So… the Christian Bible. Do you believe what it says is true? Are you a communist? A socialist? A rebel? A reader of this blog? Wow! That’s impressive!
I’m always amazed by the many people who refer to themselves, and rather sanctimoniously indeed, as ‘Christians’ while they continue to advocate ideas and actions that defy what the Christian bible actually teaches.
I’m no biblical scholar, nor am I the most devout. In fact, I’m rather agnostic these days–unsure about everything. Is there a God? Are humans basically good? Or evil? Are Americans more selfish than the rest of the planet, or are we just playing out the dark side of human drama–human nature at its worst. We’re one of the richest countries in the world but that doesn’t motivate us to make the world better. Our wealth as a nation has just made us greedier, more selfish. So is it better for the spirit to just remain poor? Can you be a good person and be rich? Possibly, the love of money is the root of all evil? Well, that’s what the Christian bible says anyhow…
Whew! That’s too heavy, even for me right now. (It is the holiday season, after all…)
Yet I remain surprised (heck, I’m flabbergasted!) when I meet so-called Christians who support ideas like these:
“Money is great! Ya’ gotta love money, or you’ll be poor! Selfishness is good! Don’t share/Don’t care! And power over other people too–that’s great! We need to control others. God wants us to be rich! Greed is good! We should want more, more and more! The homeless choose to be homeless, so we shouldn’t help them. We shouldn’t provide safety nets to help the poor because the poor are lazy, don’t want to work, are making bad choices, etc. ” __the propaganda machine, a.k.a., various mainstream media sources in the usA… (sic)
(And then I meet people who are not Christians, sometimes are atheists, and they can be the kindest most loving people without a big, strong hyper-masculinized god to bully them into being nice ’cause otherwise they’ll go to hell! How do they do it?)
Oh yes, there’s lots more propaganda I could discuss here, but just for the sake of saving time and space, let’s talk about the poor, the homeless, those who are suffering economically. Should we help them? Should we budget cut programs to help the poor while continuing to give to the rich? ‘Cause ya’ know, the rich are so nice. They want to make money so that they can help us. They don’t make money to enrich themselves and their families. They don’t have selfish motives. They make money so that they can give some back to the rest of us, right?
Yeah, right. That’s why they keep trying to get out of paying taxes ’cause they just love giving back to the society that provided them with the resources they needed to get rich in the first place.
But goshly gosh, it’s Christmas/Kwanzaa/Chanukah/the holiday season/an Atheist’sNightmare, so shouldn’t we all come together as a people and share? At least for now? Share the wealth among each other?
Got plenty of money to go to college? Well, then why not give someone else a scholarship so that he/she can go?
Got plenty of money and then some, for food? Well, why not go out and give food to those who need it?
Got plenty of energy and physical strength to do work? Well, why not find an elderly or disabled person who can’t and needs help then mow their lawn, trim their hedges, shovel their snow, cook them a meal, etc.
Why not? Why not help someone else? It’s a great way to meet new people. Think of the new friends you could meet. Think of the many ways that person might end up helping you, might become a shoulder you can one day cry upon when there’s a death in your family, or a person you could go to for advice when you’re facing a problem you can’t solve. We never know how we might help each other (and sometimes in small ways that don’t involve money.) Yes, it may take up a little of our time, but may also enrich us on a spiritual level and make our lives worth living. That is both priceless and timeless.
What are you saying? Are you promoting communism? Socialism? Goshly gosh, don’t you like capitalism?
Nope, I’m talking about kindness, fairness, peace and love. I’m talking about what the Bible that you claim to have read actually does teach:
–that at the end of times, the least among us will move to the top: “…the last will be first and the first will be last…,” _Matthew 20:16
that we should give and give willingly, be willing to give the shirt off of our backs: “Give to anyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” _Luke 6:30
“If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone takes your cloak, do not withhold your tunic as well.” _Luke 6:29
“If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.” Matthew 5:40
Just be happy with basic necessities. Don’t strive for massive amounts of material wealth:
“But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to be rich, however, fall into temptation and become ensnared by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.” _1Timothy 6:8-9, New Int’l version
The Lord will provide, so don’t worry about money and material possessions: “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you–you of little faith.” _Luke 12:28
The way we treat the least fortunate among us is the way we’re treating God himself. Can’t give to the poor? Then you are snubbing God himself!: “Truly, I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” _Matthew 25:45, New Int’l version
“Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter–when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” _Isaiah 58:7
But my own personal favorite is this one: “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” _1 Timothy 6:10, New International version