He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
The church, as she was intended to be, was to be a venue for justice and mercy and to be characterized by humility in her walk with God. We've blown it. Badly.
Matthew hit on some of my own pet issues with the church. If the church was BEING the church we wouldn't be in the mess we're in right now. The government wouldn't have to be involved in health care reform or welfare or any other "human services" areas because the church would be filling those roles. Because she is not, the government has to step in. And because she is not and the government has to step in then logically it follows that the government has the right to bill the church for its services.
I hear a lot of hysteria in Christian circles about how "They" are going to take away our ability to preach the whole of Scripture. Too often when I tease it out "They" is the government and the "truth" that the person is referring to is something along the lines of "Abortion is Murder" or something to that affect. Clearly "Love your enemies" isn't the kind of speech that is going to get us on "their" list. Well, if this is what "we" really believe then one answer to the problem is to surrender our precious tax exempt status and disentangle ourselves from the government's pockets and hence from their regulation of what we can and cannot say, what we can and cannot do, who we can and cannot marry.
There is a saying in real life, "Follow the Money". If you want to know who has the control/power then follow the money. If the church wants autonomy to be the church then she needs to cut her ties to the state and pony up her portion of taxes just like any other organization does. We can't have it both ways. A day is coming, and quickly in this economy, where we are going to have to decide whom we are going to serve. Freeing ourselves from our ties to the government coffers is one choice we need to make.