Recently, there was an article posted on the blog of The Weekly Standard (http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/hhs-publishes-sample-church-bulletin-insert-promote-obamacare_852728.html) that was rather disturbing to me. The article focuses on how recently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has partnered with churches and other faith based organizations around the country. The purpose of this partnership was to distribute bulletin inserts encouraging parishioners to sign up for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) as well as an announcement from the pulpit.
Now, I have no problem with the HHS encouraging people to sign up for health care that need it. I do however, have a problem with the government (the State) putting their agenda into the bulletins of congregations that are supposed to be under the Lordship of Jesus Christ alone. This to me seems a clear violation of what many deem the “separation of church and state”. Do you suppose that the HHS would allow a Christian organization to place gospel tracts into their literature to be given to people? I don’t think that they would. They would cry foul and claim it is a violation of church and state. So, why would congregations around the country allow themselves to be used by the state to push their agenda for health care? I would conclude that they have lost their focus on who they are and whose agenda they are to communicate.
Churches that are under the lordship of Christ are supposed to focus their message on Christ, and Christ alone. The Church is supposed to take care of the widow, the orphan, and the poor. These are ministries that the Church has continued to do for the last 2000 years. The Church is supposed to place their focus on the Kingdom of God and the purpose of God, not government programs. The gathering of believers in Christ for a service is to worship the Lord Jesus Christ and to share Christ with one another. He is to be the center of the worship service. Now I realize that announcements are generally given at these services, but they too must focus on the life of the Church and not on any state sponsored agenda. The Apostle Paul knew what his purpose and message was to be about. He said, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Cor. 4:5 NKJV) What is preached today in many churches is also subject to debate, but that is another blog post entirely.
The government has spent enough money on television, printed media, and internet advertising to promote Obamacare. They do not need to place inserts into the worship bulletins of Christian congregations. The news media around the country has also given Obamacare quite a bit of publicity and coverage as well. Yet, in spite of this partnership, the government has banned pastors from publicly endorsing measures and candidates from the pulpit, but it is fine for the HHS to promote their agenda in a Christian church. I don’t think so. This is a double standard on the part of the government. Congregations under the Lordship of Christ should have no part of it.