December 07, 2004

Me and James 5: 1-5

I can't help thinking as I read this, that James has some serious personal issues/agendas with the rich ... his words are not just cautionary but angry. I found an interesting online article that talks of the piety/poverty connection in James and it fills in a little about the historical backdrop. I've always been on the edge of poverty (american style) so I tend to agree with James' attitude toward the rich ... but ... I think that to be rich is not to be evil and poverty should not to be envied or romanticized but we should strive to eradicate it. And remember, Jesus loved the rich young man :-)


At 3:04 p.m., Blogger Marjorie said...

I'm drawing a blank on the rich young man that Jesus loved -- he was kind to Zacchaeus, but you're probably speaking of someone else...

At 3:28 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

Hi Marjorie :-).

Mark 10:21 ... Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to (the) poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."

BTW, did you see my message answering your email about spiritual direction? I just downloaded a new browser and now my email finally works again.

At 8:08 p.m., Blogger david said...

Judea of this period is occupied territories of the the world's most powerful and richest empire to have existed to that date. The rich were Romans or Jewish aristocrats who kept their power and privledge at the whimsy of Roman officials. The poor are not just middle class folks having trouble paying the mortgage. Think homeless, destitute, hungry.

I don't think they had a middle-class as we understand it today.

At 4:35 a.m., Blogger Larry said...

Thanks, Crystal. I especially appreciated your reference to the Wesley Center for Applied Theology article. I'm thinking about linking that to my introduction on James, although it's a bit advanced for the people I'm writing for.

You're absolutely right about "serious personal issues/agendas with the rich"; in fact we all have, or should have. Certainly there are good, bad, and indifferent rich people, but as my wife often points out to me, material riches are (almost) always at the expense of poorer people.

The investor exploits the labor of many people, giving them a portion of the fruit of their labor. Same goes for doctors and lawyers. You name it, our society is infested with ill gotten gains. Call me a socialist, if you will. The original Christians were downright commies (in the purest sense of the ideology).

(Pardon me, Meredith, for being so negative. I just can't help it.)


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