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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Friday, July 17, 2015

A Much Needed Change Of Pace

Here, in America, the Conservative Christian Church is bound and determined to prove what nonConservatives say about it: That the Church is just another institution of indoctrination to maintain the status quo for the benefit of those with wealth and power.

How does the Church work to prove their theological rivals correct? It does so in two ways. The first way is that the Conservative Church in America tends to stay silent on system and societal sins that benefit those with wealth and power. The second way works its magic much in the same way that our economic system accomplishes the same task. Just as the demands of the jobs of many people leave them with too little time or energy to be informed by their own society and the world, so Conservative Christian leaders tend to teach a piety that leaves too little time and energy for their flock to pay attention to the system and societal sins around them and in the world. This is despite the fact that we seem to have no problems with working long and hard to try to legally prohibit the personal actions of others in society.

We should note that because of how piety is taught in America, Conservative Christians here don't have time to be informed about the world near to them and far away, the priority of paying attention to these system and societal sins are relegated to that of being a luxury rather than a necessity. And if we believe that we are pious but haven't had time to learn about and respond to these sins, then ignoring of these sins and our possible complicity in committing them can't really be a sin in and of itself.

We should add that there are instances where the Conservative Christian Church is willing to spend time and money to address a public issues like Israel and same-sex marriage. But when it does so, it either is avoiding challenging those who maintain the status quo of society or it unconditionally supports it. The Conservative Church here seldom, if ever, challenges the maintainers of the status quo, those with wealth and power, in terms of the following: economic exploitation, destruction of the environment, and war and militarism. But Israel and issues revolving around sex are a different matter.

Now that is in America. If we cross the pond, we see Christians reacting a different way to the status quo. In this week's version of the Christian website Christian Today,  we see two articles that address social issues and they do so in a way that could rub the managers of the status quo the wrong way. The first article is written by Angus Ritchie and concerns whether the Church should take a stand on the housing crisis in England (click here). This of course has to do with controlling the price of housing. The second article, written by Tim Jones, lays out a solid case for why today's bailouts being forced on Greece are 'immoral' and 'unbiblical' (click here).  What we want to stress here is not necessarily the details of the situations being written about; rather, we are emphasizing the fact that a nonliberal Christian website is addressing these issues though the web site doing so is not American.

In Ritchie's article about the Church's responsibility to enter the fray of Britain's housing crisis, part of the Church has been battling to help peopleobtain a living wage. However, the status of that wage is being threatened by the rising cost of housing.  Thus, it is the Church's responsibility, according to Ritchie, to maintain the livability of the current wage by trying to control housing costs by various ways from work that creates new partnerships with housing associations to pressuring the various levels of government into helping.

In contrast to the call to action seen in Ritchie's article, Tim Jones' article on Greece is more of an FYI opinion piece. But in his article, Jones provides the necessary information for the reader to realize that the current series of bailouts being forced on Greece is really being given solely to support Greece's lenders by the fact that a vast majority of the money being lent is going to these institutions rather than to Greece and that the costs of the bailouts is that foreign governments are determining the new labor laws that will be enforced in Greece along with new austerity measures. This is despite what Jones cites the IMF opinion that austerity measures have hurt Greece's economic performance let  alone have caused much suffering on the people.  And in hurting Greece's economic performance, these measures all but ensure that Greece will never be able to pay its debt and thus will continue to need more costly bailouts. 

We should note that to read some of the American Conservative Christian websites on Greece's ongoing crisis would lead one to conclude that it is those who live off of pensions who are the reason for Greece's debt. That was never the case. And yet, that narrative supports the maintainers of the staus quo: the lending institutions and the governments that are working hand-in-hand with the banks to rob the Greeks of all their benefits as well as control over their own government.

Rather than saying anything more, both articles referenced here must be read. For perhaps after reading about what is going on, we American Conservative Christians might finally realize that there are other sins that need to be publicly addressed than sins of sexual immorality as important as important as those sins are.

  1. http://www.christiantoday.com/article/britains.housing.crisis.why.the.church.needs.to.join.in.the.fight/58632.htm


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