There is this movie “Maxed Out”. It is about the current and growing problem of debt in America. It turns out that the American dream includes debt so great that one losses hope.
Thursday Senate passed a package of tax breaks and other steps designed to help businesses and homeowners weather the housing crisis. The problem is that this is largely a break for builders and folks that prey on foreclosing properties. This bill will not help the average person faced with the loss of their home.
So the Senate gets together to pass legislation that protects the nation from this impending recession. Only it shields the rich and deepens the poor. Seriously folks, WTF?
When will the average person get a break? Where is the middle class we so proudly honor once a year? Where are our inaliable rights to exist and shed this oppressive cog-like machine we call a country?
The tyranny knows no color. You just have to have green. What does this say about the church?
We at the PC (USA) are in the midst of a slow death rattle with sparks of hope. I do not think that we are unique to any religious organization in America. We all are in hard times.
I write this at the end of a three year long journey into ministry. I am faced with a financial reality that hurts beyond words. Looking into the eyes of someone you love and hearing, “it will take 35 years to pay off your loans”, hurts. It hurts deeply. It shakes the Sovereignty of God in ones life. It clouds all sense of right, wrong, just, and unjust action. This kind of hurt reveals “the face of the other”.
I have witnessed oppression. I have been a part of oppression. I have been oppressed.
I ponder the emotional state of our nation as we beg, plead, and barrow our way into the American dream. What have we given up for these conveniences? With a sad heart I urn for yesterday when America was truly hopeful.
We are surrounded with dreams, wishes, hopes, and imagination. In this sordid world can these dreams exist?
Where is the hope for the young couple that scrimped and saved to buy a modest house? They are a success story of the American dream. They are now being removed from their dream with no place to go. They will be marked for financial ruin. Where is their hope?
Can the church bloated with bull shit polity and self indulgent dialog reach out and walk with them? They could and they should, but will they?
What will we say against this continued plight? Who will speak for “them”? I am tired of the lame ass excuses for us not living into who Christ has called us to be. If we really believed what the gospel said we would dissolve every asset this denomination has and give it to the poor. Now we want to argue over who gets to hold on to power.
I have never want Jesus to come back more than I want Jesus to return today. I ache right now. I have a deep and seething anger for what we are letting this community become. We are cogs in a machine. We are not far away from that shite in The Matrix.
So I ponder how my life became so devalued and where is this freedom that I have studied here in seminary. For all the beauty and grace available in Jesus Christ it will not pat down my loans. It will not save those folks homes from foreclosure. It will not cease those bill collectors’ calls. It will most certainly not save this nation from destroying itself. Where is the sovereignty of God in this?
What do we do? How does the church seek to reconcile the current realities of poverty, brokenness, debt, and consumption with the gospel message? We must seriously contend with this matter. We have to pull our heads from the sand and march in protest, and shout out against the financial slavery that exists in this country.
You are not a machine. You are not a number. You are fearfully and wonderfully made…
God move in this place of hurt. Be present in the hearts of the afflicted. Provide for us now in our time of need that which is needed. Erase the excess of our want. Open our hearts to others. Let us burden our lives with the community of sorrow. Grant us peace and clarity to move in rebellion of the broken ways of this world. Let us be freed from the captive mentality. Liberate our minds. Bind us together in you. In Jesus’ fetter breaking name. Amen