Surprising and lovely story this morning on NPR (yes, NPR):
Memphis Churches Leading The Way in Disaster Relief
(Red Cross cautiously pleased. "It's not necessarily a bad thing.")
Aside from my amusement at the Red Cross spokeswoman's clear unfamiliarity with the legitimacy and efficacy of interfaith cooperative efforts, this story prompted two thoughts.
First, thank you, Memphis churches for offering a clear witness to the gospel. Thank you for being the Body of Christ right there in your hometown.
Second, I've been receiving some criticism from my evangelical friends--or rather, from my evangelical friends who tend conservative on political matters--about my public statements to the effect that, if the church does not feed the hungry, heal the sick, and bring relief to the poor, I'm happy for the U. S. government to pick up the slack.
I want to state clearly and unambiguously that the day news stories like the above are no longer news--the day NPR says, "Churches are solving the poverty problem? So what? That's not news," the day Red Cross has no choice but to say, "Well, of course churches are providing the bulk of the shelter/food/clothing here. They always do"--is the day I start campaigning vigorously for an end to all government aid to the needy.
Any and every tax cut you ask me to vote for, I will.
Any and every government program you want to cut, I will be your fiercest lobbyist.
Go ahead. Get busy.