Wednesday, May 21, 2014

If Christians Had Only Listened To Jesus, They May Have Saved The Planet

Sell what you have and give to those in need. This will greatly multiply your stock in the company of heaven. And your portfolio is absolutely safe from any downturn in the market. Your treasures will never disappear; no thief can steal them; no moth can destroy them.
Luke 12:33 (paraphrase)

We tend to dismiss these words as among those impractical sayings of Jesus that no reasonable person could ever put into practice in real life. But what if Jesus intended them to be wise counsel about the kinds of investments that bring about optimal returns?

When we invest in the needs of our fellow human beings rather than in ever more consumer goods, he insists, we are putting our money where it really produces lasting results and brings the greatest possible satisfaction.

Had Christians heeded this kind of advice, the planet might have averted disaster.

Unfortunately, most so-called Christians, especially those of western Europe and the new world, have become known as the most ravenous and reckless consumers of all time, promoting a way of life that is wrecking the planet, exhausting its resources and poisoning its atmosphere. And regrettably, most other developing nations have been all too eager to follow our lead.

What would have happened if those who profess to follow Jesus would have from the beginning taken him far more seriously when it came to sharing wealth with those in need rather than storing up more and more earthly treasure for our own comfort, convenience or self-indulgence? There would have been far more peace on earth, and trillions could have been saved through investing in plowshares instead of swords and through spending on human need rather than on human greed. Hunger, malnutrition, homelessness and many diseases could have been virtually eliminated if the rate of consumption had been reduced and wealth more equitably shared.

We may all realize, too late, that Jesus was not simply giving humanity some good sounding but optional financial advice in the gospels, but a mandate that could prove to be the only way we could all survive.

But alas, professed Christians, on the whole, have been no more Christ-like when it comes to their rate of consumption than unbelievers in general.
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