We’ve reached a cultural tipping point. I’ve used those words many times when describing certain political events, however, in this particular case, I speak from a religious standpoint.
In the United States, faith has been protected under the First Amendment for the last 224 years. Since December of 1791, Americans have been free to worship their God without fear of reprisal.
The First Amendment states in part:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
It’s the very first sentence of the very first amendment to the Constitution. It’s a big deal. Unfortunately, churches willingly became grafted to the body of the federal government when they began to receive official tax-exempt status in 1894. Given this attachment, the church is susceptible to being manipulated by the powers that be.
Many Christians believe that, as a body of believers, tax-exempt status is our right. They believe that what we offer to the local community, as well as to society at large, should grant us special privileges. This is incorrect.
We worship because we believe. The societal benefits that spring from our commitment to a higher power are incidental. Our faith tells us to do good, and we do. There doesn’t need to be a government-based reward for that. Moreover, an invisible debt hangs over the church when we feed at the state’s table. There’s no free lunch, and over time, as our nation’s morality decays, pressure is being very slowly, but very consistently applied to the walls of the church.
Christians in the United States have been subjected to mockery and harassment for years, but it wasn’t until the last decade or so that we began to feel the heat of a fully-formed social movement aimed at taking out religion.
We’re repeatedly told by the atheist media to just calm down. They say it’s crazy to believe that the government would discriminate against people of faith, yet we continue to see such discrimination play out right in front of our eyes. Conscientious objectors who politely decline to participate in activities their faith deems morally wrong are demonized, and dispatched using the power of the state. Bakers, florists, chapel owners, photographers–all destroyed. Not by mere individuals, but by the state. And we think they won’t come for the church?
We enjoy our tax-exempt status, then freak out when the talons of the federal government creep into our houses of worship. What do we expect from a morally bankrupt society? There was a time when the faithful could coexist with the state in peace. That time has ended. We need to discontinue tax-exempt status for churches.
I know what you’re thinking. But churches depend on their tax-exempt status to survive! You’re wrong. They depend on their tax-exempt status to have a big building with cushioned pews, an overhead LED projector, and a heated baptismal. Christians don’t depend on the state, they depend on Christ, and the strength of fellowship.
Our government is becoming more corrupt and intrusive by the day, and if we continue to depend on its charity, we will soon be subject to its dictates.
It’s time to cut ties, and stand apart. If we don’t, we may have beautiful buildings, but they will be as whitewashed tombs, stirring with moral decay.