Saturday, July 30, 2005

A truly righteous society

Sometimes I wonder if the Bible-thumpers have actually ever read what it says. Karen Horst Cobb agrees and outlines what a society would really look like if it were based on biblical values. Here are some excerpts from her article which is entitled, "Ye Shall Know the Truth: Profits of the New World Order":

The cry of many Christians today is a cry to return to the teachings of the Bible and to have a society which is righteous. I am in total support of a righteous society and have tried to imagine what it would be like. One of the first changes we would need to make is at the foundation, our banking system. Exodus 22 says that if you lend money to poor people you can not extort money from them in the form of interest. In Proverbs 28:8 the message is very clear, He says that getting rich by charging interest is wrong and that God will take his wealth and give it to the poor. Psalms 15 says that Yahweh will dwell with those who are righteous and do not charge interest on their loans. In Deuteronomy 15 it describes how all debts are forgiven every 7 years in the year of Jubilee. There are 22 times in the Old Testament which speak of the sin of charging interest on a loan. The sweat of one's brow is to be the measure of one's wage.
I am surprised that so many Christians who are fighting to keep the commandments on the wall are not fighting as hard to have them implemented. It takes a lot of searching to find scriptures which relate to homosexuality and abortion but one can hardly turn a page without reading about how to be a blessing to those in need. Today’s rich young rulers preach about the advantages of usury and exploitation. While they give lip service to moral issues they are preaching from the prophets of the free market. Upon reading about their social views, it seems that Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman are the messianic visionaries who they believe will redeem the world. Self interest and compound interest are the way to salvation according to them. From Friedman, Pastor Ted says he learned that everything, including spirituality, can be understood as a commodity. And unregulated trade, he concluded, was the key to achieving worldly freedom. Is spirituality a commodity to be bought or traded? I thought that God’s love was free and his grace is unmerited favor.
God will not be mocked! His ways are not our ways! (Isaiah 55:8) we can not manipulate him into returning by fulfilling the prophesies ourselves at the direction of political think tanks. It seems that the free-market Christians are seeking to hire the masons to complete the temple. The bulldozers will crush whomever gets in the way. The water from Babylon will soon be surging through the privatized pipelines through Iran and Syria right into the promised land. The land, the air, the water and the labor will be in the hands of the ruling elite. The rich will determine how much uranium and radiation is enough. The rich will determine how gray the sky can be. The rich will determine who gets water and the rich will be the ones to discover the magical wage which allows for a laborer's maximum productivity just this side of starvation.

Let it not be followers of Christ who usher in these abuses. How far will the charlatans go to deceive. Perhaps they will project a hologram of Christ returning in the clouds to rally the Christian soldiers. Certainly the technology exists. In the last days we are told that many will be deceived. (II Tim. 3:13) There will be signs and wonders and they will do miracles in the name of Christ, but the love of Christ is not in them. I suspect many Christians are being used by the powers and principalities in high places to obtain massive resources for the rulers of an empire. So while the neo-Christians talk about decorations in our courthouses, the sexual identity of cartoon characters, and preach the good news of the free market. Let us pray that Christ will tarry until the church is no longer holding the banner of privatization and riding the beast of the free-market into the New World Order.

I've read this woman's articles before and I think she is truly prophetic in what she writes. One of her articles was entitled, No Longer a Christian. Hey, I get the title. I certainly don't want to be identified with the religious right myself.

Whatever your religious or non-religious beliefs may be, please know that the great themes of the Bible are not about selfishness and condemnation but rather are about justice, concern for the poor, radical truth-telling, and love for one's enemies. None of these is preached by the religious right today.

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