Monday, September 12, 2011

Church, State and Service Delivery

I am doing a course on Greek Exegesis at UKZN and the part of scripture under study is Matthew's gospel. There are just three of us in the class with Prof Jonathan Draper so there is some space for discussion, which is fun. I can't think how it related to Matthew, but we were talking about 'the believers having all things in common' and the way the context has changed from then to now. As Prof Draper pointed out, the early Christians were building a community that was pretty much independent of the outside world. Nowadays, we are economically part of the state community that levies taxes and redistributes wealth in that way.
One of my mentors last year spoke of how the church's job was to force the state to provide the educational facilities it was constitutionally obliged to offer.
I guess people have been talking about this and I just haven't grasped it - but what does a church community look like in our cultural context - bearing in mind taxes and social welfare? We talk about separation of church and state - and that is fine, but how do we cooperate meaningfully?
Some stuff to think about!

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