What I Read Today;
Hebrews 7; Acts 5; Jeremiah 7-8; Psalm 94; Joshua 23-24
There has been a lot of reaction to A video interview between Dr. Phil and a college student, who went to spring break to party during the COVID-19 outbreak. During the discussion, the young girl makes comments that are quite stunning. Even the ordinarily verbose, Phil McGraw, is stunned by her comments. The young lady is clearly seeking to make a name for herself, and she obviously doesn’t really care about anybody else.
The truth is that she is only a symptom of a bigger problem in our society. Self-absorption has run amock. We believe that there are no consequences to our actions anymore.
While the Church should have been condemning our trend towards self-absorption, it has remained silent.
Pick up your bible and read Jeremiah 7 vs. 5-7. What are the behaviors that God is condemning? Jeremiah starts off by denouncing the following; oppression of aliens, orphans, and widows. Then Jeremiah goes on to single out the shedding of innocent blood. Finally, he condemns the following of false gods.
Keep reading for a few more verses. Pay particular attention to verses 9-11.
“Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, “We are safe!”—only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your sight? You know, I too am watching, says the Lord.” NRSV
Now I know that most people will say to me, “that’s not me, I’m a good person.” I’m compelled to ask that person the stupid question. Are you really?
We live in the wealthiest nation in the world. Yet we continue to send politicians back to our country’s capital who repeatedly fail to address problems in our society. They pass raises for legislators yet deny them to our social security recipients and military members. Our congress has frequently passed laws that allow businesses to take advantage of migrant workers. Our legislators can’t even agree on a bill that says if a child is born alive in a botched abortion that the doctor can’t kill it.
We live in a society where our corporations overprice life-saving drugs preventing the poor from receiving the medication they need to live. We allow our companies to move jobs out of our country so that our corporations can make bigger profits. All the while, the real wages of our workers have been stagnant, while our health care costs have risen. We change the inflation calculation so that it does not include food, fuel, and medical costs keeping the CPI rate artificially low, so employers can justify smaller annual pay increases.
We now live in the land of me. Our society has embraced the idea of throw-away marriages. Many now only seem to care about pleasure.
How many of the people responsible, sit in a church pew on Sunday morning, oblivious to the harm they are causing.
Recently, a bishop declined to give Joe Biden Communion. The Bishop of South Carolina’s policy is that you can’t support abortion and take communion. While this may sound extreme, and I’m not sure I agree with the Bishop’s decision, it points out the need for the Church to discuss the problems in our society.
The Church needs to be the champion of the social security recipient, the migrant worker, and the unborn child. The Church needs to call out the CEO’s and board members who are taking ridiculous profits for life-saving medications.
The Church needs to demand that our elected representatives put the interests of their constituents over those of large donors.
The Church needs to call for a renewal of faith in its membership. A renewal that recognizes that marriage is a lifelong commitment. A renewal that says that divorce should only be a last resort. A renewal that speaks to men, proclaiming that it is never OK to abuse a woman. A renewal that says it is never OK to have an extramarital affair. A renewal that calls for fathers and mothers to put the interests of their children above their own, regardless of wether Mom and Dad are married or not.
A renewal that says we will love one another, just as Jesus has loved us.
The warning in Jeremiah 7 is the same today as it was 4000 years ago. God’s people are called to care for one another, treat one another fairly, and live a life of Love. It’s the job of the Church to preach that message loudly and clearly.