Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Almighty Dollar

"No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

Simple, unadorned truth. The kind that resonates with common sense. And yet how much time and energy do we spend trying to figure out a loophole. So many American Christians tie themselves into knots every work week in an attempt to have their cake and eat it too. They also do their best to bury their heads in the sand to avoid admitting that they're eating their neighbor's cake as well.

I know, I know. Money is necessary. It's just the way the world operates. Denying this is naive, or even worse, class warfare. The rich are people too. Lots of them do lots of good with their money. They help people. Blah, blah, blah.

Let's cut the crap. We can pretend that we are innocent victims of the marketplace, but we all know better. We created the market, not God. It serves our interests, not theirs. We can hide behind economic theory to justify our uses of wealth, but it's just plain wrong for some of us to live in luxury, while our siblings go without basic resources. It's shameful and sinful, and no amount of spin will ever make it right.

This is not about taking vows of poverty or joining a commune. It's not even about changing the world or ending suffering. It's about recognizing what is true and committing oneself to living by that truth as best as one can. Above all, it's about rejecting a lifestyle and a culture built on charades and lies.

"You cannot serve God and mammon." It's time to choose your real master.