Moral Obligation To Justice

I hate blatant misrepresentation of Scripture.

Hate is a strong word, and I am a person of few, if any, hates. But when someone twists a story told by Jesus to wring all meaning from it save some sort of self-serving, political interpretation–well, I hate it. That sort of thing makes disciples look bad all over the globe.

A friend of mine posted one of the pictures that is the dominant theme of Facebook these days (both right and left, religious and pagan). His “picture” was of Pope Francis with a saying about the moral imperative of economic justice.

Someone whom I assume is a friend of my friend ripped the thought and suggested the Pope should read Matthew 20 (OK, arrogance knows no bounds). This is a story about a vineyard owner who decided to pay the laborers who worked 1 hour the same as those who worked all day.

“This shows that I can do with my money whatever I want,” the guy proclaimed.

Unless we missed the message that God has returned to Earth physically and inhabits the body of this guy, we need to take another look at the passage.

The meaning has nothing whatsoever to do with me and my money. It is a parable about God. God is the owner of the vineyard. “For the kingdom of heaven is like….” If God wishes to save people at the very end of their lives the same as those who have been disciples their entire lives, well, God can do what God wants to do. After all, he is, er, God.

Jesus really only gave us two commandments. Unfortunately for us, they are not easy to live out every day. Love God. Love our neighbor.

Which of those two tell us that we can do whatever we wish with our money? Or even says that it is our money to begin with?

So, I’m reading Proverbs 26 this week. Which of these am I doing?

Do not answer fools according to their folly, or you will be a fool yourself.

Answer fools according to their folly, or they will be wise in their own eyes.

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