Friday, November 12, 2004

Free Market Jesus

Maybe I’ve been missing something about Christianity. I understand that the Old Testament came before the New Testament. I also understand that the Old Testament prophesized the coming of Christ, rather Christ fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies. However, my big concern is what we as Christians must believe as the most important. Do the actual words of Jesus Christ mean more or less to us than say the laws in Leviticus in the Old Testament? I would think that the actual words of Jesus would carry more weight since He is our savior. We are supposed to be following Him. That is not to say that what is in the Old Testament is not important or even necessary for us to follow, but shouldn’t we be putting the words and actions of Jesus Christ first? If we talk about being like Jesus, shouldn’t we pay attention to what Jesus actually said and did?

Constantly throughout the Book of Matthew in the Bible Jesus is shown as healing people. Jesus does not go to heal those who are wealthy; he heals all those in need. I would think a person who is striving to be like Jesus would work for all people, not the people who have money.

Jesus comments on Prayer during his Sermon on Mount as found in Matthew 6:

“5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “

Now I am no theologian, but it seems to me that Jesus is saying that it is better to pray in private. It is better to speak your needs in private. It is also better to keep our prayers to the point, for God already knows what we need.

On a similar note in Matthew 6 Jesus says:
1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven… 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. “

It seems to me that our most sincere acts of faith should not be placed upon a pedestal for all to admire (or for us to brag about). Rather, we perform acts of faith with the knowledge that our reward is in Heaven. To me this would mean that one would be acting as a hypocrite to go around telling everyone how faithful they are.

In my last post I briefly touched on the economics of Jesus. I don’t think Jesus was a capitalist, and I am pretty sure He was not a communist, since neither of those two ideas existed at that time. However, in the Sermon on Mount Jesus does talk a lot about the poor, and helping the poor. He also heals people, all kinds of people. Maybe I missed it, but Jesus does not check to see if the people He heals have health insurance. He goes right ahead and takes care of them. All He asks for in return is that they know Him. I don’t think a hospital would treat someone without health insurance like Jesus did. Jesus also feeds thousands of people without worrying about the cost. He just does it. I do think if we in the USA are going to base our policies on faith, shouldn’t we be treating or healing all people regardless of what they have to give in return? I am not arguing for a specific point of view exactly, but what I am saying is that for the benefit and desire for consistency, our President GW Bush should use his same “faith” based thinking and offer health care to all, and be willing to feed others without asking for anything in return.

Here is a little ditty about Supply Side Jesus from Beliefnet, Supply Side Jesus

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