Occupy Till I Come or Occupy Wall Street
By Doug Krieger
From a Brother in Las Vegas, Nevada:
What a WONDERFUL and insightful article! The far leftists, socialists, etc.. just don't get it. I always point people to the parable of the ten talents to reveal how JESUS actually thinks and it certainly isn't socialist! It's amazing how Christians try to re-interpret this as well. It is what it is... and "occupy till I come" is about business as you clearly pointed out. As usual, you guys are right on target with the truth, though you are definitely ruffling peoples' feathers! Keep it up brothers.
Doug, (From a brother from Africa)
Thanks for the article, I respect your opinion here but I think we have no right to impose our "Christianity" and Christian opinions on a world that does not follow Jesus Christ. Secondly, I think we falsely accuse those in the so-called Liberation Theology camp of heresy simply because they call for justice for the poor and those who are weakest of society.
When the Tea Party folks were raising their burners, few USA Evangelical Christians objected, now that Occupy Wall Street has taken root, we are quick to quote or misquote Bible verses so as to place them in league with the Devil. I think, they have their own right to protest and yes, just like Tea Party folks, whom you seem never to have condemned.
Jesus Christ was not socialist as you imply correctly but neither was he capitalist. However, you CANNOT dispute the fact the Bible is BIASED towards the POOR; that you cannot dispute and the Prophets and Jesus called for Justice for the POOR, among other things. This is from my reading of the BIBLE. Does this mean that I place my trust in OWS protests? No!
On the flip-side, I place my focus on Jesus Christ but at the same time that does not mean that I ignore the plight and suffering of the masses. I cannot offer perfect solutions to them but there is absolutely nothing wrong or non scriptural in peacefully stating my disgust for greedy policies affecting me or others. This world will never be perfect but I can voice my opinion to object oppression.
To then turn around and accuse those who decry Greed and Oppression as "Liberation Theologians" is a slur to the suffering of society. Let the protestors protest, since this is a democracy and let us NOT MISUSE scripture like claiming that Jesus told us Occupy till he comes and not Occupy Wall Street...
That was a very classical misapplication and clear abuse and spinning of scripture probably using a Republican lens to view issues, which is your right but I cannot then go ahead to ACCUSE you of NOT being Christian, you are but I differ in opinion with you. DO I support anything that goes on in OWS, no, I don't but at least I join in voice with those who peacefully protest economic oppression.
Yes, you can challenge Christians on the other side who do the same by mis-rendering scripture but your rendering of scripture in this case was a total misapplication. Lastly, you never sent out an email to condemn the racism in the Tea Party, or condemn folks who accused Obama of being a Kenyan or Muslim, many of them were American Christians and actually condemning the some of the same things that the OWS are condemning, like Bank Bailouts and Greed on Wall Street.
Thanks, for your email but I respectfully disagree.
A Brother from Africa
Dear Brother -
After reading your response to our article – Occupy Till I Come or Occupy Wall Street…which is it? – You are indeed entitled to your opinion; however, we are entitled to ours as well; and we feel that our response is wholly based upon Scripture and its intent. Jesus is not a Socialist – nor a Capitalist – neither! He does not take sides with the poor juxtaposed to the rich – He is no respecter of persons – whether they are wealthy or whether they are poor – “for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him” (Romans 10:12).
Nor do we affirm that the manifestation of the Gospel of the Kingdom in the Millenarian Rule & Reign of the Son of David presents an egalitarian economic system – He is just and righteous altogether and will not tolerate greed nor sloth – oppression nor lawlessness. He will not create an Entitlement Society nor a Class Society – neither. To the contrary, as one reads and meditates upon the Holy District of Ezekiel 40-48 one is seized with the peculiar plots of land which surround the Holy District’s City known as “urban homesteading” or the “worker’s produce areas.” These massive blocks of land are specifically designated for EVERYONE who comes to the Holy District – and all the earth will come – to work the gardens so that they may eat of the land. This does not sound like entitlement – it sounds more like a “worker’s paradise” where everyone must work by the sweat of their brow. King Jesus could easily provide everything that’s needed for such a visit – but instead the attendees are “working the fields” in order to eat off them when they visit!
THREE WEALTHY CONVERTS
In that the preaching of the gospel, as recorded in Scripture, is of priority in its initial import – we, again, affirm that He is no respecter of persons. Pray tell then, why is it that the first non-ethnic Jew of Ethiopian descent – the TREASURER of the Queen of Sheba – was brought to Jesus by Philip. He was the TREASURER and, obviously, himself an exceedingly wealthy man – and an African through and through!
Furthermore, how is it that the first recording of a Gentile brought to Jesus was a military man of great means, a Centurion of the Italian Band who had already built the Jews a synagogue in Joppa? He was a military commander of the Roman “occupation forces” who was wealthy – “for God is no respecter of persons!”
Finally, Lydia of Macedonia – a devout BUSINESS WOMAN – and not just an ordinary business person – she traded in the most elaborate of wares, for purple cloth was sold only to the most prestigious of society, royalty and nobility (and that can be researched through and through) – hence is “purple” mentioned in the Revelation as a priority merchandise – but as the first convert in Europe proper was a business woman who dealt in high-class wares, she was exceedingly wealthy and would have been considered of the highest class – yet it was she to whom the Holy Spirit led Paul to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Three premiere examples where God is no respecter of persons – and what shall we say as Paul preached to those of “Caesar’s household!” Yes, NOT MANY NOBLE are called – but noble are called, just the same. You, dear brother, are not “handling the truth of Scripture” properly – you have charged us accusing “those in the so-called Liberation Theology camp of heresy simply because they call for justice for the poor and those who are weakest of society.” Not so. We have not accused anyone of heresy. On the other hand, we have most certainly accused those who embrace many of the tenants of Liberation Theology – one of which is so embraced by certain ministries who announce that the Gospel of the Kingdom constitutes the “administration model” of economics which equates to Socialism juxtaposed to Capitalism in the future Millennium – hogwash – the “redistribution of earthly wealth” and so-called “fairness” is NOT the manifestation of the future kingdom – naught but righteousness and divine justice is its hallmark – not the contorted justice of fallen man on the Right or Left. This kingdom, ultimately defined, will rest upon the “Government” that shall “be upon His shoulders.” I am sure based upon the sum total of the Scripture that rampant greed will not go unnoticed by Him nor those under His administration - nor will covetousness and an “entitlement mind set” be tolerated in its manifold forms of stealing from anyone – HAVES or HAVE NOTS. The Scriptures are not biased toward anyone – rich or poor:
THE KINGDOM COMES NOT BY OBSERVATION
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28) . . . “knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him” (Eph 6:8-9) . . .
And, I hasten to add, neither is the False Prophet discriminatory in his persecution: “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads…,” (Rev. 13:16).
The insidious manipulation by the wealthy of Occupy Wall Street is intolerable – frankly, an expose on that by some is coming. Creating a climate of “class warfare” is NOT what Jesus was about. The parables and short accounts (Luke 17-19) give a clear message to the believing community and to the world, that Jesus cannot be pigeonholed. He was not a communist nor a socialist nor a capitalist – the KINGDOM COMES NOT BY OBSERVATION – what is it about that, that we cannot grasp?
THE GOSPEL IS CHRIST ALONE
It is the unsearchable riches of Christ that we preach – in fact; it is the preaching of the cross that is our message – NOT a fair and equitable life-style. It is the “fruit of the Spirit” from the inside out that is Paul’s emphasis and should be ours – that is the gospel’s message: Christ in you, the Hope of glory. He did not commission the disciples to run for political office and to reform the social order of their day – to overturn the inequities of the Roman occupation forces and all their twisted socioeconomic practices (including slavery, freebies of Egyptian wheat to supplement Roman diets back home which ultimately destroyed the Empire, etc.) – what believers are attempting to do, be they from the Right or Left, in the “manifestation of the Kingdom of God on earth” – i.e., they are determined to “bring in the manifestation of the Kingdom ‘immediately’” to which we alluded in our article – this is altogether NOT the gospel message. Yes, we are preaching the GOSPEL to the poor – because the poor are far more responsive to it – yes, but that preaching is of Christ, not of the riches of this world and the redistribution of its wealth.
Brother – Jesus gave the rich, young ruler opportunity and he did the same to another rich man, Zacchaeus – he does not discriminate! He threw the moneychangers out of the temple and then he saved Cornelius who built the Jews a synagogue. He arrived as Messiah the Prince and received their approbation – but He came to give His Life a ransom for many.
The message of Jesus is NOT class warfare – it is for “whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord” – rich or poor. If we preach “a gospel” designed in the format of Liberation Theology or its multiple-guises and tell the poor that “Jesus is more for you than He is the rich” – that is NOT the Gospel of the Grace of God. He condemns the sin of greed, as much as He condemns the sin of covetousness. And, yes, we are keenly aware of Luke 4:18 – “To preach the gospel to the poor, etc.” – but not at the expense which creates an environment of “social justice and the redistribution of wealth” advocated by virtually all who embrace Liberation Theology and ipso facto class warfare. We are called to preach Christ – His cross – the wisdom of God and the Power of God – to the Greeks foolishness and to the Jew a stumbling block.
You claim that we misused scripture – that we made “a very classical misapplication and clear abuse and spinning of scripture probably using a Republican lens to view issues.” In a word, NO – we are not “probably using a Republican lens” in Occupy Till I Come. You say that our rendering of Scriptures was a “total misapplication.” Now, you call for a form of “fairness” wherein we should send out something condemning the efforts of the Tea Party? Jesus had the fundamentalist right-wing Pharisees and zealots to deal with but he also had the Sadducees and scribes – both the Right and Left – both of whom collaborated with the Romans to crucify Jesus – so it is today – and don’t tell me that the Right is more sanctimonious than the Left – to the contrary – the Left’s hypocrisies are profoundly more aggressive and ubiquitous than those of the Right because they are incredibly more self-righteous in that what they condemn on the Right as racism, they in turn practice a more insidious form that spreads like a contagion because of its devious nature and ability to mutate when exposed. Tell me, did Jesus tell His disciples to “peacefully protest oppression” (which in their case would have been under Roman occupation treasonous)? No, He told them to preach the gospel and that is precisely what they did and it turned the “world upside down.”
Was racism an issue around the time of Jesus? – It was horrendous – the Jews, Samaritans, Romans, Greeks, Gentiles – the whole lot of them were at each other’s throats and it was, if you would, religio-politico in nature (the worst kind). When Peter heard “kill and eat” he couldn’t believe his ears – but he broke through because the gospel message was for all humankind – Peter, however, did not preach the social gospel – instead he pointed out: “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation…but God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean . . . . Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—HE IS LORD OF ALL” (Acts 10) and from here on out all you hear is about Jesus of Nazareth – His baptism, His anointing, His power, His ministry, His deliverance, His death, Resurrection . . . and He was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead . . . to Him do all the prophets bear witness and only through Him and believing in Him can we receive forgiveness of our sins!
Insofar as the Right is concerned – what did sister Corrie Ten Boom do? She and her family “lived the gospel” – and eventually they were persecuted – but they did not go out and protest Nazism – eventually, they came to these same Nazis and preached forgiveness in Christ alone. I am made a fool – forgive me, I have written books (Rise or Fall of American Empire) on the deceit of the Right in America and repeatedly enjoined believers not to entangle themselves in the affairs of this life - now that I expose the Left I am counted as one among those who suppress the poor of this world?
Today, the Church is fraught with one “social cause” after another – most of which are “social injustices” no doubt – but our “message” is NOT – I repeat, is NOT – relieving the oppressed of the world from their social maladies – that MAY and probably will be the result or FRUIT of our labors (as it was with Peter) – but it is not our calling nor priority. Christ will demonstrate His Life – “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound (lit “live in prosperity”). Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:11-13).
Should the Church be a “caring community?” – absolutely – but we are not preaching a caring community to the world – nor did the early Church preach such a message – did they care for one another? Absolutely – but they simply preached Christ. Today’s gospel message is being distorted by a new “social gospel” which in past times brought about the acute “liberalism” within the Church which extinguished the “gospel fires” among our people – now, once again, this apostasy inflicts us with the same terrible result – a lukewarmness which characterizes the Laodicean Church. A peculiar amalgamation of “social gospels” which simultaneously involve many who have means, yes, many who embrace their own “redistribution of wealth” known as the Prosperity Gospel. The cross is an OFFENSE – to both Left and Right.
Brother – we do not deny that “the bankers and money changers on Wall Street with their contemptuous greed and avarice on flagrant display via the shameless profiteering of the elite who ‘occupy’ these lofty financial perches” exists (so said in our article). But do we take to the streets as some suggest protesting these indiscretions? You have the liberty to do so – and we have here – but our message is Christ, not the redistribution of wealth – and if we were to condemn the greedy – where do we begin: George Soros? Our Congress who not only tolerated these indiscretions (both parties) but promoted them as well? Should we attack Donald Trump or how about Sean Penn – both are millionaires? Is one less occupied with his wealth than the other – and off whose back did Trump or Penn make their millions?
President Obama – who not only encourages class warfare out of one side of his mouth – but out of the other perpetrated the greatest financial fiasco in the history of humankind by bailing out the banks and Wall Street to the tune of $14 Trillion. George Bush was a piker compared to Obama. And, what of the so-called “racism of the Tea Party” – then again, what of the anti-Semitism manifested on Wall Street? – Have we condemned the Bank Bailouts and the Greed on Wall Street? Of course we have – did we condemn the stupidity of those who said George Bush copped out of real military action or that Obama must be a Muslim? Both accusations are superficial – we have bigger fish to fry.
Regarding the current darling of the Tea Party, Herman Cain, a black man – may I ask the question: How is it that Time Magazine can call Mr. Cain the current “clown at the circus” and the liberal media does not cry foul accusing Time Magazine of being racist but if President Obama were to be called the same by Newsmax, then Newsmax would be racist. Double standard? Slightly, and it is pervasive in this country and throughout the Age of Aquarius where relativism reigns supreme; yet, it is shrouded in hypocrisy.
We, as you, we’ll have to disagree on this one – affirmed that we are right before the Lord – and you the same. Indeed, He is the Judge of the living.
God bless and with all due respect - Doug