Faith-Based Groups Get Grant Money: Boon or Curse?
Dr. Paul Dean is a pastor, cultural commentator, and author. He serves as a Regional Mentor with the International Association of Biblical Counselors, speaks at several conferences throughout the year, and provides training for ministers and churches on a regular basis. Paul resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with his wife and three children.
- 2006 Apr 03
Christians have long experienced the unfair nature of this world. At the same time, they can take comfort in that reality by virtue of the fact that Christ promised them that it would be this way. Of course, many Christians take no comfort in such a thought. It is difficult to know whether this dynamic flows from ignorance, self-centeredness, or both. The problem lies in the fact that Christians are too often guilty of being selfish and not thinking at the same time. Of course, this combination can be dangerous.
Consider a report from MSNBC. "For years, conservatives have complained about what they saw as the liberal tilt of federal grant money. Taxpayer funds went to abortion rights groups such as Planned Parenthood to promote birth control, and groups closely aligned with the AFL-CIO got Labor Department grants to run worker-training programs. In the Bush administration, conservatives are discovering that turnabout is fair play: Millions of dollars in taxpayer funds have flowed to groups that support President Bush's agenda on abortion and other social issues."
Three brief observations are in order here. First, taxpayer funds used to support abortion rights groups is reprehensible, not only because abortion is so reprehensible, but because wealth redistribution is reprehensible. To take money from one group by force, (that is, taking money through taxation from those opposed to abortion), and give it to another group, is no different from a man taking your wallet at gunpoint and giving it to another person of his choice (try not paying your taxes and see if you are not dealt with at gunpoint). While some taxes must be levied for public good, taxation and wealth redistribution of this kind is patently unbiblical (stealing is wrong) and was rejected by our forefathers. They actually fought a war over it.
Second, if taxation and wealth redistribution is wrong for the support of abortion rights groups, then taxation and wealth redistribution is wrong for the support of pro-life groups. We cannot have it both ways.
Third, be assured, where the government's money goes (your money confiscated by the government through unbiblical taxation), the government's power goes. When faith-based groups or churches take money from the government, they not only run the risk of being dictated to by the government in some way, they actually give the government tacit approval of such activity. Therefore, let the government keep their money. Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and render unto God that which is God's, and let the two never meet. Federal grant money may seem like a boon, but in reality, it's a curse.