Thursday, January 11, 2007
Your lust...is your lust.
Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust,
when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin
and when sin is accomplished it brings forth death.
What is evil...are things evil?
Is food evil because people die from eating a lot of it?
Is sex evil because people make money off it, exploit others with it or degrade themselves with it?
Are knives evil because people sometimes kill others with them?
Is America evil because she has people who do evil things and live in her land?
Are you evil because you have done evil things?
Is a band evil because someone listens to their music and conceives an evil act?
Is a woman evil if she is a natural beauty and some man looks at her and becomes aroused and chooses to rape her?
Is the government evil for printing money because some people want it so bad they will kill for it?
Are you evil if your son or daughter does something evil?
I know guys that use the internet to feed their sexual appetite and are sabotaging their marriages and their inner lives but that doesn't make the medium evil. Print isn't evil because publishers can print porn. Canvas isn't evil because a perv can produce his sick fantasies on it. Music isn't evil because someone screams blasphemies and obscenities in it.
Media simply becomes the vehicle of the evil in our own heart.
Is money evil?
I see the use of resources like the parable of the talents. The one who received 5 talents isn't to feel shame for receiving more than the man that received one talent. He is called to multiply what he has for the master. No guilt, no shame, no animosity...just work what you have to the greatest profitability to the One who gave it to you.
I see people who do that in a godly way and others who are obviously motivated by pure self interest.
I don't think the bible teaches that burying wealth is more holy than using it.
We live according to the reality we know. Prosperity, poverty, contentment, generosity, greed, excess, waste, superfluities or necessity: are all matters of perspective based on multiple frames of reference. Everyone on this planet has completely different ideas about those things. Ones culture, economics, religion, climate, temperament, political views etc all come into play.
Reading the bible, understanding the new covenant vs the old and learning to follow the Holy Spirit is critical to living out love as it relates to economics. People can use scripture to guilt, control and harm people, we do it all the time. Some rich suburbanite could look at the urban poor and judge them for not working and quote "He who doesn't work, doesn't eat" and shrug them off as lazy and a drain on society. But does an unemployment rate come into play at all in that judgment? Does corporate downsizing, lack of resources, disaster, sickness, tragedy, mental illness, outsourcing make room for grace in any of that thinking. Does an understanding of poverty only get reduced to no work, no food? I think the bible teaches a more broad relationship with poverty. One that is both structural and personal. The letter kills and the Spirit gives life.
Only God can lay truth on all people, for all time, in all cultures, in every circumstance...when we try to do it....it's rarely life giving.