566: WHY ARE YOU RICH? A QUESTION FOR ALL CHRISTIANS (#3)

“A warm welcome to Zingcreed, the blog which, in spite of its sometimes provocative topics, received its 20,000th hit this week.

An especially warm welcome to the ever increasing number of readers in Arab countries: Asalaamu aleikum, sisters and brothers. I have visited Egypt, Muscat, Lebanon, Oman, Syria, Dubai, Jordan and Morocco and I remember my visits there with great happiness. I would welcome your comments on any of my Posts.

The world’s two point something billion Christians are amongst the richest people on earth. This is for two reasons: (1) they mostly live in the white developed world, (2) they disobey Jesus’ injunction to give to the poor. I’m standing on the sidelines as a non-Christian outside observer and all I see is a lot of lip service to eradicating poverty, and precious little effective action. After all, the bible is crystal clear on this topic. Perhaps I should have put this in one of my “I accuse!” series of Zingcreed Posts (see Index.)

The text is extracted from Bill Lane Doulos’s 1971 book on Radical Discipleship.

I hope you find this challenging,

In solidarity,

Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.”

Why are you rich?

If a rich man truly believed that “Jesus is Lord”, he would become poor that others might become rich. Do we not weep that a rich church has nothing redemptive to say to the dispossessed? When Jesus wanted to make it apparent to the Rich Young Man that he hadn’t observed the supreme commandment “Love your neighbour”, he repeated it in another form”Go sell what you possess and give it to the poor.”

Our love for our neighbour is subjective and symbolic. The evidence is all hearsay. “I hear what you say”, says Jesus, “Now lets see you do it.”

“Give to the one who begs from you; and don’t turn away the one who tries to borrow from you.” (Mt 5:42)
“Give to everyone who begs from you; and when someone takes your things, don’t ask for them back.” (Lk 6:30)
“Sell your belongings and donate to charity.2 (Lk 12:33a)
” As for the well-to-do man who sees his brother in want but shuts his eyes – and his heart –  how could anyone believe that the love of God lives in him? My children, let us love not merely in theory or in words – let us love in sincerity and in practice!” 1 John 3: 17-18)
Translations: 1-3 Scholars version (Jesus Seminar), 4 J.B.Phillips.

The time is coming when the church will be a fellowship of beggars and the Anti Christ will be a community of wealth and power. The Christian philosophy of history is personified by the rich man and Lazarus. Earthly wealth and power belong to the prince of this world, Satan. When we use his weapons we become his pawns.
Our true power is discovered in weakness.
(The Lord’s answer was ) ‘My grace is all you need; power comes to its full strength in weakness’.

[2 Cor. 12:9-10] Weakness to the point of crucifixion is our destiny.

Source:
Doulos, Bill Lane “Radical Discipleship” Cascade Books, Wipf and Stock (1971)

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