Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wealth and the Revolution

All institutions are based on wealth. The economics of the wealth—how the resources are moved and who controls them—change with the times and with each society. But wealth is instrumental to how institutions and powerful people operate. Ancient institutions we primarily about the collection of wealth and the distribution of it to the powerful. Nothing much has changed. As can be seen in any corporation or government, the bottom line is always about finances—who gets what wealth.

Revolution always promises to change the system of how wealth is distributed. And it always says that the lower classes will gain more wealth. And sometimes that is true. Until the lower classes become the upper classes and then suddenly they want to keep the newly-gained income they’ve achieved through their hard work. People are people, no matter which side of the tracks their on and they want to gain and keep as much wealth as they can.

Jesus is proposing a new system of distributing wealth.

The Revolution Jesus is proposing is prepared to punish anyone who uses their wealth strictly for their own gain and pleasure. In other words, anyone who has excess wealth—money or possessions that are not needed, possibly termed "disposable income"—and they use it for their own gain when there are those who have need, they will be punished. Those who keep resources for their own greed will not be accepted in a system that focuses on meeting the needs of everyone.

When the Revolution comes, they will first take all the "rich"—all those who used their disposable income for their own gain—and they will either punish or exile all of them. Then the Revolution will punish everyone who uses wealth in a way that harms those around them. These punishments will be quite severe, for the use of wealth and resources for everyone who has need is a basic tenant of the Revolution.
This does not mean that fun will not be had. Perhaps you think of the Revolution as a peasant revolution, where everyone is miserable and living on almost nothing. Just the opposite. The Revolution will be characterized by parties and feasts. The only difference between these parties and feasts and the ones you see now is that in the Revolution, the parties will not be exclusive. They are for everyone and all races, all languages, all kinds, all peoples will be involved in them.

And so, as an ethic in preparation for the coming Revolution, Jesus strongly recommends that you take any extra provision you have—any extra money or possession that you have—and use it for those who have need. Perhaps you will allow those who have need to use what you have through loans or shared use. Perhaps you will sell what you have and make the income available to those in need. Perhaps you will just give things away. But take care that you do not just collect and keep for yourself what is not necessary.

The Revolution is coming!

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