God or Mammon

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matt 6:24

As a christian I have been bewildered by the coalitgion that makes up the Republican Party in particular and American conservatism in particular: Christians, Less Government Free Marketers, and Strong American Nationalists. Conservatives are for family values and for entrepreneurs. I cannot understand how someone can be a follower of Jesus and be part of a movement that pushes for decreased help to the poor while increasing help or be decreasing burdens on the rich. I understand some of this comes from the cold war when the choice was between communism with state sponsored atheism and capitalist society with freedom of faith. Also the root of the attitude that the poor are evil and get what they deserve comes from the calvinist puritan founders and their lasting legacy on American theology. There was an emphasis on personal salvation and bringing the lost souls to redemption. How can you beleive in Jesus if you don’t beleive what He said?

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” Mark 10:25

Progressive taxation and regulation limiting the magnitude of wealth that can be accumulated are not limits to economic growth. Growth in the wealth of the rich over the growth in the wealth of the poor contributes more to total economic growth. The rich have more money so when their wealth grows there is a large overall growth. The rich are rich because they are good at making money (or they were born with it). Tax cuts for the rich and unregulated markets allow those who can make money make more and more. If we as citizens of a democratic republic can support policies that limit the amount of money that someone could accumulate, then we would be saving their souls according to Mark 10:25.

One translation of Matthew 6:24 uses the word “slave”. The choice is to be a slave to God, Whose “yoke is sweet and burden is light”, or to be slaves to Mammon where we live just to increase our personal wealth and power. We are voters in a democratic republic. Our government is a reflection of ourselves. Like it or not. We need to choose who represents us, the slaves of God or of Mammon. Congress is ruled by mammon on both sides of the aisle. Wast and inefficiency comes from sweetheart deals they dole out to their friends that they are introduced to by the K Street lobbyists. Conservatives and liberals need to get above their superficial differenced and realize that we both care about the integrity of our democratic republic.

If we are to have a christian nation we need to remember this:

“31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, [6] you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Remember it is the nations that are being judged. Not by what their GDP was, not by how strong their military was but by how they treated the poor, the lowly, the stranger (foreigner). Whatever attitude you have for “scum” that suck off the public dole is the same attitude you have for the Lord. Amen.