Of Knee Bending and Cap Doffing
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
In the West, Christianity is become nothing but economic capitalism. Those folks with money are the Trustees of our local churches, and are sitting on all the boards of our para and meta church organisations. Money matters much.
The folks with money are the folks with power, for they are the real hirers and the firers of those they pay wages too. Money and the possession of it, you see, is seen as God’s blessing, as God’s affirmation of prudence, propriety, properness and presence. How these folks got the money is irrelevant. Providing they didn’t rob the people of the present, didn’t sell drugs, or sell their bodies to gain it, then that’s OK. If they inherited it, then the passing of time has sanctified any illicit getting thereof. If they played the stock market on trading shares that destroyed people and nations, then no matter, don’t ask don’t tell. It was a quick manipulative killing carried out by a dealer and sanctified by a broker priest standing in the gap. It matters not, for present money is present power, especially in what we call the Kingdom of God.
Thatcherism, (though dead...here legacy lives!) that selfish capitalistic policy, has intrinsically set the scene for the ‘haves and the have not’s’ to stare at each other across an ever widening chasm, the bottom of which is increasingly populated with an increasingly ignorant and very smelly underclass. Poor things, maybe we can help them? You know, throw them a crust or two, minister to their needs, allow them to glean at the edge of the field of Boaz. In England, we Christians seem happy to allow the clock to be put back a few thousand years.
Meanwhile, I wonder if our contextualised and focused demographic church planting might, oh so subtly, be reproducing the old Victorian separated churches of places for the rich and the mission halls for the poor, for you see, when money separates, cap doffing abounds. Watch for it. And when you see it increase among the saints. Worry. I am worried.
‘By refusing to take sides, the political agnostic shuns the virtue of justice and damns the good.’ I am not a political agnostic. ‘The political atheist does not take the sides of any party but steals the best and ignores the rest.’ I am not a political atheist. I am a Biblical activist and politically and therefore economically, that means two things:
First, we must take care of the saints, both first of all and above all. Yes, the church must become true ‘family’ to one another, and that means taking care of one another economically to further the release of individuals and vision as well as provide where necessary, economic emergency and even palliative care. This is not charity, this is command responsibility. This is Biblical. This is health. This is true prosperity. This is family. This is love.
Secondly, we cannot let the financially redeeming work of a thousand years slip back into economic feudalism of any kind. This kind of society might make a great Hollywood movie that lasts a couple of hours, but the reality makes a lifetime of misery for millions of people. A healthy society must provide the opportunity to realise desire, release the entrepreneur, and reflect the glory of God.
In a world where what you have and who you know will get you to the top of the pitiful pile, the church should be able to proclaim that “we have one another and we know Jesus and this is more than enough.” Maybe then, we shall have much more knee bending to the King of Kings and far less cap doffing to those with money.
Listen:- And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church* daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:40-47 NKJV
Pray: - Father, what signs and wonders await us, when Your people love one another in both word and deed. Help me do these things, selflessly and for your glory. Amen.