Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Church's Educational Responsibility

A year or so I came across this passage:
He ... must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
-- Ephesians 4:28
More recently I came across this one:
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
-- 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
It seems to me that a fundamental goal of Christian maturity is to have the necessary resources to:

1) not be a burden on other people,


2) to help relieve the burdens other people have.

I think it may be time for the church to start providing its members with the resources to do these two things. That means encouraging young people to finish school and get a college education, and to avoid derailments of those plans (like getting pregnant or dropping out), and to finance education of those who missed their first opportunity while young, and perhaps to even provide career counseling.

Many of my church peers would scoff at such a notion, believing that the business of the church is to "spread the Gospel", and not to get wrapped up in "social issues". But if I'm reading those passages above correctly, I think it may be time to at least start thinking in these directions.

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