along with the fact that the actual charitable care they provide has to aim at such a small target so not to overlap with existing federal programs, the tax exempt incentive is all that is keeping some donors from simply keeping their money.

Sadly, instead of feeding the poor with their resources, most churches have resorted simply investing their tax exempt donations into their own infrastructure. Food stamps, section 8 housing, public schools, and now with the takeover of health care, all of the services traditionally in the realm of the church and charities have almost been completely monopolized by government, and the resultant political power they have achieved is evident in the increased encroachments upon our liberties and fraudulent raiding of our wealth with little or no repercussions for these criminal actions.

Churches struggle to be relevant in the culture by spending money on resources and activities that change very little around them.  Christians struggle to find the unity they read about in their own scriptures and they do so by attempting to achieve ideological purity that only ends up creating more division.  What is the solution to both?  Feed the poor, like the founder of the faith said to do.