A Biblical View on Class Warfare and the “Occupy” Movement
I normally don’t use my blog for this sort of post, but after the events of the past few days and a particular post on Facebook that I engaged in, I knew it was necessary.
Let me preface by admitting that I am not a fan of the vast majority of this so-called movement. First, because of the class warfare rhetoric–I have no stomach for it, nor do I believe it has any place in the Church. Secondly, because I believe elements of this movement are by no means spontaneous–they are funded by, organized by, and supportive of certain elements. And lastly (of my main disagreements), because the parts I do agree with have been so watered down by other elements with their own agenda that the protest has lost much of its meaning.
But what do I think this kind of thing has no place in the Church? Have there not been protests that the Church has supported and should support? There absolutely have been, and will be in the days to come. But this one is not one of them, because the root is based on envy.
Let me say that again–the current protests are based on envy…of what others (in their rhetoric, “the rich”) have and wanting to take it. Pure and simple. They surround it with talk of “fair share” and other such phrases (yet disregarding the truth of how the progressive tax code of the US taxes those people at a much higher percent, as well as all kinds of other facts), but it is all about pretending the government should be Robin Hood and take from the rich and give to the poor (which in this case is them).
But let’s just gloss over the whole implication of this stance in regard to the Ten Commandments and coveting and stealing. Let’s look at a parable that talks very much this: the Parable of the Talents:
For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
(Matthew 25:14-30 ESV)
In this parable, God is very much like the man going on his journey, and he has entrusted his servants with certain things. In much the same way, we are all entrusted with certain talents as well, be that different gifts, responsibilities, wealth, whatever. But when he returns, he takes his servants to account, to see what they did with what they were given. Note in the passage they are not judges against each other, but judged by what they did with their own talent.
But the last servant took it a step further, and decided to use some of the same kind of rhetoric the protesters are using, accusing the man of, essentially, not having “earned” his money. And the boss responds accordingly, and the servant not only loses his job, but what was given to him as well.
We are called to be faithful to what we are given. We are not called to judge ourselves by our neighbor, nor are we judged by our neighbor. We are judged by what we do with what we have.
Are there true injustices? Absolutely there are. But this is not the injustice you are looking for…
I normally don’t use my blog for this sort of post, but after the events of the past few days and a particular post on Facebook that I engaged in, I knew it was necessary. Let me preface by admitting that I am not a fan of the vast majority of this so-called movement. First,…