I don’t often post God bothering things on the blog, but today’s ‘verse of the day’ on the Sojourner’s blog really caught my eye –
“You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers, whether other Israelites or aliens who reside in your land in one of your towns. You shall pay them their wages daily before sunset, because they are poor and their livelihood depends on them; otherwise they might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt.”
– Deuteronomy 24:14-15
Back in the 80s people used to talk about believing in a ‘social gospel’ or some other euphemism that suggested there was any other way of reading what it means to be inspired by jesus… with the wealth of stuff in the Bible that relates looking after the poor, looking after immigrants, not pursuing wealth, the dangers of greed etc. etc. it’s a wonder that some people claiming to be Christians can sleep at night…
There’s a magical bit in Amos that says (in The Message) –
” 21-24″I can’t stand your religious meetings.
I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
your pretentious slogans and goals.
I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes,
your public relations and image making.
I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want?
I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it.
That’s what I want. That’s all I want.”
No wonder so many people are turned off from anything Jesus-related, following Gandhi’s route of being inspired by the sermon on the mount but seeing the church as an agent of the hideous status quo rather than a radical organisation with a deep concern for the poor, for justice… it’s there in the book, just not there in the behaviour of the Bushes and Blairs of this world, making a total bollocks-up of anything remotely justice-oriented, talking a load of shit about their concern for poverty reduction and ‘fairness’ whilst waging illegal wars and backing the IMF and World Bank in their schemes to trap yet more third world countries into privatisation schemes and debt cycles…