January 12, 2012

Outside In

Of course there is a lot of talk about politics right now and as I was driving into the office the other day I heard one of the Republican candidates talk about eliminating most, if not all, of federal taxes. As I thought about it I thought to myself that I could be alright with that. I have a decent paying job, house, cars, saving account, investments, etc. I'm not sure it would bother me not to pay taxes and really allow me to keep more of my hard earned money. But then I kept thinking...

What about the individuals who have minimum wage jobs that are barely getting by, which most aren't even doing? Without taxes many of the government funded assistance programs become no more and the family that doesn't earn enough to feed themselves now goes hungry because their food stamps are gone. There are countless examples of hardworking people who rely on government support in order to make ends meet.

Those of us on the "inside" don't want to pay taxes because we don't see the direct benefit from them per se but that fails to remember those who have been left out. It seems like taxes are one way for those on the inside to help those on the outside. This sort of inside-out thinking happens in the Church all the time. Most of the decisions we make in the Church are based on those who are already inside, which sends a message to those who aren't. I wonder what might happen if we were to change our mindset and instead of starting with ourselves (inside -> out) to starting with those who aren't already here and figuring out ways to invite them in (outside -> in).

3 comments:

Cliff Lambert said...

I'm kind of on the same page but what if we went one step further? Let's eliminate all federal taxes and let the church make up the difference for those who benefit from the government programs that help those who need them? I know that's a lofty goal but from my perspective, it's a win-win situation.

Steve and Andrea LaMotte said...

I think that in the Church we have to continually preach a Gospel and a God that is towards others. I don't think one can really read and study the scriptures without having a growing sense of responsibility for the poor, the fatherless, and the widows.

At my church, we are striving to get outside of ourselves in any way we can. Meetings, Bible studies, and small groups outside of the church building so that we can see and interact with others. Encouraging individuals to have an incarnational ministry wherever we are because we are the Church- we are the body of Christ. I think we need reminded continually about the mission Jesus gave us to go and make disciples.

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