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Why Jesus is Anti-Capitalist

The kingdom of God isn’t what you think. It isn’t at all compatible with the lifestyle that most of us are living. It’s not just about thinking the right thoughts or feeling the right feelings; it involves a total life change – including our economics. The way of Jesus is dangerous, because the kingdom of God and the wealth-driven, capitalist system we live in simply aren’t compatible.

Capitalism, for all its tremendous achievements, is not based in Christian values. Love? Mercy? Release for the captive and oppressed? Sight for the blind? All of these go out the window in the capitalist system, because love and justice are not the primary values for capitalism – capital is. Capitalism operates to benefit those who have capital. Those who don’t have money are basically irrelevant.

That’s not to say that our capitalist society is completely heartless. In the midst of capitalism, there’s a huge amount of philanthropy going on. Rich people (and not-so-rich people) give their resources to benefit the poor all the time. They can even get a tax break for it! But even in these cases, the logic of capitalism remains. The power dynamic is the same: The rich give and are thanked; the poor receive and are grateful.

The Golden Rule of Capitalism

The kingdom of God could not be more different. In the Book of Acts, it says that the early Christians held all things in common. Folks who were rich sold all their belongings and gave the money to the community. Everyone received whatever they needed on a day-to-day basis. Whether you used to be rich or poor didn’t matter anymore. Everyone was equal in the radical life of God’s community.

To be honest, there’s a part of me that finds this horrifying. I’ve worked really hard and have forgone a lot of luxuries in order to get the measure of economic security that I have today. I’m supposed to just give that away and live an equally precarious existence with a bunch of folks who never saved for a rainy day? That’s not fair!

But it’s a central theme of the New Testament.

John the Baptist made it pretty clear: If you and I want to be the people of God together, there’s going to be some repentance required. Repentance doesn’t just mean feeling sorry for bad things we did or naughty things we said – it’s about righting the wrongs in our society. It’s about feeding the poor, housing the homeless, and looking out for those who’ve been left behind in the capitalist race to the top.

Jesus took this message even further. He told stories about everyone being paid equally, even when they didn’t earn it. He asked his followers to abandon their professions and follow him into an entirely different kind of economy. Whether or not every follower of Jesus is required to sell everything they own and give the money to the poor is a matter of debate, but it is clear that true repentance involves economic redistribution. There’s no doubt that Jesus is calling every one of us into a radical practice of financial reconciliation. In the kingdom of God, those who have more give freely to those who are in need.

This isn’t philanthropy. This isn’t about rich people being charitable to those in need. It’s about each of us treating our brothers and sisters as Jesus commands us to – not gloating, not feeling superior, but giving our all and saying, We are worthless slaves, we have done only what we ought to have done!

The kingdom of God is a direct challenge to our society’s economic and social order. Jesus takes the side of those who are the least successful in the eyes of the market. The God of the Bible is one who releases captives and restores sight to the blind. The presence of the Holy Spirit disrupts the lives of those who have the most, and lifts up those who have nothing.

This is enormously challenging for me. I want to be part of that egalitarian community of believers, living out the kingdom of God in joy and amazement. Most days, though, I’m nowhere close. I still carry a lot of fear, and the assumptions of the capitalist system we live in. Considering how much of my lifestyle depends on this very system, it’s hard to accept that the kingdom of God and our economic order are mutually incompatible.

But they are. And if I think I want to follow Jesus, I had better count the cost. Because the kingdom of God asks everything of us, especially our money, security, and sense of control.

What about you? How does your walk with Jesus and the Christian community challenge the economic basis of your lifestyle? Are there ways that your relationship to money might need to change in order to be part of the egalitarian kingdom of God? What would it take for you to embrace the startlingly anti-capitalist way of Jesus?

Related Posts:

The Gods of the Market

What are You Working For?

  • Ken Stockbridge

    Well, your post title got this economist’s attention, Micah. Implicitly, it opposes an economic system; yet it’s not clear that you’re proposing an alternative *system* or what that would look like. Rather you focus on what we can do as individuals, and I’m actually glad to see that focus. Debating alternative systems gets very abstract and esoteric very fast. That gets us into our heads and out of our hearts, where I think we find the most important lessons for what we do as individuals.

    It may be true that there is a better economic system we could have. But once we figured that out, how would we get there as a society? Even if communism were a better system (and I don’t think it is), history thus far has shown that forcing it on people through violence and authoritarianism hardly works. (“From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs” was a famous phrase among communists; so I was intrigued to find essentially the same concept in the Book of Acts!)

    We could, in theory, have the most perfectly just system and laws. But even then, if we do not have justice in our hearts as individuals and as a people, we will not have justice… or peace. On the other hand, if all the people of the world had justice and love in their hearts, that would lead us to a perfectly just system and laws and to world peace. Who knows? Maybe it would still be a capitalist system, but the outcomes would be very, very different. To be clear, it’s not money that is “the root of all evil,” but rather the “love of money.” Money itself is neutral, merely a medium of exchange. It’s what we do with it and how we get it that matters. Is it the system, or how we all, individually and collectively, act within whatever system we’re in?

    I believe the only path to the world we seek, to the Community of God, is ultimately through individual spiritual transformation, with the support and accountability of a spiritual community, one person at a time, starting with me. So, yes, Micah, thanks for focusing us on what we as individuals do.

    As for me, let me offer one piece. I’ve become convinced that our Quaker witness on simplicity is not only about consumption but also about income (and actually much more in spiritual terms, but those are economic manifestations of simplicity). Living within the economic and labor market system that we do, if we succeed in getting a high paying job, that’s one such job at least that someone else doesn’t get. (Yes, I know it’s more complicated than that, but this is true for many jobs.) In other words, in our economic system, there is a supply of jobs with different income levels and a supply of workers competing for them. Someone ends up at the bottom, and some are stuck there their entire lives. That’s how it works; what can I do?

    I could be highly qualified for a high-paying job and do great work for others through it, and I could take all the money I make from it and give it to the poor, but would even that be enough to satisfy what Jesus asks? The job itself, and its income, is an opportunity for someone else to grow and contribute and thrive. So maybe I don’t just consume less. Maybe I can also earn less, giving up a piece of the great job I won in the job market competition. I might work part-time, for example, or “job-share.” Or I might keep the job long enough to satisfy my needs, then give it up, and find other ways to make my contribution that don’t pay as well. I know this may not be so easy in our world. It involves sacrifice, and not just monetary ones. It doesn’t work in every situation. But it works in some. I’ve tried it; it can be done.

    Of course, that applies to those fortunate few who get the high-paying jobs. Still, all of us can consider how we get our money as well as what we do with it.

    • Around the 50s or so, there was talk that thanks to technology and automation, we would all work 20-hour weeks in the future, instead of having to work 40-hour weeks, because productivity would be so high there’d be no need to have such a long work week. I’ve also seem the theory that our economy has shifted so heavily in a low-pay services direction because of those productivity gains.

      In my industry (technology, one of those high-paying ones) lots of people I know have said they would love to go to 80% time and 80% pay (or 50%/50%, whatever: they’d gladly take a pay cut in order to work fewer hours)–essentially the job sharing thing you mentioned–except that there’s no provision for medical insurance for under-40-hour workers in the US.

      • Hey, Mackenzie. Why not buy your own insurance? I did so for many years as a freelancer.

        • One of those “freelancers get together and qualify for group insurance” things could probably solve the insurance issue. I know there are artist collectives for insurance, for instance.

          But also, the industry is just plain not set up right now to allow job sharing. If you could get like 20 (or 100?) people at the same company to all petition management for such arrangements to exist within the company, then hey, maybe you could get one employer to change, and maybe others would follow suit. But yeah, right now, if you want to code for <40 hours a week, freelancing is your only option because a single employee going to their boss and saying "so…how about a 40% paycut and I only work Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday?" is going to be laughed at and told to find somewhere else to work.

    • Thanks for sharing, Ken.

      For me, I hope I’m able to get past any tendency I have to guilt trip myself, but rather embrace the joy of the (very challenging) way of Jesus!

    • Jim Breiling

      It’s not 100% the way of Jesus or zip — nothing. There is a gradient of scope and degree. Start with what one believes is important to do (but not overwhelmed by) and that could usually be done each day, Work to increase the extent and breath of compliance.

      In his autobiography, Ben Franklin reported on a scheme he used for self-improvement that could be a good model. He laid out specific objectives and then focused on achieving them, one by one, on a daily basis, with each success resulting in a check mark for that day. When check marks were daily occurrences for an objective, he shifted his focus to another objective.

      How about a general discussion and sharing of objectives on your web page followed by, for those willing to take the plunge, reporting on daily compliances?

      • I’m not sure I agree, Jim. I think it may very well be “all or nothing.” And, given my own limited faithfulness, I find that thought quite disturbing!

        That being said, I think that the “all or nothing” call may look different for different people, and it’s certainly not my place to judge the “spiritual progress” of others.

    • Julian Brelsford

      I’m not entirely comfortable with your suggestion that God’s people shouldn’t earn much more than we need to get by. Suppose all the “good” people avoid achieving power in the economic/political realm (the two are pretty heavily intertwined, partly because some very powerful people want them to be). Now suppose, having successfully kept the good people out of these places of power, instead the political/economic power is all held by people who are not good.

      On some level I think it’s far preferable for followers of Jesus’s teachings regarding caring for the poor, to grab all of the political-economic power we can easily get our hands on and give it away to others as quickly as possible.

  • dcsloan

    Jesus proposed living in a way that makes empire and elites irrelevant. The alternative is community. What makes it different from communism and utopia is the call for resurrection and transformation. Economically, it is a system that does not recognize either interest or inflation. Politically, it emphasizes justice and compassion. Justice is repair, rehabilitation, restoration, and – where possible – reconciliation. Compassion is to feed, quench, clothe, house, heal, visit, welcome, …

    • Amen!

    • Julian Brelsford

      Peter DeHaan’s comment refers to the Parable of Talents which I think is both a story about economics and about the laws of nature. In that story, he seems to believe interest (or return on investment) could be reasonable. At the same time, I see no evidence that he’s okay with any kind of exploitation of the poor by the rich.

  • Micah, thanks for a great, thought-provoking post. To many in the US, Christianity equals capitalism, as if the two are inseparable. They are wrong.

    I agree with your points and share your struggle, but I would like to mention a counterpoint, in which Jesus implicitly endorses capitalism in his parable about the ten talents, where those who worked hard and turned a profit were rewarded: the bigger the profit, the greater the reward.

    I recently mused about capitalism in my post, “Three Kinds of Capitalism.” The third kind, I call philanthropic capitalism, which is “enterprise for the benefit of society.”

    (I hope it’s okay to post a link:

    • Hi, Peter. Thanks for this comment.

      The parable of the talents is extremely interesting, I agree. Its tone and focus apparently differs so much from most of Jesus’ teaching that some have even suggested that it’s meant as a *counter*-example of what the kingdom looks like.

      I’m not sure I believe that. After all, Jesus and the early church both used the images, symbols, and systems of Empire as constructive building blocks for an alternative order. “Jesus is Lord” is a counter-claim to the imperial statement, “Caesar is Lord.” I don’t doubt that, just as Jesus speaks of the “empire of God,” he might also use the image of “the capitalism of God.” But just as in the case of God’s empire, it would be a very different “capitalism” than the kind that is mainstream in our world.

      • Micah, I appreciate the additional details and insight. Thanks!

      • Julian Brelsford

        I agree, and I think Jesus’s “capitalism of God,” needs to be the kind that is reconcilable with this AND his other statements on wealth such as the “camel through the eye of a needle” and the “don’t pretend God likes you to exploit others economically in a church building”.

    • asidelove

      The parable of the talents should not be confused with making of wages. It should be seen as a whole with the other two parables. The Ten virgins and the judgment. All are teachings of preparedness.

      The Ten Virgins is a parable about being prepared for the coming of the bridegroom. John 3:29, Matthew 9:15, Mark 2:19 tell us that Jesus is the bridegroom. We are the Virgins. We should be prepared for His coming all the time because we do not know the exact time of His coming.

      The Ten Talents is a parable about taking what God has given you and using it to multiply the kingdom. The master gives his slaves talents. Two multiply their talents and one does not. As Paul says in Romans 1:1 we are to be slaves to Jesus Christ. As his slaves we should multiply His talents, His Kingdom, in preparation for his return.

      The Judgement, a pretty straight forward parable. It parallels Luke 25:10-37, which is about redemption, to be a good neighbor. Jesus is telling us to be loving to all people because that is how we show His kingdom on earth. We are to be good neighbors to all people in preparation for the Kings return

      All three parables are about Kingdom building and preparation for the bridegroom, master, king’s return

  • Charley Earp

    Micah, I have just become a resident living with an intentional Christian community that has been living the Acts model since 1957. My wife and I rent a room in a shared household from the community. They love to share the things they have learned on over a half century of livin this way, and you are very welcome to visit.

    To learn more, go to their website:

    • Thanks, Charley! I’ve heard a lot of great things about Reba Place!

  • Randy Oftedahl

    If I may ask – shouldn’t that read “Jesus is anti-capitalism” instead of anti-capitalist? Doesn’t Jesus love the capitalist just as much as the rest of us sinners? Perhaps this is a minor point, but when I saw the title, I noticed the distinction.

  • Susan Chast

    What a great discussion you have started! I am grateful for the Light that you, Julian, Ken and Jim and all have shed on this topic. I see no real contradiction between capitalism and right sharing of world resources. In theory, capitalism doesn’t rely on greed and destruction of the environment. That said, I see no contradiction between theoretical communism and right sharing of world resources, yet historical examples of applied communism not only outlaw faith-based communities but also destroy environments and try to destroy multiple ethnicities. WIthout shared morality and understanding/making room for each other’s ethical systems, every model you propose can be perverted. Jesus’s model takes small groups of people to task and challenges them to awareness and right sharing. We might do the same knowing that investment and affective simplicity varies among individuals. For a silly example, I cannot function from a tent but do not use air conditioning. Some require conditioned air to be able to function. What would Jesus do?

  • Diane Benton

    I wonder how the first audiences of the parable of the talents understood it. The Greek word translated heaven is Ouranos. [Ouranos [oːranós] meaning
    “sky” or “heaven”) was the primal Greek god personifying
    the sky.

    Also, it says the master divided up his possessions. A talent was a measure of weight, so each slave received a portion of the master’s possessions.

    What if Jesus was playing off the idea, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die , it abideth alone: but if it die,
    it bringeth forth much fruit” and the one talent guy was acting according to that and was rejected?

    Food for thought.

  • Diane Benton

    I wonder how the first
    audiences of the parable of the talents understood it. The Greek word translated heaven is Ouranos. [Ouranos [oːranós] meaning
    “sky” or “heaven”) was the primal Greek god personifying
    the sky.

    Also, it says the master divided up his possessions. A talent was a measure of weight, so each
    slave received a portion of the master’s possessions.

    What if Jesus was playing off the idea, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground
    and die , it abideth alone: but if it die ,
    it bringeth forth much fruit
    ‘ and the one talent guy was
    acting according to that and was rejected?

    Food for thought.

  • Filo Mena

    Ignoring how much capitalism has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty across the entire planet over the past century is either ignorant or deceitful.

    • Ian Sullivan

      This was the excuse used to justify most Christian slavery, and the subjugation of native Americans. Aren’t the fruits of a tainted tree also tainted?

      • Filo Mena

        You analogy is wanting. Your description of slavery as “Christian slavery” is just as lacking. Jesus tells us how to live personally. Jesus or the Bible does not tell us how to form our governments or societies – that was not the goal. There is room there for people to find the best way to govern themselves, and the Bible even recognizes this. The problem here, maybe because we only focus on negative news, is you can only see the bad and you see no good in capitalism. Fine. Be my guest. Throw out the baby with the bathwater and see what happens. What happens when people like you want to try to create some social engineer Utopian bullshit world, because you think you are God yourself – you always makes things 1000 times worse and you end up killing millions. How is that for tainted?

        • Ian Sullivan

          Maybe the reason you found my “description of slavery” as lacking is because I was not describing slavery. I was describing a particular era of slavery that ended, mostly, in the late 19th century. The bible, OT and NT, speak literal volumes as to how mankind is supposed to treat each other, including how we are to:
          *Treat Family
          *Defend Ourselves
          *Defend Our Nation
          *Tax Wealth
          *Treat Immigrants
          *Treat the Environment

          What are the particular aspects of government, or society, that the bible doesn’t, in one form or fashion, seek to advise us on?

          The problem here, maybe because some people like to either superimpose their own perspective onto others, is that you are supposing to know my perspective without knowing almost anything about me. Why do you assume I can only see the bad in capitalism?

          People Like Me?
          Owns a Dog

          Now, I don’t know about you(see how that works, I don’t start by supposing to know the inner workings of you mind like some kind of fucking sorcerer),but I don’t know of many utopian movements that utilize these particular attributes as a foundation for a perfect society.

          Also, I most definitely do not think I am God myself. If I was God, I WOULDN’T BE ARGUING ON A FUCKING FORUM. I would be doing whatever it is God does. Maybe you are full of some divine insight that I lack, but on the top ten list of things I would do as Divine Creator of the Universe the list is:
          1: Bring back Firefly
          2: Think of 8 more things to do as God

          Next, I propose that not one group of people has ever earnestly attempted a Utopian civilization. For the sake of your argument, lets say that there are attempts at Utopia out there, even failed ones. Name these societies, the base conditions of the societies before Utopian attempts, the final conditions of the societies after Dystopian Reality sets in, and finally, the death tolls w/ causality.

          Finally, ” A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. ” That’s Matthew 7:18. I was referring to the fact that we carved a country out of the flesh of other people, using lies, murder, and rape. This is not really refutable. It’s a matter of history.

    • Prodigal Son

      What about all the people the Capitalists exploit? I don’t think Jesus would be too happy with the way big banks and corporations control the world, even our governments base their policies on Neo-Liberalism and stink tanks (that’s my name for them).

      • Filo Mena

        Your assumption here appears to be that capitalists including large corporations are 100% exploitative towards people like consumers and workers. That is simple a false assumption. Control the world? What does that even mean? Can you write that out in detail? Do you offer an alternative? How about a purely socialist society which always brings forth authoritarianism and the removal of the church as well. Yes, churches always have to go underground in such systems. I’m sure Jesus would just love that. Here is one of my favorite new sources. It’s much better than the pop news most people read. It is a moderate to center-left “stink tank”. Do you even know what a think tank is? You might learn something in depth and not at a superficial level at a site like this. But something tells me that anti-globalists devil in you won’t let you even read a word of anything that contradicts your current beliefs.

        • Ian Sullivan

          1st: You built a straw man by redefining what PS means by all the people the Capitalists exploit. Nowhere in PS’s post does he assert or infer that large capitalists are 100% exploitative. He asked about the people that Capitalists exploit. At most that infers that capitalists do exploit, not to what extent their exploitation reaches.

          2nd:It is a false assumption that you egregiously made about someone else’s plain speech.

          3rd: If you don’t know how money controls the world, you haven’t studied politics or economics. Wealth has made the political decisions, even during revolutionary and reactionary movements. It takes weapons, ammo, intelligence, food, water, clothing, medicine, straps, gas, etc… to form any kind of governing body that can protect itself from crime, invasion, and insurgency. These things are not provided for by the lower classes in societies, but by the disenfranchised wealthy that no longer feel supported or represented by their government. In the past century, corporations have become the public face of private wealth, allowing an entitiy to commit criminal and immoral acts without much blow back on the private lives of the investors. This has been somewhat abated in the past decade as Doxxing has become a common way to put heat on the wealthy.

          4th: If your meandering, illogical drivel is any sort of representation of the content found in your link, I feel safe saying to anyone bothering to read two strangers pseudo-academic debate on a random blog, your time would be better spent trying to give a coyote a pedicure.

    • Rev JE Allen

      Hundreds of millions? Ok, let’s say your numbers are right. Ever since the beginning of the capitalist industrial revolution (Vanderbilt’s, Morgan’s, Rothschild’s, etc) the captains of industry have manipulated markets, oppressed workers, straight up murdered miners, funded both sides of major wars, and caused the suffering of billions, and on and on in the name of greed and power.
      In the context of Christianity and economics no rationalization is valid. And, just to be a little coy I hope those “hundreds of millions” know how to slide a camel thru the eye of a needle.

      • Filo Mena

        If you want to go way back a hundred years to pure lassie-fair capitalism, which nobody should be a fan off, well, that is your prerogative. But show me any belief system or idea and I can go back in time and point to examples when they were being idiots or corrupted. I am speaking of modern times and I am speaking of a balanced form of capitalism that gives people and business freedom to operate, grow, and innovate while also preventing abuses to consumers and the working class. This is where we mostly are in the world, despite what you might think. But yes, sorry I was wrong on the numbers. It is more a billion people! (see source below).You must be young and not remember how much worse things were, poverty wise, as recently as the 1980’s. While, again, nothing is perfect. There is much work to be done. But to pretend or to be ignorant of what has happened over the past few decades is at the very least, a weak argument in that you are only presenting an incomplete and biased view.

  • Prodigal Son

    Thanks for this, I’ve been thinking this way for a while… that free market Capitalism is not compatible with true Christianity. I think enabling corporations to get rich whilst paying people the least you can, cough (Mcdonalds, GAP) and then giving them credit so they can buy products they can’t afford is pretty evil.

  • David Bamber

    Be assured that socialism isn’t Gods Way either.

    Capitalism; the rich few own all the wealth hiding behind the wall of the corporation.
    Socialism; the rich few own all the wealth hiding behind the wall of government.

    Both systems leave the poor in poverty.

    • Rev JE Allen

      I think millions of people would disagree my friend. This is rankings of Nations with happiest citizens and most trust in government mainly due to decrease in gap of wealth inequality.
      (1)Norway jumped to number one after being in top five for years. (2)Denmark dropped to second place this year, followed by (3)Iceland, (4)Switzerland, (5)Finland, (6)Netherlands, (7)Canada, (8)New Zeaand (10)Sweden (which tied for ninth place), according to the latest World Happiness Report, released in March 2017 by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations.

      8 of these are in the top 10 most Socialist countries and half are “Social Democracy” govts.
      Norway Social Democracy.
      Denmark Social Democracy.
      Iceland Social Democracy
      Finland Social Democracy
      Sweden Social Democracy
      New Zealand
      These people don’t mind paying a little extra in taxes for free University, free healthcare, free daycare, paid maternity leave for Fathers to spend time with their newborns and many other examples of a just and equal society that puts the rights of the many before the few

      Americans have had it beat into their heads for decades anything to do with “socialism” is evil. Social Democracy is actually what it is. It’s quite amusing & sad at the same time America is like an entire nation suffering from Stockholm syndrome. They have identified with their oppressors & beg for more. They tremble at the thought of a social democracy, but don’t think twice about the marriage of state and corporate in America. Which is what Mussolini defined as the definition of fascism.

      Dr King wrote of Marx teaching capitalism carries the seed of it’s own destruction and I truly believe that. It has utterly failed the masses. When Banks screw millions & the govt says their “too big to fail (and jail)” and instead of bailing out the victims they bail out the that then show the true sociopaths they are by lavishly extending a golden middle finger to all of us.

      As a theologian it’s quite obvious Jesus would NEVER be a capitalist. His social message fits in social democracy.

  • Rev JE Allen

    “We perish on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity” MLK
    I see now an overcrowded, multicultural, yet still lonely island of poverty and a much more prosperous ocean, but an ocean poisoned by greed, corruption, and income, political, and educational Inequality. History is carried in all of us and can be as destructive as if a genetic disease passed from generation to generation or it can be a golden road of privilege based upon progeny alone.
    I recently saw the absurdity of the situation in New York City where a massive school called “Avenues: The World School” with a tuition of $50,000 a year teaching Chinese and English in kindergarten. This in your face inequality is directly adjacent to a public housing development. The children with a much different progeny walk past this school of technological Marvel everyday like a cruel tease and these little minds not grasping their progeny is a locked door without a key to many places.

    There are things that fundamentally should always be equal!
    Education has to be the first. If there’s such inequality in education the suffering only perpetuates.

  • Greetings all! I’m a disciple of Messiah and Tekton. Thank you for this needed post. I was (today) researching with keyword: “anti-capitalist Jesus.” This site was among the top results, and though this was posted in 2015 (and its 18), it’s timeless and therefore just as relevant, and will be so decades from now (or however long we have). But if you want to know why this search now, first G-search with keywords: “anti-capitalist news”. You’ll catch the currents!

    But this is not the first time I’ve researched this topic; back before the wild-wild-web, I had to do so in libraries all over the (NA) continent; and I only use trains (and feet and bikes)! If I may, I can summarize this topic in a few words: dominion, power, control, lordship. The downfall of satan was that he wanted to be lord; he wanted God-like power and to be worshipped and feared (Matt 4): satan was not interested in equality or unity or community, and likewise, neither are his followers. My Master said this:

    If God was your Father, you would Love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you cannot hear My word! You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, you believe Me not. Which of you convinces Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe Me? He that is of God hears God’s words; you therefore hear them not, because you are not of God. (John 8:42-47)

    And we know what they did to/with Him! In the metaphor of the the good samaritan (Luke 10), the individual who’d come upon the set-up scene would have (yep) capitalized upon the situation by further exploiting the weak (rummaging through his pockets I suspect). Conversely, the Love-centric person did not (does not) care about the weakened mans things (people are not resources to us), he cared only for the man, even dipping into his own resources to help this stranger. The end times was to be revealed by the events and mentalities around us (Luke 17; 2 Peter), but only the Spiritually sighted can see it.

    The cost of discipleship is not as high as one might, at first, think. Sure, like the rich young ruler, you must walk away from the worldly forms of empowerment and easy living, but the great exchange is not equal; what I’ve gained by being His disciple, is worth abundantly more than all billionaires (and I own little). My life is easy; all I have to do is Love; my Master does all the rest (Matt 5, 6, 7)! Thanks for allowing me to share what the Holy Spirit placed upon my heart this hour. Avatar> link.