Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Oakland, Occupy San Francisco, Occupy San Jose, Occupy DC, Occupy me.
I recently sat in the middle of an email thread discussing the Occupy movement. It seemed to come down to the protesters against greed and bankers as the target group representing corruption; but it is wider that that. Some of the protesters wanted jobs, some to tax the rich, and others to fix the system. 13% wanted “fairness,” and 1% wanted someone else to pay for their student loans. Since there seemed to be no coherent position stated, here is an analysis of tweets. Discontent is high on both sides of the political aisle and most agree that the current situation is unacceptable. But it seems few agree on what the solution should be.
As Christians our worldview should be through Gods eyes. Through the pages of the Bible we must look for the history and answers God has already prescribed. Both sides in the political debate have valid concerns. The realities of this unjust world are common to every living person. Russian, American, Chinese, Indian; Saved and unsaved alike feel in their heart the fallen nature of this world.
Romans 1:29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
Imagine for a moment the Bankers and Occupiers trading places and ask, “would the results be any different? Would the world be any different if the power was in the hands of the other? Or is this the same hand at work in the world on both sides just Occupying our time until its too late?”
In C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, hell is likened to a bureaucracy in which, “[E]veryone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment.” Its easy to do just be “against stuff,” as one of the protesters sign read.
In order not to fall in to the traps set for us, we must constantly turn to God’s Word. How would God want us to respond to the Bankers, to the Occupiers, to the broken world system? If we don’t turn to God’s Word, we might forget the true nature of the fight. Romans 1:28, “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity…”
There are clues to know if you are in the presence of evil that help you keep focused on God. If you are a student of the Word, you will recognizes them. If you are saved you will resist them, whether you are in a park and someone is braking a shop window, doing drugs, covering up a rape; or in the boardroom where someone is falsifying a report, doing drugs, covering up immoral acts.
The world may tweet, blog, and square off, but evil remains the same. Whether its at the city gate where the respected judges sat in Sodom and Gomorrah or in the crowd that jeered Christ as he carried the Cross out of the city to be killed. As this world marches forward to its end, what is your part? Does your job change? In Christ we are not called to be Republicans or Democrats, Nationalists or Socialists. Our kingdom is not here, but in another place. We are called to stand and be a witness of Christ’s to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
Christians are not immune to the the unrest, “…faith, wherever it develops into hope, causes not rest but unrest, not patience but impatience. It does not calm the unquiet heart, but it is itself this unquiet heart in man. Those who hope in Christ can no longer put up with reality as it is, but begin to suffer under it, to contradict it. Peace with God means conflict with the world, for the goad of the promised future stabs inexorably into the flesh of every unfulfilled present. If we had before our eyes only what we see, then we should cheerfully or reluctantly reconcile ourselves with things as they happen to be. That we do not reconcile ourselves, that there is no pleasant harmony between us and reality, is due to our unquenchable hope.” -Jürgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope, pp. 21-22.
The realities of this unjust world are common to every living person. Our desire for a solution is the most common ground for evangelicalism. This is the God shaped hole in our heart. Let someone know that real hope is found in Jesus Christ.