Monday, February 4, 2013

What God cares about

As you might know, I just returned from Thomazeau, Haiti this past weekend and the time down there was absolutely amazing. We had an awesome team of medical staff, and the non-medical members of the team handled the clinics beautifully.  We were able to see several hundred patients in our short time there and probably saved numerous lives.  I want to write about the clinics, but first, something that happened back here at home has me intrigued.

This weekend, Liz and I were able to have a number of friends over to our house for a few drinks and some good conversation.  As the evening went on, the topic of discussion turned to politics and religion.  More specifically, it turned to a discussion about how so many in our area are able to turn their political beliefs into a statement about their religious beliefs, and belittle others for not seeing things in the same way.

While the idea that religion should influence the way you look at the world and the way you vote is not a new one, nor is it a wrong one in my opinion, the thought that one specific political party is the perfect answer for Christianity is another thing altogether.   I think that it is important to realize that if we are to call ourselves christians, then our political leanings should not really matter much in how we view the world. Everything suddenly becomes part of God's dominion and not "so-and-so ruining this country".

What would Jesus think, for instance, of a nation of christians that polarize themselves over a fast food restaurant that serves fried chicken.  Not only that, but christians who then look to embarass others by spending more and more money on fried chicken in an effort to prove they are right.  Somehow, I think when Jesus talked about loving your enemy and giving to the poor he didn't have 'purchasing fried chicken to show how much you disagree with others' in mind.

Or, do we really think that Jesus would be on the front lines of an argument about what percentage of our income should be taxed to be sure that others can see a doctor and get health insurance.  Would Jesus really be part of the argument that discusses who deserves to get health care and who doesn't?  I like to think that Jesus would be leading the charge asking for the rich to give freely to the poor so that they might be as healthy and comfortable as we are.

It is strange to think that the thing that so many of us spend the majority of our lives chasing was the main thing that Jesus said did not matter while He was here on earth.  People spend their entire lives worrying about who deserves to have and have not in our economies and how they can be one of the "haves" that we forget about the things that truly matter.  We neglect caring for the poor, sheltering the oppressed, feeding the starving... loving our neighbor.

Matthew 6:24 No one can serve to masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money.

Luke 12:15 Then he said to them, "watch out!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

Proverbs 22:9 The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.

Proverbs 14:31 Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

Figured I'd add a picture of a cute kid too.

4 comments:

Loved reading this today. Keep it up Corbs.

Thanks Bo. Glad to see on your blog that all is well after the bombing. Still not sure why my blogger won't let me reply to actual comments.

I'm with Bo. This is excellent.

I was challenged in the midst of that conversation, and now again in reading this, to not think so highly of my soapbox.

Thanks, Corbin...Ben and I think often about how politics are almost inseparable from religion now, and it's so frustrating. Thanks for the insightful words!

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