Let me just begin these short, pointed thoughts by saying that I do not have a political passion for much at all. In the scheme of things I have given very little thought to pop-culture, entertainment, politics or anything else really outside of my very myopic world-view that rests in the powerfully satisfying person of Jesus Christ who is the God of Heaven. But today I have to readily admit I should have been paying more attention to many things. Not because I could change them, have been called to do anything or would become an activist, but mainly because I love and care for humanity. I really do have a strong God-grace-size heart for people and can understand their pain. At the same time I know that all the bread, dough, power, money, health and water in the world will not satisfy the soul of man, nor will it truly make “life” worth living because Christ is the highest hope and treasure that all of the world needs. I am also here to remind my readers that I am not a proponent of “relational” or “benevolence” evangelism that requires friendship or food prior to one being “open” to the Gospel. I can readily show anyone that scripture is devoid of such teaching on purpose. So, my thoughts here are not to point to anything ultimate, but are to point out something that is important. If nothing else, it is common good citizenship and concern for our fellow man.
In the wake of horror and destruction Americans love to pile into the ditches and help drowning people get back on their feet. Some people do it because they see a camera, but I believe that there is an innate passion for helping others in the world and so when disaster hits, we love to come to the rescue and in most seasons, many feel good about being able to give and serve their fellow man. When tragedy comes the lines of economic and ethic division do come down to some degree, but as the dust settles, these walls can rise back around the plenty while the “have less” are laying in a cesspool of decay. Now I want to diffuse the rhetoric and the bigotry that would angrily reply, “you don’t know what you’re talking about” or “it’s people like you that think every body else should take care of people.” Or even those who would say, “why don’t people try harder, work harder and save more.” Well, to this I reply, “hush,” no one wants to hear your sissy rants about things that you are too ignorant to comprehend because my friends, you don’t know what you are talking about.
See how that sounds when I reply like that? It isn’t nice, it isn’t civil and it doesn’t show concern for one who may feel that way. So, the above statement as an example could fit two left or two right feet at the same time if one would take the time to bake them in the oven of thought rather than vomit out the special sauce while saying it was truth. What I mean is that no one has ever has ever stomped their feet at Lord Byron about his experiential endeavors to poetically express the Battle of Waterloo and other historical events. Why? Because “we” were not there. We did not hear the stories he heard nor did we see the sights he saw. Therefore, in these matters, the opinions of all are nothing in light of the truth of experience for the many. I have heard all the fallacies, I have heard all the rants, I have heard the statistics and they are just not true. Don’t take this at its word, just research or “fact check” everything you hear. Ask the question, “how do I know what I am saying is true?” If you cannot, then hush. (My earlier point.)
WHAT are you talking about you might ask? Well, I am talking about the countless individuals who work harder than me, longer than me, have more experience than me and no matter how many hours they live on the planet or how many times they have open doors to opportunity, they will never overcome poverty. Yes, there is poverty because of sorriness, but that is not the topic of our monologue today. I want to address my thoughts and experience on the ideas of greed. Some people call it capitalism, but even that system doesn’t have to be fueled by greed, it can be fueled by a spirit that includes concern for others. So, when one runs, owns and operates a business they are the primary person who puts their future on the line. Someone has to take the risk. But the problem isn’t that no one recognizes the risk or the skill or the creativity to produce something that the world loves or needs, it’s the problem that for so many of America’s poor will never be enough.
Let’s ask a few things. Where would the big businesses of America be without the producers, laborers, shippers, customers, maintainers and the like? Where would the widget designer be if no one would work for him because he was a cantankerous old scrooge? Where would stock holders be if no one bought their services or products? They would be poor, hoping someone would give their skill and intellect a chance to be part of a system that would grow a community of supported servants. Yes, even the CEO is the servant and companies all over the globe are servants. But why again do so many in America live in abject poverty? Greed. Power. Lust. Lies. Wickedness. Seriously. Let’s look at the reality of the daily fast-food worker. He gets up early, goes to work, stays there for ten hours doing that which he is supposed to do FOR the boss who works for his boss and so on. Then the owner makes some profit who then gives some profit to the people who gave him the money or bought into his company to make it happen. It is now that everyone begins to see that there is no single success in the island of capitalism, it is a dependent machine sucking from the breast of community.
So on with some more great metaphors… This employee gives himself for the sake of the profit of the company. Without him, the company would fail. (Now some here would say, “I’ll find someone who would.” You are right and this is what this article is about. YOU) Yep. This guy is the gears that make it all work. The one who puts the motion in the mission and for many like him (the fast food worker) he lives in poverty. He leaves ten hour from this job to join his night job, working 60 to 70 hours per week for another entity who promises him a living wage. Well, he makes so little that he lives in poverty, has to be on public assistance, has to live in dangerous neighborhoods and then has to worry about how he is going to have time to take his child to a doctor much less himself. Not just the time, but the funds to pay for it. In the end, this guy gives his life away so the company he works for can amass great wealth with little or no care for this guy. Let’s think about this some more.
The company pays this man as little as they are required by law. And when the law make the minimum higher, they just raise the price of everything because all the way up, everyone else is raising their costs. The real issue though isn’t that they cannot afford to pay people a wage that they deserve (for them to eat, be housed, have medicine, and have clothes etc.) but that they will NEVER dig into their massive profits to pay the people who gave it to them. Sad. It really is, because so many trolls with bad breath will burn this to the ground most likely. It’s sad because in the name of freedom, the company actually gains absurd freedom financially because they have legal slaves. Yes, the man who works for a company that profits 100’s of millions of dollars and lives in the street is a slave. He is a slave because he has to work there because it’s his only option. He is a slave because he cannot afford to go to work but much less can he afford not to. He is a slave because as he saved for months for a better future for his family in regard to basic needs, he contracted the flu at work, serving the customer and missed a week of work. He is a slave because he is not compensated for his part in the profits of the beast while the upper level bosses dance on his grave and sing praises to the god of money.
Sounds harsh because it is. This is not OK. No matter what your “faith”, the basic and common human idea of community is not seen in this picture. The cap in capitalism should be the difference between the amount of profit and the cost of setting the slaves free. Set them free.
Now I have voiced a concern, revealed a problem (that has been around for years), and will begin to hear it again about how wrong I am. Well, if sitting in the highest place on earth never having a care in the world while I throw away leftovers that could feed an army while the people who put money in my pocket stand outside the gates of my city begging for bread is right, then I want to part of it. If I am wrong then why does scripture teach that man cannot serve both God and money? Why does Jesus continually and dogmatically command the people of God to CARE FOR the needs of others? Why do so many of these large corporate whores cheat on Jesus Christ as they serve as Deacons and teaches in churches while treating their employees as though they should be thankful they were employed by them? So for the world, the lost, the wicked who stand before the rest of America and say, “look at my wares! I did it! and I don’t care!” Good for you… BUT if you are one who claims the name of Christ, you cannot do these things. The profit from those who labor for you is for you to share with them. Not that they become rich and sit hight, but that they can have a table at which to sit and eat! What does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul? What believer sees his brother in need but closes his heart to him? What person knows that his neighbor is hungry and in need and roasts a pig and throws a party while the neighbor looks starving over the fence, then says, “I can’t help you.”
This must stop, but sadly it will not. It won’t stop all together but it can slow down. It can slow down if the church of Jesus Christ who have been given the riches of Glory will stand up and say no more. It will stop if the gospel would be preached from pulpits and live would be changed making the greedy benevolent and caring. It would reduce as the glory and treasure of Jesus springs forth when corporate Christians say to their boards, “this is enough, look at our people, it belongs to them.” It would slow down if Christians voted their conscience instead of their party. It would slow down if the youth of American would not buy in to the lie of Satan. It would slow down if generations would teach their children that they are not deserving of anything and that all who have must be honest and generous with those who have not. It would slow down if I WOULD take a good hard look at my own wealth and see how I could use it for the purpose of God in the lives of others and stay awake on this point for years to come.
So, in the end all we have here is just another commentary on a problem that is bigger than anyone. So why mention it? Because CHRISTIAN, you need to be aware that many people starve at the hand of corporate greed and the leaders (who have been established to serve people) who take the food from the mouths of children so that their jets can be ungraded with a better kitchen. Take it for what it is, the church needs to realize that our faith is not a segmented function of a spiritual side of things but that as believers, we make God a liar when we feed the beast of Babylon by allowing her to keep her slaves on a short, bound and death-filled chain.