A good friend of mine posted on his blog this morning asking “Who gets your vote?” . I think this is a topic that is on the minds of Christians of all stripes this election season, not just the single issue voters.
Although, if one is to be a single issue voter….. why not make that issue concern for the poor?
A comment on his blog mentioned concerns about tax dollars. I think everyone is concerned about taxes.. it is always a hot button topic. In Matthew 22 Jesus gives the Pharisees that oft quoted line “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar; and give unto God what is God.” I’m not sure it could be much clearer, but Jesus is telling you to pay your taxes. It really makes me wonder about the anti-tax zealots and what their agenda truly is.
Luke 14:48 reminds us that “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Even the novice scripture reader can see how often the topic of the poor is referenced. In fact, there are over 300 verses that reference the poor. It’s not just in the NT, either. It’s in the Torah, the Psalms, the Prophetic books, the Gospels, the Epistles… I’m not sure God could have made it any clearer. Even the Catholic Church classified Greed as one of the seven deadly sins. It’s a capital sin, which in the Catholic Church means it can destroy the life of grace, and create the threat of eternal damnation. That’s a pretty big deal.
Yet people still talk about taxes, etc., in the terms of “punishing the rich”. Uhh, what? I’ll say it again.. “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
Greed is a sin of excess, of searching out personal gain. From Wikipedia, it’s explained as such:
Greed (or avarice, covetousness) is, like lust and gluttony, a sin of excess. However, greed (as seen by the church) is applied to the acquisition of wealth in particular. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that greed was “a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things.” In Dante’s Purgatory, the penitents were bound and laid face down on the ground for having concentrated too much on earthly thoughts.
So the next time you rant about paying your taxes, which we all don’t like, or wonder why “you should pay for social programs”, remember what Jesus said.
To whom much is given, much will be demanded.