Sunday, September 25, 2016

Global Bastille Day

I came of age, whatever that means, in the 80s. So, I understand why my generation, GenX, doesn’t really connect with what is going on in the world. It was the “Me” generation. We were, for the most part, the only generation in U. S. history that did not know war. We were more concerned with Members Only jackets and HASH jeans; big hair bands and girl groups, and making hordes of money. We were selfish beyond the average imagination.

We learned in school that we, the United States, were the greatest nation on Earth. We enjoyed and indulged in freedoms that most other countries didn’t. We were the children that grew into the mantra of Every Man for Himself – at any cost.

I fear today that we are reaping the rewards of our efforts. While we were busy ignoring the needs of the rest of the human race, the world has gone to hell in a handbasket. We did not heed the warning: The greed for money is the root of all evil. And in consequence, we have become the proverbial devil of our time.

Our churches are run like businesses. The words of Jacob Marley (A Christmas Carol) should haunt our dreams, “Mankind was my business!” But, they don’t. With the atrocities of life happening in our own backyard, we turn a deaf ear to the cries of the people. We drink our holy water from the font of the coffers of religiosity. I wonder sometimes if Jesus were to come into our churches, would he be cracking the whips and turning over the money changers’ tables?

Nonprofits have turned to the “Corporate Model”, also being run like for-profit businesses, to the detriment of those they are supposed to be serving. There is no servitude left in the nonprofit arena. Billions of dollars change hands every day, and still people are living in poverty, addicted to drugs, suffering inequality, and starving on the streets.

Let’s be honest. NO ONE CARES! The collective NO ONE of the United States actually does not care about those who are suffering. Sure, they’ll throw a few dollars into the collection plates of the world, but never choose to get their hands dirty. It’s too much work. Throwing money at the problem will never solve anything.

Jesus came and said many a thing, but left us all with one line of instruction:

“Love one another, as I have loved you.”

Every interaction Jesus had with people required effort on his part. I can’t imagine Jesus the Man, never had a day he wished he could sleep a little longer, or just have a day for himself. Every interaction he had with people left them better off than when he found them, in spite of his physical wants and needs. I don’t think that’s what we’re doing today. I think we are ignoring the poor and needy for our own profit.

With that said, I know that there are people out there who do really care; however, they are the minority. Generally, they are the poor and needy just trying to help someone else get through the day.

There’s nothing wrong with being wealthy. It’s what you do with that wealth that concerns God. It’s not just the check that we write; it’s the intent behind the check. God doesn’t want obligatory sacrifice on our parts. He wants us to give, because we actually care. I don’t think we are giving out of love, or even to the point of sacrifice. We have reduced ourselves to that of one Marie AntoinetteLet them eat cake.” That didn’t end so well for Marie and Louis. They literally lost their heads over it.

We are at a pinnacle point of human history. There are a thousand people in the streets in cities all around the world - people who are fed up and on the brink of a new day. I don’t see this ending well for the wealthy. I see a global Bastille Day on the horizon, and that scares the hell out of me more than anything else.