Skip to comments.Christians and Economic "Inequality"
Posted on 07/18/2014 5:28:57 PM PDT by Kaslin
If ever sober-minded folks thought that they could take refuge in the Christian church from the left-wing juggernaut that is our cultures zeitgeist, they can think this no more.
In the vestibule of the Lutheran church in which my sons summer camp is held, I noticed that the most recent edition of The Lutheran is devoted to the topic of economic inequality.
Norma Cook Everist, a professor of church and ministry, quotes Luther who wrote that the poor are routinely defrauded by the rich. Matters, she declares, are no less true today.
Dividing, as it does, the world into makers and takers, inequality fosters the invidious fiction that some, including some people, including some children, are worth more than all the rest. This, though, contradicts the Christians belief that we are all created in Gods image [.]
Congregations, Everist writes, need to welcome, include and minister among people across socioeconomic boundaries. She assures us that we dont need to fear those named of no worth becoming filled with power and potential because, she concludes, together we can become life-givers in the world.
Where to begin?
For starters, the term inequality when used in this context is both inaccurate and unfair. Equality is a morally charged word. In this respect it is not unlike good, justice, virtue, and the like. Some of the rich that Everist and her ilk loathe may know how to cook their books, but Everist and her fellow proponents of economic equality most definitely know how to cook their arguments: casting ones position in the language of equality is a sure-fire way of stacking the deck in favor of ones view from the outset.
That this is so becomes obvious once its considered that the very same people who incessantly bemoan inequality while arguing for income and wealth redistribution are the first to demand ever greater diversity. They are the first to bludgeon us into celebrating our differences.
Income/wealth inequality, however, is diversity.
If we are going to promote real diversity, then it is a foregone conclusion that there will be differences, dramatic differences, in the life choices that individuals make.
And this in turn means, necessarily, that there will be staggering differences in the amount of money that people earn, for among the choices that people make throughout their lives is the choice of, well, their livelihoods.
Inequality, in other words, is just the word that the self-avowed champions of diversity attribute to those instances of diversity that arent to their liking.
If, as Professor Everist implies, those of us who object to being coerced into working longer hours for little to no pay for the sake of realizing the redistributive scheme of some ideologues imagination are the enemies of equality, then she and her fellow travelers are the enemies of diversity (to say nothing of individuality and liberty).
Another critical point is that, whether by accident or design, all too many contemporary representatives of the church, like Professor Everist, conflate the issue of the poor or the needy with that of economic inequality. In doing so, they radically misconstrue the Gospel.
The parable of the Good Samaritan, the parable more than any other designed to emblematize the ideal of Christian charity, features a man of considerable meansthe Samaritanwho deployed some of his ample resources to help a stranger in need.
Jesus, in other words, held up a reasonably well-to-do, and possibly even wealthy, man as the model of Christian love.
Christ also praised a Roman soldier, a man, mind you, who was sufficiently well off to have servants, as displaying more faith than anyoneincluding the impoverished to whom He ministeredin all of Israel.
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were rich members of the priestly class with whom Jesus mustve been particularly close, for not only did they attempt to prevail upon their fellow Pharisees to refrain from turning Jesus over to the Romans. Following Jesus crucifixion, both prepared His body for burial in the tomb that Joseph secured for Him.
The Christians vocation is to care for the needy, for those in need. And this could include anyoneregardless of his or her socioeconomic circumstances. Unfortunately, whether Lutheran, Catholic, or otherwise, the contemporary Christian churchs almost exclusive emphasis on the poor comes at the cost of reducing the non-poor, and certainly the rich, to the status of non-persons. As such, the latter are for practical purposes rendered objects, yes, but not proper objects of agape, of Christian love.
No, the tireless campaign to demonize the richas well as those of us who are not rich but who object to the demonization of the rich and the socialist fantasies of the demagoguesrenders the rich just objects.
Of course a great portion of Jesus ministry was spent ministering to the poor. Yet a great deal was also expended upon attending to the needs of the non-pooras well as those of the rich.
And none of it was spent on the issue of economic inequality.
C S*A) Ping!
* as of August 19, AD 2009, a liberal protestant SECT, not part of the holy, catholic and apostolic CHURCH.
Be rooted in Christ!
The only disciple to have argued "economic inequality" was the money-loving Judas.
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor? (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.
Must not have read the parable of the talents.
The ELCA is no longer a Christian Church, but has become a liberal cult in a church building. It worships at that altar of baby-sacrafice to the glorification of women’s reproductive rights and anti-Semitism.
I stopped reading Norma and her equally wacko pastor husband eons ago.
Their column in [i]the Lutheran[/i] frequently undermined the orthodox teaching and orthopraxis of parish clergy.