Christianity in 2011

50 years ago this month JFK, in his “Ask Not” speech had this to say about the modern world:

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God

(by the way the whole speech is worth rereading).


So now it is 50 years later and there has been no apocolypse and no utopia. Pretty much there is a ton of good that is not being done and a ton of bad that could be done but is not. Technology itself has improved dramatically in those 50 years – and the ability to cheaply kill and cheaply rescue lives has also greatly increased.

How should this impact us as Christians? How is this different from being a Christian in the first century?

I am looking for a conversation here. I will continue this line of thought if anyone comments.







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4 responses to “Christianity in 2011

  1. Stan Palmer

    JFK didn’t read his Bible regarding what Jesus said (or didn’t believe it): “The poor you will always have with you.”
    His, his successor LBJ, and other like them were deluded in thinking we could eliminate poverty. It cannot be done in this life because of our sinful nature. That said, should we, as Christians, extend help to the poor and needy? Yes, of course. Good works such as this are important and necessary — but not to prove anything about ourselves or earn any merit of any kind. (Luther warns to watch out for the “theology of glory”!)
    We do good for our neighbor purely for their benefit, so they too might glorify God and come to know Him.

    • Stan Palmer

      Another thought: The way that the government stepped in and insisted on “helping our neighbor” to an extreme (deficit spending as we know it, started during LBJ’s administration), has had an impact on how the church functions in rather significant ways. Consider health care: prior to the 1960’s a great many hospitals were run by churches; they were true “not for profit” entities. Now health care is an “industry”. Not trying to point fingers here… just making observations…

      • I agree that health care is a ministry – so everyone should access to it, regardless of their ability to pay. It is terrible when the poor and the uninsured are denied basic healthcare because they cannot pay for it – and I see this happening every day.

    • It certainly is true that JFK and LBJ did not eliminate poverty. It takes the Kingdom of God to eliminate poverty. There is no poverty in the Kingdom of God.

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