Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Jesus was not a socialist

Of course, He wasn't a capitalist either, in case anyone misunderstands me!

One of the principle messages of Jesus' ministry, as well as that of the early church and a recurring theme of the whole Bible, is that of providing justice for the poor, helping the poor, feeding the poor, and so on. It is absolutely clear that Christians have a duty to the poor.

The problem is that we have changed the emphasis. We often concentrate on the duty of the state to look after the poor, rather than the church. The side effect of doing so is that we make it someone else's duty rather than our own, and instead of concentrating on directly supporting people we concentrate on campaigning for someone else to do it.

Our first duty towards helping is to do it ourselves. The old mantra of 'work all you can to earn all our can to give all you can' is as applicable today as it ever was. We each need to be giving as much as we can afford, if not a little more. This will be different for all of us.

Give us a heart of generosity, and not a heart of judgement. Let us give each out of our own riches, and not seek to expect others to do the churches duty for us.

We need a state that looks after the vulnerable in our society and across the world, but much more that that we need a church that lives a life of sacrificial love for others.