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Pro Greed part 2

January 28, 2008

Here is the big rub. God seems to be about equality. Do you agree? I often here people decry class envy. They say that a certain party fans the flames of class jealousy to get votes. I hear that and I’m not disagreeing but the response of Christians to this fascinates me.

If I’m not mistaken God expects his followers to be the great equalizers, to level the playing field, to help right what is wrong in the world. I understand we can’t equalize everything but it does seem we should do what we can.

Do you agree? So when God tells us to “act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” I think he is telling us that acting justly means we work to level the playing field.

So Paul tells the Christians that there is “neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” because we are equal. In Acts 4 what is the church doing? To be honest it is equalizing everything.

But that shouldn’t surprise us should it? Paul tells us that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Sounds pretty equal to me. So Jesus equalized us at the foot of the cross, right?

I think we can do many things to equalize things in the world. Our church offers tutoring for those who need help in school. Why, because it can help equalize peoples opportunities. We will begin our Higher Up Job Skills Training program in February. We want to help give people skills so that they can move forward in the business world. Why, because we think it can help equalize people’s opportunities.

I think the church has that obligation in this world. What bothers me is that it seems that when one party decries class warfare they aren’t saying lets do what we can to help equalize this divide. No, it sounds like they are saying deal with the inequality because that is how it is and should be and stop trying to use it to get votes.

I agree that many of their ploys are to get votes but guess what, I don’t see the other guys saying we still need to equalize everything. No, I see them working to insure that the divide exists and if you look at numbers, gets even larger if we have anything to do with it.

Instead it seems that greed, get what you can and don’t worry about the others because you have the skills, ability, and giftedness to make more money than they can. Their poorness is their problem.

I’m just not sure that is how Christ followers are supposed to see it and if that isn’t how we should see it why do some support it? It sounds pro greed to me.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2008 9:10 pm

    What’s worse?

    BOTH sides work to ensure that the divide grows wider.

    One side affirms inequality as natural and good.

    The other side can’t afford to lose its “talking point.”

    Doesn’t anyone wonder why the Democrats (generally the party that talks a good talk about the social ills in society) has done next-to-nothing about it since the Great Depression?

    If things ACTUALLY change, BOTH parties lose power. That’s why the Saduccees, the Herodians, and the Pharisees could come together to turn Jesus over to Rome.

    in HIS love,
    Nick

  2. January 29, 2008 9:45 pm

    Darin,

    Although you’ve done part two already, I’ve decided to post the following comment on part 1, because it responds to the article you quoted there, but I’ve decided to post it here as well since it also takes part 2 into consideration:

    I’m not sure what to make of the Williams article. Because it was recommended by a Republican and probably written by a Republican are we to assume that this is the official Republican stance and that Republicans are all pro-greed? And is this a prescriptive article, telling us how things ought to be, or is it simply descriptive of the way things are?
    If the author is endorsing greed, I am not in favor of that. But I think “greed” was the wrong term for him to use. I think he was simply singing the praises of capitalism, free enterprise, and entrepreneurship as elements of a system that creates opportunity, as opposed to the failed attempts of socialism to “equal the playing field.”
    To the quote from Adam Smith that it is “not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interests” we might add that nor is it from the benevolence of the politician (either Republican or Democrat) that we expect this—but political parties are populated by people looking out for their own interests.
    Perhaps this is why secular politics cannot possibly “equal the playing field,” but only those working for kingdom interests can really make strides in that direction.

  3. January 30, 2008 12:26 am

    Wade,

    The thing is Jesus works in a socialist country, one based on capitalism, under the authority of kings etc.

    The line I see blurred is the one that doesn’t see this and actually thinks it is our job to defend the economic system.

    In the end, from my experience it is hard for believers to work on the playing field when they have bought into the idea that the economic system is what they are to defend.

  4. January 30, 2008 12:35 am

    I would say that I know many people who identify as Christians and Republican who are very generous and who help to level the playing field.

    I did not mean any of this as a blanket statement and it came from a discussion I had.

  5. January 30, 2008 2:04 pm

    Darin,

    Thanks. That helps a lot. I think we agree. My view is that it’s not any political system that makes a new world possible. Thanks for sharing the Williams article. I may use it to illustrate how people justify greed in my upcoming Seven Deadly Sins sermon series and then challenge how we Americans so easily justify greed and selfishness.

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