One of my greatest frustrations is when people confuse capitalism and Christianity. Our capitalist system is built on “personal responsibility”, the idea where the accumulation of things is good. Which, as an American capitalist, I agree with to a degree. I want a nice house, a nice car, fancy cheese and wine, and some of the luxuries afforded to me as an American.
However, I don’t believe those ideas are the same as Christianity. The other day, my friend and I were complaining about our string of bad luck and how that has changed our understanding of Christianity. We were discussing how “angry” it made us that God hasn’t answered all of the prayers. And not superfluous prayers for cars, or money but prayers for health and inner peace. I realized later our mistake. My Americanized Christianity has made GOD into an ATM. More troubling, I believed that God should respond to my all requests if I ask the right way and have enough faith.
But upon my personal reflection, I’m not sure God has the same priorities as our American capitalism. If material wealth was so important, maybe he would have hooked his son, Jesus up with the more. Jesus was not in any way living the life of luxury. And more importantly, Jesus didn’t have a “stress-free” life. He was challenged emotionally and spiritually at every corner!
I don’t think having money or capitalism is wrong. But I worry about Christians who praise God when they get blessings. I’m struggling now to praise God through my problems because I have been conditioned to believe that Gods relationship with me is 1) one where He is protecting me 2) one where He is providing for me or 3) one where he is delivering for me.
But what if Christianity isn’t really about “me” or “you” and my/our comforts. What if being a Christian is about, “me” but, rather about “we?”
Jesus cares about us loving one another.
Jesus cares about us taking care of another.
Jesus cares about us supporting one another.
And, even scarier for us Americanized Christians, what if Jesus came for us to take care of the less fortunate? What if Jesus' message wasn't about our "personal relationship" but our "interpersonal relationships?"
I believe that the goal of being a Christian is loving one another and taking care of the least of these.
Our job as Christians isn’t to judge who is right or wrong; It’s to show Christ’s love to everyone through service.
Matthew 2: 34-45
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’