Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Thursday, July 28, 2011

God is Watching

Jim Wallis of Sojourners opens a recent blog in the following manner: 
"The markets are watching, the Republicans are watching, the Democrats are watching, the media are watching, the pollsters and pundits are watching. The public is watching and is disgusted with Washington, D.C.  When it comes to the bitter and ultra-partisan battles over the budget, the deficit, and the fast-approaching deadline for America to avoid defaulting on its financial commitments, the whole nation and even the world is watching.

But God is watching too."

Ministers like to note, especially when asking for gifts, that money is a huge topic in the Bible.  It is the main subject of nearly half the parables Jesus told.  One in seven verses in the New Testament deals with the topic of money.  The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, few than 500 verses on faith and more than 2,000 verses on money.  In fact 15% of everything Jesus ever taught was on the topic of money and possessions.

Ok, so the Bible is full of verses about money. This begs the question "why?" The answer?  Think it is because there is a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives and how we think about, and use, money.

I wonder what God would think about the United States right now?  More to the point, how would he few those people who are systematically protecting the rich, and systematically gutting programs for the poor and vulnerable?
I have no question.  He would seem them as violating his priorities.  He would see then as people who are off the path, no longer people of "the way."

The debt-ceiling debate is not so much a fiscal discussion, as it is a moral discussion.  And I believe God is watching.

What would a moral budget look like?  If we take the biblical concept of jubilee seriously, then we have to believe that God believes that it is not good for there to be inequity.  Thus any solutions that supports inequity would not be moral.  God says over and over again in the prophets, and in the words of Jesus that we must take care of the poor.  Any budget that abandons the poor is not a moral budget.  The Bible suggests that extreme wealth is not good for one's spiritual health (think about that camel and the eye of a needle).  Any budget that benefits the rich and increases the gap between rich and poor is not a moral budget

And remember, God is watching.  Yes we need accountability.  Yes we need efficiency.  Yes we need to use our tax dollars well.  I believe medical care is a good use. Education is a good use.  Housing and heating are good uses.  Food is a good use.  Subsidies for the very rich?  Loopholes so huge corporations can rake in the profits and pay no taxes?  Trickle up economics that allows the privileged to stock pile Americas money and not reinvest it in jobs?  Not so much

I am not sure either side in this debate is right.  We may have to choose between the lesser of two evils.  But I believe that most Americans (75% according to most polls) understand that a moral budget involves both cuts and increases in revenues.

Children of God in Washington.  Be child like, but not childish.  God is watching

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