This post is going to stray from my Frisbee theme a little... And go to the other theme of my Blog - Theology and Philosophy. Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary states one of the definitions of 'Philosophy' as being - "an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs". So I'm going to try and analyze for you guys the current state of the Family, Church, and State, and also what their Biblical roles should be. So bear with me. :)
The first thing to note is that the Bible clearly defines what the different roles of the different institutions are. When it says that one realm is responsible for X, the other realms are not to assume that X is within their jurisdiction. Although the way it is set up in the Bible - they all hold each other accountable.
~How it should be~
Family - Fundamental. (serving as an original or generating source.) There's no doubt that the family is the fundamental institution behind all of the other realms - without family, there is no Church or State.
(Education) Parents are responsible for teaching their children (Psalm 78:5).
(Inheritance) The men of the family are supposed to provide for their family, even their widowed mothers/grandmothers (1 Tim. 5:3-8), but they're also supposed to lay up an inheritance to give to their children (Deut. 21:15-17 ). The last sentence makes sense because - 1. The young cannot support themselves. 2. The working father is fully capable of supporting his living ancestors, descendants, and himself. 3. the aged and infirm cannot support themselves. So, the man (if he wants his children to provide for him when he is old) must set aside an inheritance for his children.
Andrew Carnegie is an example of the opposite side - he made a lot of money in his time (He sold his steel company to J.P. Morgan in 1901 for $480,000,000! During his retirement, he gave most of his money away to create libraries, help charities, support world peace, and the like. At his death, his last $30M was given to foundations, charities, and to pensioners.). But his philosophy was this - To get all the education you can get, then make all the money you can make, then give all your wealth away to worthwhile causes. As far as I can research, he didn't leave an inheritance to his only daughter, or his grandchildren! He left behind a legacy of squandering the money that God had given him through his hard work.
(tithing) the family should tithe back to God by giving the Church at least 1/10 of what the Lord has blessed them with (Numbers 18:21, Hebrews 7:5).
Church - Spiritual. (of or pertaining to the spirit as the seat of the moral or religious nature.)
(Spiritual responsibility) The leaders of the Church are responsible for watching the souls of their flock (Hebrews 13:17).
(Receiving/distributing tithes) I'll skip over going into detail on this point, since it was discussed somewhat on this Blog in an earlier discussion. But the question is if the Church should be the ones funding places like hospitals, or should individuals/family make that their business?
State - Physical. (of or pertaining to that which is material)
(Punishment of evildoers) The government, made up of kings or governors, is supposed to punish evildoing (1 Peter 2:13-14).
~How it is~
(Education) The Family has left the education of their children to the State and Church. Churches have age segregated youth groups and Sunday Schools, and the State has government-run public schools.
(Inheritance) Families have taken the inheritance out of the picture. Children aren't looked at as responsible to care of their parents outside of putting them in nursing homes. The fathers have put their money into IRAs and Social Security, because the State has taken over more of the Family's roles.
(Tithing) The Family is now tithing to the State because the State has made it mandatory to give it a portion of your income (part of the State taking over the Church's role). There are surveys out there that state - "Religious observers (those who attend weekly services) give 3.4 percent of income annually, while nonreligious people give only 1.1 percent to 1.4 percent. (The Gallup Organization)" It goes on to say that - "If historically Christian church members had given 10 percent of their income to the Church in 2004, it would have added up to an additional $164 billion."
(Receiving/distributing tithes) The Church has been limited by the State taking the Church's tithe (by taxation). Our government has started (it hasn't always been this way) taking our money and taxing everything, making it harder financially for families to tithe to the Church... Messing up the whole system, and making our dependence on the State greater. The Church then isn't able to do the things that they should be doing.
(Punishment of evildoers) The State seems to have kept this one pretty well... Until you look at all the laws that we've passed in recent years. The recent legalization of same-sex marriage in some states (a thing to be despised by Christians), for one, and then we have legal murder in the form of aborting unborn babies. :( It's sad. Which brings me to my conclusion...
The State has become centralized. Meaning that it has taken the power of the other institutions... Or they have given their power away! The reason that the State has taken the place of our regular institutions is because every realm has turned from God and have set up their own system against God's standards.
Let's go back to the Bible and study and learn and reclaim the system! It's time to look more in depth at the Biblical principles governing these realms.
This was a kinda long one. :) I had an off day from work at CFA! ;D I hope you enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to reading the discussions afterwords.