I Can’t Stand It Anymore…

“Since 1913, the United States witnessed only one other year of such unequal wealth distribution — 1928, the year before the stock market crashed, according to Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington.”

I wish this quote wasn’t true.  I wish I could post about how things in the United States were improving…that the gap between the wealthy and poor was diminshing – but it’s not.  It’s getting worse, much worse.

One of the leading hedge fund managers, John Paulson, made $3.7 billion dollars in 2007.  No typo here…it really is $3.7 billion…BILLION…in one year…for one man.  It’s 14 times more than Oprah Winfrey and 32 times more than Tiger Woods made last year!

Is the gap really widening?  The amount executives are making is 18 times more than they did in 2002.  It’s clearly widening.

If you can stomach it, click here for the full article.

The Tension: A year ago – I’d be defending these executives.  They work hard-They risk big-They deserve every penny they make.  But I can’t do it anymore.  This world’s system is all about “getting mine” no matter at whose expense.  As long as I get mine – it doesn’t matter if you “get yours.”  This is the ultimate in self-protection.  There is so much here.  This is what this blog is about.  How do we, as a called out people, operate completely in contrast to this world’s system?  A recent Barna study revealed that Christianity is so closely connected to consumerism that believers can barely be distinguished from the outside culture. “Barely” may even be a stretch.  We’ve got to look different. We’ve got to subvert this empire.  This is why I blog.  To share with you how I’m being transformed and to hear how each of you are being transformed.  How the decisions you’re making don’t make any sense to the world and even to the Christian system.  How your lives are being invaded and taken over by a new Kingdom culture…and to hear how instead of this being depressing…its actually the best thing that’s ever happened to you!!  

Please don’t be quiet any longer.  The world is listening.  Other disciples are listening.  We need to share and hear from each other.

How is the Kingdom culture invading your life?  How is your world being turned upside down?





Filed under Consumerism

5 responses to “I Can’t Stand It Anymore…

  1. That’s horrifying, that one person could make almost 4 billion dollars IN A YEAR. How many wells in Africa would that buy? How many kids in Appalachia or Compton would that feed and educate?

    We must not confuse “Christianity the lifestyle accessory” with “Christianity the Life”. Clearly, Christianity the lifestyle accessory is more prevalent. If you have a nicer car than you need or a nicer house than you need or more consumer goods than you will ever use, if your life in other words is indistinguishable from that of the most worldly heathen, then probably you have purchased the lifestyle accessory as another consumer good in the marketplace.

    Christianity the Life, on the other hand, says that if you have two coats, and your brother has none, you give him the extra one. This is the “foolishness”, and indeed the anti-Americanism in a certain sense, of Christ. America says more more more for me. Christ says give. Christ isn’t preaching a gospel of material self-improvement. Indeed, from a worldly materialistic standpoint, Christ is preaching a “foolish” gospel and the Last Supper was the Mad Hatter’s tea party.

    Souls are the ultimate value to God, money only exists to serve the purposes of God and His people. One soul who turns to God is of greater value to God than all the shining skyscrapers of the mightiest corporations. One street bum whose heart sincerely turns to Jesus is more important than the net worth of Microsoft, in God’s valuation.

    The World system frankly believes, if it does not say openly, that no, the money is more important than any human life. People are valueless unless they can be used for your ends. Human dignity is an outmoded concept that only the naive take seriously, according to the World.

    The two worlds could not be more different, they cannot resemble each other. The only question is, which do we resemble?

    My own transformation is very new, I turned back to Jesus in February after a heart attack. I had to be revived twice from the dead. I had and have no job and no insurance, but gratefully the hospital was a Christian one and did forgive my very large debt to them. Rebuilding my life from scratch, literally every step I take is taken on the ashes of my old worldly life. Everything is new. 🙂

  2. Brittian Bullock

    How irritating. Seriously…
    And the most tragic element is that the biggness of that dude’s numbers (Billions) make it easier to stomach my own gross inequalities of distribution…how I am equally consumptive and equally selfish. Oh I didn’t make that much, or as much as Oprah, or Tiger, or others…but…what did I do with what I had? And more than that…how are my choices impacting those who have nothing?
    If this is an upside down kingdom am I living in an upside down way…or right side up? Does my hypocracy know no bounds (to quote a little Doc Holiday)?
    Cushioned and padded–40 lbs overweight, buying books like they were going out of style–as if there weren’t a library down the street, stuffing my face at an upscale Chinese Restaurant downtown before I go to a homeless shelter 1 mile away and serve them last weeks leftovers…come on! I’m part of the problem!

    Lord…CHANGE ME! The evil out there is no worse than the evil in me.

    I stand corrected…I am worse…because I call Him Lord and them brothers…I am worse.

    Brittian Bullock

  3. markleecole

    Thanks for the info Steve. This IS hard to stomache. Last night I went to a volunteer informational meeting at the Portland Rescue. There was a lot of talk about what can be done for the homeless. At some point I realized that I am desparetly in need of an intensive detox from my addiction to the white, wealthy, american dream version of evangelical christianity that I have so comfortably chosen to follow. The kind of christianity that is more comfortable focusing on theology debate strategies in a trendy coffee shop than shivering with the poor and destitute. I am at the awareness level with these issues. I still struggle with the issue of “praxis”. Honestly…I walked away from the meeting a little disheartened. Somehow I think I am always hoping for an easier answer. We are so focused on results over relationship. Pardon me for sulking around a little a I come to grips with my need for a complete lifestyle change!

  4. Brittian, as Simon Peter I think learned first-hand, our betrayal of the Lord as Christians is always worse than the betrayal of non-Christians. EVERY one of us is worse than them, because we love Him and still we betray Him all the same. All of us do.

    Every one of us is in a sense more culpable, because more has been done for us. With the apostles, Christ has also washed our feet. We have had God’s grace poured in abundance on us.

    And we will ALWAYS be more culpable. Always. Fortunately, as Simon the denyer on good Friday became Peter the Rock again on Resurrection Sunday, this doesn’t mean that God is not transforming or using us. He already knows every betrayal. I denied him for years not 3 days.

    Knowing His forgiveness, and that he has already forgiven me, and is forgiving all of us, let love not guilt be the transformation of our hearts. Love for this incredible Lord who has forgiven and loves us all. 🙂

  5. “…let love not guilt…”
    That is incredible, Robert. In a world that competes and controls based on fear, guilt and power…this is our Christ. This confounds the world. I agree – let love be our motivation, means and end.

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