In Stewardship Spirituality, responsibility and accountability are important to being a good steward. The right to private property is not an absolute right because care must be taken over the things, people or places in which we are responsible. The good steward takes these gifts and using the norms of Christian morality makes them grow. Accountability is the proof of that growth. We are only accountable for that which we are responsible. Our conscience learns what is right or wrong and through our choices we are able to return these gifts with increase to our master at our judgment. Knowing what is in our responsibility is the challenge. An easy guide to this problem is to keep it local.
Individuals cannot be responsible for airports and power plants, these are best the responsibility of a higher order such as commissions or governments. When governments interfere at the local level, people stop feeling responsible. No responsibility leads to no accountability. Parents lose their focus along with schools and hospitals. Standards of how to act are blurred. The vacuum leads the government to fill the void. Government gets bigger. This is where our Christianity needs to step in. Christianity demands that we take responsibility and we cannot let a higher order take it away.
We cannot allow political correctness to replace morality. Opinion cannot replace conscience. When we are people of conscience it is our responsibility to speak morally. Our local sphere of influence is where we talk morally and when we rightfully take ownership for the gifts in our care we act morally. Responsibility is reestablished and confidence returns for a good accounting. Stewardship spirituality says the Master will tell us, “Well done good and farsighted steward. “
Our religious freedom will suffer when governments take responsibility from us. What is the value of religion without conscience? Do not be lead to believe that our conscience is not important because all the decisions are made for us. If people are so fooled, then Secularism replaces where religion once ruled. Atheism fills the void and invites Socialism. Sound familiar? Defending the religious freedom to use our conscience has huge consequences. Christian morality demands that we speak up and act accordingly. Secular forces will try to silence us and stop us.
In November we face a general election. We do not endorse a party or a candidate. We do, however, say that we are to vote our conscience. Religious freedom is at stake if we allow the government to continue to take responsibility where it rightfully belongs with us. We cannot allow political correctness to replace morality. Opinion cannot replace conscience. When we are people of conscience it is our responsibility to speak morally. The way we act when we vote will have huge consequences. What I have been repeatedly saying rings true here. “Vote your conscience to protect your conscience because there are those who want to take this freedom away.”
Fr. Andrew Kemberling is a Catholic Priest in the Archdiocese of Denver. He was ordained in 1988 and has served parishes in Boulder, Canon City, Grand Junction, Pueblo, and is currently pastor at St. Thomas More in Centennial.