After reading this piecein which the writer also cites Bill McKibben in a 2005 essay for Harper’s (The Christian Paradox: How A Faithful Nation Gets Jesus Wrong):
A rich man came to Jesus one day and asked what he should do to get into heaven. Jesus did not say he should invest, spend, and let the benefits trickle down; he said sell what you have, give the money to the poor, and follow me. Few plainer words have been spoken. And yet, for some reason, the Christian Coalition of America—founded in 1989 in order to “preserve, protect and defend the Judeo-Christian values that made this the greatest country in history”—proclaimed last year that its top legislative priority would be “making permanent President Bush’s 2001 federal tax cuts.”
I noted the following:
First, seemingly has no idea that many nominally self-identify as Christians but barely even know what being a Christian entails. Thought exercise: Hey, watch me drink bacon-flavored vodka like the real Muslim I am!
Second, usual incensed outrage that ppl who actually follow Biblical directives (i.e.what he calls Conservatives) DARE claim the term Christian for themselves at the exclusion of the cafeteria, church-on-Easter/Christmas/marriage/funeral-only variety.
Third, cites standard commie agitprop that Jesus commends coerced taxation and welfare redistribution – actual Christian giving is voluntary, and Jesus did commend shrewd investment many times (parable of tenants).
It really is almost a boiler plate liberal, big-welfare, socialist sermonette that the answer to What Would Jesus Do? = pay higher taxes. And exactly what version of the Bible has he been reading that does not have those well known parables Jesus taught about investing (see my citations below)?
So here’s a list of passages in the New Testament related to money and the earthly uses of it (disclaimer: I am not focusing on the heaven vs earthly treasures or God vs Mammon aspects here).
Take a look and tell me whether Jesus and the disciples sound more like Occupy or the Tea Party:
- “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. – Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:11-26
- For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? – Luke 16:1-14
- All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet. – Acts 4:32-36
- Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2nd Corinthians 9:7
- We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” – 2nd Thessalonians 3:7-10
And on that note, Conservatives do adhere to the true spirit of Biblical voluntary giving. They give 30% more money despite earning less, and their charitable attitude extends to time and even lifeblood as well.
Add to all the above the many Old Testament passages admonishing idleness or laziness and praising hard work, and you should pretty much get the picture by now.
The sanctity of work is this: That God came to this world, and made furniture.