|Rick Warren and the poor - Have we regressed ?|
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
The mega church pastor Rick Warren has again setup some criticism amongst the liberal Christians claiming it was not biblical. When have those from the liberal tradition been biblical? Regardless, Pastor Rick was careful to first state that "Bible says we are to care about the poor ..." before putting his personal message of the theme of fairness which he would be hard pressed to gain support from the bible:-
"Well certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor...
But there's a fundamental question on the meaning of "fairness." Does
fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of money? Or does fairness
mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I
do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation.
Christianity is not based on "fairness" or equal opportunity to make money. At the heart of Christianity is a sharing of life and joining of one with the other. When one in the body of Christ suffers, then all suffers. The early disciples gathered their pool of resources together, all they had, for the common purpose and use of those in the congregation that did not have much.
Whether we are poor or rich often depends on the opportunity given and it is often "unfair". Is the son of a rich man more deserving of the opportunity given than the son of a poor man who may not be able to afford to eat let alone get an education and deliver himself from the traps of poverty.
The poor and starving children in the Sahara desert certainty didn't choose to be born into poverty, many of them die young for no other reason of being born in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and the wrong family. In the affluent West, where is fairness, to the unborn child aborted because the mum didn't want the baby.
The notion by Rick Warren that we can "create wealth" is the major cause of harm and despair and suffering. We can't create wealth and growth out of nothing although many in the stock market or rising home prices would think otherwise prior to a housing collapse or a great Depression. At the end, there will be those who suffer and slave that we may sit and enjoy ourselves. And often, we don't really care for the poor, for who cares about the slave chinese workers in China when we buy the latest IPAD!
For wealth to be "created", there requires exploitation and that was what the Colonials did as the Industrial Revolution fueled an every need for growth and the resources needed necessitated the conquering of resource rich nations. Alas they also brought Christianity, so we can't complaint too much except that they also brought 377A against gays.
The race of power and growth of the nations became a race between the Protestant and the Catholic faiths for control. The battles between England and Rome, became a battle to gather resources from the ends of the earth and for religious influence. When Mdm Thio, the S'porean anti-gay crusader called the liberal Christians as neo-colonialist, she was really talking about herself. They want power and control and gays just doesn't fall within their religious construction.
Pastor Rick Warren calls for the creation of jobs, but in reality without growth there are no jobs. There can be no growth without a good credit facility with the resultant tyranny of the interest repayments. Interests are a way of creating money out of thin air. With it comes inflation as the value of our assets increased over time, so is the cost of living. This ever increasing race for continuous growth feeds the mammon in Christianity.
The creation of money through leveraging by the Central Banks when the money is not actually backed by Gold is what America has been doing - printing money out of thin air. The US Dollar declares "In God we trust" when it should be the stock market boom. The wealth is fed into an ever increasing value of the stocks.
We worship a god of money as warned by Jesus declaring that few who are rich would enter the kingdom of God for their heart and trust is in wealth rather than Jesus for their salvation and blessings. Christianity has been so skewed towards wealth creation, the notion of a hundred fold blessing that the stock market capitalization is rising far faster than inflation.
Much of life is beyond our control, whether we are born rich or poor, male or female, gay or straight. The only choice we have is not our sexual orientation but whether we believe in Christ and His saving grace.
Jesus is the great equaliser because in Christ everyone becomes one, a child of God, no one greater, no one lower, for all have the same status being of nothingness but saved by the grace of God by accepting by faith the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. We are dead in our sins but alive in Christ.
It is not that Jesus was inclusive of all whether the poor or the rich, male or female, rather who we are is not a qualification for entry into the kingdom of God, and not even whether we are a people of Faith. It is not about having faith, but who and what manner we have faith in that will save us. Humanity have a freedom to choose whether they want to belong to Christ and one day whether we are rich or poor, our eternal abode is in heaven if we are indeed of Christ.
Like Pastor Rick Warren. I believe in fairness that all of creation and humanity are to be treated as precious in God's sight, given dignity, freedom, and hope for a better future and a opportunity not for wealth but rather to live a life of respect and fulfillment and having the opportunity to hear and accept the Gospel message of grace without fear nor intimidation.
We would have regressed if our purpose driven life is to love ourselves and be wealthy, when Jesus gave up all to die for us and to rise again that we might live forevermore in the heavens to come. We will be rich one day in the Kingdom of God where there shall be no more pain, suffering nor lack for we will behold the Son of God, the ever brightness and shining glory of Jesus Christ.