We need a surgeon general’s warning: “This government program may be hazardous to your spiritual health.”
Jesus said we’re to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s, so it’s clear we have responsibilities both to God and to government. You could fill whole libraries with the volumes that have been written on this rich and vital topic. But what do we do when Caesar attempts to usurp the place of Christ in our hearts?
Sometimes, as when Nebuchadnezzar commanded the people of God to bow down to his golden image, the answer is simple—you obey the Lord and leave the consequences to Him. But sometimes the challenge from those who rule over us is far more subtle. Instead of facing a fiery furnace, we may encounter a temptation that, at its heart, says, “In government we trust.”
That seems to be the conclusion of two psychology researchers who say that better government services are correlated with lower levels of strong religious belief, both in the U.S. and internationally. Their study’s title says it all: “Religion as an Exchange System: The Interchangeability of God and Government in a Provider Role.”
“If a secular entity provides what people need, they will be less likely to seek help from God or other supernatural entities,” the researchers say. “If the benefits acquired in the religious exchange can be acquired elsewhere, religion becomes less useful.” They add that, when it comes to social stability, “the power and order emanating from God can be outsourced to the government.”
Now to my mind that’s a fairly cynical take, as if the only reason people turn to God is for what they can get out of Him. But I know it has an element of truth. God in His sovereign mercy sometimes uses our physical and emotional needs to awaken in us our desperate spiritual need for Him.
Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Post