I heard a sermon awhile back at a church where a pastor preached a sermon on the commandment of stealing. You could tell that the man was referring to taxes and that he was implying that the taxing of the top percent of Americans would be stealing. I wasn’t sure how much to agree with him. Sure, taxing is not exactly stealing until you talk about those poor who have been oppressed by stealing, but for the top percent of the country, I’m sure that they have much to spare.
That got me thinking. How does the church view economy and money. I can’t help but think back to acts and the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 and how many of us find our feet on the same cliff they were on. Do we give it all, or try to keep some for ourselves? And if we keep some, do we lie or come clean with what we have kept?
How many times have we done that?
How many times should we have died at the feet of God’s throne?
I do believe that the gospel counters much of what any government is. Most tend to say that they will bring hope and change for the better, but with the Christian, that is God. Obama has said “Yes, We Can,” which can be pushed to a level that equals the Tower of Babel at times. But we must remember Bush as he stood on the debris of the twin towers and vowed vengeance, which landed us in two wars, one which most think we should not have stormed into, and a prison which suffers from human rights charges. Being a Christian, I would say that although I voted for both of these men, they have come short in many ways. (I don’t mean to bash them too hard, but I do want to point out the reality of humanity.)
Maybe we should be more attentive to God’s will. You hear many saying this or that about taxes and the economy, but the truth is that our country is struggling, and the Church has a potential for greatness. Crisis has an element of chaos, but also of opportunity.
Where are our old saints who opened hospitals and orphanages?
I hate to say this out of enjoying Capitalism, but the first century Church had some ideas that would lean toward socialism (Though at other times, seems very much like a democratic republic). I think it’s funny that Christians are yelling that they are scared of Obama because he is a socialist, never mind the social security check they will be cashing in (assuming that it will still be there in the future). Plus, they would probably have yelled the same about Peter and the decisions of the early Church for spreading the wealth.
I just think that the Christians need to open their eyes to suffering, and they might not yell so much. Disagree if you like, but there needs to be a solution discussed immediately.
I end by recalling the Rich Man who had an overabundant harvest (Luke 12:13-21, Luke has a tendency to critique the rich). He decided to build bigger barns to hold ever bit of that grain. We must remember that the first century Jew would know to be appalled at this since the man was supposed to keep the same barn and actually leave some grain for the widow, the orphan, the poor, and even the alien. So, in layman’s terms, if the rich find ways to get richer while the poor get poorer, or even cause them to get poorer (remember that we must never look at resources as endless) than something is wrong. And it becomes quite obvious whom God will vindicate when he comes to judge.
Grace and Peace to you all.