I just read an opinion article on cnn.com that frankly, made me a bit angry. In summary, some gentleman decided that “Jesus was a free market capitalist who would vehemently oppose the antisocial Occupy Wall Street lazy people who don’t want to work for a living.” Aside from his detrimental judgmentalism and ignorance of OWS, as well as his poor theology that opposes Christians fighting for the in-breaking of God’s kingdom on Earth, I was particularly interested in his anachronistic and biased use of his biblical text. He uses Luke 19, the very parable of Jesus I posted an exegetical paper on my blog. In my paper, I warned of people making that very error… of using Jesus’ final parable to theologically promote capitalism, which if anything, the text argues against.
Check out the article! Check out my paper! (hyperlinks)
Now, don’t get me wrong, politically, I am a “capitalist”. And I don’t necessarily stand behind everything with the OWS. But I do, in a sense, stand with some of their ideals, like challenging those who are most responsible for the economic collapse. And I did find Tony Perkins’ remarks absolutely ridiculous, and I presume most people who read the article did as well.
Jesus came to embody the Kingdom of God, not vouch for a particular
economic/ political system… much less vouch for one that wouldn’t come into existence for well over a thousand years after his death. Jesus’ life certainly had vast political ramifications. But I’m pretty sure that didn’t mean telling poor people to acquiesce to the rich or “endorse the principles of business and the free market.”
If Jesus were here today, would He stand in solidarity with the poor and challenge an oppressive and oligarchical economic system, or spray them with mace to chase them off public property? Read the four gospels, and consider it.