Sunday, December 1, 2013

Money, money, money

And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28

So I started off a little bit crabby yesterday morning. I read one too many articles by my beloved brothers in Christ about the evils of godlesscommunism, one word sort of like the damnyankees of my Southern childhood, so I googled “biblical support for free enterprise,” and “bible verses capitalism” because I simply could not think of any verses, much less the slam-dunk “the only Christian worldview” perspective of so many people I know and love and respect. And who gave me a “biblical worldview test” a few years back and I scored in the negative numbers because of this lack of understanding truth, which was a little hard for me to understand, the lady with Bible verses taped to her windshield lady. 

So this verse, just by happenstance, the next verse in my reading-through-Genesis series is all they got.  Site after site, this was all the capitalists could muster, and some sort of weak, “Well, God believed in private property because He gave land to each of the Israelite families” ignoring of course any reference to the Year of Jubilee, and that the land was given to them not because they earned it, but because they were beloved children of God. 

After that it goes downhill quickly: “The protection of the Eighth Commandment—"You shall not steal"—shows the importance God places on private property” and “Many of Jesus' parables were stories about money and business transactions. Although His main point was always spiritual, He would not have been using financial transactions as illustrations if they were inherently evil.” Really guys, this is all they got.

And I am tired of hearing about how broken socialism and communism are. Yep, they are. And so is capitalism. If you want to quote those statistics about CEOs making 200 times as much as their average worker, or how since 1978, CEO pay at American firms has risen 725 percent, more than 127 times faster than worker pay over the same time period, according to new data from the Economic Policy Institute, and how 20% of the people owned a remarkable 89% of American capital, and almost one out of every four children in America live in poverty, which is NOTHING compared to the poverty of the rest of the world, and if you want to look at any YouTubes of how people across the world live in Apple or Walmart or Microsoft factories so that our American CEOs can pull in hundreds of millions of dollars, yep, our little free enterprise system is broken too, and it has nothing to do with being overregulated, and a lot to do with using greed as its driving mechanism. And the world is broken and God has called us to be part of His restoration, and I don’t think it has anything to do with dropping the tax rate because I haven’t noticed that folks at the top are really that interested in providing health care for their workers or raising minimum wage or even offering fulltime employment with their extra cash.

And those google searches said that “God wants us to be free,” but let’s finish off the rest of the verse, …but don’t use that freedom for an occasion for the flesh, but by love serve one another. And flesh is all about finding our comfort, our security, our joy, our sense of worth from money, and maybe that’s why Black Friday is overshadowing our acknowledgement the providence of Almighty God, as declared by George Washington.

And the rest of the story is that I had a long arduous chat with God that lasted for a rocky, slippery decomposed granite trail for thirteen miles, and He asked me to release some controls and attitudes. But as I said, that is the rest of the story.