Wednesday, October 15, 2008
How To End Poverty 4
This ideal of mine will never happen. Now my cynicism comes out fully. Yes, I think I see how poverty can be ended and I have a plan to do that—heck, I spend many of my waking hours doing just that! But, in my heart of hearts, I don’t think it will work.
The rich elite will still rule, and they don’t give a crap about the poor—at least not as much as their banker friends—and they never will.
The mainstream (read: middle class) will still act according to their own blind prejudices and will still deride and reject anyone who doesn’t live up to their standards.
The poor are so fearful of what little livelihood they have, they will not want to endanger it all by trying to communicate their point of view to the mainstream.
Oh, sure, some will do this. Some will try to change. Some will try to understand the other. But all of history speaks against it happening on a large scale. Even if the outcast DO get a voice and they get heard, they just become the new mainstream, ready to create the new outcast.
So what needs to happen? Honestly, and I say this without any closed-mindedness or humor: We need Jesus.
Jesus isn’t who we think of. We might see Jesus as representing the Christianity that has ruled the West for 1500 years, but he’s not. We might see Jesus as some ancient prophet who said some radical things and then died, but he’s more than that. We might see Jesus as a teacher who healed people and spoke a wonderful message of sappy love. But that’s not him, either.
Jesus is a hard boiled advocate for the outcast. And He’s aiming to be ruler of the world.
He said, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the coming nation of God. But woe to you who are rich, because you will get nothing when it comes.”
Jesus looks to create a new utopia, supported by the power of God to assist the outcast who are merciful, and destroying the system of elitism that exists currently.
Jesus is a revolutionary that will destroy all the current governments, corporations, financial institutions and legal systems. Then he will establish a government in which the cream of the crop of the oppressed and outcast will be put in charge of the world, with himself at the head. This new government will not just represent a single form of the outcast, creating a new elite. Rather, it will represent ALL the poor, and the poor of the world will finally get justice.
This is the ideal that Isaiah spoke of, 2800 years ago:
Then a descendent of David will appear and God's Spirit of power will be on him: a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and power a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord. He will not judge by appearance, or determine laws by rumor. But he will be just to the poor and will be fair to the oppressed. And the oppressors will be destroyed by his authority.
Perhaps this approach to ending poverty seems extreme. It certainly is. It means no more second chances for the rulers. No more opportunities to make right. No more mercy for the elite that have been destroying the poor from the beginning of the world. They will all die.
But for the poor, it is the day that they have been waiting for. It is the day when they finally get their say. When they can finally get their due. It is a day when the elite can be told exactly how they have created the poor through their laws, policies and prejudices. It is a day when the poor can live their life in the way it was meant to be lived: at peace, without fear, without rejection.
This is my real hope. I work for the poor in this age. But I really expect nothing to change until Jesus returns.
This is why I pray, along with almost all the church “Thy kingdom come”. I pray this many times a day, as do so many millions of other Christians.
But I know what most of them don’t. That “thy kingdom come” means the destruction of the institutions they depend on. It means the economy failing. It means the governments collapsing. It means all of our sins against those weaker than us being exposed. And I long for that day. As much as it hurts me, I pray for it with all my heart.