Posts Tagged ‘poverty

29
Nov
11

Lack of Focus

Or, perhaps, the title of this post should be “The Wrong Focus.”

Some of the most fervent people pursue their missions from entirely the wrong standpoint, and so it is with many conservative, fundamentalist Christians, because they aren’t really as focused on the fundamentals as their descriptor would suggest.

See, my problem with the “fundies” isn’t so much that they want to promote biblical ideals and Bible-based behavior as it is that they put at the top of their agenda subjects on which Jesus didn’t really focus and/or that are only hinted at vaguely in the Bible…while also putting at the bottom of their priority list those things on which Jesus spoke most clearly and directly.

So, on the one hand, they’ll pick out a Bible passage about ancient punishments for hitting a pregnant woman in the belly and killing her unborn child, along with God’s words in the Book of Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” and say, “See! God hates abortion! Let’s go have a huge campaign against women controlling their own bodies and hijack freedom of choice and science while ignoring more pertinent issues that affect more people.”

Never mind that causing the death of a woman’s fetus in an act of violence or irresponsibility was a crime because it assumed the woman wanted to give birth and you took that away from her (i.e. took the life that she had charge of). Also never mind that the quote from Jeremiah is about foreknowledge and foreplanning on God’s part, not about when life begins. Never mind that Jesus never once mentioned anything about fetuses, and his words are the ones Christians should focus on most.

And then, on the other hand, with poverty rising, kids and adults going without food, healthcare becoming increasingly inaccessible and the rich hoarding more and more of the money just because they can (even though they don’t need that much), you’ll see fundies cringe at any notion that even hints at socialism or talks about fairness and sharing, even though Jesus spent huge gobs of his time talking about economic fairness and taking care of the less fortunate.

Not to mention the fact the early Christian church essentially practiced communism, or something very close to it.

But they’ll ignore that and point to his parable of the talents and claim Jesus was a free market capitalist even though the parable is talking about spiritual growth and responsibility, not wealth creation.

Shaking my damn head…

26
Nov
08

Money Matters

cashWell, as part of this challenge to blog every single day in November, I’m supposed to post about money at least once this week.

Problem for me is that I rarely find much reason to talk about money in this blog. I’ve talked about tithing once or twice and I’ve talked about the love of money being the root of much of the evil in the world, but it’s just not a topic I think about much.

Maybe that’s because I don’t really have any right now.

Also, it’s because while I have a lot to say about faith, sex, churchgoing, sex, God’s love, Jesus, doing right by others, porn, sex, and so many other varied topics, money just doesn’t ring with me much in addressing matters of Christianity or the relationship of Christians to the world. People who have (or enjoy) prosperity ministries or the Word of Faith movement love to talk them some money stuff, because they often assume if you have enough faith and pray right, you’ll get your check from God.

Yeah.

But, I’ve got to talk about money. So here goes:

You need some.

Damn, you want more than that? OK.

Here’s the thing. We are exhorted in the New Testament that we should not be of the world, even though we have to live in the world. This extends to money as well. We need money to survive. And if we prosper, it’s always nice to give the credit to God and testify to our blessings (while reminding ourselves that not all our faithful brethren are also so blessed). But we shouldn’t fixate on money.

It won’t do to take the passages about how God will take care of our needs too literally. If we expect God to just hand us what we need, what we’ll get is a nice comfy cardboard box in an alley. Clearly, we need to work, and we need to seek ways to make a good living. And we look to God to fill in our gaps and bless us to advance and prosper in our work over the long run.

But don’t chase after money. That path so often leads to drifting. Drifting away. Away from helping others. Away from family. Away from God and His Word.

(Figured with people gearing up for the holidays, might as well knock this topic off today, since Lord only knows how many of you will bother checking any blogs, mine or otherwise, until after “Turkey Day.” For those of you not in the United States and unfamiliar, Thursday of this week is the Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Google it if you need to. It’s basically a day of gorging and watching American football.)

(Thanksgiving Day itself will bring a special holiday installment of “Acts of the Hummus Idol.” Will also be whipping out two more installments of the Cleansed By Fire novel soon, most likely one on Friday and another one on Sunday or Monday.)




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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Jeff Bouley

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