A recent post by Jim West (The Church has Fetishized Poverty) reminds me of my bad old days when I believed in Christian “righteousness”. It comes from someone who would deplore any association with cultism or even fundamentalism (I think) but it drills hard into a believer’s guilt feelings in a way to stop them doing genuine good in the world, and it rips scripture out of context to justify its agenda. The post begins:
People: the church should give all its money to the poor.
Jesus: nah. Use that expensive ointment on me.
People: but the poor, the poor, the poor….
Jesus: shut up. If she wants to use her money for me, it’s cool.
You have probably identified what’s wrong from the outset. Jesus is about to die and excuses great expense on him for that reason. In normal circumstances, of course, Jesus said something quite different:
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’[d]”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Would Jim West accuse Jesus of “fetishizing the poor”? It appears so.
But here comes the killer: Continue reading “Christians Condemned for Doing Good if they Feel Good Doing It”