As I’ve mentioned before, Rick and I go way back. His comments are always thoughtful and lead to further exploration of an idea. His comment on yesterday’s post needed to be featured.
Thanks, Steve, for a very interesting and provocative topic: The wealthy in America feeling threatened–especially by the current liberal administration and particularly now at election time. I agree with Perkins–even though I am certainly not bucks up myself. We look at this in two ways–”giving to God what is God’s and giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s.”
The bible tells us it is not in “our” power to explain either the prosperity of the wicked–or sufferings of the righteous. That we shall not render an unfair decision: do not favor the poor nor show deference to the rich; judge your kinsmen fairly (Lev 19:15).
We are told: Be not a lender nor a borrower. Owe no one anything except to love one another. Be a giver (Romans 13:8). The lender makes the borrower a servant (Prov 22:7).
God’s economy is based on blessing and giving to others, while the world’s economy is based on hoarding and accumulating. And, we are to hear and contemplate this great refrain: A poor man…shames us ALL!
Yet, unhappy poor people at least have the hope and imagination of happiness, while rich people have everything and thus have nothing else to look forward to and no hope for happiness.
Now with respect Caesar and man’s wealth disparity. America is no longer the land of “haves” and “have-nots” –everyone has two or three TVs and two cars, and multiple coats and sweaters. America’s issue
is not really about the wealthy, rather about the givers and takers.
To put the issue and the opportunity in proper perspective: Interdependence needs to replace independence! We can’t survive, let alone thrive, unless we cooperate with each other.
If we look back and examine what gave rise to the great societies or civilizations (China, Persia, Greece, Rome, Spain, Maya, Inca, Egypt, and now America), we can readily see it was creativity, interdependence and mutual support that provided the synergy where the whole was always equal to the sum of all the parts. Today, China, for example, is at the peak of its success, and “takers” are in the distinct minority, because people are committed to the necessity to be “givers.” In other words, givers always created and contributed more to society. But as each society flourished, more and more people became materially well off. The failure has always been the people to stay committed as givers…so that all might thrive and survive. When survival is no longer an issue, it is very tempting to indulge in selfish, even hedonistic pleasures. As more and more people succumb to this temptation, there become fewer and fewer givers to society, and more and more takers.
Ultimately, internal and external disaster always begins with even one person’s philosophy of doing less and wanting more. The result is what repeats itself in history: A shift from a team effort to a struggle between takers and givers. This continues until the society falls apart in moral decay and material bankruptcy, and the takers become the majority.